The Telemental Health Counseling

Have you ever heard about telemental health? What is it? What entails this type of telemental health counseling?

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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 medical help I needed at once. They thought that I would not survive the illness due to its severity and the delayed treatment, but I was apparently a resilient baby.

After two weeks in the hospital, they eventually managed to take me home, but not before the doctors told them that I might deal with hearing loss as a side effect of meningitis.

True enough, my parents noticed symptoms of it in me a few months later. It started with me not looking up immediately whenever they said my name. Mom told me that they had to be face to face with me before I could pay attention to them. My loss of hearing worsened slowly over the years until I could only perceive unintelligible sounds without a hearing aid at 13 years old.

Going To A Telemental Health Counseling Session For The First Time Ever

My parents were a bit too sensitive about my hearing loss, partly due to their conversations with parents of other kids with disabilities. Before my condition aggravated, they are worried that I might become rebellious because of it or, worse, too depressed to function. Thus, as soon as I got a hearing aid, I found out that they signed me up for counseling.

Let me emphasize that I was not showing depressive or rebellious symptoms at the time. My hearing loss did not happen overnight – I had years to prepare for it – so I did not have a hard time accepting the inevitable. Despite that, Mom and Dad wanted to ensure that my mental health would not suffer due to my physical disability, so they insisted on taking me to a counselor twice a month.

At first, I agreed to counsel to appease my parents. I had nothing against mental help; I was even fascinated by it. But as the sessions went on, I felt grateful for Mom and Dad’s decision to sign me up for counseling because my counselor inspired me to pursue the same profession and offer mental assistance to people with new hearing disabilities.

Telemental Health Counseling

Working As A Counselor In 2020

I earned my counseling 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 opening because it was inadvisable to meet clients in person. It devastated me since I knew that I needed to offer online counseling at the time more than ever. Luckily, I discovered that I could do it online.

What Is Telemental Health?

Mental health counseling is a new form of counseling that licensed counselors provide using technology.

How Do I Start Therapy?

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

You should also review the HIPAA regulars before starting your mental health practice. The reason is that many individuals refuse to do online therapy in fear of their sensitive information getting leaked and reaching the hands of unlawful people. Thus, make sure to use encrypted software or sign up for a trustworthy platform before practicing virtually and educate your clients about telemental health.

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Telemental HealtH

Furthermore, since you are providing therapy online, you must find a way to increase your client’s comfort. It seems challenging to do in the beginning, considering you 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 prefer that. More importantly, your internet should be incredibly fast and stable to avoid losing rapport with your telemental health clients.

Is Telemental health covered by insurance?

Telemental health is covered by a handful of insurance companies, 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.

What is the best computer for telemental health?

Apple MacBook Air (13 inches) is the best laptop for telehealth. It has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Core i7, long battery life, new keyboard design, 6K display, and improved webcam.

What is the best telemental health platform?

According to TechRadar, the best telehealth platform is Doxy.me.

How does Telemental health 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.

What is a warm handoff?

A warm handoff is a common practice in a healthcare team in which one member practically transfers the patient to another member. It typically happens in front of the patient or their guardian.

Why would you want to be a counselor?

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

Will insurance companies pay?

Local governments are currently working hard to enable insurance companies to pay for telehealth. However, at the time of writing, more or less half of all the states have parity laws.

Does insurance pay for online counseling?

The truth is that not all insurance companies cover online counseling. Therefore, the answer to this question depends on your insurance provider.

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
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Final Thoughts

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.

I realized that it was not too different from traditional counseling, considering we could still use sign language.

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

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Interesting Things You Should Know About The Sex Lives Of Deaf People

Sex is a natural part of the human experience. Without sex, there would be no human life on earth in the first place. Yet, some people have this misconception about disabled people, such as the deaf, wherein they don’t enjoy sex, probably because their bodies are not as physically capable as others.

