Here are 5 tips for communicating with the deaf:
- Use the words 'I' and 'you' when communicating through an interpreter, not “Tell him...” or “Does she understand?”.
- Avoid standing in front of a light source, such as a window or bright light. The glare and shadows created on the face make it almost impossible for the deaf person to speechread.
- Use pantomime, body language, and facial expression to help supplement your communication. A lively speaker always is more interesting to watch.
- Use hands-on experience whenever possible in training situations. Like other people, deaf people learn quickly by "doing". What may be difficult to communicate verbally may be explained easily by a hands-on demonstration.
- Never give up or say “I’ll tell you later”. Deaf people will tell you their pet hate is when someone says “I’ll tell you later”. They want to be involved just like everyone else, so if one method doesn’t work, try texting on your phone, emailing, or good old fashioned pen and paper.
For some cute inspiration, take a look at how this deaf child communicates with an abandoned dog her family took in.
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