On 29th April, the British Sign Language (BSL) Bill was passed, recognising BSL as a language of Great Britain for the first time. This fundamental milestone was a significant cause for celebration during Deaf Awareness Week from 2nd to 9th May.
The act means that Government must promote the use of British Sign Language. Furthermore, they will need to ensure that government departments and public bodies also do so.
Deaf Awareness Week
Deaf Awareness Week focuses on raising awareness of the challenges those with deafness or hearing loss face.
In 2022, deaf awareness week raised awareness and challenged perceptions of hearing loss and deafness. In addition, it celebrated deafness by encouraging deaf children and young people to share their own stories. Such as what deafness means to them and what might surprise people about being deaf.
The hope was that these young individuals sharing their stories will inspire others to celebrate their deaf identity.
There are over 50,000 deaf children and young people in the UK. This year’s deaf awareness campaign was Deaf Inclusion, exploring the theme of inclusion within the deaf community.
The campaign highlighted the impact that hearing loss has on everyday life. It also aimed to increase the visibility and inclusion of deaf people. In addition, the campaign focussed on mental health and deafness. It also explored how deafness is experienced by underrepresented groups such as migrants, BMIs, and women. Finally, it raised the pertinent issues of deafness being overlooked in education, health settings and the workplace.
Ultimately, the main goal of the campaign was to focus on promoting the positive aspects of deafness and encouraging social inclusion.
How can we all support deaf awareness?
There are lots of different ways that we can support this important theme. Here are some:
- Learn sign language.
- Actively advocate deaf accessibility at work and in our communities.
- Support deaf businesses and charities.
- Share stories from deaf creators on social media.
- Learn about deaf culture.
- Volunteer at non-profits, civil liberties groups, or a school for the deaf.
At tpm, we have staff qualified in deaf awareness. Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring individuals with deafness or hearing loss can fully access our learning programmes. So if you are a tpm learner who requires support for deafness or hearing loss, please get in touch with your tpm tutor.