Navigating Mental Health Therapy for Deaf Individuals

Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, but for deaf individuals, accessing mental health therapy can be a significant challenge. Deaf individuals may face barriers such as lack of access to mental health professionals who are proficient in American Sign Language (ASL) or other sign languages, and difficulty expressing themselves and understanding their therapist due to communication barriers. In this article, we will explore the importance of mental health therapy for deaf individuals and discuss strategies for overcoming these barriers.

Understanding the Importance of Mental Health Therapy for Deaf Individuals

Mental health therapy is essential for individuals of all abilities, including deaf individuals. Deaf individuals may be at a higher risk for certain mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, due to the social and communication challenges they face. In addition, deaf individuals may have unique experiences and challenges that can impact their mental health, such as experiencing discrimination or isolation.

Mental health therapy can help deaf individuals to address these challenges and improve their overall well-being. Through therapy, deaf individuals can learn coping mechanisms, gain insight into their experiences, and develop a better understanding of themselves and their needs. Additionally, therapy can provide a safe and supportive space for deaf individuals to express themselves and be understood.

Overcoming Communication Barriers

Communication barriers can be one of the biggest challenges that deaf individuals face when it comes to mental health therapy. This can include difficulty understanding instructions, expressing their needs, and getting feedback from their therapist. To overcome these barriers, it is important for mental health professionals to have a good understanding of ASL or other sign languages and to be able to communicate effectively with deaf individuals.

Additionally, mental health professionals should be familiar with and use assistive communication devices, such as writing tablets or sign language interpreters, to help facilitate communication with deaf individuals. This can include having a sign language interpreter present during therapy sessions or providing written materials that are accessible to deaf individuals.

Finding a Therapist Who Understands Deaf Culture

Another important aspect of mental health therapy for deaf individuals is finding a therapist who understands deaf culture. Deaf culture is a unique culture, and it is important for mental health professionals to have an understanding of the experiences and challenges that deaf individuals may face. This includes understanding the challenges that deaf individuals may face in accessing mental health services and the unique communication needs of deaf individuals.

It can be helpful for deaf individuals to find a therapist who is familiar with deaf culture and has experience working with deaf individuals. This can include therapists who are deaf themselves or have had training in working with deaf individuals.

Access to Resources

Access to resources is also an important consideration when it comes to mental health therapy for deaf individuals. Many deaf individuals may live in areas where there are few mental health professionals who are able to communicate effectively with them or who are familiar with their needs. It is important for mental health professionals to be aware of this and to work to connect deaf individuals with resources that can help them.

This can include working with organizations that provide sign language interpreters, connecting deaf individuals with other deaf individuals who can provide support and guidance, and identifying resources such as videos or brochures that can help deaf individuals better understand mental health therapy and their condition.

Resources Available for the Deaf Community

The deaf community has many great resources that can help them succeed in life. From scholarships and grants to technology and support organizations, there is something for everyone.

For those looking to further their education or access other educational materials, there are a variety of organizations like Gallaudet University, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Deaf Can Do that offer specialized services and materials specifically designed for the deaf community.

Technology such as text messaging, video phones, and assistive listening devices can also provide helpful communication assistance. In addition, social media sites like Movement for Quality Education of Deaf (MQED) provide a space for connecting with other members of the deaf community.

Overall, these resources are invaluable for providing support to the deaf community and can open up many new opportunities for success.


Accessing mental health therapy can present unique challenges for deaf individuals, but with the right strategies and resources, these challenges can be overcome. It is important for mental health professionals to have a good understanding of American Sign Language or other sign languages, to be able to communicate effectively with deaf individuals, and to be familiar with and use assistive communication devices.

Additionally, it is important to find a therapist who understands deaf culture and has experience working with deaf individuals. Furthermore, mental health professionals should strive to connect deaf individuals with resources that can help them overcome barriers and achieve their therapy goals. By understanding and addressing the specific needs of deaf individuals, mental health professionals can provide the best possible care.

Physical Therapy for Deaf Individuals: Overcoming Mobility Challenges

Deaf individuals often face unique challenges when it comes to physical therapy. Communication barriers and lack of access to appropriate resources can make it difficult for them to receive the care they need to overcome mobility challenges. In this article, we will explore the importance of physical therapy for deaf individuals and discuss some strategies for overcoming these barriers.

Understanding the Importance of Physical Therapy for Deaf Individuals

Physical therapy plays a critical role in helping individuals with mobility challenges to regain strength, flexibility, and function. This is especially true for deaf individuals, who may have additional physical limitations due to their hearing loss. For example, deaf individuals may be more prone to falls, as they may not hear warning sounds such as a car honking or a dog barking. Additionally, they may have difficulty with balance and coordination, which can be exacerbated by their hearing loss.

