Deaf Awareness tips

Tips to improve communication

Since the campaign began, we’ve received a few requests from different organisations and individuals around how they can best support *deaf people during this pandemic – especially in relation to face coverings.

Of course, first and foremost, we want to see more people wearing transparent masks to allow for both clear and safe communication, but there are other things you can do, too – especially if you don’t have a clear mask to hand.

We’ve asked some deaf members of staff here at Deaf Action to share their top deaf awareness tips.

  • Gesture
    Use simple gestures to communicate something, where possible. Use whatever is around you, point or even demonstrate.
  • Technology
    Use your mobile phone to help you. Apps like Make It Big will help when typing out messages, then you can still stand 2 metres away. Or try use speech-to-text software such as Google Live Transcribe.
  • Write it down
    Use old fashioned writing to communicate, but remember not to share a pen.
  • Be patient
    Take your time, don’t give up. Don’t shout, it won’t help, and you might look angry.
  • Noise
    Be mindful of background noise if the person is trying to hear you. Masks can muffle so do everything possible to speak in a quiet environment.
  • Learn BSL
    Take advantage of free online British Sign Language courses to learn some basic phrases which could be used in everyday conversation.

For more on our Clear Masks for All campaign, read our past news articles here.