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It Does Matter

There are at least 12 million deaf people and people with hearing loss in the UK. For the first time, our major new research has brought home the impact that negative attitudes and a lack of understanding are having on our communities in their daily lives. 

Over the last year, two thirds of deaf people and people with hearing loss have experienced negative attitudes from others. More than a quarter say they are ignored in public by most people, and if they miss the conversation first time, millions are being dismissed and told ‘it doesn’t matter.’ 

We know that most people simply don’t know how to communicate with deaf people and people with hearing loss. Show that ‘It does matter’ with our top tips on how to include deaf people in the conversation. Simply pop your email address below for: 

  • Tips on how to communicate with deaf people and people with hearing loss 
  • Videos of common British Sign Language phrases you can learn and use 
  • Small changes you can make to show ‘it does matter’, at home, in the workplace and out and about. 

Public attitudes towards deaf people

Hear more from our communities about the negative attitudes they face in everyday life and how you can help. For a more in-depth look at these experiences, read our research report.

Sarah’s story: It does matter

Sarah shares about the difficulties in communicating with the general public, and how she hopes to be a positive role model for people from the black and deaf community.
Read Sarah’s story

Our storytellers

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be launching more stories from our storytellers about their experiences of public misconceptions and negative attitudes – and what we can do to change that.

Shakib
Sheila
Mike and his daughter Skye.
Kori

“One of the worst things is when people say something I miss and when asked to repeat they say ‘oh it doesn’t matter’. It probably didn’t matter to them at the time, but it makes me feel I don’t matter.”

Woman with hearing loss

It Does Matter

Our research shows that a lot of us don’t feel sure about how to best communicate with deaf people and people with hearing loss. We can help. Sign up to receive our communication tips today.
Sign up to receive our communication tips

Read our research report

This graph shows the experiences of our communities when interacting with members of the general public in the last 12 months: 

1. People being impatient with me: 
People with hearing loss: 47%
Deaf people: 59%
BSL users: 58%

2. People talking to someone who is with me, rather than to me directly:
People with hearing loss: 33%
Deaf people: 61%
BSL users: 63%

3. People shouting or talking loudly at me:
People with hearing loss: 43%
Deaf people: 62%
BSL users: 50%

4. People making assumptions about how to communicate with me:
People with hearing loss: 19%
Deaf people: 38%
BSL users: 48%

5. People seeming uncomfortable around me:
People with hearing loss: 13%
Deaf people: 29%
BSL users: 54%

6. People patronising me:
People with hearing loss: 17%
Deaf people: 31%
BSL users: 35%
Percentage of our communities that have experienced negative attitudes
and behaviours in the last 12 months.

Our report takes an in depth look at the everyday experiences of our communities, the general public’s misconceptions around those experiences, and how we can make a better society for all.

To conduct this research, we surveyed 5,383 people who are deaf or have hearing loss and surveyed 2,768 of the general public.

“It’s friends and family closest to me that seem to think it’s funny to make jokes of it or be impatient. Only one person close to me has ever asked how they can help me by communicating more clearly which is disappointing.”

Woman with hearing loss


Deaf awareness

Find some advice on how to be more deaf aware in daily life.

Page last updated: 6 May 2024

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