How To Avoid Leaving Out Your Deaf Friend In These Situations

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In a world where hearing is impossible or just vaguely existent, those who are deaf or hearing-impaired usually miss out on some or a large part of a conversation. Those who can normally hear can never imagine what it’s like to be deaf. But if your childhood friend or best buddy is a deaf person, then you’ll perhaps be more empathetic and consider the thought of being deaf yourself. What if you can’t hear and understand conversations going on around you, or the television that you’re watching, or the music playing in the background? You would think that it’s quite depressing and stressful to have hearing loss, and it could be.

“For deaf people, isolation is always an issue,” writes Michael Chorost Ph.D.

If your best friend is deaf or hearing-impaired, here are some useful tips to decrease their feelings of isolation and help them feel a little less discouraged and alone in specific situations that will be discussed here.

In The Park Or Playground

A lot of children and teens hang out in the park and playground for recreation. They talk and make conversation; thus, they socialize. If you’re planning something with your friends and your deaf friend is around, include him in the conversation by writing a text that he can read about the plan. Some deaf persons can understand when somebody’s talking to them, but it’s difficult for them to do that if many people are talking at one time. He’d be ashamed to ask and eventually feel insecure.

“Just as being blind or deaf can be partly disabling, to be out of contact with or cut off from one’s emotions can be partly disabling too because important data is missing,” writes Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.

Also, there are games that you can play in the park that don’t require you to be talking or listening all the time, like card games and board games. Most kids enjoy playing cards and board games, and these are among their favorite ways to pass the time. Your best friend will not feel left out if he joins.

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If you’re planning on exercising or playing a sport, you can always let him join basketball or soccer. They’re easy to follow, and they’re contact sports, something that you and your friend can benefit from physically and mentally. If in case he doesn’t hear the referee blowing the whistle in the middle of the game, you can pat him on the back to signal him to stop.

In-School Or Classroom

People who have a hearing loss or hard of hearing require a line of sight that is directed straight to the blackboard. However, most of these hearing-impaired teens are shy to sit in front of the room because they don’t want the attention. The best you can do is making sure that his line of sights is not blocked. Don’t distract him when he’s trying to lip-read or trying to understand body language from the teacher. When class ends, double-check with him if he had understood the lesson, the homework, or if there were any announcements that he had missed. If there are, then you can go over them with him.

Socializing Outside When you’re out of school grounds, and at parties or get-together with your other friends, you must remember that if you turn away from him, he would have trouble understanding you, especially when there’s loud music in the background. If he’s wearing hearing aids, on the other hand, don’t talk louder because this won’t help. Just be clear with your words like always. Better yet, when you’re in a noisy place, such as in a food hall, you can text each other. It’s easier for both of you, and he doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable with you trying to exaggerate your words so he can understand. “Socializing can provide a number of benefits to your physical and mental health,” writes Angela K. Troyer Ph.D., C.Psych.

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Final Thoughts

Our helpful tips on this article will help you be a better buddy to your deaf friend, and you can make a tremendous change in your friend’s environment when you offer to help. True friendship can be shown in many ways, and being empathic is compassionate is among them. Your help for your deaf friend can go a long way – that’s for sure.

 

 

 

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.

 

The Stigma Against The Deaf And How To Deal With It

Lacking a fundamental sense, such as sight or hearing, is a very challenging obstacle. Dealing with such is made even more difficult by the stigma that society associates with the disabled. Even in the contemporary world, where inclusion is supposedly at its peak in human history, people still see forms of discrimination against the deaf and other disabled individuals. With millions of people around the world who are deaf or hard of hearing, this means that multitudes still suffer continuously from all the prejudice against them.

Much of the stigma associated with deafness is due to ignorance. By further understanding the plight of the deaf and how stigma against them arises, it becomes possible to create solutions that will help protect them from further discrimination.

Mechanisms Of Deafness

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Deafness is a complex condition that can be brought about by myriad factors. Irma M Munoz-Baell and co-author wrote that, “hearing loss is a very complex phenomenon, which has many and serious consequences for people and involves many factors and issues that should be carefully examined.”

Most commonly, deafness occurs gradually as a person ages. However, it may also be congenital, or it may suddenly arise anytime during the life of an individual. It may be due to genetics, infection, or exposure to overwhelmingly loud sounds. It may be a purely physical problem, caused by damage to the parts of the auditory system, or it might signify a mental disorder.

The point is that deafness is a complicated condition that can be hard to understand for some people. This misunderstanding can then give rise to stigma.

Misunderstanding And Ignorance

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When some people encounter deaf people, they tend to jump to unfair conclusions. As deaf people may have trouble understanding communication, they may be dismissed as ignorant or stupid. Unlike many other disabilities, deafness is mostly invisible, making it less likely for people to recognize that they do have a disability. People may believe that they are only pretending to not listen to them during conversations when in fact they really cannot hear the person properly.

