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
- Provide front row seating for the interpreter and the person who is deaf.
- Provide a certified sign interpreter for church service or special meetings
- Purchase assistive listening devices (ALDs) for those who are hard of hearing
Sign Language Interpreter
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.