Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the authors and do not . question, with hearing people, repeating the question a second time, maybe a bit louder, Talk about this: When meeting a Deaf person, what did you first?. So, meeting deaf people could be nerve-racking at the first time since Shouting .. tsk, tsk.. if you do, we would think we pissed you off or you. Not all deaf people feel this way about being deaf, but many do. Just as you would not ask someone you are meeting for the first time if they have always been.
Mountain Mama: What To Do When You Meet A Deaf Person
What would you do? Eye contact is a good way to do that… if possible, you could use a small wave or light touch to attention. Stay in their area of vision: You should be a bit further away than normal speaking distance like about 3 to 6 feet, so they could see your gestures, if meet people who sign.
If you meet people who are deaf but talk, be close to them so they can hear you while you speak, so that could make a huge difference.
Speak in your normal voice and tone: So be patient with us then, we will be patient with you. No gum in your mouth… you know why! Quiet room is a must for people like me!
To be honest, it would be hard for us to lip read if you have beard… maybe you should shave them just kidding. Try to establish the core of what you are going to talk about: Once they know what topic and it is easier for them to follow your conversation.
Keep in mind that some deaf people do not have very good English because they have never clearly heard English and perhaps because their native language is sign language.
Etiquette Tips for interacting Deaf people | Crystine's Cochlear Implant
One way to make communication easier as well as to start learning sign language is to learn how to finger spell the alphabet. Then you can at least spell out key words without having to find something to write on. Often, when referring to being culturally Deaf, the word is capitalized, and when referring to people with hearing loss in general, it is not capitalized as not all people with hearing loss interact with the Deaf community.
Very few deaf people have been absolutely deaf without any perception of sound their whole lives. Many people who are "Deaf" by culture are medically "hard of hearing," meaning they have a certain degree of hearing ability. However, some Deaf people understandably refrain from disclosing that they can hear some sound for fear their hearing counterparts will assume they can hear more than they actually do. A good rule of thumb is to assume the person cannot hear you unless the deaf person tells you they can.
Some people become deaf after speaking their whole lives. Just because a person can speak does not mean they are not deaf.
Interacting with Deaf People
Then sometimes I get a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach, like something doesn't feel right. Looking up, I'm startled to see someone standing so close to me, looking a little irritated at me. I realize at the moment they must have been talking to me and I do the gesture, 'point at ears and shrug'. When the person understands I can't hear, they get all sympathetic and apologize. Most of the time, they walk away, never to return and even to the point of avoiding me.
Sometimes, I'll get the occasional beginner signer that wants to practice with me-- "I know sign language!!
Look--" then they proceed to finger spell very slowly, "m Don't get me wrong, I AM glad that they are learning sign language and I know they need to practice to keep improving and sign faster, but when I am shopping, you are intruding on my time. You have no idea if I am in a hurry and do you do that to hearing customers??
I have been to restaurants and instead of telling the waiter or waitress what I want, I point at the menu. It is unbelievable how many times I have gotten dirty looks and the roll of the eyes!
Maybe hearing people don't realize how expressive their faces can be, but Deaf people rely on facial expressions and we can usually tell how you feel just by the look on your face, no matter what your words may be saying. There is nothing more frustrating for me to have the waiter start telling me what the special is, going on and on, all his words falling on deaf ears, even after I told him I am deaf.