Disability Etiquette – Communicating with Deaf/HoH individuals

May 17, 2010 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

Grandparents “Lisa” has communication barriers with her grandparents. The grandparents want to communicate with her but they do not know how to sign. They rely on Lisa’s mother as an interpreter, but Lisa does not like it at all. Even though she loves them, she was relieved when she went to Gallaudet University because she knew she would not see her grandparents much. It really bothers her to have no communication with them.

How can the family solve the communication barriers?

It is imperative to get Lisa involved with family communication, but how can her grandparents learn how to sign? It is often not easy for older people to learn to sign.

 There are many different methods:

  •  Lisa can sign back to her grandparents what they write on notes to her. They will gradually pick up some of the signs as they try to communicate with each other. 
  • Lisa’s grandparents can hire a qualified interpreter to communicate with her if the topic is critical and important. 
  • The grandparents can use an ASL dictionary when they talk to Lisa. This will make her feel that she is an important part of the family.

The grandparents show a positive attitude and acceptance that she is deaf. Lisa will then be able to see them more frequently without any bitter feelings or avoidance.

By Doreen Solar, ECNV Deaf Peer Mentor


Entry filed under: Deaf/HoH -- Vlog. Tags: , , , .

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