Deaf Awareness Week

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03 / 5 / 2016 8am

Deaf Awareness Week is an annual campaign that, this year, is running from 2-8 May 2016. During the week, organisations come together to raise awareness and promote social inclusion, The theme for 2016 is to celebrate the work the sector has done to define a common purpose.   

Key facts and figures

  • There are more than 11 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss. By 2035, it is estimated that this figure will rise to 15.6 million - equating to one in five of the UK population. In addition, more than 900,000 people in the UK are severely or profoundly deaf.
  • Hearing loss can affect people at all stages of life.  While more than 70 per cent of people aged 70, and 40 per cent of people over 50, experience loss, there are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK, plus many more who experience temporary hearing loss. 
  • Around 6.7 million people could benefit from wearing a hearing aid and one in every ten UK adults has tinnitus. This increases to 25-30 per cent of over 70 years-old.
  • There are approximately 250,000 people in the UK with both hearing loss and sight loss. Of these, 220,000 are aged 70 or ever.
  • There are approximately 24,000 people across the UK that use British sign language (BSL) as their main language. 

Read Deaf people in employment, the blog that Julie Ryder wrote to highlight Deaf Awareness Week. Julie, who lost her hearing in her 20s, runs an organisation that delivers diversity and equality training packages and employs members of staff with disabilities.


Further information and resources

The UK Council on Deafness has produced useful Deaf Awareness Week resources to help organisations promote deaf awareness.

The charity Sign Health has resources for health professionals looking to provide a better service to deaf people. 

The Accessible Information Standard launched last year by NHS England, requires all NHS and adult social care organisations to meet the communication needs of people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss by 31 July 2016. 

The organisation hearfirst has produced useful Tips for working with deaf/hard of hearing colleagues

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