Hearing aid

Going on a Deaf Awareness Training course

This month, I attended a Deaf Awareness Training course organised by the Royal Association for Deaf People.

Before going, I didn’t really know what to expect but having done the session and reflecting on what I learned, I would urge those interested in finding out more about how we can better support deaf people to go along.

Did you know, for example, that there are different Sign Languages depending on where you are in the world? British Sign Language is one, but many other countries have their own version, and it can be very different to the one we have at home.

Starting the session

Anyway, we started the session by talking about the barriers faced by deaf people in their everyday lives, from the word people use to describe deaf people, to challenges in the workplace and out and about on the street.

And one of the takeaways from the session was that it is important to understand the diversity in the deaf community. Some deaf people, for example, cannot hear and use a capital ‘D’ on deaf but others have some hearing and don’t adopt a capital ‘D’ on deaf when describing themselves. 

I also had the opportunity to spell my name in British Sign Language which I found difficult at first but did get to grips with it!

As someone who works with charities who may support a deaf person, it was very important to do the training to get the understanding of what that may involve.

How it will help

The input from the session will help inform the press releases I send out, the meetings I have with my clients and the ideas we come up with when thinking about media coverage or a campaign with a view to generate media coverage.

It will also help when drafting content where being deaf is a major part of the story because I now have a better understanding about the community.