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07 May 2024

Deaf Awareness Week 2024

It does matter
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Supporting Deaf Awareness Week

There are at least 12 million deaf people and people with hearing loss in the UK.

Over half of deaf people are told ‘it doesn’t matter’ when they miss what’s been said.

The RNID, the national charity supporting the 12 million people in the UK who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus, need your help to show ‘It does’ matter’.

It’s Deaf Awareness Week and we’re asking our wonderful Accord members to join us in supporting the RNID by signing up for communication tips and even, perhaps, BSL lessons.

Russell Waterhouse - Accord Regional Officer

Our very own, Russell Waterhouse (Regional Officer), has done just that. Says Russell:

“I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to study British Sign Language for Accord! After completing the BSL level one course, I felt ready to tackle the Level 2 qualification, especially with our members in mind.

Communication is key at Accord, so I wanted to make sure we were sufficiently proficient at BSL for any member who relies on it. Taking evening classes at college wasn't just about learning signs; it was about immersing myself in a diverse community with a shared purpose. It was brilliant to connect with people from all walks of life.

One unexpected perk? Becoming a body language whiz! Reading facial expressions and non-verbal cues became second nature. My signing might be a bit shaky at times, but every effort counts when communicating with deaf or hard of hearing people.

The first time I cracked jokes in BSL at the pub post-class was an absolute revelation!

If you've ever considered learning BSL, do it! Accord even helps members access courses through the Lifelong Learning fund. Whether it's for personal growth or just to connect with new friends, you'll come away with a whole new perspective on the world.”

And if you’re one of our members with hearing loss, tell us what more you think your employer could do to support you. If there’s more you feel could be done for customers too then do let us know. Get in touch via [email protected].

Join the RNID's campaign

Accord's ED&I Group

Accord equality logo

The Accord Equality Diversity & Inclusion group’s aim is to maximise our members' potential, regardless of background, and ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, without prejudice or judgement. It’s a chance to collectively learn from our experiences and enrich all our lives.

The group get involved in a broad spectrum of events across the year. If you’re interested, why not get involved — email us at [email protected] or register to join online.

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