Physical therapy can help deaf individuals to overcome these challenges by providing them with exercises and activities that will improve their strength, balance, and coordination. This can include exercises that focus on the core, legs, and upper body, as well as exercises that help to improve balance and coordination. In addition to these exercises, physical therapy may also include the use of assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, to help deaf individuals with mobility challenges.

Overcoming Communication Barriers

One of the biggest challenges that deaf individuals face when it comes to physical therapy is communication. This can include difficulty understanding instructions, expressing their needs, and getting feedback from their therapist. To overcome these barriers, it is important for physical therapists to have a good understanding of American Sign Language (ASL) or other sign languages and to be able to communicate effectively with deaf individuals.

Additionally, physical therapists should be familiar with and use assistive communication devices, such as writing tablets or sign language interpreters, to help facilitate communication with deaf individuals.

Adapting Physical Therapy Techniques

Another challenge that deaf individuals may face during physical therapy is that traditional techniques may not be as effective for them. For example, exercises that rely on verbal cues or instructions may not be as effective for deaf individuals, as they may not be able to hear the instructions. To overcome this challenge, physical therapists can adapt their techniques to make them more accessible to deaf individuals.

One way to do this is to use visual cues and demonstrations rather than verbal instructions. For example, instead of saying “lift your left leg,” a physical therapist might use a visual cue, such as pointing to the left leg, to indicate which leg to lift. Additionally, physical therapists can use props, such as a ball or a band, to help demonstrate exercises and make them more accessible to deaf individuals.

Access to Resources

Access to resources is also an important consideration when it comes to physical therapy for deaf individuals. Many deaf individuals may live in areas where there are few physical therapists who are able to communicate effectively with them or who are familiar with their needs. It is important for physical therapists to be aware of this and to work to connect deaf individuals with resources that can help them.

This can include working with organizations that provide sign language interpreters, connecting deaf individuals with other deaf individuals who can provide support and guidance, and identifying resources such as videos or brochures that can help deaf individuals better understand physical therapy and their condition.


Physical therapy is an important aspect of care for deaf individuals, as it can help them to overcome mobility challenges and improve their overall quality of life. However, deaf individuals may face unique challenges when it comes to physical therapy, such as communication barriers and lack of access to appropriate resources. To overcome these challenges, it is important for physical therapists to have a good understanding of American Sign Language or other sign languages and to be able to communicate effectively with deaf individuals. Additionally, physical therapists should be familiar with and use assistive communication devices, such as writing tablets or sign language interpreters, to help facilitate communication.

Physical therapists can also adapt their techniques to make them more accessible to deaf individuals. This can include using visual cues and demonstrations, props, and other strategies to make exercises more understandable. Furthermore, physical therapists should also strive to make resources available to deaf individuals and work with organizations that provide sign language interpreters, connecting deaf individuals with other deaf individuals who can provide support and guidance, and identifying resources such as videos or brochures that can help deaf individuals better understand physical therapy and their condition.

In conclusion, while physical therapy can present unique challenges for deaf individuals, with the right strategies and resources, they can overcome these barriers and achieve their therapy goals. It is important for physical therapists to understand the specific needs of deaf individuals, and to work with them to provide the best possible care.

Hearing Loss

What is hearing loss? Hearing loss can be an overwhelming experience at times. Hearing loss may cause you to feel isolated, sad, or even angry. There may be instances where you’re overwhelmed by complications hearing loss. That is why you need professional help with your impairment issues. Let’s discuss it more.

Black woman with hard of hearing


Loss of hearing ability isn’t something to be taken lightly. Loss of hearing is serious, especially for the person suffering from the loss and his or her family.

Hearing Loss/Tackling Hearing Loss

You may find the sudden loss of hearing challenging to go through your day-to-day like how you usually did. But whatever you’re feeling and whatever your hearing concerns may all be, your counselor can help you process and understand this.

Sometimes, you may feel alone in your loss of hearing experience or other communication disorders. It’s okay to feel this way as you are going through a challenge especially if none of your family and friends have hearing loss or difficulty hearing.

Sudden Hearing loss IsN’t easy

You may feel like it’s harder to communicate and connect with other people with hearing issues. It is the condition of a loss of hearing that may be caused by long term exposure to loud noise, loud music, sound waves or sound signals, long background noise exposure, or even permanent hearing loss or permanent hearing damage especially to the inner ear, outer or middle ear, auditory system, ear canal, aging, or even genetics.

If severe hearing loss occurs, it can be caused by a traumatic event and can traumatize you as well and compromise your mental health. Whether you lost it instantly or over time, this condition is bound to impact your mental and emotional well-being. Thus, you will need to undergo hearing tests. Moving forward healthily from a trauma like this, you must process and accept having it first.

