Tuesday, 1 May 2012

"Look, Smile, Chat..."

"I don't hear so good..."
Despite the glaring grammatical errors I've lost count of the number of times I've used this phrase over the past few years... teachers, family, doctors, friends...It's my back up phrase, you know for cases of emergency where the hearing aids don't show through the hair of the lack of correct response doesn't make someone suspicious.

From where I'm sitting Deaf Awareness is THE biggest issue for deaf teenagers in this country; and probably kids and most adults too... You could argue that post-code lottery, education, equal access are all more important but actually when it comes down to it all those things are simple - Deaf Awareness.
With better awareness in schools about the needs of deaf teenagers teaching methods would improve, students would be more welcoming. If more cinema managers understood the problems deaf people have understanding speech, more subtitled films would be available. If the government could see that although each deaf child is unique we all deserve to have our individual needs met we wouldn't have such a blatant post-code lottery when it comes to issues in Audiology and deaf education.

I'm not the only person who belivieves this... Last year the NDCS Youth Advisory Board voted that Deaf Awareness was the most important thing we wanted to campaign for - purely for the reason above. We could all see that by improving awareness we would improve a number of other areas simultaneously. Deaf Awareness was just an umbrella heading for many other issues we faced.

And so, this week NDCS have launched their new campaign - Look, Smile, Chat.

The campaign focuses on raising awareness in schools but also spreads out to youth groups, mainstream events and I personally hope that it will be successful enough to one day hit the people who need to see it the most. NDCS have invested so much time in the fantastic resources available - posters, deaf awareness videos, teaching resources and they're all fantastic and made with an incredible amount of input from deaf young people all over the UK.

As well as all this NDCS is encouraging parents, teachers for the deaf, youth workers and deaf young people themselves to go into schools and teach people about Deaf Awareness - who better to tell young people about the issues facing deaf young people than deaf young people themselves?! Sadly I don't think that this happens enough, but who knows, maybe Look, Smile, Chat will change that!

To view all the resources and download copies of the lesson plans, posters etc please please visit The Buzz - Look, Smile, Chat. You can show your support for the campaign by adding the logo to your facebook picture via the Buzz website.


  1. Ni,

    A wonderful post. As a member of the NDCS YAB you and the others on the Board worked really hard on raising deaf awareness as a priority area to work on over the last year. As you have rightly pointed out poor deaf awareness has a massive impact on so many areas of a deaf young person's life. We are all mighty proud of all your hard work and in making sure that the campaign was something that deaf young people would support and hearing young people would see as important. You have done a fantastic job in making the Look, Smile, Chat campaign so brilliant and we hope that as many schools and young people as possible get involved to improve deaf awareness.

    Best wishes


    1. hi lucy :)

      thanks very much for the lovely comment!

      We've all loved being on the YAB and getting to voice our opinions, it was a great experience! I know everyones really excited about the campaign and hope it makes an impact!

      Ni :)