Today is a topic that comes from the Heart.
This week 6th-12th of May is Deaf Awareness week,
My mum is deaf and being hard of hearing myself I know
what its like on a day to day basis with hearing difficulties.
Here are some facts and figures from Action On Hearing Loss.
- There are more than 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss
that's one in six people of the UK population.
- 3.7 million are of working age and 6.3 million are over the age of 65
- Its estimated that by 2031 there will be about 14.5 million people
in UK with a hearing impairment of some kind.
- More than 800,000 people in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf.
-There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK, plus many more who experience temporary hearing loss.
-More than 70% of over 70 year-olds and 40% of over 50 year-olds have some form of hearing loss.
-There are approximately 356,000 people with combined visual and hearing impairment in the UK.
-About two million people in the UK have hearing aids, but only 1.4 million use them regularly.
-At least four million people who don't have hearing aids would benefit from using them.
-On average it takes ten years for people to address their hearing loss.
- About one in ten adults in the UK have mild tinnitus and up to 1% have tinnitus that affects their quality of life
Being Deaf Aware is not difficult, but very important.
Without knowing it, you might be excluding people who have a hearing loss or making their daily life more difficult.
Some top communication tips:
- Before speaking make sure that you have the person's attention.
- Places with little or no background noise are best for conversations
- face the person so that they can lip read and make sure you speak clearly
- check that the person understands what you are saying if not try and say it in a different way
Some of the annoying things I find people who don't have an hearing impairment do:
- Talk really LOUD! you don't need to its irritating and makes the person feel uncomfortable.
- People that don't use normal lip movements and talk really slowly again this makes the
person feel uncomfortable.
- When the person with the hearing impairment is unable to hear you very well
and you just say it doesn't matter or don't worry about it.
There are many more but I could go on all day.