Hearing Loss

Effects Of Hearing Loss

Before anything else, you need to understand your hearing situation and how you feel about facing permanent hearing loss. Tell your counselor about how you ended up having a loss of hearing. By talking to them about hearing issues, they can guide you in addressing them. This step is even more important if it was an accident, like a car crash. The incident itself might have traumatized you.

Hearing Loss Changes A Life

hearing Loss Greatly affects The Mental And Emotional health

Mixed hearing loss may cause self-esteem and image issues, depression and anxiety, or isolation. If you already had these conditions before, then your degree of hearing loss might make them more pronounced. Counseling can help you talk about issues such as hearing issues in the healthiest way possible.

At some point, you may feel uncomfortable with your counselor’s line of questioning. You may be overwhelmed from reliving parts of your trauma that may have caused hearing loss and the need for hearing aids protection or cochlear implants. If this happens, let them know. After all, their goal is to help you develop healthier mental and emotional health depite struggling with auditory nerve issues.

People who can't hear needs help.


Choose To Move Forward Despite Having Hearing Loss

You may or may not find it hard to adjust to your new normal. Whichever it is, your counselor will be there with you every step of the way. But first, know that your journey amidst your hearing loss moving forward will not be an easy one. That, in particular, is because of how different you are from the Deaf and hard of hearing.

Effects In Our Daily Life

The Deaf have been living deaf their whole lives. Hearing loss is the loss of hearing in one or both ears, ranging from mild to profound. People with hearing loss still retain some auditory ability. Being late-deafened or someone who has hearing loss later in life is vastly different from the two. You may share some experiences, but the effects of your situation will vary depending on each person.

There will be new additions to your daily routine, and you may also encounter some lifestyle changes in your hearing loss journey. These are to accommodate your hearing loss and to ensure your occupational safety. Know that your counselor will be all ears if you want to talk to them about these changes, particularly your daily life with the risk factors of hearing loss.

It’s possible for you to feel an even greater sense of loss when discussing these aspects of noise induced hearing loss or conductive hearing loss. However, keep in mind that your counselor will be there to help you go through it, especially when things become difficult with your hearing loss. Having hearing loss will be a challenging journey, but they will be there with you every step of the way.


Hearing Loss And Hearing Loss Treatment

One of the goals of counseling is to help you towards a healthy headspace.

And to do this, your counselor will ask you about the changes you want to see in your life, despite your hearing loss.

According to a health administration hearing specialist, if you’re worried about schooling and career options, they will be there to help you figure it out. You may have some worries about entering a new stage of your life, but they will be there if you choose to discuss those things with them, especially when it concerns your hearing loss.

The Benefits Of Talking To Your Counselor Regarding The Condition’s Impacts

In addition, it’s an unfortunate truth how late-deafened people face bias and prejudice in their lives. It would benefit you to talk to your counselor about this. They will help you process these experiences and refer you to support groups if you need them. But more importantly, your counselor will be able to guide you in learning about hearing loss, Deaf,  and self-advocacy.

By discussing these with your counselor, you may be able to feel in control of life amidst your sensorineural hearing loss. Learning about those advocacies can help you understand people who share the same experience of hearing loss as well. Even better, you can know more about expressing yourself, your wants, and how to convey them to others.

Your counselor may also refer you to an audiology center if you decide to get a cochlear implant.

Remember, there’s no right and wrong decision for people who have hearing loss. It all depends on what will make you happy. Talking to your counselor can help you make informed decisions about the options available to you.

Hearing Loss Experience

Especially if it’s a traumatic event for you, you may find it hard to talk to your counselor about your experiences and emotions. Remember that is okay. But also keep in mind that it’s the first step in taking care of your mental well-being. You won’t need to rush things, and it’s alright for you to tell your counselor when you’re overwhelmed with your hearing loss.

Counseling will also help you process the adjustments and changes happening in your life due to age-related hearing loss. You can discuss with your counselor what you want to see and the things you want to achieve. They’ll also be there to help you find resources available for your needs, especially your health. After all, this is all so you could move forward with a healthy mind and heart.

And when times get tough, always keep in mind that you’re doing this for yourself.  Profound hearing loss is a challenge that your mental health may face, but something you can overcome.

Hearing loss may feel overwhelming and isolating. But remember, your counselor will be there with you the entire way.


  1. What causes hearing loss?
  2. How common is hearing loss?
  3. What are the common symptoms of hearing loss?
  4. Are there different kinds of hearing loss?
  5. What are the degrees of hearing loss?
  6. How can I prevent my hearing loss from getting worse?
  7. How does treating hearing loss works?
  8. Is it possible to have hearing loss in only one ear?
  9. Will my hearing worsen over time?
  10. Does earwax cause hearing loss?


