Jim Davidson Photo Jim Davidson
Executive Secretary
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Interacting with People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
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T In 2005, the SIPP (Survey of Income and Program Participation) reported that 1 in 20 Americans are currently deaf or hard of hearing (with 10 million persons hard of hearing and close to 1 million functionally deaf). More than half of all persons with hearing loss or deafness are 65 years or older and less than 4% are under 18 years of age.Hearing losses range from mild to severe and influence the way a person communicates. People who are deaf do not consider themselves to be disabled, rather, they are a culture. Only 20% can understand lip-reading. American Sign Language is an official language for the deaf. Positive etiquette for persons who have hearing disabilities include the following:

Communicating
  • If the person is deaf, tap them on the shoulder or arm to get their attention
  • Look at the person rather than the interpreter (if present)
  • Don’t cover your mouth while speaking
  • Speak at a moderate pace. Do not exaggerate your words
  • If an interpreter isn’t available, use pen and paper to communicate
  • Reduce background noises when conversing
  • Call your state relay service to make contact with a person who is deaf and has a TDD or TTY system in their home
    • Speak directly to the relay service operator who will type your words to the person you are calling
Assisting
  • Provide front row seating for the interpreter and the person who is deaf.
Accessibility Changes
  • Provide a certified sign interpreter for church service or special meetings
  • Purchase assistive listening devices (ALDs) for those who are hard of hearing
Logos
 
Assistive Listening
Assistive Listening
Sign Language Provided
Sign Language Interpreter
TTY TDD
TTY/TDD
 


Resources

Southern Deaf Fellowship
Organized in 2005 as the first deaf church for Seventh-day Adventists and provides sermons in ASL.

Three Angels Deaf Ministry
A nonprofit ministry focused on sharing Jesus with deaf people, nurturing deaf members, and education those who hear about deaf ministry and interacting with deaf people.