The International Week of Deaf People has been celebrated during the last full week of September. This year’s theme for the International Week of Deaf People is “Celebrating Thriving Deaf Communities”.
In celebration of this week, below are some tips that would be helpful for you in interacting with deaf people around you.
Things you should never do/say to a deaf and hard-of-hearing person:
Deaf and hard-of-hearing people are underrepresented, which is why the community has continued to experience forms of discrimination in their everyday lives.
Never ASSUME that they can’t do something just because they are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Asking a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to read your lips or write when s/he has indicated this is offensive.
Never approach deafness as a TRAGEDY. Don’t be sorry! Deafness isn’t a disease or an illness.
Never tell a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to “tone down” their FACIAL EXPRESSIONS because they are making others uncomfortable.
Don’t SHOUT while trying to communicate with a deaf or hard-of-hearing person. They can’t hear, right? So why would you speaking louder make a difference?
Don’t talk to the interpreter. While the interpreter may be a very nice person, remember you are talking to the person with hearing problems, not them.
We shouldn’t have to say this, but WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION happens a lot. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people should be given equal opportunity in the workplace.