This week is Deaf Awareness Week - An annual event run by the UK Council on Deafness.
Each year, the event focusses on a theme - The theme for Deaf awareness week 2022 is Deaf Inclusion, to explore the entire theme of inclusion within our community.
The aim of the campaign is to highlight the impact of hearing loss on everyday life and increase visibility and inclusion of Deaf people. Emphasising the importance of mental health, and empathising with underrepresented groups amongst Deaf such as migrants, BMIs, and women, as well as raise pertinent issues of deafness being overlooked in education, health settings and the workplace.
Action on Hearing Loss estimate that 1 in 6 (16%) of the Wigan Borough population are living with hearing loss – That is around 53,000 residents
WWL fully recognises that patients access services in a range of different ways and may encounter different barriers in doing so. WWL continually strives to improve patient services by listening to patients and their needs. These are some of the initiatives which have been implemented so far to improve the experience for our hearing impaired patients:
On-line Facility to Cancel & Reschedule appointments (alternative to telephone)
Transparent Face Masks for patients with communication needs
Portable & Fitted Hearing Loops are accessible on all hospital sites
Access to BSL Interpreters (video remote in emergency settings currently being reviewed)
A free On-line Hospital Accessibility Checker is available – This resource enables patients to find out about access about departments, wards and services across all local hospital sites - www.accessable.co.uk
A Communication Book for people with hearing loss is available as a support document for staff
During Deaf Awareness Week, Our Audiology Department will be raising awareness about communication and social isolation – Look out for the posters!