Action on Hearing Loss is encouraging local businesses, schools and communities to celebrate Deaf Awareness Week (6-12 May) by holding a ‘Dress in Decibels’ day, organising a bake sale or taking part in a lipreading challenge.
The charity has created a free downloadable fundraising kit which includes ideas for offices, schools or community groups, complete with downloadable information posters and bunting.
Claire Lavery, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland, said: “One in six people in Northern Ireland have a hearing loss, yet our hearing is often something we are reluctant to talk about openly. We want to change attitudes towards hearing loss, encouraging people to talk about their hearing and break down the barriers that people with hearing loss and deafness face every day.
“Deaf Awareness Week is a great opportunity to get together with friends or colleagues, have some fun, raise awareness and vital funds at the same time.
“There are lots of ways to get involved, whether it’s holding a ‘Dress in Decibels Day’, taking part in a bake sale, or relying on lipreading for a meeting or school lesson.”
Free hearing checks in Derry
The charity is offering free hearing checks at its office in Derry on Wednesday, May 8 from 8.00am to 6.00pm.
This is not a full hearing test, but will indicate whether your hearing is within the normal range and if you need to see your GP. Action on Hearing Loss is located on the first Floor Embassy Building, Strand Road, Derry.
Local people are also encouraged to share photos on social media with the hashtag #DeafAwarenessWeek and tag @hearinglossNI on Facebook or Twitter, or @actiononhearingloss_ni on Instagram.
Action on Hearing Loss is the UK’s largest charity taking action on hearing loss, and aims towards a world where hearing loss, deafness or tinnitus do not limit or label people and where people value their hearing enough to look after it.
The charity states that it understands how hearing loss can affect everything from relationships, to education and job prospects. “We’re here to support and help you, so you can take back control and live the live you choose. From day-to-day-care, to practical information, to campaigning for a fairer world for people with hearing loss, and funding research to find a cure, we’re taking action on hearing loss.”
Tasha Henderson who is severely deaf, said: “I regularly have to explain my hearing loss to people. Because I can speak perfectly people often don’t realise I’m deaf; I’ve even had an interview where the employer refused to believe me.
“I think it’s great that Action on Hearing Loss is raising awareness during Deaf Awareness Week, encouraging people to think about the barriers deaf people face, and also have fun.
“ I’ve got a few colourful clothes myself so I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of the outfits that people come up with!”
To download your free Deaf Awareness Week Fundraising Pack, visit Action on Hearing Loss’ website at: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/fundraise4daw