About Deaf Communities

For the hearing community or individuals with hearing loss, it may be hard to live in a world that prioritizes hearing. Deaf students, for example, need to learn their own way, including the use of facial expressions, sign language, body language, visual language, and other communication methods in order to keep pace with other students in school. Otherwise, they will have to enroll in a deaf school so that they too, will have a cultural identity.

deaf community communicating online - deaf community


The Deaf Community And The Deaf Culture

Read this article to know more about the deaf community and its benefits.

There is much to learn about the deaf community – deaf adults, deaf students, and deaf children. How do the deaf community and hard of hearing communicate with themselves and with hearing individuals? How does deaf education benefit people who belong to the deaf community? And how do we understand and empathize with the deaf community?

If you are a member of the deaf community, you may constantly struggle in our non-deaf world. Read on to learn more about deaf history, sign language, and how the deaf gain benefits from studying about your deaf community.

Being a deaf child is always a challenge.

It’s something supposedly as simple as talking, or perhaps a more damaging issue like prejudice. Unlike hearing people, people in the deaf community identify themselves as different, especially if they were born deaf. Regardless of sexual orientation, language is the primary barrier between us and them. For people in the deaf community, sign language is the most accessible method to help improve communication with hearing people. The American sign language can be learned through books or on the web. And yes, American sign language can be easy to learn through the help of deaf clubs, residential schools, or other deaf individuals.

Additionally, the deaf community receives donations of cochlear implants and hearing aids from the government and non-profit organizations for deaf students, deaf children, and other deaf persons.

Can the deaf community groups and other deaf individuals help each other in achieving a successful deaf experience?

Living In A “Hearing World” And Deaf Community

This isn’t to say that being hearing-impaired automatically limits you. After all, hearing loss isn’t disabling. Instead, it’s audism that might be severely restricting you.

It isn’t easy to come to a term with, but your counselor will be able to help you express your rights and feelings in your own language. He may also guide you in understanding deaf community and the uniqueness and intricacies of being deaf. He can assist you in finding residential schools or other educational institutions for deaf community or deaf churches that can encourage you to reach out to other members of the deaf community. Counselors who specialize in helping members of the deaf community can also teach sign language, such as the American sign language and other sign languages. Ultimately, understanding deaf culture is one of their major tasks.

deaf community


Understanding What Deafhood Is To You And The Deaf Community

Aside from grasping the kind of world you live in as an impaired individual – a deaf person that is, your counselor will also help you work out what the word deaf means to you. It is all so you could begin to understand what being hard of hearing is for you, someone that people identify as a relevant deaf person.

Of course, this comes differently for each person. Being hard of hearing, late-deafened, or deaf will be significant in figuring out what impairment is for you. Whether you are a deaf child or a deaf person in your adult life, your counselor’s goal is to teach you how to process your experiences and emotions as a deaf person and where you want to go from there. For example, he will share with you the deaf heritage or bring you to deaf events for more knowledge about the deaf community. Counseling could also encourage you to join the non-hearing group where you feel more understood. By embracing yourself as an impaired yet significant person, your mental health will improve.

Bear in mind that your counselor will not be there to dictate what you should do. Their priority is to help you be the best version of yourself despite your being impaired. That means how you feel and what you want matters.

deaf community


Learning About Available Resources

As a member of the non-hearing group or deaf and mute community, you may find you’re always short of available resources. It may range from educational materials to career and schooling opportunities, modes of communication, and many others. You may talk to your counselor about this lack.

Another factor is also whether you’re impaired, late-deafened, or hard of hearing. While your counselor’s advice will be helpful, keep in mind that their priority is your comfort and well-being as a deaf individual.

Again, your counselor is not there to dictate what you should do.

Instead, they’re there to assist you in your journey towards better mental well-being, that mental health for you as a deaf person is optimal, just as the other individuals.

Exploring Your Advocacy

Deaf advocacy is another concern your counselor may discuss with you. The goal of counseling, first and foremost, is to help you or your community achieve emotional and mental well-being. And a big part of it is not teaching you to cope with the biased systems around you. Instead, your counselor will help you explore self-advocacy as a deaf individual.

Don’t hesitate to talk to them about the changes you want to see around you. After all, the unfairness in systems and regulations for the deaf and the community of the deaf affects your everyday life. Addressing this will help you move forward healthily.

It may even help lead to positive changes for the deaf communities.

Discuss Deaf Advocacy

Counseling will be there to help you understand that the disadvantages you experience aren’t because of the non-hearing group. They will guide you in recognizing that being deaf is the cause of your disabling experiences. Don’t be afraid to discuss Deaf advocacy with your counselor. They would want to help you play an active part in breaking the bias against the community of the deaf.

