Deaf Awareness Week is about spreading understanding and information.
Here are a few things that can be helpful when communicating with someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing (HH).
They are unique and utilize different forms of communication and hearing technology. Hearing loss varies.
• Tap them on the shoulder or get their attention before speaking to them.
• Do not cover your mouth when talking. Use a clear, loud speaking voice.
• Know listening with hearing devices is exhausting and can cause fatigue. Allow them time to decompress and recharge.
• Be patient. People who are Deaf and HH often read body language better than the average person. Deafness can cause some individuals to feel socially anxious.
• Understand there is not a one-size-fits-all way to navigate deafness and hearing loss.
• If someone who is Deaf or HH doesn't hear or understand you the first time, don't get frustrated or say nevermind. Simply repeat it.
• Most Deaf and HH people are intelligent, capable individuals who are seeking understanding and acceptance.
Written by Valli Vida Gideons on My Battle Call