Supporting People who are Deaf or have Hearing Loss

This learning zone page provides guidance and information for social workers and social care workers on how to support people who are deaf or have hearing loss.


1 in 5 adults in the UK have hearing loss, which can lead to increased loneliness and isolation.

During the Coronavirus pandemic people with hearing loss have felt especially isolated, with additional barriers such as face coverings making communication more challenging.

See RNID's Communication Tips Information Sheet

It is also important that health and social care workers understand how to communicate with people who are deaf or have hearing loss so that they do not miss out on vital health information. RNID have developed additional guidance to support health and social care workers - click on the image to find out more.


For more information on hearing loss and deafness - see the links below.

The content on this page has been developed in partnership with RNID and aims to help social workers and social care workers recognise the types, causes and signs of hearing loss, and how to support people effectively.

RNID, Department for Communities and QUB New Digital "Kitbag" of Communications Resources

RNID in partnership with the Department for Communities and Queen’s University, Belfast, are excited to share their new digital ‘kitbag’ of communication resources for anyone who supports a Deaf person living in residential care.

Older Deaf people in care homes are particularly at risk of isolation and loneliness, and losing their sense of cultural identity. Often they are the only sign language user in the care home and unable to communicate fully with staff and residents in their own language.

These simple resources will help staff to support Deaf residents whose first or preferred language is sign language.

These include:

Learning some basic phrases and the fingerspelling alphabet will help improve communication with Deaf residents.

To learn some useful phrases in British Sign Language or Irish Sign Language for words commonly used in a care setting, go to

If you need any help/support using this resource, please contact the Social Care Council at

Click here to provide feedback.

Updated: 21/12/21