Meet Lucie. Lucie Houchin and her family have faced more challenges than most, but her heart-warming relationship with deaf son, Harry, provides support and motivation for mothers everywhere. This inspirational creator produces content that mainly focuses on parenting advice, cooking, hauls and parenting a child with a disability.
As it’s National Deaf Awareness Week in the UK, we spoke with Lucie to learn more about how we, as an industry, can be more inclusive and supportive of the deaf community. Lucie is part of the Channel Mum roster, one of INCA’s first verified partners to join our talent initiative programme in the UK.
Q: Could you please share 4 tips with us on how to be more deaf aware?
A: I guess being online, one of my top tips would be to add captions! The deaf community rely on captions to watch content and help them feel included.
Secondly, a lot of people think they need to speak very slowly and loudly to deaf people, however it’s actually really important to speak at a normal speed and volume. Most deaf people rely on lip reading whether they use a hearing device or not, so being able to see your lips is vital and would be my absolute number one tip to be deaf aware. Don’t be impatient if you’re asked to repeat what you’re saying. I often get asked to repeat what I’m saying to my son Harry if he doesn’t catch it the first time.
Q: What advice would you give brands to help them become more diverse and inclusive of the deaf community? Can you share an example of a brand that is doing this well and any campaigns that you’ve been a part of?
A: Apart from always using captions where possible, my advice to brands would be to simply use more deaf people in their content! It’s amazing to see adults and children with all levels of hearing loss in everyday settings and advertisements.
My son absolutely loves to see other people with cochlear implants on screen as it makes him feel really special. I recently saw an advert for ‘Visit Wales’ which did this perfectly. There wasn’t any dialogue in the ad – just visuals and music, it was beautiful!
I also worked with Huawei a few years ago on a campaign they did for a new mobile app launch, ‘StorySign’ to help deaf children learn to read, which was amazing!
Q: What can we do as an industry, to better support the deaf community?
A: As an industry, we need to become more educated about deafness and learn how we can make life easier for deaf people. I am still learning every day and I’m constantly asking my deaf son how I can make life easier or better for him.
Q: Could you please share a list of charities that we can support?
A: We are big supporters of the National Deaf Children’s Society who have helped us so much over the years. We also love to support Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and hope to be able to get a hearing dog for Harry one day. The waiting list is huge, so any funding they can get would really help to reduce this.