Are all Deaf people also Dumb?

Deaf people cannot hear and hence cannot speak. To call them “Dumb”, is considered incorrect as the word “Dumb” has a derogatory connotation. There is much difference between dumb and mute. Deaf people have a vibrant language and are capable in all spheres of life. At the work place they are:

  • Visually strong learners and workers
  • Hungry to prove themselves
  • Bring in fresh perspective
  • Can be a productive resource

Is sign language difficult to learn? How much time will it take?

No, it is not difficult to learn sign language. A two hour session is sufficient to learn basic words. A vocabulary of 30 to 40 signs is enough to be able to communicate at the initial stage.Deaf people are the best teachers of sign language and you learn to communicate better as you start working with them. Once you begin, you’d realise communicating in sign language encourages bonding and team spirit.

If I speak loudly, would the deaf person be able to hear?

No, a profoundly Deaf person will not be able to hear you irrespective of your volume. Some Deaf people can hear loud vibratory sounds such as banging of the door or bus honking.

Can they lip-read?

Every Deaf person cannot lip read. People who have lost their hearing at a later age in life, can often lip read. Profoundly Deaf people, having no background of the spoken language can often only lip read their family members as they get habituated to their lip movements over the years.

How difficult is it difficult for deaf people to establish a fulfilling work-life?

Hearing is faculty that is important for having a normal life. However, hearing can be replaced with other forms of communication to help give the deaf a chance to find a stable career in one of the mainstream industries today. Here are some highlights about work roles of deaf people -  The deaf are capable of being efficient and truly productive Their concentration levels are good and given the right environment they can be of great value add Companies with Deaf work force have reported

  • Enhanced sales
  •  Lesser attrition
  • Better work culture
  • Deaf team members are winning Best employee awards

Here are some things that employers pay attention to when employing deaf people -

  • Putting a buddy system in place by appointing a hearing team member to be the buddy for Deaf team members.
  • Creating visual training material with graphics, screenshots, pictures
  • Demonstrating work processes and allowing them to replicate what they see
  • Treating them as equal members of the team, completely capable of taking responsibility of their work
  • Applauding good performers and being firm with non-performers

Deaf people do not have a language, how will I communicate with them?

Communication is not only through spoken language!There are a variety of ways in which one can communicate with a Deaf person. You can start by – munication is not only through spoken language!There are a variety of ways in which one can communicate with a Deaf person. You can start by – Getting their attention by -

  • Gently tapping the shoulder
  • Waving in the visual periphery
  • Making eye contact

Some helpful tips to bear in mind -

  • Refrain from shouting into their ears
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact
  • Avoid extreme facial expressions
  • Don’t laugh when they are signing