Deaf Communities: To Wrap Up

A lot of things are challenging for members of the non-hearing group, but this is because of the accessibility restrictions brought about by audism and not by not hearing itself. Your counselor may be able to help you understand these intricacies and process the world around you. In addition, a counseling program can also aid you in learning about the resources and services available to you as someone who cannot hear. It would be even better if you also discuss your impairment advocacy with them so they can support you in the process.

It would benefit you to be truthful and open with your counselor when discussing these things. Counseling should be something that an impaired individual or the non-hearing group can turn to for comfort.

If you cannot hear, you have a loved one who is deaf, or you are part of a non-hearing group, perhaps you should consider counseling for your mental and emotional health.


What is meant by the deaf community?

Is it rude to say deaf community?

Is there a deaf community?

What is the difference between deaf culture and the deaf community?

Why is the deaf community important?


The Telemental Health Counseling

Have you ever heard about telemental health? What is it? What entails this type of therapy? And how do health care providers deliver telemental health services?

Struggling Experience With My Mental Illness


Telemental health - the overall benefits


According to my parents, I suffered from meningitis when I was only one year old. We did not have a lot of money back then, so they could not get me the medication management that I needed at once. They thought that I would not learn to survive the illness due to its severity and the delayed healthcare services, but I was apparently a resilient baby. I was treated but with a residual side effect of hearing loss.

Going To A Telemental Health Therapy Hours Session For The First Time

My parents were a bit too sensitive about my hearing loss. They experienced anxiety about how I would receive care and support. Before my condition aggravate and affect me entirely, they were worried that I might develop complicated mental health issues like depression or substance abuse because of my hearing loss. They spoke to a telebehavioral health therapist who recommended that they contact telehealth providers near our place. Telemental health industry was fast becoming popular because of its beneficial factors and outcomes. I already started having anxiety and depression and my parents were really scared for my health, so they decided to seek mental health care human services, in particular, telemedicine or telemental health.

At first, I agreed to telephone health counseling department for my mental health evaluations and psychiatric assessments just to appease my parents. I had nothing against mental help; I was even fascinated by it. But as the therapy sessions went on, I felt grateful for my parents’ decision to sign me up for telehealth therapy because my therapist inspired me to pursue the same profession and delivering care and mental health services to people in the community centers with new hearing disabilities.

Working As A Health Care Provider In 2020

I earned my health care certifications in the first quarter of 2020 and was preparing to open my clinic when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. I had to postpone the telemental health appointments because then I had to meet patients for an in-person examination. It devastated me since I knew that I needed to offer online counseling platforms at the time more than ever. Luckily, I discovered that I could do telemental health counseling or therapy with full advance security.

What Is Telehealth Treatment?

Telehealth counseling or therapy is a new form of mental health care service wherein mental health professionals use technology to provide medicine (telemedicine) or for patients to get treatment resources for their anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other behavioral health issues. Research suggests that telemental health services can be done by health professionals – therapists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and other licensed health providers – in rural communities or remote areas. Thus, there is increased access to psychiatric care, psychiatric consultations, family therapy, and other forms of treatment interventions, as these can be done through call or videoconferencing technology.

Understanding evidence-based research reports that telemedicine and telemental health services are tremendously helpful for a person who needs traditional mental health services but does not have access to them in his area or is hesitant to see health providers personally. More research examples would be a person who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, whose behavioral health can be improved with medicine along with mental health services. This person can now talk to psychologists or therapists through video conferencing. That is the convenience that office or telehealth treatment offers for mental health disorders.

How Do I Start Telehealth Or Telemedicine?

If you want to start offering mental health services, you need to get some legal advice first. The most important thing to figure out is if your health care state license can be used in other states, too. If it is, then you are free to accept patients all over the US. Otherwise, an attorney who specializes in telemental health services licensing can guide you on your next limited steps to this type of health care service.

You should also review the HIPAA regulars before starting your mental health best practices. The reason is that many individuals refuse to do online therapy and use phone or video conferencing for fear of their sensitive information getting leaked. Thus, make sure to determine and use encrypted software equipment or sign up for a trustworthy platform before starting the practices virtually. Also, educate your patients about the process of telehealth therapy.



Telemental Health

Furthermore, since you are providing therapy online and telemedicine, you must find a way to increase your patients’ comfort. The practice will seem challenging in the beginning, considering you as a provider cannot even shake a person’s hand through the internet, but you can make it happen by fixing your posture, clothing, smile, and surrounding. You may even play some soft music if you have access to that. More importantly, your internet should be incredibly fast and stable to avoid losing rapport with your telemental health patients.

Is Telemental health covered by insurance?

Telemental health is included in several insurance coverage plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross, Cignal, Humana, and United Healthcare. Despite that, you still cannot expect full mental health coverage up to this day.

How do you become a Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider?