“This capacity to experience the daimonic quality of sex or eros is an essential and centering part of being human. It reminds us that we are, first and foremost, as Freud pointed out, passionate creatures, motivated and driven by primitive, irrational forces operating just below the surface of civilization and rationality far more powerful than our puny little egos,”writes Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. Continue reading “Interesting Things You Should Know About The Sex Lives Of Deaf People”

The Best Jobs For The Deaf According To Psychologists

According to a recent study, only 48% of the deaf community is working. This figure is lower than the 73% employment of the people with no hearing disability. Robin E. Perkins-Dock Ph.D , and co-authors mention that, “research indicates that even with increased professional training, legislative initiatives, and awareness to the needs of employees who are deaf, the employment rate of this population continues to be lower than their peers who can hear.” If this is the case, what is the main reason for this low unemployment rate? Are people discriminating them, or are there just no job opportunities for them? Psychologists say that is not the latter because there are various career offerings for deaf individuals out there. Let us uncover them.

Audiologist

Several deaf people are itching to help other individuals who have a similar disability. In the case of an audiologist, you are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing any hearing loss problem. Most of the work will entail you to monitor cochlear implants, teaching how hearing aids work, training these people on how to lip-read, and more.

This position will also put your sign language skills to use since you will mostly be talking to these people through this medium.

Social Worker

Are you aware that there is a high demand for social workers who can communicate with deaf individuals? The reason for this is that there is an increasing number of deaf clients who want to make a social difference in the world of the deaf. “Culturally sensitive and accessible services for deaf and hard of hearing people can often best be provided by social workers who are themselves deaf and hard of hearing, who have specialized language and communication skills, as well as unique cultural knowledge of this population at risk,” Martha A. Sheridan, Ph.D. and co-author explained. However, since they are not that knowledgeable about how to communicate with their target market, their efforts fail to materialize.

Social Media Manager

Being a social media manager is a more comfortable type of work since most of the action happens in the online world. You will be responsible for managing, creating, and maintaining ongoing online content, which will be market your client’s branding. This job will also entail you to create custom art, videos, images, and other promotional materials which can be posted to increase the visibility of the organization.

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A social media manager must not only be creative, but he or she must also be data-savvy. This job also requires you to study your audience through the information from your online traffic. Analyzing all of these numbers will help you pinpoint all of the ongoing social trends happening, which will help you in the creation of your future content.

Sign Language Interpreter

Not a lot of people are familiar with the ins and outs of the American Sign Language. Hence, professional sign language interpreters are in demand. Only several individuals can communicate complex and technical information to the audience because this skill requires extensive training.

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For you to practice this career, you will need a certification licensed by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Once you have this, you can take any work in this field and earn a minimum of $50,000 annually.

Writer

Now that there is an increasing trend in the use of search engine optimization (SEO), more and more companies hire writers who can boost their online presence. All you have to do is to conduct some data analytics based on your online audience and come up with articles which will satisfy the patterns and trends.

If you are not into this line of work but is still fond of writing, you can also try writing your book. You can use your hearing loss at your advantage and come up with a unique perspective of the world. This strategy was what Donald Harrington, Sara Novic, and Marlee Martin used to put their names out there.

Employment Counselor

Believe it or not, there are employment advocacy programs established for the deaf community. They not only introduce jobs to these people, but they also assist in acquiring their pre-employment requirements after they get hired. Also, many employment counselors partner with work agencies so that it will be easier for them to know which jobs are open or not.

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Employment counselors work in rehabilitation centers, schools, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Speech-Language Pathologist

The main focus area of speech-language pathologists is addressing communication and speech disorders – whether the patient is a child or an adult. These experts guide patients with language, hearing, speech, and swallowing issues, which may be a result of genetic disorder problems, hearing loss, brain injuries, and other learning and developmental disabilities.

Aside from helping these individuals with their problems, one of their tasks also includes educating the people around the patient. The parents and other family members receive additional lectures on the specifics on how to go about the recovery process of their loved one.

Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Ph. D. and collaborators wrote that, “deaf people were as likely to work full time as their hearing peers. This suggests that once deaf people obtain employment, they are just as likely to work full time as their hearing peers.” Aside from the jobs mentioned above, there are still a plethora of opportunities for the deaf community. You only have to know where to look and ask help, and you’ll find the right fit for you.

