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This week (19th-25th May) is Deaf Awareness Week and as part of their famous End The Awkward campaign, disability charity Scope are taking advantage of the opportunity to raise awareness of many issues that disabled people face on a daily basis, be it at home, out and about, at school or in the workplace.
Thousands of deaf teenagers have told the National Deaf Children’s Society that improving their friends’ understanding of deafness and finding ways to communicate is really important to them. They mentioned that they are often in the minority when in school or work, meaning many people don’t know how to communicate with them. More than three in four teenagers who have not met a deaf person told Scope that they would have no idea how to start a conversation with someone who was deaf. This underlines the reason that Scope do what they do, and highlights the point of their End The Awkward campaign.
There are currently more than 10 million deaf people in the UK, including 800,000 people who are severely or profoundly deaf, 45,000 children, and many more who experience temporary hearing loss. Deaf Awareness Week is run every year by the UK Council on Deafness and is a unique campaign which several disability and deaf awareness charities participate in, each being able to promote their own values and work within the broad spectrum of deafness. This year’s theme is ‘Equality and Communication for All’, and a series of events and fundraising schemes are being held up and down the country.
Scope is running the ‘End The Awkward’ campaign because of a survey done in collaboration with people with disabilities. Those with disabilities find that the attitudes they face for their disability play a huge part in their lives, whether it means going for a job interview or going out to the pub. Additionally, a survey of the general population recently revealed that a majority of people said they didn’t feel comfortable talking to someone with a disability because they worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, or looking visibly awkward. The campaign uses humour to get people thinking differently about disability.