Did you know that one in six people in the UK have some form of hearing loss? That’s 10 million people in total.
What do we mean by deaf?
When you think of the word ‘deaf’ any number of stereotypes might come to mind. People who are affected by hearing loss tend to be lumped into one category of people, but being deaf means different things to different people. For example, you’ve got people who are hard of hearing- this means that they have mild to severe hearing loss and it’s usually happened over time instead of at birth or all at once. There are also people who are deafened, who were born being able to hear but became very deaf after learning to speak. So you can see that there is a lot more to hearing loss and deafness than you might think!
Deaf Awareness Week
This week (7th- 13th May) is Deaf Awareness week. Events are happening all across the UK to raise awareness of issues about hearing loss and deafness. This year, deaf awareness week is all about sharing stories of people who have had problems accessing health care services. Imagine this, you’re going to the doctor but you can hear when your name is called. How frustrating would that be? You might hear all the instructions the pharmacist gives you about the medication you’re taking and this could lead to problems for your health.
How can you get involved?
Deaf charities want those running Health services to think more about how they can be deaf aware and how they can support those with hearing loss. You could help by becoming more deaf aware yourself. Action on Hearing Loss is an organisation that provides information and runs campaigns to help improve the lives of those living with deafness and hearing loss in the UK. You can log onto their website to get lots of information about deafness and how to look after your hearing.
If you or someone you know is affected by hearing loss and deafness or you have a story to share about how communication has been a barrier in a health setting then why don’t you email it in? You can email it to email@example.com.