Is There A Happy Ever After For Deaf-Hearing Relationships?

Yes, it is possible. However, it will take more than just work and patience. Here are the things to keep in mind when you are in a deaf-hearing relationship.

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Communication Through Different Languages Is Key

Excellent communication is needed in any relationship. However, for deaf-hearing couples, communicating with each other is already a challenge. A hearing and a deaf person speak in two different languages. If a deaf-hearing couple wants to forge excellent communication with each other, they must individually learn each other’s languages. Melissa L. Anderson with collaborator conducted a study on this and found out that, “when asked to rank most important partner characteristics, mode of communication was the most highly ranked among Deaf and HoH [Hard of Hearing] college students, placing communication compatibility above hearing status, identity, or educational background.”

If you are a hearing person, you must make an effort to try and learn sign language or finger spelling. If you are a deaf person, you must try and learn basic speech and lip reading. By learning your partner’s language, you and your partner will have a great understanding of each other.

Never Leave Your Partner Excluded

Being excluded in a lot of social meetings is a familiar source of conflicts for deaf-hearing couples. For deaf people, social meetings with her partner’s hearing friends are frustrating. They talk too fast, and her boyfriend usually doesn’t explain the conversation. Meanwhile, hearing people feel intimidated by their deaf partner’s friends when they sign too fast.


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In times like these, it is essential for both people to try to include their partners in social meetings. If your partner has trouble keeping up with your friends, try to explain the situation to them. You might also want to tell your friends about your partner’s case, so your friends can adjust for your partner.

Meeting The Families Will Be Difficult, At First

Meeting your partner’s friends is one thing. But meeting your family’s friends is another. For many deaf-hearing couples, spending time with their partner’s family members is probably the most intimidating experience in their relationship.

Family meetings for deaf people can go both ways. A hearing person’s family may be delighted to meet the deaf partner. However, the family may also have the least amount of understanding of deaf communication. As a result, the deaf partner may feel like they are being misunderstood.

The same goes for hearing people meeting their partner’s deaf family. The hearing person may be able to get along well with the family as many deaf people come from hearing families. However, a hearing person may feel uncomfortable being with so many deaf people in one room. They may feel afraid of being misunderstood.

Don’t expect that these things will happen only in the first meeting. These situations can occur in every family meeting. However, with the right patience and dedication, families of both parties will warm up to the couple’s relationship. “Deaf and hearing marriage presents challenges to both the deaf and hearing partner. Even oral deaf people married to signing deaf people face marital challenges,” John Carew, MD.

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Many people will say that deaf-hearing relationships will not work. “It’s too complicated,” they say; “The culture is too different,” they say. According to Margaret I. Wallhagen, PhD, “Hearing loss significantly influences this ability to communicate and participate in activities and data document the multiple negative effects it has on the person with hearing loss as well as his or her partner.” But, the truth is, any relationship can work as long as both partners are committed to it. Relationships will only work if you and your partner make dedicated steps in keeping your love alive.

Do you have any other tips for deaf-hearing couples?

Caring For Elderly Loved Ones With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common condition affecting the elderly. It occurs in one out of three seniors from ages 65 to 75. This illness among older adults happens once their health declines resulting in other disabilities alongside hearing impairment. According to Sidney T. Bogardus, Jr, MD and co-authors, “Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions and has important implications for patient quality of life. However, hearing loss is substantially underdetected and undertreated.” Having the elderly suffering from this illness entails a change of lifestyle and priorities in the family to cater to the needs of the elderly relative. “Patients who are deaf or hard of hearing are at high risk of breakdowns in health care communication,” says Michael M. McKee, MD, MPH.

There are a lot of things to consider in taking care of a senior with hearing impairment. Luckily, there are viable options for healthcare services. If you have the resources, it is pretty easy to send an old disabled relative to any nursing home. But before doing so, consider what they might be experiencing beyond their disabilities.

