Last week (3-9 May) was Deaf Awareness Week and as part of an effort to join in raising awareness and promote equality, Scottish Women in Sport featured an interesting insight into the difficulties faced for the deaf community in sport and how UK Deaf Sport are working hard to gather more information and solve the problems faced by deaf athletes, coaches and organisations.
“Deaf and hard of hearing athletes also face problems which perhaps wouldn’t even cross our minds as hearing people. Valerie and her team at UK Deaf Sport have been researching the difficulties of deaf girls and women to better serve their needs.
‘1 in 5 deaf people say that communication is a challenge. Not understanding the coach, instructor, or their peers, if they are in a training environment. Another challenge is finding where the opportunities are. We live in a world where everything should be freely accessible online or through the use of social media but it’s incredibly hard to find out where the opportunities are. We also need to do more about educating and empowering hearing coaches to feel confident and not be afraid and if somebody turns up to their session who uses BSL (British Sign Language) that they could also take part in that session.’ “