Deaf Awareness Week 2020 - Acquired Deafness

Deaf Awareness Week runs from May 4 to May 10th.

(Text of video)
“Greetings to you all!

I am CRAIG CROWLEY, Chair of UK Council on Deafness (UKCOD), a membership organisation representing a range of organisations with a Deaf and hearing loss remit.

It is wonderful to see many organisations, agencies and authorities sponsoring, celebrating and promoting the importance of raising awareness of Deafness and hearing loss. Thank you!

Annually, we highlight different themes of Deafness. This year it is Acquired Deafness.

It is important to raise this awareness so this year we are putting a spotlight on what is it like to become Deaf, be it sudden, health or age-related.

If you know someone or have customers who have lost their hearing, how are you able to meet their access and communication requirements? This has become even more vital during this virus pandemic and the huge increase in the use of technology to keep businesses/services open.

A range of technology is available and can be utilised. Assistive technology includes speech to texts captions, radio aids, hearing aids, online video as well as lip-reading and sign-language.

UKCOD is available to support and collaborate with you to make the lives of those with deafness and hearing loss more manageable, accessible and open up the channels of communication.

On behalf of UKCOD, we wish all our members, organisations and all of you a very Happy Deaf Awareness Week!”

“First of all I hope you’re ok. Isolating is hard for everyone but can be even harder if you’re deaf.

The theme this year is ‘Acquired Deafness’ which simply means you lost your hearing at some point during your life, rather than being born deaf.

This is a lot more common than people might think. It happens to older people, but it may happen to people all through their lives and often there isn’t any explanation for it.

It happened to me in my 30s. I was a busy working mum with two teenage children.  First of all, I noticed when they would shout to me from another room I wouldn’t be able to understand what they were saying. I could hear their voices, even some of the words, but not enough to make sense of it.” - Read more of this article...

Alarms for the hearing impaired

If you have, or someone you know has, difficulty hearing, there are special smoke alarms to warn you if there's a fire and to give you time to get out safely. They use flashing lights as well as an audible alarm and include a vibrating pad to alert you if you are in bed asleep.

If you require one of these alarms or would like to request a safe and well visit and live in Bedfordshire call on 01234 845000 or contact

Home Safety

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue can support you with home safety - check out their website here

Text 999

Did you know that if you are hard of hearing or deaf that you can text 999.?  Fire Control will be able to pick up your emergency message.


Fingerspelling is the British Sign Language (#BSL) alphabet.  It’s used to spell out words like names of people and places. Download the fingerspelling alphabet to practice spelling words and phrases with your hands.

Download the fingerspelling alphabet

Find further information about Acquired Deafness

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