Raising awareness of deafness

11:23am - 23 April 2021

Being deaf or hard of hearing can have a significant impact on how you navigate the world but support is available in North Somerset if you need it.

Deaf Awareness Week runs from Monday 3 to Sunday 9 May to raise awareness of the issues.

Hear the stories of local deaf people – their highs and lows, living with hearing loss, accessing services and more.

Lucy felt that her life began again when her hearing dog Cazzie came to live with her six years ago.

Lucy said: “My life was very different before I had Cazzie. I didn’t like going outside, I couldn’t hear people behind me, they would become frustrated and sometimes push me. I felt lonely and isolated.

“Now, life is brilliant. I love people coming up to me now and talking to me, I feel like a human being again.”

Top tips when talking to deaf people:

  • face the person while you are speaking, don’t turn away
  • repeat yourself if necessary
  • never say ‘It doesn’t matter’
  • if the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up!
  • write it down or draw a picture
  • speak one at a time, don’t talk over each other
  • keep your mouth visible
  • smile and relax
  • don’t speak too quickly or too slowly.

Would you like to learn more?

Sign up for a beginner course in British Sign Language (BSL) through our community learning team. Check online for latest course dates.

If you meet the public as part of your job, a course run by Weston College could help you communicate.

Online courses and resources are also available from British Sign and Sign World.

You can also get a free BSL dictionary for your phone or computer.

Are you deaf or hard of hearing?

Social groups for deaf and hard of hearing people in North Somerset will start up again as soon as coronavirus restrictions allow.

These include the Communication CaféHard of Hearing Group, the Friday GroupDeaf Pub at SASS Bar, and Deaf Church

For the latest updates email our specialist social worker Liz Watkins on liz.watkins@n-somerset.gov.uk or text her on 07917 265 576.

A wide range of organisations and charities can also offer support if you are deaf or hard of hearing: