Stuart McMillan MSP is backing Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s call urging Inverclyde residents to make small changes to meet the communication needs of people who are Deaf or have hearing loss, which can have a big impact on their everyday lives.
During Deaf Awareness Week (15th-21st May 2017), the charity is highlighting the importance of good communication to ensure people who are Deaf or have hearing don’t experience exclusion in the workplace, when accessing services, socialising or chatting with family and friends.
Stuart McMillan, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said:
“Deaf Awareness Week is the ideal time to celebrate the valuable contributions which Deaf people and British Sign Language users make to society; and gives us the opportunity to consider how everyone can take small steps to improve communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“I’m delighted to support Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s deaf awareness tips which can help ensure deaf family, friends or colleagues can follow and contribute to everyday conversations.”
Malaika Rose from Action on Hearing Loss Scotland said:
“As a deaf person myself, I appreciate it when people check about the best way to communicate with me as it can often be difficult to follow conversations when speaking with, for example, strangers in the street or staff in shops who are not deaf aware.
“Making just a few adjustments to how you can communicate with deaf people can be the difference between someone feeling included in discussions and conversations or experiencing social isolation.”
Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is encouraging people in Inverclyde to follow the following deaf awareness tips:
- Learn some basic British Sign Language (BSL) and fingerspelling to communicate with Deaf people whose first language may not be English.
- If someone is working with a BSL interpreter, always remember to talk directly to the Deaf person, not the interpreter.
- Face the person you’re talking to and check they are following the conversation. Use plain language and don’t waffle.
- If someone doesn’t understand what you’ve said, try saying it in a different way.
- To make it easier to lipread, don’t cover your mouth and speak in a place with good lighting.
- Speak clearly but not too slowly, and don’t exaggerate your lip movements.
- Don’t shout. It can be uncomfortable for hearing aid users and looks aggressive.
For more information about Deaf Awareness Week, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/daw and use #DeafAwarenessWeek on twitter