Posted on

Free Deaf Awareness Training Sessions

different people around a globe showing the hearing aid symbol

We are hosting a series of Deaf Awareness sessions to help Third Sector organisations in Milton Keynes become accessible and inclusive to people with hearing loss.

This sessions will help organisations offer their activities to the wider community.

Who can attend the sessions?

These sessions are open to community groups and voluntary organisations. There are two places per organisation, on each training session

What will attendees learn?

Course attendees will learn about:

– the different types of hearing loss

– the barriers that prevent people accessing activities

– different communication methods

– how culture affects the perception of hearing loss

– ways to remove barriers to make organisations are more inclusive

– the benefits of being inclusive of deaf/hard of hearing people

Organisations will receive a ‘Deaf Awareness Kit’ full of information, hints and tips on how to become more inclusive. The kit will enable organisations to share newly-acquired knowledge with staff and volunteers.

Organisations can attend a second session to enhance their accessibility, by looking at making customer facing processes more deaf friendly.

Why are we running these sessions?

Organisations open to the general public often overlook deafness, because it is an invisible disability. This is despite the fact that globally, the World Health Organisation estimates that 1 in 6 people have some level of disabling hearing loss. For Milton Keynes, that equates to around 49,000 people. It is the second most prevalent invisible disability after arthritis.

Hearing loss can lead to isolation as people withdraw from socialising with others. Communicating with others becomes ‘complicated’ and ‘tiring’. Isolation often leads to loneliness, depression and other negative health issues that cost our society around £6,000 per person in NHS treatment and social care.

Families of people with hearing loss also experience social exclusion because events need to be accessible for everyone in the family, not just the hearing members of the family group.

Why are these sessions free?

These sessions are free because we want to ensure as many organisations as possible benefit from our expertise and knowledge. We were awarded a grant from Milton Keynes Community Foundation, who are funding this important work.

Should organisations wish to make a donation, they can be made via our Local Giving page Any donation would be gratefully received as it would enable us to carry on supporting deaf and hard of hearing people overcome barriers when accessing services.

What happens at the sessions?

Sessions are fairly interactive. Attendees will participate in a number of exercises to gain a better understanding of the difficulties associated with communicating when you are deaf or hard of hearing. Places can be booked via Eventbrite.

We don’t need training, we welcome everyone’

Saying you are ‘Deaf Aware’ and being deaf aware are two different things. We invite you to take our survey and let us know about your accessible activities. We can then share your details with Deaf* and hard of hearing groups in and around Milton Keynes.

Deaf* refers to individuals who use British Sign Language and consider themselves part of a linguistic minority rather than having a disability.

Posted on

Deaf history

Understanding Deaf* history and the impact of Parliamentary decisions on those with profound hearing loss is key to appreciating the barriers faced by sign language users in the modern world.

Deaf people have fought for equality for over 100 years and continue to fight, despite recent events that will increase access to services (British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015).

The internet has helped increase interest in British Sign Language (BSL) by both members of the public and politicians. Hopefully, BSL’s popularity will translate into equality and improved access. (Deaf* refers to native sign language users who view themselves as members of a linguistic minority).

Deaf history summary