How to meet a deaf person
By Belinda G. Vicars, MA In a thread today, we were discussing interaction with the Deaf. I want to expand a little bit on that. Be forewarned, this article is long. Please note, however, that this is just one perspective, and what I have to say, is not necessarily the RULE. Multiple points of view from various native Deaf is always a good idea.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What to do When You Meet a Deaf/HoH Person ❤ Jessica Marie Flores ❤
Tips for Communicating with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People
Welcome to my world. This is probably the longest post of the series that I have to write part two. You can also read my previous experiences in and Sounds chaotic? It was. Instead, I was continuing to save money for my dream: a year-long backpacking trip. Finally, after finishing graduate school and saying goodbye to my family , I sought out the world to explore and meet several Deaf communities around the world.
Following the rest of this post and the sequel post, all countries are in chronological order:. Indonesia was where I officially began my long-term slow travel. I originally wanted to do solo traveling for the first couple of months, but my partner and I were in a long-distance relationship for a little over a year. Bandung was my next place after Jakarta, and local Deaf people in Jakarta told me that they know some Deaf people in Bandung.
Basically, the domino effect happened: Jakarta — Bandung — Yogyakarta — Bali. Our Deaf world is smaller than you think. Due to limited public transportation to visit attractions that are located far, the mother offered to drive me around for a day. I personally do not like to be guided by anyone as I like to take time on my own pace due to photography, videography and like to indulge the scenes.
Another was spending time with Deaf teachers and Deaf children at one of the eight schools in Bali. The only Deaf school that advocates and believes sign language is the key to language acquisition and development.
And as a personal experience, I strongly believe in this. There are even researches saying so. I was told by one of the Deaf Indonesian leaders that White Deaf leaders from other countries are sometimes really needed regardless. Have I missed something? Of course. I missed this Deaf-owned restaurant called, Fingerspelling. While settling down for a month in Kuala Lumpur and another month after India and Nepal , I had to a chance to meet new and familiar faces. A huge number of Deaf attendees came about 20 — 35 people?
It was kinda overwhelming, yet interesting nonetheless. And the biggest challenge? I have facial blindness aka prosopagnosia , yikes. One of the reasons for this is because they want to decolonize ASL influence and develop their own sign language. Just like how many Hearing people apologize for their English language skills, Deaf people generally apologize for their ASL skills. I found myself, again and again, reassuring them that they did not need to apologize to me.
Just like Hearing people, there are some cliches of a different group of Deaf people, having dramas and disliking one another. After a while, I decided that my time was valuable. Because of them, I learned the purpose of tossing the Yee Sang, different traditions and cultural beliefs.
International Sign or most sign languages truly broke the cultural barrier. One of the Deaf Malaysians in her late 50s even got me teared up as she gave me a speech and wished me great health and happiness. Her bright energy and free-spirited were refreshing to my heart and soul. She told me to call her, Mama Jo. I think it was partly due to feeling burned out and overwhelmed. I also almost met one of the Deaf leaders in India, named Alim who graduated Gallaudet University and currently advocating for the Deaf community there, but our schedule did not align.
I do certainly hope to meet him one day, somewhere. Ajay was completely open to answering my questions. Through his body language and the way he expressed, I can see his great love for India and proud to be Indian. He excitedly shared his culture, customs, and beliefs. Ajay emphasized that there are diverse cultures, traditions, and languages in India.
It happens in the USA and anywhere in the world. I was even threatened four times in the USA due to what happened to me at Holi festival. He traveled across different states in India, learning what the Deaf community there are dealing with, such as advocating for subtitles in films whereas it is more accessible in New Delhi , Deaf education and more. The couple is both Deaf, and I was beyond thrilled.
I love to see different cultural weddings or any other celebrations. A Deaf soon-to-be-married couple welcomed my friend, partner and I without hesitation. During the rituals before the wedding, the Deaf groom took some chances to explain the meanings of the rituals in Indian Sign Language ISL.
Ajay is one of the people that I am happy to know more than just at superficial levels. In fact, he planned to invite me to his own wedding 3 months ago but he knew I was ending my trip and already had a plan to go home.
How I would love to go! Although I still do have few regrets not taking up opportunities to explore India, it leads me to meet Ajay, get an invitation to a Deaf Indian wedding, befriending a Deaf guide and now a teacher in Jaipur. With better energy and preparation, I am looking forward to meeting more Deaf people and many more areas of India.
Instead of giving up, I just show up to a local Deaf organization or luckily enough to bump into some Deaf people in Nepal. A few dislikable experiences should not shun the community or the country. They also waited at the local immigration office, because they hoped that the process of extending my visa went smoothly.
Believe me, Nepal is such a beautiful country, and many Deaf people I met are good people, have good intentions and are generous. One of my Malaysian friends referred me to her Deaf Taiwanese in Taipei. When we first met, I can see his hands shaking. He was later feeling comfortable as I kept reassuring him that I am the visitor of his country. There is a strong persuasion of Oralism, especially in schools within the last 2 decades that affect some younger generation in different ways: social skills, identity crisis and emotional connection with their family members.
