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      Are you deaf aware ?

      Being deaf aware is very important so you don't unknowingly exclude people who have hearing loss, or make their daily life more difficult. Luckily, it's not difficult to improve your awareness and communication skills.

      Communicating better

      Do you want to improve communication with relatives, friends, colleagues and customers who have hearing loss? Here are some communication tips sent to us by people affected by the condition:

      • Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking.
      • Places with good lighting (to make lipreading easier) and little or no background noise are best for conversations.
      • Face the person (to make lipreading easier) and speak clearly, using plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions.
      • Check whether the person understands what you're saying and, if not, try saying it in a different way.
      • Keep your voice down as it’s uncomfortable for a hearing aid user if you shout and it looks aggressive.
      • Learn fingerspelling or some basic British Sign Language (BSL).

      People who are losing their hearing gradually may have particular needs as their circumstances change.

      For more information, see our factsheet Living with someone with gradual hearing loss.

      Promoting deaf awareness

      Can you help promote deaf awareness at work, college or among friends? One simple thing you can do now is get your colleagues thinking about their own hearing and why it matters. Our free hearing check only takes five minutes. Do it online now, and encourage everyone you know to try it too.

      Deaf awareness at work

      Can you communicate clearly with colleagues and customers who are deaf or hard of hearing? Would you like to make your organisation more deaf aware? We offer deaf awareness training that can be tailored to your needs. Many organisations, from supermarkets to fire brigades, have already benefited from our popular courses.

      Does your workplace have a working induction loop fitted in customer service areas? We often receive complaints about poorly maintained induction loops in public places. Check out our section Hearing loop installation and maintenance to make sure that your workplace is accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

      For more information about making sure that your workplace is accessible to people who are deaf or have hearing loss, see our section Services and training for businesses