Deaf awareness tips

Tips to improve communication

If you’re communicating with a deaf person, there are some simple things that you can do to make things easier for both parties. Here are some simple deaf awareness tips to help improve communication.
Use gestures

Use simple gestures to communicate where possible. Use whatever is around you, point or even demonstrate. Pointing isn’t rude in deaf culture.

Maintain eye contact

Try not to look away, cover your mouth or face the deaf person when you’re talking to them.


Use your mobile phone to help you. Apps like Make It Big will help when typing out messages, then you can still stand 2 metres away. Or try use speech-to-text software such as Google Live Transcribe.

Write it down

Use old fashioned writing to communicate.

Be patient

Take your time, don’t give up. Don’t shout, it won’t help, and you might look angry.

Reduce background noise

Be mindful of background noise if the person is trying to hear you. Masks can muffle so do everything possible to speak in a quiet environment.

Getting attention

To get a deaf person’s attention, try lightly tapping their shoulder, waving, knocking on a table or thumping the floor.

Learn British Sign Language

Take advantage of free online British Sign Language courses to learn some basic phrases which could be used in everyday conversation.

Want to know more? Try a deaf awareness course or sign up to start your British Sign Language journey.