Happy Deaf Awareness Week!

Image courtesy of NDCS

Well, first day of Deaf Awareness Week 2010 is now over. The National Deaf Children’s Society has launched an appeal for the best deaf awareness tips on its website, Twitter and Facebook and already some really good ones have been rolling in, such as:

* DO make the most of technology to help communication. For example, if you’ve got a mobile phone and struggling to be understood, write out what you want to say as a text message and show it to the child
* Don’t be scared to try fingerspelling and signing. BSL users are human too! My son is a BSLer and doesn’t speak, we have spent a lot of money trying to communicate with our son which seems morally wrong.
* Hearing aids (& implants) are not a cure for deafness, the child is still deaf!
* Tip from my deaf son. If you need to get their attention, just touch lightly on the arm. Don’t poke or grab, he hates this.

Do you agree with the above? Have you got any of your own? NDCS is going to be sharing these tips with MPs at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday, so please keep them coming in.

PS If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to add the Deaf Awareness Week twibbon to your account and get involved by using the hashtag #deafawarenessweek. As well as through this blog, you can regular updates by following NDCS_UK on Twitter.

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The calm before Deaf Awareness Week

Next week is going to be all about me. And the other 8,999,999 people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the UK.

Yes, it’s Deaf Awareness Week and this year’s theme is “Look at me”. The idea is to talk about simple deaf awareness tips throughout the week – like facing deaf people when you talk. And, of course, by looking at deaf people, you can finally find out one way or another whether deafness really is an invisible disability.

I’ve been busy at the National Deaf Children’s Society gearing up for it. The main focus of our work is a parliamentary reception next week where deaf children and young people will be part of a group educating and testing MPs on their deaf awareness. NDCS is joining forces with RNID and the UK Council of Deafness for the event.

For NDCS, the whole thing is a follow-up from the NDCS election pledge work. 223 MPs committed to making deaf children matter. Now is their opportunity to find out how.

I’ll be blogging throughout Deaf Awareness Week about what’s going on, and NDCS will also be encouraging supporters to get involved. So watch this space.

In the meantime, what are you up to for Deaf Awareness Week? Leave a comment below to let us know.

PS You can also get the latest via the NDCS UK twitter account – so get tweeting!