Communication Tips: Deaf & Hard of Hearing
According to a study performed by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) in 2011, more than ten percent of adults aged 20-69 in the United States were diagnosed with hearing loss (Hoffman, Dobie, Losonczy, Themann, & Flamme, 2016a). While it is unknown as to how many of those adults identified as being a part of the American Deaf community, in recent years confirmed members of the community have made many breakthroughs on major platforms such as Hollywood and in the White House. They have used the limelight to make advances in the awareness of a largely overlooked population of people. Although movies like A Quiet Place only give a surface-level, and slightly fictional, perspective on what life is like for individuals who are Deaf and their family members, it is important to see this type of representation in a world dominated by hearing culture.
Because of a disconnect between the deaf-world and the hearing-world, hearing individuals may not know exactly how to communicate or interact with people who are deaf. Thus, the following communication tips have been suggested by the Deaf-Hearing Communication Center:
- Do not yell or talk loudly.
- Do not mumble.
- If the person prefers to use speech-reading, speak normally and avoid speaking too slow or too fast.
- Do not over emphasize your facial expressions or lip movements as this can reduce communication.
- Face the person and make eye contact when speaking.
Disability Services is a safe space on campus for Georgia State students who identify as a part of the deaf community. Following registration with Disability Services, students may have access to academic support services such as interpreting, captioning, assistive technology, and much more! Designated staff members and graduate assistants within the office are also available to provide academic coaching, per scheduling by the student.
To register with the Disability Services and learn more about the services provided to deaf and hard of hearing students, please stop by at the office to pick up the necessary paperwork to complete or visit the website which outlines the process and provides access to the required forms.
Hoffman, H. J., Dobie, R. A., Losonczy, K. G., Themann, C. L., & Flamme, G. A. (2016a). Declining Prevalence of Hearing Loss in US Adults Aged 20 to 69 Years. JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, 143(3), 274-285. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2016.3527