deaf awareness week

Deaf Awareness Week 2021

“It is estimated that there are about 9 million people in the UK who are Deaf or hard of hearing”. – British Deaf Association

Deaf Awareness Week is a week in which people come together to raise awareness around the issues still faced by people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.

For example, British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of over 87,000 D/deaf people in the UK (British Deaf Association), yet not all venues & attractions in the UK are in the position to be able to offer BSL- interpreted services.

Hearing Impairments & the Access Card

Here at The Access Card, we support many cardholders to help them discreetly communicate the barriers they might face when out and about or visiting shows, events, or tourist destinations and have provided some more information about some of the typical access requirements we have processed.

Everyone is different and experiences their needs in different ways, but here are some examples based on our experience.

+1 in bold black text with a square black border around

Essential Companions

For those that require a substantial amount of support from another person, such as a BSL interpreter, we also have the ‘+1’ symbol which indicates to providers that you would need a substantial amount of support to be able to access their facilities.

Different providers have different systems in place to facilitate this access requirement.

legoland windsor resort logo

For example, Legoland Windsor Resort accepts Access Cards with the ‘+1’ symbol as proof for a free essential companion ticket.

Accessing Audible Information

silhouette of hand pointing to an outlined ear

We have a symbol specifically for people who find it hard to access audible information.

Different providers have different systems in place to facilitate this access requirement.

chichester festival theatre

For example, the Chichester Festival Theatre offers both British Sign Language interpreted & captioned performances. For more information, please visit the theatre’s website.

Mask Exemption

outline of a facemask

More recently, throughout COVID, we have had a number of people whose needs mean that they are either unable to put on, wear or remove a face covering, or that they can feel distressed when wearing a face covering or that they are with someone who requires lip-reading to communicate, and as a response to feedback from our members, we now have an additional face mask symbol for those that need it.

There are a number of face mask exemption cards and certificates available in the UK, but we are the only face mask exemption card that offers verification of your exemption.

Thinking of applying for a Card?

If you think the above would be useful for you and would like to apply for your Access Card you can do so quickly and easily by completing our short online application form and uploading some supporting information confirming your needs.

All applications received from people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing during Deaf Awareness Week 2021 can use the discount code ‘DeafWeek21’ to get £5 off a three-year Access Card. (Discount valid 05/05/21 – 10/05/21)

access card

Further Sources of Information, Advice, and Support

Check out our full directory for how these symbols apply at over 1,000 venues in the UK and beyond.

The British Deaf Society

The BDA is the UK’s leading membership organisation and registered charity run by Deaf people for Deaf people. The BDA delivers a range of services to achieve its aims of empowering Deaf people to overcome difficulties that they face on a daily basis.

The British Deaf Society

Text/FaceTime: 07795 410724



Hearing Link

“We’re here to help you adjust to the practical and emotional challenges that hearing loss can bring – offering shared experiences, practical support and guidance, so you can reconnect with people and face the future with confidence. Whatever your query or concern, whether you have hearing loss yourself or wish to support someone else, please get in touch. We look forward very much to hearing from you.”

Hearing Link

Tel: Call or text 01844 348111