Deaf Awareness Week is taking place from 4 May 2020 until 10 May 2020 with the aim of raising awareness and challenges of Deafness and hearing loss faced by 1 in 6 people in the UK. This year the focus is on “acquired deafness”. This refers to people who have suffered a hearing loss at some point during their lifetime. There can be various causes for this including illness, age or continued exposure to loud noise.
Communication: Our Approach
At Jackson Boyd we have experience of working with clients who have suffered a hearing loss. We understand that these clients are coming to us at a stressful time in their lives and ensure that we take steps to ensure that we understand their hearing loss and are aware of the best way to communicate with them. This ensures that our clients are comfortable dealing with us and do not feel isolated.
As a client focused law firm it is important to us that there are no barriers to communication with any of our clients. Not all of our communication is done by telephone. We regularly communicate with clients by email and by post. Quite often we will use text messaging and even fax if required. We also have a web chat function on our website which is often used by potential clients to chat to us about their case. This breaks down any remaining communication barriers and ensures that anyone can access our services.
We are also mindful that clients may prefer to meet face to face. We have staff in the office who are able to communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) and have rolled out some training throughout the office. We are also able to arrange note takers, lip speakers or interpreters if required. We can also arrange appointments through Skype if required. This means that our clients can choose their preferred method of communication and can make sure that they feel comfortable with it.
Even with the world in lockdown our approach to communication has not changed. Our offices remain open, albeit all our staff are now working from home. We are still able to communicate by email and are frequently using video calls to speak to clients and colleagues. If you wish to speak to a member of our staff using BSL then we are happy to arrange a video call.
It is important that we understand how to communicate with any clients with a hearing loss so that we can create the best client relationship possible. Below are some of our tips for communication with someone with a hearing loss:
- Don’t shout (it makes you seem aggressive!)
- Make sure the person is facing you before you start speaking
- Speak clearly
- Make sure that the person understands what you are saying
- Make sure that there are no distractions around you and that there is adequate lighting
We also have clients who have lost their hearing as a result of an accident or who have developed a hearing loss as a result of their working conditions. We understand that this can be a very difficult time for them. We are used to dealing with cases that have changed a client’s life significantly and therefore understand the difficulties and frustrations that they are experiencing.
Acquired Deafness from Noise Exposure
Many individuals will suffer a hearing loss as a result of continued exposure to loud noise. More often than not this can be caused by their working conditions. At Jackson Boyd we have considerable experience with dealing with noise induced hearing loss cases. To discuss a potential case contact our offices today. Our specialised team will be happy to provide you with further information.