Communicating effectively with a deaf person

For a hearing impaired person, as important as solving or alleviating their deafness, is their inclusion in society, is to be able to communicate with other non-deaf people.

One of the ways of communication with deaf people is using the American Sign Language (ASL). It is common to see on television an interpreter of ASL gesticulating, doing the signs with the hands to translate what is being spoken. Besides ASL, many deaf people can also read lips.

For those who do not know sign language, there are some tips to help a deaf person communicates with you:

  • Speak clearly, looking at the person, and try to make your mouth visible. Lightly tap the arm or shoulder so the deaf person realizes you want to talk to her. Keep eye contact until the conversation is over.
  • Just raise your voice or speak slowly if the deaf person asks. Otherwise, speak normally, with volume and speed you are used to.
  • Be expressive. Hearing impaired will not be able to hear the nuances of irony or seriousness in your voice, but they will be able to understand your facial expressions, movements of your body or gestures.
  • If you do not understand what a deaf person wants to tell you, it is polite to ask to repeat. If it is very difficult to understand, ask him to write to you.
  • Even if a deaf person is accompanied by an interpreter, speak to the deaf, never to the interpreter.

IMPORTANT: Do not pass between people talking through signals, it hinders the conversation and may even prevent people from communicating.


4 thoughts on “Communicating effectively with a deaf person”

  1. I have read a little of each post for my critique of your blog, and right away I can tell you have an extreme passion for the deaf community. I admire your passion and really hope it continues. Are you going to keep your blog going after the semester is over? (cs5711)


  2. I really liked this post! Educating people about what is polite and proper when communicating with someone who has impaired hearing makes people more comfortable communicating without fear of offense. I like the way you described being animated in your expressions. It is the same as communicating with someone who speaks a different language, because that’s all it really is at the end of the day.


  3. Awesome website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Appreciate it!|


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