Emotional Challenges For Seniors With Hearing Loss

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Towards the onset of losing the auditory senses, elders may experience some adverse emotional and psychological effects. Hearing loss triggers negative feelings that may imply withdrawal from close friends and family, changing the way they usually socialize and causing a rift in their relationships. These are some of what they experience:

  1. Feelings Of Inadequacy

Elders with hearing loss tend to feel ashamed because of their disability. There will be times that they will feel embarrassed around other people and thus avoid interaction.

This feeling may trigger depression that would cause them to isolate themselves from friends and family.

  1. Feelings Of Incompetence

Upon developing hearing loss, elders also lose some capabilities they used to do before being impaired. Since their health is deteriorating, more assistance is required, and they will soon need help with their daily activities. It may lead to low self-esteem, and they would likely want to live a sedentary life like always sleeping, sitting, and resting rather than partaking in their usual activities.

  1. High Risk Of Anxiety

Anxiety is too heavy a word because it entails critical and adverse psychological implications that often do not apply in most situations. However, constant worrying and overthinking may trigger episodes of anxiety.

A study done among deaf Norwegians shows that people with chronic diseases are four times likely to have mental problems than those who are not disabled. It may result in a heightened sense of hopelessness and lack of motivation.

Anxiety triggers among the elderly with hearing loss often come from fears such as losing significant relationships and being a burden to the family.

Choosing A Healthcare Service

In some cultures, the sons, daughters, and grandchildren are the primary caretakers of the elderly. Getting help from professional caretakers or sending older adults to a nursing home is rarely practiced in these countries.

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However, each family setup varies. With the demands of work and probably raising the kids, the traditional living arrangement may not be beneficial in some cases. Thus, it is an excellent option to avail of the services of a healthcare facility that can better address the needs of your elderly relative. Should you choose a nursing facility, here are some things you should consider:

  1. Proximity Of The Nursing Home

As much as possible, the facility should not be more than two hours away from your home. Your family should be able to visit at least three times a month to check in with your elderly relative. Frequent interactions with loved ones lessen the risk of mental health problems among the elderly such as dementia and depression according to studies.

  1. Healthcare Facilities That Cater To Deaf Patients

This one is probably the most important thing to consider. Many deaf patients experience severe communication barriers that result in improper treatment according to studies. Most patients experience distress, fear, and mistrust because of frequent miscommunication with their general healthcare practitioner.

When choosing a facility, check the credentials of the medical staff and medical practitioners. Be sure to research if they have undergone training and programs that make them effectively communicate with deaf or patients with hearing loss. Also, make sure that the home has interpreters in their staff.

If finding the right place that can cater to the needs of your elderly relative becomes difficult, there is always the option of hiring a caretaker. Hiring a stranger into your home is quite scary, but if you think that this option is best, these should be part of your checklist:

  1. The agency has a strong quality assurance policy.
  2. The agency did a meticulous background check of the caretaker.
  3. The credentials of the caretaker must meet the standard minimum for being qualified for the job (education, training, license, experience, etc.).
  4. Caretakers should be fully insured and bonded by the agency.

Final Thoughts

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Nowadays, it is easy to look past the needs of the elderly. “Sensory abilities decline with age. More than 5% of the world’s population, approximately 360 million people, have disabling hearing loss. In adults, disabling hearing loss is defined by thresholds greater than 40 dBHL in the better hearing ear,” Adrian Davis, OBE, FFPH, FSS, FRSA, PhD and collaborators wrote. Unlike babies, we are not very much hands-on in taking care of our older relatives. However, we should remember that it is more than the “responsibility” that requires us to spend time and money on their health care needs. It is more about giving back to those who took care of us when we were young.

 

5 Things To Remember When Dating A Deaf Person

Differences are common causes of misunderstandings between people in romantic relationships. Because of the diversity of perspectives, it sometimes becomes difficult for two people to reconcile. It has triggered failed marriages, broken families, and even unsuccessful dating attempts.

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If people who had no physical disabilities have these difficulties, then all the more are these challenges apparent for the differently-abled ones, for instance, deaf people. They are not able to appreciate sounds and music the same way that hearing people do. It gets difficult to communicate even with the closest people because some things are always easier said than done.

