Deaf Awareness Week 2023

Ways you can help and support deaf individuals within our LJMU community 

The Diversity and Inclusion Team caught up with Maureen Ouso, from the Faculty of Business and Law who shared with us the aims of this year’s Deaf Awareness Week; promoting greater awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by the deaf community in accessing communication. 

Deaf Awareness Week: Breaking down communication barriers

This year’s theme highlights the need for breaking down the communication barriers that prevent deaf people from being included in society.  

Deaf people face significant barriers to communication, which can lead to social isolation, limited employment opportunities, and reduced access to essential services. These barriers can include a lack of access to sign language interpreters, limited captioning and subtitling in videos and online content, and a general lack of awareness of the communication needs of deaf individuals. 

Some quick facts to take note of: 

  • Roughly 1 in 6 people in the UK experience some form of hearing loss 

  • BSL (British Sign Language) is the most widely used sign language in the UK and has been recognised as an official language since 2003 

  • There are many different types of deafness, including congenital deafness (present from birth) and acquired deafness (developing later in life due to illness, injury, or age-related factors) 

  • Deafness can affect people’s ability to communicate and access information, but many deaf people use sign language, lip reading, and other methods to communicate 

  • Access to services and information can be a challenge for deaf people due to barriers such as lack of captioning or sign language interpretation. 

  • Some deaf people use cochlear implants or hearing aids to improve their hearing, but these technologies do not work for everyone 

  • The deaf community has its own culture, history, and identity, which is important to recognise and respect. 

Here are some ways you can celebrate Deaf Awareness Week 2023 and support deaf individuals within our LJMU community:

  • Educate yourself by attending deaf awareness training sessions to learn how to communicate effectively with deaf colleagues, classmates, and students. 

  • Attend some sign language classes which can help bridge communication gaps between deaf and hearing individuals in the university. 

  • Be open to the utilisation of technology such as video conferencing software with captioning capabilities or messaging apps to enable deaf colleagues, classmates, and students to communicate more effectively. 

  • Promote Deaf Awareness Week on social media! Sharing information about Deaf Awareness Week on social media can aid in raising awareness and promoting understanding among the wider community. 

  • Be patient and open to adapting to different methods of communication. 

If you have further questions about Deaf Awareness Week or how to get involved with the LJMU Disability Staff Network contact the Diversity and Inclusion Team. 


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