This week is Deaf awareness week, which aims to raise awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding hearing loss and deafness.
According to the Scottish Council on Deafness (ScoD), there are an estimated 1,012,000 people in Scotland with some degree of hearing loss (of whom approximately 546,000 are over the age of 60).
The Breathing Space BSL webcam service offers online advice, information and support for Deaf people in Scotland. Trained advisers use BSL to discuss any concerns that may be affecting an individual’s mental wellbeing. The Breathing Space webcam can be accessed by clicking on 'BSL service' on the Breathing Space homepage. The service can also be used by hard of hearing or deafened people using the text mode facility via webcam.
ScoD estimate that 40% of deaf and hard of hearing people experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. The number of people in the UK whose first or preferred language is BSL is estimated to be between 50,000 and 70,000.