Deafness or hearing loss affects 1 in 6 people in the UK and this year’s Deaf Awareness Week 15th – 21st May is an opportunity to raise awareness to this fact whilst celebrating the collaborative work that has made a difference for so many people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. Promoted by the UK Council on Deafness, the theme of this year’s week is one of Celebration and will focus on:
Awareness Education Employment
Information Prevention Services
As deafness affects one in six of the population in this country – that’s over ten million people!
6.5 million of these are aged 60 and over 3.7 million are of working age.
Around 2 million people in the UK have hearing aids and 800,000 are severely or profoundly deaf.
Adults and children who are deaf or hard of hearing face communication barriers which can cause lack of confidence, exclusion, depression, isolation and unemployment.
However technology and the way we communicate is helping to change this.
Martyn Brown who works within the Customer Support Team at Metalogic has been hearing impaired from birth and in the early days largely survived on his wits and lip-reading skills. His hearing loss increased through adulthood and since 2008 he has worn digital aids. Despite this, he still struggles with the human voice and relies on Email, Skype (text) and SMS to communicate with customers and colleagues alike.
Martyn remembers how difficult things were for him as a child and since 2005 has been giving his time to the National Deaf Children’s Society, originally as a Deaf Role Model and since then as a Guest Speaker. His talks about his experiences as a deaf person can offer real hope and comfort – often to parents who have just had their child diagnosed. They are infused with humour too as Martyn relates some of his own personal stories like the time a colleague in the office asked ‘Have you got any marker pens down there?’ to which Martyn to replied: ‘Tomato plants?’
We are delighted to share one of Martyn’s poems with you here – we hope you enjoy.
Read more here on how the UK Deaf Council are working towards a world in which people who are deaf or have a hearing loss are able to fulfill their potential.
Friday Big Up
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