For most, if not all d/Deaf and hard of hearing people, social events can be an awkward one and a difficult one at the same time.
If everyone is talking and the environment is not right, then it’s very easy to feel secluded and left alone.
But what if you, as a hearing person, want to prevent that? (And kudos to you for wanting to do that). How can you help to make a d/Deaf/hard of hearing person feel included, at least as much as possible?
Watch the video below…
…listen to the podcast…
or read the transcripts below to learn more.
How do you make a deaf person feel included?
I’m mainly talking about in a social environment, which is always a tricky situation to be for a deaf person and more often than that it’s easy for them and us and myself to feel left out in those occasions.
So maybe you want to effect that. Maybe you want to get around that and maybe you want to make sure that that person feels included.
What I want to share with you is five simple tips that can help you to do that.
1. Be aware and considerate
And I want to begin by, first of all, being aware and considerate of that person’s feeling because you can feel left out in a crowded room. You know you can feel like a lonely person in a crowded room.
Being aware of that is a great first step and then that begins the interaction and the inclusion and making that person being feeling and part of that group.
But then there are other things that you need to be aware of. Like for example, concentration fatigue is a big thing and I’ve talked about that many times and you can check it out in the description.
What is Concentration Fatigue?
And How Can it Affect Deaf/Hard of Hearing People?
But concentration is simply where a deaf person have to use extra chronic energy and brain energy and brain power to just focus intensely on what that other person is saying.
And eventually you can get very, very tired from doing that.
So even just being aware of that is great because maybe you can overcome that by doing other things, which I will explain in a minute, but also if that person has to leave for whatever reason, then another way for you to understand why that person has to leave.
2. Use technology or pen and paper to get your points across
And again, the other thing you can do is to make sure that you have simple things like either pen and paper to pass on information or to explain things better.
Or maybe even just to say one word that they couldn’t pick up or even use technology like your phone to type it out.
And that is something that can be very useful because again, maybe you can be able to hear a number of things but the one word that I just can’t hear very, very well.
So maybe if you type it out or write it down, that’s also okay as well.
3. Consider being in a quieter environment
Number three is to, maybe, consider being in a quieter environment. There’re two ways of doing that.
a) One is, maybe, to see if there is a quieter room in that same venue because if there’s a quieter room then everyone can benefit from that.
Everyone can have a good conversation. It could be even outside the venue, like maybe it has like a a patio or a garden area or a private area where it’s under a gazebo or something.
It could be separate from the venue, but it’s still linked to that venue. It could be a room, it could be outside, it could be anywhere.
b) And the other thing as well to even consider going to a different place completely because if it’s a small group example, then it’s even easier if it’s a conference bit more tricky.
But if it’s a small group meeting for example, think about if a restaurant is too noisy or cafe, what about going for a picnic?
It’s a nice environment, it’s a good weather why don’t we just go for a picnic?
It’s just a nice thing to do. Sociable, it’s quiet, lovely weather in the sun, fresh air. Everyone can benefit from that, but of course it’s not always possible, it’s if the weather permitted.
So maybe you want to think about going to another place where it’s more known to be quieter. It’s more known to be easy to be able to talk to other people because it’s not like a noisy bar on a Friday night or Saturday night where it just gets quite loud, I suppose.
So that’s another thing you can consider as well.
4. Learn the principles of communicating to d/Deaf or hard of hearing people
And then also you can think about different way you can communicate with that person.
Now I know I said five different ways, but really you can learn how to communicate to a deaf person and there is a separate post I put it together.
Again you can check it out and just caption and it will give you some tips on how you can communicate with a deaf person.
How to Communicate With a Deaf Person?
14 Simple Tips to Help You and the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
For example, simple things like make sure that you are in area with good lighting so that you can lip read, make sure that you are facing that person.
And again to lip read: don’t shout, don’t exaggerate your lips movement.
Leaving all these things combined together could make a big difference in me being able to understand you and for other people also to understand you.
So check it out in description in to learn how to communicate with deaf people as well.
5. Just ask
And then finally, ask. You should just ask that person as well because every deaf person is different and they require different things.
And that’s okay because everyone has their own different level of what they can hear or can’t hear and maybe they’re able to cope in one scenario and not in another scenario.
Everyone is different so there’s no harm in asking really. And asking, “is this okay? Is it not? Are you able to hear things or you are not? What do you need? What do you not need?”
All these things.
Because if you make assumptions, first of all, you might get too far ahead of yourself. You might even, lets just say, you might even bring in an interpreter with you and just to help.
While that might sound quite nice, not all of us require interpreter, sign language interpreter. I don’t. I don’t even speak sign language.
So that’s not going to work.
But at the same time before assuming you might not have been doing enough, even though you have your best intention, but you assume that this is it, this is what that person require and it’s enough.
But it’s not enough.
So ask. Ask of the simple things to do and that might be able to cover a lot of things and you don’t have to worry about it too much.
And that’s it. That’s how you can make a deaf person feel included. I hope that makes sense.
If it doesn’t, let me know in a comment. Let me know, reach out to me and I’d love to be able to help you out as well.
In the meantime, I hope you’ve learned something.
I hope you enjoyed it and I will speak to you again soon.
- The power of non-verbal communication & how deaf people depends on it - August 5, 2020
- My personal viewpoint on the definition of deaf* - July 30, 2020
- Hearing privilege: What is it and why it’s important to acknowledge them? - July 23, 2020