 

Should you get to find love in the person of someone with hearing disabilities, you have to be ready to understand them in many different ways. Here are five things to take note when dating a deaf person:

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  1. Know A Bit About Sign Language

Sign language is a way to communicate using the movement of the hands, facial expressions, and gestures to create signs that convey specific messages.

 

Two made sign languages are common: the American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL). These are distinct from spoken languages and not mere translations. They also vary depending on the location. It pays to determine which system is used by your date for you to communicate properly. Francois Grosjean Ph.D. say that “learners of ASL become accustomed to signing and speaking at the same time when using sign language, that is they produce a sign and whisper its English translation equivalent.”

 

  1. Be Sensitive, But Not Too Much

People who have no hearing problems admittedly find it difficult to be acquainted with the struggles of the deaf. Be sensitive about the small things such as making sure to get the attention of your date before starting a conversation or making sure that multiple people do not talk at the same time since this confuses them.

 

However, don’t overdo it to the extent of making them feel incapacitated. Yes, people who have hearing problems are differently-abled, but it never made them less of a person.

“We also need to learn to value our sensitivity and see the potential strength inherent in it. Being highly sensitive often includes being highly empathic toward those close to us. The capacity for empathic responses is a trait that benefits our relationships,” Dianne Grande Ph.D. explains.

 

  1. Speak In A Normal Manner

In line with the reminder to not overdo sensitivity, don’t try too hard as well to dramatize speech. Speak naturally with clear and separate words. Give them time for them to understand what you are saying and try to gauge whether both of you are on the same side.

 

However, you need not shout nor speak too slowly also, as this may distort the way the mouth speaks; thereby making it hard for the deaf person to lipread. Increase only the tone of your voice or reduce the speed of speech when you are asked to do so.

 

  1. Make The Proper Gestures

The non-verbal cues play a very crucial role in communicating with a deaf person. Firstly, maintain eye contact with your date. If you have glasses on, take them off. Don’t turn your head while speaking. All these allow the deaf person to focus on what you are saying.

 

Moreover, make good use of hand and body movements to convey your thoughts better. You may point towards a particular object, hold up something in your hand, or raise your fingers to indicate numbers or any other verbal cues that help boost the communication process.

 

  1. Choose A Place That’s Quieter

Wait for the surrounding noise to tone down before starting a conversation on your date. Even better, make sure to identify particular locations with less noise. It disrupts the attention and focus of deaf people.

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For instance, a noise like the horns of a car on the road or drilling of equipment may be shunned as background noise for those who can hear. However, they can turn out to be distracting for the deaf.

 

Communication barriers are present, with or without hearing difficulties. While it takes patience and understanding to adjust to a relationship with a deaf person, it does not differ much with the adjustment that is required in relationships when both people can hear. “So-called disabled people are far more like us “normal” folk that most think,” Jim Taylor Ph.D. wrote.

 

For instance, accepting a person’s flaws, staying by their side during the most challenging moments, and loving their imperfections – these are important in all relationships, regardless of physical capacity, because ultimately, love is a universal and all-encompassing feeling we all know and desire.

Can A Deaf-Hearing Marriage Work?

It takes two to tango. In tango, all couples should work in-sync to make a perfect step. That belief also holds true in marriages. Especially for marriages from entirely different cultural backgrounds. It takes more work from both sides to make these kinds of marriages successful.

“Security about the future—commitment safety—is crucial because most people do not invest in something, whether a financial asset or a relationship, without some reasonable confidence in what is on the horizon,” writes Scott M. Stanley Ph.D.

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Marriages involving deaf and hearing individuals can also be considered in this spectrum.

This kind of marriage is as culturally diverse compared to interracial marriages. Why may you ask? The deaf has their own different set of cultural beliefs and practices.

Though the couple lives in the same country, they will initially experience many setbacks due to this diversity. Thus, that begs the question: can a deaf-hearing marriage work? The answer is a resounding YES.

It all depends on the couple themselves. Here are some of the tips successful deaf-hearing marriages share to have a successful married life.