Some shared how they were struggling to accept who they are until they meet the Deaf community and began learning TSL, yet some do still believe that oralism still benefits them in some ways, such as obtaining jobs yet they still face discrimination. I engaged with her through gestures, Google Translation app, and sometimes her friends who know TSL interpret to her by speaking instead of signing.
Her eyes were bit watery when I told her that I have no doubt that she was experiencing hardships, perhaps fighting to belong in both worlds, and that her experiences are valid. Her friend, who know TSL, slowly opened up to me how she was learning more recently about the customs, beliefs, and controversies within our Deaf culture. This story, her story, is not a single story. There are so many similar stories like hers, so many ones around the world.
No doubt how it is for many of them, and these girls are just….. I also met the president of a local Deaf organization, named Mike, who attended Gallaudet University and believed that Deaf university gave him some strength and given him a path for him to make a difference in his own community. After sharing my experiences of meeting younger Deaf Taiwanese, he said that some Deaf Taiwanese people are timid and sometimes afraid to meet international Deaf travelers due to lack of English skills or ASL skills.
This is just insane to me but this also led me to unpack more of my own privileges. These are the stories of my almost first 8 months of traveling. About 4 countries including visiting Malaysia twice , it may seem so little for some travelers. The reason why was because I was slow traveling. I wanted to take care of my well-being, meet different people and take my time while fully immersing myself into their culture. Stayed tuned for part 2.
If you enjoy this post or want to share, you can hover the image on the left and repin! Hover the image on the left, you can repin this post if you can relate or enjoy this! Thanks for your take on meeting deaf people around the world.
With a hearing-impaired cousin, I fully understand the problem and welcome your positive comments on this matter. Keep up the good work. Hi Stacey, I am learning the sign language nowadays and I have come to realize how difficult it is for hearing-impaired people and the problems they face on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing. April 29, 3 Comments Welcome to my world. When I visited:. Where did I meet the deaf community:. Jarkata, Bandung, Yogyakarta and the island of Bali.
Malang, island of Sumatra, etc. What did I miss:. Fingerspellings, Deaf Village. Image description: a light-skinned Indonesian female with black square glasses and black hoodie is standing behind Stacey, who is wearing green raincoat and black scarf.
Both are smiling. Image description: Stacey is standing with "ILY" sign on the left, standing next to two Deaf Indonesian teachers, a male and female, and a Deaf Asian-American man who is tall and holding the camera.
Thank you, Deaf Indonesian community. Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu, etc.
7 top tips for communicating with deaf people.
Deafness is a fact of many people's lives -more than 28 million Americans have some form of hearing loss. Like their hearing counterparts, deaf used here, the word 'deaf includes all ranges of hearing impairment, from mild to profound. For a more complete definition see the 'vocabulary' section. Most deaf people don't view their deafness as a disability or as a problem that should be fixed. For many of them, it's a natural part of a cultural experience that they share with friends, both deaf and hearing.
I got a little unrequested message on Instagram who this young beautiful woman, named Sonia, from Italy. She introduced herself to me and asked whether I know any Deaf stores, clubs, etc. Sonia really caught my attention. She also tries to raise awareness about our Deaf culture while traveling. Not only does she share her stories and learning experiences on her Instagram posts and blog, but she also addressed about conscious travels.
Making Deaf Friends and Building Relationships
Most ASL classes have Deaf instructors. Your instructor can help you get involved in local Deaf events. To find an American Sign Language class near you look in the phone book or search online to contact local agencies, such as:. Find out about the Deaf Club and Deaf events in your area. There most likely are silent dinners, picnics, sporting events, and other Deaf social gatherings that you may attend. Reading about the experiences and perspectives of Deaf people is extremely informative. Take a look at these resources:. A fun way to interact with Deaf people and learn more sign language is to volunteer in schools with deaf children.
Never Do or Say These Things
Welcome to my world. This is probably the longest post of the series that I have to write part two. You can also read my previous experiences in and Sounds chaotic?
Communication can be a struggle for some deaf people, so we asked one of our hearing dog partners for some top tips on how best to speak with deaf people. Would you like to know more about us, our dogs and our amazing community? We have a free monthly e-newsletter that we send out to 30, of our fantastic friends. It would be great if you joined, too.
They need to see you. If you can, always go with the first option. That way you can look them in the eye—eye contact is super important—and signal your interest in saying something.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Deaf People Teach Us How To Flirt - Deaf People Tell - Cut
Are you interested in making more social connections in the deaf community? You may be deaf and want to expand your social circle, perhaps after moving to a new city. You may be a hearing person who wants to make deaf friends. Here are some resources that may help. These days, online is frequently the way deaf people and hearing people befriend each other.