Short courses


Deaf Awareness: Working and Communicating Well with Deaf People (online course)

  • 1.5 hours
  • Work at your own pace


This short course will help you (or your employees): 

  • Understand the variety of types of hearing loss and the needs of these groups of people. 
  • Understand what access support these groups of people may need. 
  • Look at how deafness effects people in different ways by exploring real life examples, and also giving you an insight into Deaf culture, identity and sign language. 
  • Understand different methods of communication in practice. 
  • Learn about causes of deafness and assistive technologies that can help to provide equal access.

The course is run by the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL), based in UCL's Division of Psychology and Language Sciences

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at anyone who interacts with deaf people, or those with a hearing loss, who wishes to have a deeper understanding of how to provide access, the issues they face and Deaf culture in general. 

Course content

Deafness and hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including age-related causes, accident or disease. It's estimated that around 70 million people in the world currently live with hearing loss (source: World Federation of the Deaf).

In this course you'll learn about a variety of topics including:

  • The importance of deaf awareness, being deaf, different experiences of deafness and hearing loss: you’ll experience different perspectives of deafness to enable you to understand how it affects individuals 
  • A history of deafness: we look back through history and consider how attitudes and policies impact on deaf people 
  • Equal access: we look at why equal access is important, guidance on good communication and adjustments related to deafness

Teaching and structure

The course is completely online and you can complete it at your own pace.

There will be a quiz at the end of the course to test your understanding of the topics explored in the content.

You’ll be able to access and download a UCL certificate of participation once you have completed the course, and successfully completed the quiz. 

Benefits to employers

If you employ someone who is deaf or has a hearing loss, or you provide services or products to these groups of people, providing yourself and your staff with this training will mean: 

  • You’ll be better placed to help deaf staff/staff with hearing loss to integrate and feel fully included within your workplace, thus also improving their productivity
  • Your staff will have a better understanding and empathy with someone who is deaf/has a hearing loss and therefore understand how they can best accommodate their needs
  • Your staff may be able to become more understanding and open, so you’ll provide a better service to customers who are deaf or have a hearing loss, increasing their satisfaction with your service
  • You’ll be meeting some of the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 by following the advice and recommendations laid out in the course


This course is available free of charge for all. Please contact dcal@ucl.ac.uk if you run into any issues when accessing the course. 


There are no prerequisites for this course except a desire to communicate or provide effective services to people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should:

  • Be aware of the various perspectives and models of deafness 
  • Be able to apply effective communication tactics 
  • Recognise the importance of equal access for those who are Deaf/suffering from a hearing loss 
  • Recognise some common causes of deafness and hearing loss and the support available

Course team

Who's developed this course?

Who's developed this course?

This course has been developed by the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at UCL, which is a world-renowned research and teaching centre.

Course information last modified: 21 May 2024, 11:59