Ready to launch...

I wrote the following article on LinkedIn Thursday 8th April as part of the preparations for launching the campaign on 12th April .

Original link in LinkedIn:

#WeSupportDeafAwareness - Launching on Monday!

A massive thanks to everyone who has been supporting me over the past 5 weeks as I've tried to turn this idea into reality. It has taken a lot of work, some near misses (2 minutes away from an interview on Radio 4 The Today Programme, only to be bumped at last minute), but some massive highs - particularly sharing my posts, commenting and the support from everyone.

So, come down to The Oracle in Reading on Monday, and you'll see a Deaf Aware centre, with all 100 retailers onboard. A massive achievement, with help from the great man himself, 
Andy Briggs.

I'll send further posts about how organisations can get onboard - I just wanted to announce the launch for Monday.

Thanks for your continued support!
#disabilityinclusion #deafawareness

How it all started...

I wrote the following article on LinkedIn after having yet again a frustrating experience with a retailer due to my hearing and the barrier that the mask presents.

Original link in LinkedIn:

I’m so SICK of having to apologise for being deaf during the pandemic.

I recently had an eye test. Despite telling the optician that I couldn’t hear her, that I was deaf and lip-read, and despite the optician wearing a face mask AND a face shield, she wouldn’t remove her mask.

It was distressing because she mentioned something and ‘if that happens, you need to go to A&E’. Luckily my wife joined after the appointment and info relayed to her. It was incredibly frustrating – I have to tell so many people that I am deaf.

So I decided to modify my face mask on returning to pick up my new glasses.

As I approached the counter, she immediately stepped back and pulled her mask down, without asking! I was so grateful. Positive behaviour change!

I wrote this not just to highlight the difficulties a deaf person has during lockdown, but as a warning to all you leaders out there.

Many people ASSUME that I’m okay, without asking.

Many leaders ASSUME that their employees are doing okay during lockdown because they don’t say they are struggling.

Some just don’t feel comfortable speaking about how they feel, and worry about being judged.

Nearly there!

This was posted on LinkedIn in March...

Putting the finishing touches to the Deaf Awareness in a COVID World training! I'm providing this training free for HR and Customer-facing teams (eg. Retail, Hospitality etc.) that want to help their deaf and hard of hearing employees and customers feel included - hint: the mask doesn't help!

If you are interested in learning some tips on how to improve communication (Video Conference as well as Face-to-Face), why not spend an hour with me on Monday 3pm UK, where I'll explain the story from my side and how you can better understand deafness?

...or maybe you know others in HR or customer-facing teams who might be interested? I'd be very grateful if you could spread the word!

Live Deaf Awareness Training Preparation!

This was posted on LinkedIn in March...

A lot of people have asked me about my recent post where I struggled to communicate because of the mask situation we are faced with during the pandemic.

I thought it might be useful to do a free session to help HR teams and staff who have to work with colleagues and customers who may be deaf or hard of hearing.

So I put together some training, and if you are interested to learn about what the challenges are, and how you might be able to make things easier for deaf and hard of hearing employees / customers, please join.

NOTE: This is my perspective as a deaf individual - there is a spectrum and I cannot cover all instances...but I hope my 40 something years experience will give you food for thought!

If the training is over-subscribed, you can't get in for whatever reason, or you find out too late, and it is proving useful, let me know in the comments and I'll run the session again.

( There is a limited number that Zoom can accommodate)

The session is planned for Monday 22nd February, 3-4pm UK.

Key Deaf Statistics

Do you know how many people are deaf in the UK? In the world? 10 million, 50 million...more?

My video below requires no sound, and introduces you to some shocking statistics that you might find interesting. These statistics are one of the reason I created the #WeSupportDeafAwareness campaign...because so many people are struggling with the inability to communicate, and because of the lack of deaf awareness training with organisations.

I hope you find it interesting.