Deaf Awareness

DEAFNESS is the third most common disability in the world, but you probably wouldn’t spot a deaf person in a crowd. It’s important to realise is that people aren’t simply either deaf or hearing. There are varying degrees of deafness, from being hard of hearing to being profoundly deaf.


Someone who is hard of hearing may have the TV or radio turned up loud, may ask you to repeat what you’ve said, or may appear to be ignoring what’s being said around them. Depending on the amount of hearing that deaf people have, they may tell you they can’t hear, you might spot a hearing aid, their voice could sound very diff erent to what is considered normal, or they may be communicating with someone else in animated hand gestures (sign language) which you probably can’t understand.


    • Attract the customer’s attention before speaking. The best way is a gentle touch on the shoulder or gently waving your hand.
    • Always ask how you can help. Don’t shout.
    • Make sure you are in a well-lit area where your customer can see your face this can make lip-reading and watching facial expressions easier.
    • Look at and speak directly to your customer.
    • Use your usual voice level, if a deaf person uses a hearing aid it can be very uncomfortable for them and can be seen as though you are shouting.
    • If necessary, ask if another method of communicating would be easier, for example a pen and paper, phone text message.
    • Don’t put your hands in front of your face when speaking.
    • Use visual aids when possible, such as pointing to printed information on a leafl et/brochure.
    • Talk at your normal rate, or slightly slower if you normally speak very fast.
    • Don’t say – ‘It doesn’t matter’ or ‘I don’t understand
    • Use short sentences and simple words with normal lip movements.


Try to learn a bit of fingerspelling or British Sign Language (BSL) which is a great skill to have!


For more information check out or take a look at this sign language guide from Sound Apex

What our customers say about us

  • Very satisfactory, very welcoming, nice cuppa and biscuit. Could not fault the manner and obligingly helpful staff. Thank you, will recommend you to family and friends.

    M A Taylor

  • Many thanks for your prompt and efficient service regarding our leather swivel chair. Your technician Ben has just left after replacing the chair back due to the leather peeling. He was very pleasant and quickly replaced the part. My problem was dealt with immediately and I am extremely happy!

    Mrs Sheilah Ward

  • The delivery team were first class. Certainly earned a gold star. Carry on the good work. Thank you both.

    Mrs. Sims

  • I went to your store with my sister who wanted a drop arm sofa and the staff were absolutely delightful. We were offered tea and the staff that dealt with us couldn't have been nicer. It was such a pleasure to be looked after by such nice people and we were there for over an hour - they couldn't do enough.

    Mrs. N Ellis

  • The chair is wonderful, can't wait for a comfy evening in, but wanted to thank you first. Great, would recommend you to anyone.

    Mrs S M Bridges

  • Excellent service, no pressure to buy. All of my questions were answered to my satisfaction. Quality of goods were of a very high standard. Having shopped around we decided to buy and look forward to receiving our suite. Thank you so very much.

    Mrs. S Scott

  • I bought two chairs whilst visiting HSL. Very polite and listened to our needs and immediately showed us what we wanted. I would certainly recommend HSL to my friends and relatives.

    Beryl Pinkett

  • Never before have I dealt with a company who have treated its customers so well. I will certainly recommend you to anyone who is looking for furniture.

    Linda Thompson

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