Isolation And Discrimination

“Stigma appears to play a role in-group formation, particularly in minority group formation,” Megan A. Jones, Ph.D. said. Because of the communication hurdles of being deaf or hard of hearing, people who have auditory problems are usually forced into relative isolation. They have a harder time in social interactions than other people. Some people also believe they will be less likely to provide adequate work, less productive than other people, or be a nuisance.  As a result, they may be glossed over during job applications, refused admission into social circles, or even refused entry into establishments.

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Due to their disability, the deaf may be unable to enjoy amenities other people can enjoy. Many people do not go with the trouble of ensuring their products and services are accessible to the deaf. As a result, the deaf community is further isolated from a society that does not seem to care about them.

Empowerment

However, times are changing. Governments are passing and enforcing laws that ban discrimination against the deaf.  People with auditory problems are starting to form their social groups. They are speaking out for their rights, alongside their loved ones and other supporters who are fighting for greater inclusion. Many are also getting adequate help from platforms like BetterHelp, which allows them to get their message across digitally.

To be able to confront the stigma that surrounds them, they can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their struggles and that they are part of a caring and supportive community. Gaylene Becker, Ph.D. explains that “deaf identity and the development of a social support system are two factors that intervene positively in the management of stigma.” Finally, they need to realize that their disability does not reduce their fundamental humanity. Deaf or otherwise, they are still people who can surpass their limits and reach for their dreams.

Issues Of The Hearing Impaired (Is Therapy Done By A Deaf Mental Health Professional Too?)

Being part of the hearing impaired community is challenging as you are faced with a lot of challenges like prejudice and stigma. Not only that; but those who are deaf also suffer from mental health concerns. Mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and anxiety are some of the disorders that they are facing every day.

“They certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

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People who are hearing impaired also find it difficult to communicate with their care providers as sometimes, lip reading isn’t enough. Communication gap is the issue, and there are only a few providers who are equipped with sign language. How can they be fully understood when they cannot express themselves vocally, or the people they are trying to communicate with have limited skills? Even those with a voice find it hard to process their emotions. What more with those who are hearing impaired?

“Prior to diagnosis and learning that their child may be deaf, parents often have difficulty understanding the needs of their baby,” writes Robert T Muller Ph.D.

The Hearing Impaired Community And Their Issues

About 15-26% of the population will experience hearing loss but to be deaf even before learning the spoken language is such a challenge. Nearly seven in 10,000 people are part of this population and their only way to communicate is sign language.

In the world today, wherein the hearing is a valuable sense, struggling to fit in and functioning well along with stress and prejudice may lead to developing mental health issues like depression or substance abuse. There are also hearing impaired students who also suffer from developmental delays and ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, among others. Deaf children who have difficulty in communicating with their families can also be affected by mental health issues. What’s worse is that these children are also more likely to be bullied in school and become a victim of sexual assault.

“Deaf and hard-of-hearing populations experience abuse about one and a half times more frequently than those without hearing difficulties,” writes Mellissa Withers, Ph.D., M.H.S.

Communication Needed, But Scarce

 

People who are hearing impaired find it difficult to obtain mental health services. This is a fact. In a small study with 54 respondents, more than half weren’t able to see and access the services that they needed.

 

There are also times when deaf people with mood disorders are under-diagnosed due to the following:

 

  • Lack of experienced sign language interpreters
  • Translation challenges between spoken and sign language
  • Differentiation in how deaf people display their feelings to a mental health professional

 

You can’t also substitute reading and writing for spoken language. Hearing loss can significantly affect the vocabulary. Lip reading isn’t accurate either with only 26-40% of adults being able to lip read.

 

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How To Access Mental Health Services

 

Deaf people who participated in the studies said that they prefer deaf professionals to give them mental health services. The problem is that there are not many hearing impaired specialists out there to cater to the community. In case you run out of ideas, you may try chatting with a BetterHelp psychologist.

 

Differences That Must Be Noted

 

Mental health professionals should also know how to differentiate when a deaf person shows their feelings as compared to those who are not hearing impaired. For people who can hear, pounding on the floor may seem like an act of aggression, but for deaf people, this is a standard way to get attention. Those who are hearing impaired also rely on showing strong expressions of feelings as these small details indicate their change of mood. This must be noted.

 

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What Is The Remedy For The Hearing Impaired With Mental Health Issues?

 

A study concluded that people who cannot hear have a fear of being wrongly committed even though they were asking for directions or another situation since there are communication barriers. The participants in the study stated that there are times when they were misdiagnosed. With that, the best people to assist those who are deaf with mental health issues must also be hearing impaired, as well. The National Association of the Deaf has more information on this matter. As such, professionals who have little to no experience with working on people who are hearing impaired should be careful with their diagnosis.

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.

Source: pexels.com

 

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.

Source: pixabay.com

 

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.