07 May 2007

Deaf Awareness Week

This week - 7th - 13th May 2007, is Deaf Awareness Week. The theme for this years week is 'Look At Me, which aims to improve understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading. Deaf Awareness week is supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under the umbrella of the UK Council on Deafness and it involves a UK wide series of national and local events.

The RNID are inviting you to take one simple step a day to help change the world. The steps include learning to fingerspell, improving your communication skills or taking part in our big sound check - check their website each day for the next step.

Activity Ideas for Children:
  • Experiment with lip-reading: Some deaf people can watch your lips and understand what you are saying from the shapes your mouth makes. Try this with a friend, say a word without making a sound and see if your friend can guess what it was. Some words look the same, which ones?
  • Practice Sign-Language: Some deaf people do not speak, instead they use British Sign Language (BSL). The words are made by making shapes with their hands. See if you can learn some simple signs or the fingerspelling alphabet.
If you are trying to communicate with a deaf person, remember the following things:
  • Face the person while you are speaking, don't turn away.
  • Speak clearly without shouting.
  • If the person can not understand you, don't give up! Write it down or draw a picture.

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