Stay Positive

Often, the outlook of the spouses toward each other and their marriage makes or breaks the relationship. Maintaining a positive attitude in every circumstance is critical.

In a deaf-hearing marriage, adjustments can get difficult, and for some, things get even tougher. That is why it is essential to breeze through these adjustments by maintaining a positive outlook on your marriage.

“The fact that our expectations can change is important for the long term success of a marriage. Keep an optimistic outlook and a positive perspective, but at the same time keep your eyes and your mind open,” write Rob Pascale Ph.D and Lou Primavera Ph.D.

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Keep Learning

Whether it may be learning to increase your self-esteem or to learn more about your spouse’s tendencies, never stop learning. Though it can be a long process, it will be fruitful in the end.

In cross-cultural marriages, being committed to learning is essential in bridging any gap of doubt and may lead you to understand your spouse even more. Listening to testimonials of people who have gone through these same situations as well as engaging in support groups will help you learn more about how to deal with your spouse in times of uncertainty, even on a daily basis.

Adopting skills such as advanced sign language, lip reading, deaf culture should also be considered. These are only some of the things you can study together to learn more about each other’s struggles. These classes can also be great bonding activities.

“If it’s not possible to love everything about your partner (which is very likely the case), can you at least embrace—unconditionally—the overall ‘package’ that is your partner (mostly good but, admittedly, with some not-so-endearing features as well)?” writes Leon F Seltzer Ph.D.

Communicate

In any marriage, communication is key. It can get tricky in a deaf-hearing marriage, but you should try harder anyway.

 

Maintaining a line of communication with your spouse, no matter what kind, can strengthen the bond between the two of you. Clear communication between spouses can quickly fix growing problems and state expectations. In time, you will able to choose the kind that will work for your marriage. The trick is not to give up easily.

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Remember To Love Your Spouse Always

You can always choose how to react in any given situation. When your future together seems bleak, keep your eyes on the brighter side and work with your spouse towards a solution.

 

In the end, a successful marriage all boils down to everyday decisions. Communicating can get frustrating at times, especially when you cannot understand one another clearly. Some cases, misinterpretation causes other meanings to your intended words. It is easy to be misunderstood in a deaf-hearing marriage. Take heart. Choose to love always.

Starting A Relationship With A Deaf Person

Every relationship has its share of problems and challenges. This situation also holds true for relationships involving deaf people.

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A romantic relationship between a “normal” and a deaf person is called a “mixed relationship.” This kind of relationship is a mix between people who can hear and another who does not have that ability. There are a lot of adjustments on both sides for this kind of relationship to work.

“What’s most important in determining whether a marriage will succeed or fail is the amount of long-term stress the couple experiences. This stress can come from outside the marriage, for example from financial problems or work-related issues. It can also arise within the marriage, for instance from difficulties in child-rearing or health issues—whether physical or psychological,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

Here are just some of the necessary adjustments if you’ve decided to start a relationship with a deaf person. Feel free to share with your deaf friends as well!

Learn Their Language

Your partner will have a different way of communicating with you. There are several ways the deaf communicate – using sign language, by lipreading, or by using both.

Using sign language is like speaking an entirely different language. Sign language has evolved for it to be easily used by the speakers/ users. This language has its meanings that are specific for the deaf. You may have to enroll in sign language classes to keep up with the speed of seasoned sign language users.

More importantly, communication is crucial in romantic relationships. Understanding sign language more deeply can lead to a fruitful relationship with your partner.

“Keep the communication flowing, be willing to listen, make sure you are really hearing the message your partner is sending, and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know,” writes Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

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Immerse Yourself In The Culture

The deaf community is unique due not only to its composition but also due to its vibrant culture. Before starting a relationship with a deaf person, research about their community and their activities.

The deaf often has cultural events for inclusivity and awareness in which you may be involved in. Participation in these events may also prove to your partner that you are invested in the relationship because you are getting to know their community more.

The uniqueness of the deaf community’s culture can also make your relationship more manageable. You will learn firsthand what the do’s and don’ts are in interacting with other deaf people.

