Diversity and Inclusion

The MPA celebrates Deaf Awareness Week | 6 – 12 May 2024

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Deaf Awareness Week takes place each year to promote the positivity of living with deafness and promoting a theme. This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating Love and Trust.’ Like any other community, the deaf community faces its share of challenges.

This year’s theme is about raising awareness but also creating a movement based on love and trust.
Hearing loss impacts 12 million people in the UK. There are a lot of different causes of hearing loss, whether this is a ruptured ear drum, head trauma or due to constant exposure to loud noises.

People with hearing loss may communicate in different ways, the first is British Sign Language. British Sign Language (BSL) is a language in its own right and has been recognised since 2003. It mixes a combination of hand shapes, lip patterns, facial and shoulder movements. It has its own rules and grammar and is different to how English is structured.
Lip reading is another way deaf or hard-of-hearing people communicate. It is something we all do when communicating and gain a better understanding of what someone is saying. It requires a lot of skill, concentration and practice. Some words can have lip patterns that are very similar despite being different words. For example, it is easy to mistake, ‘I have salad’ for ‘I have talent.’

The final one is hearing aids, which can be specifically programmed for you and your hearing test. There are lots of different types of hearing aids and the type you receive will depend on a variety of things such as lifestyle, degree of hearing loss and size of your ear canal.

Communication Tips
1. Using your natural lip patterns, not overexaggerating or over-enunciating.
2. Facing the person you’re speaking to.
3. Repeating or rephrasing a question or sentence.
4. Reducing background noise.
5.Using captions/transcripts where necessary, particularly for online meetings.

Deaf Awareness Week celebrates deafness but also the love and trust that ties the community together. Deaf Awareness Week includes everyone impacted by hearing loss, whether they use BSL or not, as they contribute to a significant portion of the deaf population. This year’s theme is raising awareness and creating a movement based on love and trust. Embracing diversity and inclusivity and ensuring that every voice and experience is heard and valued.

Mandy Feighery
D&I Officer

Support Resources
RNID – National hearing loss charity
Action Hearing Loss | We Understand How Hearing Loss Can Affect Everything In Your Life !
Deafness and hearing loss – Sense
Action Deafness | Deaf-led UK Charity

For more information or to join our MPA Accessibility Employee Network group, please contact:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
[email protected]

 Mandy Feighery
D & I Officer
[email protected]

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