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Letter to the editor: Deaf Awareness Week

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Dear Editor, 

It is Deaf Awareness Week (1-7 May 2023) and RNID, the charity supporting people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus are calling on everyone to be deaf aware! 

People who are deaf or have hearing loss have individual communication needs and you should ask how best you can communicate with them. RNID is encouraging people to use E.A.R. to help them remember simple tips they can use to make communication easier: 

·        Environment – reduce background noise or move to a quieter area. And make sure the room is well lit if the person relies on lipreading.  

·        Attention – use simple gestures such as pointing, waving or a light tap on the shoulder to get someone’s attention. Face the person you’re speaking to so they can lipread, and speak to them, not their interpreter or anyone else with them. 

·        Repeat and rephrase – if someone doesn’t understand you, try repeating what you said or rephrasing it in a different way. If this doesn’t work, you could write it down, or speak to a friend or relative if they ask you to. 

Following E.A.R. can make the difference between your friend, family or colleague being part of the conversation or left struggling on the side-lines. 

For support or information, please visit rnid.org.uk 

Yours sincerely, 

Teri Devine 

Director for Inclusion at RNID 

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