Be In Their Position And Consider Their Situation

Since your partner has a special condition, it is imperative that you will be more considerate of their circumstances.

“In your relationship, when either of you is experiencing a difficult time, getting some support and understanding from the love of your life can make all the difference in the world,” writes Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.

The deaf has to go through life in a slightly different manner. It does not mean, however, that you will have to change your treatment towards them significantly. They want to be treated like any other person who also has specific needs and wants in life.

 

Try to be in their position and adjust yourself accordingly.

 

Give Your 100% Always

In every relationship, both partners should give their best. In starting a relationship with a deaf person, you should also dedicate your best time and effort to make your relationship a success.

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Just because your partner has special needs, it does not mean that you have to think of yourself as unfortunate already. If you really love your partner, view it as just another hurdle to overcome. In time, things will become easier for you both.

 

Love is a decision. Starting a relationship with a deaf person may be challenging, but if you love him or her, it should be worth it.

 

Better Deaf-Friendly World

New technologies are being developed to help the deaf and the hearing-impaired community thrive in the world of talking communities.   These technologies are life-changing and have significantly helped the deaf and hearing-impaired people function normally.   These new devices and development open new opportunities to the deaf community in their home, school, workplace, and community.

 

Hearing loss can be from mild to profound.  There are estimated to be 360 million people worldwide suffering from deafness and hearing loss caused by either hereditary disorder, genetic disease, prenatal exposure to disease, use of some drugs, ear infections, exposure to excessive noise, injury, and aging.  According to Vicky Zhang, PhD and co-authors, “having problems with communication in social situations, resulting in feelings of disconnection from the world around them.” Treatments are being developed to aid them.  Besides treatment, many deaf-friendly communities are working together to help the deaf and hard of hearing

 

Educating the Deaf

Some schools are already prepared, equipped, and trained to be deaf-friendly. “School today is the place where all children learn the distinction that hunter-gatherers never knew—the distinction between work and play,” Peter Gray Ph.D. wrote.  These schools use the technology of speech-to-text systems which makes studying easier for the deaf and hearing-impaired students.  This technology translates spoken words to real-time texts and also provide a text file of the lecture.

Source:  iyantras.com

Deaf in the Workplace

The Video Relay Service (also known as video interpreting service) is a system using a computer and a web camera.  This service allows the deaf and hard of hearing individuals communicate over video telephone.    The system is widely used in the workplace.  This system allows the deaf people improve their level of communication, thus, making them more confident and productive.

Source: uber.com

Uber is one of the companies that hire deaf and hard of hearing drivers.  In partnership with the Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), they developed an online video support guide that goes directly into their app.  This features flashing trip request, text-only communication with the riders, notifying the riders that the drive is deaf or hard of hearing.  This gives the deaf and hard of hearing drivers the opportunity to earn a living.

 

Alert Devices, Safety First

There are also gadgets used at home for the deaf to live a safer and comfortable life. “Exposure to technology isn’t all bad,” Jim Taylor Ph.D. says.  Alarm clocks that vibrates can be placed under their pillow to wake them.  It also has a flashing light.  In case of fire, a fire/smoke detector with a bright flashlight that warns a deaf person if there’s smoke or fire can be installed.   A phone flasher light also warns them when the phone is ringing.

Source: brooks.com.au

Another safety gadget is the vibrating bracelet which is something a deaf person can wear.  This bracelet tickles the wrist when sound is detected around the house like a phone ringing, doorbell, and sirens.

 

Deaf in the Social Environment

Source:  vovworld.vn

Communication is made easier with these gloves.  It translated real-time sign language into readable text which is relayed via Bluetooth to a computer or smartphone.  This way communicating with friends and other people around here gets better.

 

It’s not easy to have disabilities or live with people with impairments.  People are working very hard to break the barriers through the development of these high-tech gadgets and systems.  This is not only to give them hope but to make them feel that they are also part of the society.  Advancement of modern technology is slowly making this world become a deaf and hearing-impaired friendly.   Anyone in their own simple way can also help give them a happy, comfortable, and safe environment to live in.