Deaf Awareness Week 1st – 7th May 2023

There are at least 50,000 children who are deaf in the UK.¹ The majority of children, 78% attend mainstream schools and more than 90% deaf children are born to hearing parents according to research by the National Deaf Children’s Society.²

Deafness and hearing loss can have a range of challenging implications, especially when it comes to communication and can have implications for learning and mental health with research showing that deaf children across the UK underachieve…“but with the right support, deaf children can achieve the same as their hearing peers.”²

The UK Council on Deafness created Deaf Awareness Week to increase awareness and the visibility of challenges people within the deaf community face and to educate others on how they can support and involve people with hearing losses. Deaf Awareness Week 2023 this year takes place between 1st to the 7th of May but is important in bringing awareness within our everyday lives. The theme this year is deaf inclusion and highlights the impact of hearing loss on everyday life.

In honour of Deaf Awareness Week we want to share our ‘Celebrating me’ – Helping children with difference and diversity programme. Feeling valued, understood and included is central to our programme and focuses on empowerment and celebration of each and everyone of us within our communities.

Our programme ‘Celebrating me’ promotes difference and diversity; neurodiversity, disability, culture and the wide range of diversity within society. It helps to acknowledge the often uncomfortable experience of ‘feeling different’, of not feeling included, valued or that you belong. Feeling a sense of belonging and acceptance is a human need, as is connection to others. It is crucial that we support children to understand the context they live in, to feel appreciated and celebrated for who they are and who they will become.

“When we feel we belong and recognise similarities in people we are with, we feel accepted and safe. But when we feel different, or that we don’t belong, we can feel confused, uncertain or mixed.”

 

Hamish & Milo Deaf awareness

Celebrating differences and acknowledging similarities is powerful in allowing us to be true to ourselves and to value who we are. Our ‘Celebrating me’ difference and diversity pack helps children to understand the feelings that we may experience and begin to express these thoughts and feelings. It also allows them opportunities to celebrate the beauty of diversity. There are opportunities to understand prejudice and stereotyping, to know how to it may feel to be treated unfairly and how to challenge this. Celebrating difference and celebrating who we are form the core message for children to feel special and unique. Through discussion and the activities with an empathic, trusted adult the children will:

  • explore what it is to be unique and special,
  • understand how it may feel to be treated unfairly and how to challenge this,
  • recognise how we can all have different feelings and experiences,
  • find ways to stand up for their own thoughts and ideas,
  • celebrate diversity

We invite you to explore our wellbeing intervention resource and to help children to feel valued, heard and connected.

This Deaf Awareness Week we share a FREE Activity from our ‘Celebrating me’ programme to shine the light on the importance of belonging and inclusion.

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Cartoon of Milo sleeping on his chair

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Hamish with newspaper cartoon