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

  • Just bought a couple of armchairs and slipper box from your Stockton store. We received unbelievable service and advice from your specialist, Amanda, she is a credit to your company and deserves praise. It was a very pleasurable experience. Thank you.

    John Holley

  • 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

  • The service that we received was exceptional from the moment that we stepped into the shop and the moment that we left.  I would not hesitate to use your services again and would recommend you to family and friends.

    Mr. Graham Neal

  • My adjustable bed from HSL is a godsend. I’ve now purchased a riser recliner too!

    Mrs. Rogers

  • Thank you Karen for the service and good advice and patience you took looking after my father choice of the right reclining chair. The quality and price and choice of the chair size was fantastic. Happy New Year, we will be back.

    Mr Cunnington

  • Friendly, precise and pointed out all of the details of furniture functions of the chairs that we were interested in. Didn't rush us but provided us with cups of tea. We left with all of the information we needed and returned a few days later and purchased 2 chairs. They were delivered as promised and we are very pleased with them, thank you.

    Mrs. Cranmer

  • Your products have demonstrated the importance of well-designed, back-friendly furniture.

    Mr. Russell

  • Very good assistant introduced us to all shapes and sizes of chairs - which really fitted our bodies with comfort and we liked the real wooden knobs on them.

    Mr. & Mrs. B Lee

Read more customer testimonials