The first step to becoming a  Board Certified-TeleMental Health (BC-TMH) provider is to apply for the certification via the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) website. Then, you will need to attend online classes and pass all the nine modules they will provide, as well as the final examination. You only have two years to finish everything; otherwise, you must send your application again.

How does Telehealth work?

Patients typically call the telemental health company’s hotline or use their account to request a visit. This visitation occurs online whenever a physician is available to diagnose, treat, or prescribe medication to the individuals.

Why would you want to be a telehealth counselor?

  • You have wanted to become a counselor for years now.
  • More people have told you that you are an excellent listener.
  • You don’t mind becoming someone’s confidante and giving advice to everyone.

How much does it cost?

Telemedicine costs approximately half of the regular clinic visit.

What is BC-TMH?

BC-TMH is the abbreviation for Board Certified-TeleMental Health.


Telemental health


Telemental Health Conclusion

Although I could have joined an online counseling platform initially, I thought against it because I wanted to cater to a specific demographic – people with hearing loss like me. In the end, I contacted the local support groups I was a part of, and they directed various clients to me for a consultation through Skype or Zoom.

Though I would eventually open my clinic and meet clients face-to-face when the pandemic ends, I would continue offering telephone health counseling.


  1. Is often called as telehealth and Telemental health?
  2. What can be done over telehealth?
  3. What features are important for telemedicine software?
  4. Do you need a camera for telehealth?
  5. What are the 4 types of telehealth?
  6. Is Telemental health effective?
  7. What is important difference between telehealth and in care?
  8. Which of the following is an example of Telemental health technologies?
  9. Who is not appropriate for telehealth?
  10. Does time need to be documented for telehealth?


The Challenges Of Mixed Deaf-Hearing Families




Every family faces various challenges. Your teenage son has problems in school, your baby girl is on her difficult years, your spouse is too busy to pay attention to you, or your relatives are judgmental. The truth is, each home has a burden to bear. However, there are rather distinct challenges for a family with mixed deaf-hearing members.

Families that have deaf members typically face some communication difficulties, and these can cause trouble in social interactions, which consequently lead to hopelessness, withdrawal, stress, and anxiety.

People that are deaf are expected to adjust to their surroundings, so would it not only be reasonable to expect the same kind of understanding from those who are supposedly closest to you – your family? Explaining yourself or upholding your language always is quite tiring. When you are with your family, you should be relaxed and comfortable. Sadly, not all of these deaf and hard of hearing family members have loved ones that find the time and effort to communicate with them appropriately.

Family Life Experiences

Families with deaf members or families that are mostly deaf with hearing members have reported experiencing difficulty identifying which communication strategies they should learn and practice, as sometimes the challenges they face are also worsened by certain cultural identities – hearing or deaf.

An individual who was interviewed recalled how her family would tell her that she could hear them well when she wants to, but actually, she just got pretty used to lip reading. She became an expert lip reader that people would think she could hear perfectly. Her brother would be annoyed at her when she asks him to repeat what he said and would tell her why she would pretend not to hear. “I can’t help being deaf,” she said. She stated that she often felt pressured and anxious when she was with her family, and she thinks that they should also try their best to meet halfway for communication to be easier.


Here are some experiences of other deaf and hard of hearing individuals with their own families.


  • “My loved ones tried learning sign language so they could better understand me.”
  • “My parents are very patient. They know that I have trouble understanding them, so they speak clearly and loudly.”
  • “My family and friends really love me. They make me feel comfortable and relaxed when we are together.”
  • “My family and I work hand in hand in seeking solutions to be able to live harmoniously. I feel so lucky.”


  • “My siblings don’t take time to talk to me, and they are often annoyed when I’m around.”
  • “My children are so impatient with me.”
  • My relatives tease me and backbite me even when I’m around. I know because they look at me, and then they laugh.”
  • “I always remind my spouse and kids that I am deaf.”
  • “I don’t get invited for family reunions and parties often. I guess they get tired of making an effort so I can understand.”

The Effect Of Being Deaf In A Hearing Family

Undoubtedly, it isn’t easy to be part of a mixed deaf-hearing family unit. Studies made on the subject revealed that deafness does have a substantial effect on these four areas:

  • Parenting – parents who are involved in the lives of their children.
  • Family interactions – the capacity of the family members to have clear and successful conversations, fix issues together, and build strong relationships.
  • Resources – the family’s access to materials and services for the deaf family member/s.
  • Emotional status – deaf and hearing family members are well-connected, support each other, and care for each other.

Of course, these areas are also affected by the family’s race and culture, economic status, and the deaf member’s level of hearing disability. However, the initial approach is to recognize the effects and knowing the factors that impact family dynamics.


