enei is delighted to be working with Sign Solutions who are one of the sponsors for our annual networking event at the House of Lords.
Happy Deaf Awareness Week 2023 from Sign Solutions, providers of non-spoken communication support, 24/7 365 days a year!
This year’s campaign runs between the 1st and 7th May its theme is ‘Access to Communication’’.
This year’s theme is very much in keeping with the main ethos at Sign Solutions, breaking down the barriers in communication for the Deaf Community and supporting organisations in becoming accessible so that Deaf people are not at a disadvantage in accessing services.
Why do we celebrate Deaf Awareness Week?
Deaf Awareness Week is celebrated annually in the month of May and is aimed to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of hearing loss and Deafness in the UK. It helps to give people a better understanding of the impact of language barriers on deaf people and promotes the importance of British Sign Language and lip-reading.
Deaf Awareness Week promotes the positive aspects of Deafness and campaigns for better accessibility and social inclusion. Most importantly, it’s about understanding and supporting Deaf people to ensure they feel involved, engaged, and are not disadvantaged in everyday situations that hearing people can take for granted.
What can I do to support Deaf Awareness Week?
Here are some of our ideas on how you can make your business more accessible and create awareness of the Deaf community within your business.
Deaf awareness training!
Deaf Awareness Week provides the perfect backdrop to talk about Deaf issues with your staff and introduce deaf awareness training. It can give your team the confidence and skills they need to communicate with Deaf or Hard of Hearing colleagues and customers.
Employees who receive deaf awareness training can often deliver improved customer service, better understand the barriers faced by Deaf people, and feel more confident about communicating with Deaf colleagues and customers.
It also helps them work more effectively with colleagues who are Deaf or have hearing loss.
Don’t delay, become Deaf Aware today!
Review your technology!
Instantly improve the environment for employees and customers by offering hearing loop systems. Other assistive products and technology can make your workplace safer and more accessible for Deaf people, including flashing fire alarms, amplified phones and alerts.
This doesn’t have to be a big expense. Many common workplace software applications and devices have in-built features that enhance accessibility for Deaf people, so make sure you know what technology you are using and that it is configured properly for your Deaf users.
If its Live, it’s InterpretersLive!
Have you explored introducing access to your services for British Sign Language users to through an on-demand video interpreting service? Not only will this allow your Deaf customers and colleagues to contact you in their first or preferred language of British Sign Language, InterpretersLive! will improve the accessibility on your website and enable Deaf people to communicate instantly in-person with any hearing colleagues!
Support through Access to work
You may not be aware that help available through the government’s Access to Work (ATW) scheme could cover the costs of any ‘reasonable adjustments’ you need to make for Deaf employees.
ATW is an employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start and stay in work. It provides financial support towards the cost of practical workplace adjustments for people who are Deaf or have hearing loss, up to an annual limit of £60,700, and a grant could help pay for any assistive devices or communication support your Deaf employee needs at work.
Facts on the Deaf Community
More than 11 million people in the UK have hearing loss, and by 2035, it’s estimated that this will increase to 15.6 million people.
Deafness is the third most common disability in the world.
There are 151,000 BSL users in the UK, BSL is the preferred language of over 87,000 Deaf people.
Despite its long history and cultural significance, BSL was not legally recognised in the UK until relatively recently. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, BSL was officially recognised as a minority language in 2003.
The BSL Act 2022 came into place which is a celebratory break through barriers for the Deaf community.
The Deaf Community has its own history, culture, and identity.
Sign Solutions is delighted to be exhibiting at enei’s event on 19 June 2023 at the House of Lords where we will be bringing together industry leaders to make connections, network and strengthen bonds in the diversity and equality. We look forward to seeing members there!