Deaf Awareness Week


A blog from Dean Sue on Deaf Awareness Week

When I worked in the Diocese of Derby I worked closely with the deaf Chaplain. I was her line manager. She herself was deaf and she had an assisted dog. Over that period of time, I learned so much about the deaf community. I learned about the challenges they faced in a hearing world and I learned how inspirational they were in the challenges they face. This week is Deaf Awareness Week,  it is an annual event that takes place from the 2nd-8th May 2022.

According to the deaf awareness website, the aims of Deaf Awareness Week are about promoting the positive aspects of living with deafness. So Deaf Awareness week aims to raise awareness of the isolation that deaf people can occasionally experience and promote the importance of social inclusion of the deaf community.

The week also raises awareness of BSL (British Sign Language), which is a language used by many people in the UK who are born deaf.

Over twelve million people in the United Kingdom are affected by hearing loss. In the Cathedral, we have a very small deaf community that has a regular monthly service. For more information about these services please click here.

The service is a service of Holy Communion and since the departure of our deaf Chaplain Revd Hannah Lewis it has been a privilege to continue to minister to the deaf community.

Deafness can affect anyone at any point in life and it is so important for us to be more deaf aware. There are several ways we can be more deaf aware including:

• Making sure you have a person's attention before speaking
• Stand or sit in a place with good lighting, so that they can lip read
• Communicate in a quiet space where there is little background noise
• Don't shout. Use your normal speaking voice

As a Christian Community, we believe in inclusion, in welcoming all of God’s people. We believe that God has created us as we are and we thank God for who we are remembering, in particular, those who communicate differently to us and inevitably see life differently from us. We have a lot to learn from one another and we have a lot to thank God for. So in this deaf awareness week, we remember all those who work in the deaf community and we remember that deafness can be a hidden disability affecting all of us at different points in our life.