Stress Awareness Month: Dot’s Marie Armstrong On The Pandemic & Her Own Deaf Awareness Tips

April is Stress Awareness Month. My colleague Marie, who has a hearing loss, gives a personal view of how she’s found the pandemic and shares great Deaf Awareness tips.


My hearing loss has become increasingly challenging and at times stressful with everyone wearing masks and socially distancing, I can no longer lip read others to clarify what has been said.

However, I believe everyone finds communication hard at the moment so how can we help ourselves and those who are Deaf/deaf?

My top communication tips:

1. Face the person when speaking – don’t shout across the road or talk whilst on the move
2. Ensure the background is well lit – if outside don’t have your back to the sun
3. Speak clearly – avoid shouting or speaking unnecessarily slowly or fast
4. Say things differently if you’re asked for clarification
5. Use plain language – be clear and straight to the point
6. Consider the external noise around you – can you move to a quieter area
7. Use facial expressions and gestures to ease communications (point, wave, raise or furrow eyebrows to show positive/negative aspects)
8. Write things down – pen/paper/text on screens
9. Learn simple BSL (British Sign Language) signs – follow Dot on social media