Strategies For Deaf And Hearing Families

  • Family members should think about the needs of their hearing and hard of hearing loved ones when they talk about how they should communicate with each other.
  • Commit to making time for family discussions regarding issues and topics that come up during the day or week and then find ways to help each other.
  • Discuss and create communication techniques together.
  • Don’t laugh at your deaf siblings or parents. It’s total not cool.
  • If you are a deaf member, ask your loved ones to repeat what they said if it isn’t clear to you. This is a great way of self-checking as well.
  • It is disrespectful and unfair not to face your deaf loved one when you are speaking to them. Don’t make it harder for them to communicate.
  • Keep an open mind and be supportive of your deaf loved one’s disability.
  • Although your hearing family members have learned to do the sign language, it’s not going to be that easy. Be patient with them, and don’t expect too much. Meet them halfway.


You will grow closer and have a better relationship with your family if you learn to create strategies for connecting and communicating effectively with your loved ones. You should be proud of what you have surpassed as a family and acknowledge that you are tougher when you are together – hearing or not.



How To Ensure Mental Health Stability When You’re Newly Deaf

I never had a hearing problem during my childhood years. I could always hear my friends running down from the end of the block, asking me to play with them. Before they turned up in our doorsteps, I was already waiting for them on the sidewalk. Then, when I entered high school, the choir teacher realized that I had a perfect pitch, which would not be possible if I could not hear very well. I even got into a college scholarship program because of my newfound singing abilities.

However, everything changed when a drunk driver hit me while I was crossing the street after work. It was a red light, but the guy must have missed it due to intoxication. I blacked out as soon as I collided with his car, though, so I did not know that the side of my head hit the pavement hard.


When I woke up, everything hurt, especially the left side of my body. As it turned out, that’s what touched the road first. The doctors and police officers said that I was lucky that none of my internal organs or bones ruptured and that the driver didn’t run me over. I didn’t notice it quickly, but I knew what they were saying because I could read their lips. Then, I started freaking out when I realized that I could not hear a thing anymore. I kept on thrashing until the nurses had to sedate me to calm me down.

When I opened my eyes the next day, it was already nighttime, and the visiting hours were over, so I was alone in my room. I tried watching TV, in denial of my hearing loss. However, even with the volume reaching 100, I could not figure out what the TV characters were saying. I began to shed tears silently, unsure of what tomorrow would bring.


The Instability

A doctor visited me later and explained to my parents and me that I was suffering from a hearing loss. He said, “We know it’s temporary, but we don’t know when it will come back. Only time can tell.”

Okay, so the diagnosis was both a good and bad news. I might or might not use my ears again, depending on how my body would heal. Instead of making me feel better, it challenged my mental health stability.

My mom moved my stuff back to her house when I got discharged from the hospital. She often asked me ever since the diagnosis of how I was holding up, but I always told her that I was fine. Of course, that’s far from the truth, but Mama didn’t need to know that. She already had a lot on her plate, considering I would have to be under her care for a while. I had to quit my job, too, since call center agents needed aural skills, which I no longer had.


Gaining Stability

Mama eventually urged me to talk about my worries. I thought I was hiding my insomnia to her, but I wasn’t. She said she would come out of her room to pee sometimes and see me in the garden until the wee hours. It was true, so I ended up confessing that I hadn’t been okay ever since I found out about my hearing loss. And for the first time, I bawled in my mother’s arms.

Thought I did not want Mama to see me this way, she told me that it would upset her if I hid my mental health issues further. She made me promise that I would mention everything that bothered me so that she could help me go through with it.


We started with being roomies. My mother asked me to sleep in her room, saying that she missed hugging me to sleep. While I knew that she was doing it to check on me, I did it without a peep. At that point, I was willing to do anything to stop making my mother sad.

After that, Mama made sure that we ate every meal together. We also tried jogging on weekdays and hiking on weekends, considering the doctor said that being in nature and getting back in shape might help with my healing process. Furthermore, a friend hooked me up with a writing job, which was a dream of mine.

In no time, I stopped feeling sorry for my hearing loss.


Bottom Line

Losing my sense of hearing was a massive blow in my life. I did not know how to deal with it; I even considered buying a noose to end my ordeal. I only thought of dark things for at least a couple of months.

Fortunately, I had Mama to thank for helping me feel like myself again. It was a crazy journey, but I got there anyway, even without hearing anything. While I am still hopeful about reversing my hearing loss, it would not bother me if it stays that way.

Deaf Community Desperate For COVID-19 Information

Since the spread of the Coronavirus, all governments all over the world managed to give daily brief information on how fast the spread of the virus has occurred. That includes how best to cope with the situation. However, some individuals across different countries felt a little left out. These are the ones who battle with the communication chain. So without proper knowledge of what is going on around, the lack of information for these individuals can cost them their lives.


