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Information for people working with volunteers who are deaf or hard of hearing

This information will help you recruit and work with volunteers who are deaf, or have a hearing loss.

We estimate ten million in the UK are affected by hearing loss. Not all of them wear a hearing aid or use sign language, so you've probably worked with a volunteer who already has hearing loss without knowing it. That's why you should always communicate clearly.

  • Communication tips
    Most people with a hearing loss use speech. They may wear hearing aids and will lipread to follow what you are saying.
  • Types of communication support
    Some people who are deaf need support to communicate. Not everyone who is deaf uses sign language. For example, some people prefer to use a notetaker (someone who types what is being said).
  • Equipment
    Some people with a hearing loss can use a voice telephone if it has adjustable volume or is designed to work with hearing aids. Or if they wear a hearing aid they may be able to use a loop or infrared system to hear more clearly.
  • Deafblindness
    A person who is deafblind has a combined hearing and sight loss that means they may have difficulty with communication, access to information, and mobility. About 24,000 people in the UK are deafblind.
M.U.S.I.C. Five ways to protext your hearing and enjoy music.