Why Connecting Members Of The Deaf And Hearing Communities Should Be A Priority
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why Connecting Members Of The Deaf And Hearing Communities Should Be A Priority

The practicality of sign language.

Why Connecting Members Of The Deaf And Hearing Communities Should Be A Priority
Author's photo

Everybody knows maybe one or two people that is either hearing impaired or deaf. Unfortunately, communication between the hearing and the hard-of-hearing (HH) or Deaf is not as strong as it should be. Interpreters are usually available only on demand and a lot of services taken for granted are inaccessible by Deaf or HH people. A Deaf customer might walk into a restaurant by him or herself and be unable to fully communicate what he or she wants to the waiter because the waiter does not understand sign language.

Even a basic understanding of sign language can really help out a Deaf or HH person. A good number of Deaf people are willing to help someone learning sign progress and increase his or her vocabulary. Knowing the sign language alphabet can be monumental in figuring out what the Deaf person wants or needs. Although the alphabet is a good starting point, most Deaf or HH people prefer to not fingerspell every single word.

Anybody and everybody runs the risk of becoming deaf or HH at some point in life. With loud music, occupational hazards, and old age, hearing can diminish exponentially. The best way to combat that is to learn sign language and have that as a backup if the use of speech and/or hearing becomes nullified.

When starting to learn sign, it is important to keep in mind that it is a simpler language. Signing every single word like Libby Ketterer on YouTube is grammatically incorrect by American Sign Language standards to the point that signing every word becomes its own quasi-language called PSE (Pigeon-Signed English). Although it is possible to get a point across using PSE, it runs the risk of annoying the Deaf or HH person. Nobody wants to stand around all day waiting for someone to finish a sentence because they are signing every word in a thirty word sentence when it can be easily summed up in ten signs.

Another use for knowing sign language is the fact that it allows communication outside of the normal range of hearing. Someone may be far enough away that they cannot be heard through vocal communication, but sign language can be understood from a distance. Sign language is also useful in the consideration of law enforcement or emergency services because it can continue communications if there is no way to speak in an emergency situation.

An important point to keep in mind when communicating through sign is the reality that sign is in no way charades. It is considered offensive to pretend to know sign and make ridiculous movements instead of forming coherent sentences using a set vocabulary created by the deaf community. Several scandals have been unearthed recently where a fake interpreter has been employed to sign at political or social events and all they have succeeded in doing is angering the members of the deaf community with their gibberish.

As a final point of why sign language is important for hearing, HH, and Deaf people is the way it opens doors of communication and culture that might otherwise be alienated from the members of the hearing world. The deaf community has a plethora of art and expressionary culture that can only be fully appreciated if there is a gateway of correspondence that has been established. Also, some members of the deaf community may not have had access to a proper education in sign language and can become cut off from both the hearing and the deaf worlds because of a lack of an understood language. And while this does not mean that they are incapable of communicating, it does mean that it causes many difficulties because of a "different dialect" of communication.

All in all, sign language is a very important and very useful language to know or at least to be able to understand. The power of language opens doors to many beautiful experiences and cultural acceptance and sign language is as important of a piece of the overall mosaic of languages of the world as any other form of communication. Taking the time to learn sign will not only benefit members of the hearing community, but it will also provide insight into the deaf community.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments