Pro tip for those that can hear: don't over-enunciate when you're talking to a deaf person.
Filmmaker Rachel Soudakoff has created an eye-opening video that gives you a glimpse into what a normal day is like for a deaf person. In the five-minute video, you’ll follow Ren, a deaf college student, as she navigates a day packed full of misunderstandings. The video also illustrates how one could treat those with hearing disabilities in a much kinder way.
Here are a few tips for communicating with deaf people from Emma, blogger at These Deaf Eyes.
-- When someone says to you, “I’m Deaf,” they do NOT mean “I have no interest in talking to you.” Deaf people communicate with hearing people on a daily basis without an interpreter. We know ways around it.
-- When we ask you to repeat something, don’t say, “Nevermind.” This may be my number one pet peeve, and many of my deaf friends say the same thing. Dismissing us like that is really annoying.
-- If you do know a bit of sign language, don’t be afraid to use it. I know in public it can be embarrassing. “Everyone stares at me!” Welcome to our world.
-- Look at us when we talk. Lip-reading is a pain sometimes, but it does help.
-- DON’T YELL! It does way more harm than help, and frankly, it makes you look silly.
-- Don’t freak out when/if we touch you. Touching is part of deaf culture. I don’t mean inappropriately, but tapping on the shoulder to get attention, a hand on an arm, or giving a hug. It’s natural for us. We don’t mean to scare you or invade your personal space.
-- Know that we really appreciate it when you take the time to communicate with us. We’re people too, and are not always treated as such.