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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.