In our previous blog post, we shared with you the background of Deaf Awareness Week and its importance. In this post we’ve gathered some helpful tips that you can use to promote deaf awareness among your practice and community.
Erase Stereotypes: As many of you are already well aware, one of the most important things you can do to be an advocate for deaf awareness within your business and community is to debunk popular myths and misconceptions related to the deaf community, such as:
1) All Deaf people sign.
Reality: It comes down to ability and interest to sign for each individual. It could be that the deaf individual was encouraged/discouraged to sign or they picked it up later in life.
2) It is not safe for Deaf people to drive.
Reality: Deaf people can drive, in fact, research has shown that deaf or hard of hearing people are better drivers than hearing people and get into less accidents.
3) Sign language is universal.
Reality: Sign language is not universal, just like every country has its own language, they have their own native sign language, as well.
Deaf awareness week celebrates the culture, background and language unique to deaf people. It is a great opportunity for you and your patients to discover the different types of support groups, events and education programs and resources available.
Support Groups: These groups offer advocacy, education, referrals, resources and support surrounding deafness. Here are some examples:
Conference and symposiums: Events build and broaden awareness and education, it’s a chance to strengthen and broaden the discussion around the Deaf community, for practitioners and patients alike. Here are some examples:
Educational Options: There are many options your patients may consider when it comes to deaf education – including personality, communication style, location, and environment. One of the most important ways to help them is to encourage research and speak with those in the field. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is a great resource to share as they get started.
We want to hear from you — how are you participating in Deaf Awareness Week and creating more awareness for your patients?