In our final article regarding Deafness for this month, we will focus on do’s and don’ts within the Deaf Culture.
- Don’t say, handicapped, differently abled, retarded or abnormal, use the word “disability.”
- Don’t say suffer from, living with, instead say, a person with disabilities.
- Don’t say “dumb”, “dummy”, “mute” or “hearing impaired”, instead, use the word “Deaf.” A medical doctor may diagnose a person who is Deaf as “Hearing impaired” which is acceptable, but not in regular use as this offends the members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. They see the term “Hearing impaired” as a medical condition. Hence, the acceptance from a medical doctor.
- When signing or interpreting to the deaf community do so without the use of gloves. Members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community use their hands to speak. Their hands are their “Mouths”. When you cover your hands with gloves, they see it as covering their mouths. Please sign or interpret without gloves.
- Don’t use abstract words around members of the deaf community. Their learning curve is totally different from that of someone who is hearing. For example, don’t say, “The human race”. A race for members of the Deaf Community is something you run, so when it’s used in a sentence, they are confused.
- Members of the Deaf Community don’t like reading that much because they are mainly visual. They prefer seeing things. The use of interpreters is much more appreciated than captions.
We hope these articles were of great benefit to you, as you interact with members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. Just a reminder that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a church for members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community located on the property of the Portmore Church at 7 Port Henderson Road in Portmore, St. Catherine. Pastor C. Morgan and Elder L. McLeish would be more than willing to welcome you at the Church as we all interact with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.