The Sentiments Of The Deaf

The deaf community is 5% of the world’s population. Therefore, there are more than millions of them. But not all of them receive clear information about the COVID-19 pandemic because some appeared to be alienated when it comes to the live updates about the deadly Coronavirus. Sadly, these deaf people’s needs are on the line. That is why some are blaming their governments for not doing anything for them. It may be a bit harsh since this situation is no one’s fault, but no one can blame them for feeling left out.


The World Of The Silent

Honestly, the lack of information is the most unfortunate thing for safety and exposure from the virus of the people in the deaf community. There are worries and fears that buildup due to uncertainties. The deaf community relies on interpretation, so they feel pressured in knowing things the hard way. For them, they view the hearing people as privileged because they do not struggle with the same challenges that deaf people need to go through. The deaf people can only complain because they either missed information or received it wrong. Without an interpreter, they are not able to understand things that are going around the world. Thus, it becomes quite impossible for them to protect themselves, especially from a deadly disease.


It is no secret that most governments around the world are reporting a fast growth of the Coronavirus. That is why most officials in the country are trying their best to inform their people on how to best cope with the situation. However, it becomes unfair for deaf people because they seem to get secondary information, which may be distorted. That is the reason why they deem for extra attention. But understandably, not all people look at these deaf individuals as unfortunate. Some are taking their time judging and accusing the deaf community as entitled individuals. That is because they think the deaf community is only asking for special consideration. That they believe these people can find ways to know information without taking too much of people’s concerns. Honestly yes. The deaf community can use social media platforms to know and get a little information. However, there is a chance of coming across fake news. Admittedly, it is a daily struggle of knowing what the right thing to believe in and what is not.


The Barrier

For most countries in the world, they believe that passing information is vital in keeping their nation safe. But for the deaf community who doesn’t have access to specific information and no interpreter to rely on, it becomes life challenging. So when people think about it, it is not their fault that they somehow unintentionally disobey protocols. It is not that the deaf community wants to deal with risking their lives on getting infected. But it is more about questioning the situation since they get only a little understanding of the things they need to do. If we look at things right now, the deaf community is trying their best to keep up with the rest of the population across the different countries in knowing information the best they can.

Feel free to chat with BetterHelp experts if the global health crisis affects your mental health.

Deaf People In A Pandemic

With the entire crisis that the world is going through, people are aware of the situation. They know and understand the necessary measures needed to fight the virus. That is why everyone values social distancing and disinfection. But apparently, not all individuals are capable of understanding what they need to do. Clearly, the world health organization, along with each country’s government, should recognize the needs of persons with disabilities.



The Struggle Of The Deaf

Among deaf communities, the accurate distribution of vital information is challenging. That is because the universal signing language of COVID-19 doesn’t exist. Well, no one is to blame for this situation, and somehow the unpreparedness gets excused since the pandemic involves the rattle of a global crisis. However, with the virus’s rampant cases, the deaf community needs to have urgent access to information to increase full awareness.

In some countries, affected people of the deaf community want the world health organization to come up with an international sign language that will represent the coronavirus. That is, of course, to allow them to connect with others without the hassle of trying to deliver only bits of information. Yes, some may argue that the deaf community is now given written information from time to time. However, what people did not see is the unreliability of the COVID-19 sequence written on a piece of paper.



Apparently, other countries already considered taking their own measures to assist the deaf community on their request. There are already fifteen signs that they use to represent the coronavirus. Some of these signs come from unscientific variants, though. Meaning, it could still create confusion, especially when people are not yet familiar with what others currently call COVID-19.

People may not openly talk about it, but they consider deaf people as burdens of society. Well, I am not in the right position to talk about what is appropriate and what is not. But some people do not entirely care to consider other people’s needs. Indeed, there are imbalances and societal differences. However, the deaf community seeks understanding as to why they need extra attention when it comes to gathering information.



Understanding The Needs Of Deaf People

Among other communities of individuals with a disability, the requested international sign language will be an excellent help for deaf people. Because if you try to imagine the deaf people’s difficulty in communicating, you will see that it is the only thing they got that could potentially save them from this pandemic. Yes, you may say that some of these persons with disabilities can read lips. Clearly, that is an advantage. But their mouths are covered with masks most of the time. Therefore, it will be difficult for them to communicate with others without sign language. These deaf people will probably have to make more noise so that others could recognize them.



Authorities also need to come up with a plan to understand the needs of deaf people. Each country’s government should not treat them as second-class people just because they have a disability. Being deaf will not make them any less of a citizen out there. They are also vulnerable to the virus, so there is no point in setting aside their needs. Please do not disregard them as less priority and allow the system to come up with a better solution to make amends.

The coronavirus affected individuals all around the world. Therefore, there must be no exemptions as to who are the ones who need access priority for health and social care services. We need to address others’ needs as well, so we can save more lives.