ACTION on Hearing Loss Scotland is urging Clackmannanshire residents to make small changes to meet the needs of people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

During Deaf Awareness Week (15-21 May), the charity is highlighting the importance of good communication to ensure individuals don’t experience exclusion in the workplace, when accessing services, socialising or chatting with family and friends.

Delia Henry, director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Deaf Awareness Week is the ideal time to celebrate the valuable contributions which Deaf people and British Sign Language users make to society; and gives us the opportunity to consider how everyone can take small steps to improve their communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“Each person may have their own preferred method of communicating so, by simply asking what the best way is, and following our deaf awareness tips, you can make a huge impact on ensuring deaf family, friends or colleagues can follow and contribute to everyday conversations.”

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is encouraging people in Clackmannanshire to follow the following deaf awareness tips:

-Learn some basic British Sign Language (BSL) and finger-spelling to communicate with deaf people whose first language may not be English.

-If someone is working with a BSL interpreter, always remember to talk directly to the deaf person, not the interpreter.

-Face the person you're talking to and check they are following the conversation – use plain language and don't waffle.

-If someone doesn't understand what you've said, try saying it in a different way.

-To make it easier to lip-read, don’t cover your mouth and speak in a place with good lighting.

-Speak clearly but not too slowly, and don't exaggerate your lip movements.

-Don't shout as it can be uncomfortable for hearing aid users and looks aggressive.

For more information about Deaf Awareness Week, visit and use #DeafAwarenessWeek on Twitter.