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Last updated 12th April 2024

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Some people will be hard of hearing; others may be deaf. We need to provide what is appropriate for each person. People will have different ways of communicating. Some use a hearing aid and loop, others British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters or signers, some lip read. Some may use more than one of these ways.

  • Always speak clearly, not too fast and maintain eye contact.
  • Each church needs to have a working loop system, with people who understand its importance taking responsibility for ensuring it works properly; for example that the batteries are all charged.
  • Consider the lighting, a plain background, where people stand, not obscuring the mouth: these are all important and especially for a lip reader.
  • Leaders, readers and intercessors need training in using the microphone. Those who wear a hearing aid can help with this.
  • Introduce the main topic that is going to be talked about next, to give a lip reader or signer an indication of what is to follow?
  • Some people may find it helpful to have a script of the sermon, if that is possible.
  • BSL interpreters may like to see a script of the sermon beforehand as it will help them to prepare in advance.
  • Some churches may use a projector for the hymns and prayers and this can be helpful
  • An inclusive prayer response is: ‘Lord in your mercy receive our prayer’
  • Neil Robinson has created a video offering Deaf awareness training

Organisations providing support include:

BSL Interpreters can be found through several national databases.

  • The National Register of Communication Professionals with Deaf and Deafblind people:
  • The Association of Sign Language Interpreters:
  • Both these organisations have databases that are searchable by regions or postcodes.
  • Signs of God has a searchable database of Christian interpreters that are familiar with Church services. They are also happy to send interpreting requests to their members:
  • Oxford Diocese Deaf Church 

BSL Resources