Having someone who is hard of hearing or deaf in your family is definitely a challenge, especially if it is a situation you have to get used to out of the blue. My brother had a perfect hearing but, over time, developed a condition that gradually robbed him of his ability to detect any sort of sound. It was a tremendous shock for all of us. We had to make an effort to adapt and enable him to live an independent life – as he did before. The journey was not an easy one.
Learn about different kinds of sign language
Of course, the best way anyone who is deaf can communicate with others is through sign language. Still, the process is not quite as straightforward as it may at first appear. There is no universal lingua franca that could bridge the gap between speakers of different backgrounds. When trying to master the idiom, you should always focus on one that is tied to your own mother tongue. In the case of English, it is important to pick between the American and the British version. Chinese will more than a couple of different types, while German and Portuguese will be more centralized. If the deaf person is bilingual, they should master their first language before moving onto any others.
Take an online course & fully master sign language
After that is decided upon, the next step is to work hard on creating a solid foundation. Sign language isn’t too easy and any effort to learn it will take time and patience. It took us over a year to get to the point where we didn’t have to rely on written messages to communicate effectively. Attending a course or having lessons online could speed up the process. Before you start, you should assess your current level – whether you’re a total beginner or already have a few signs in your vocabulary. Focus on your goal and don’t give up. Your ability to communicate with a loved one depends on it.
Volunteer to help the deaf
Naturally, throughout your life, you will encounter more people living with deafness. Being able to communicate with them will be a true blessing. You may even decide to volunteer and help them a bit. It is no secret that individuals who have trouble hearing face numerous obstacles in their daily lives. Reaching out and offering a helping hand could make a huge difference. Today, you can connect with people online. I was lucky enough to find this selection of apps that have made my mission a lot easier.
Volunteering can indeed be an incredibly rewarding experience. Once you master sign language, I urge you o try it. You’d be surprised how good you will feel knowing that you’ve made someone’s life a little better.
Helping someone close to you cope with deafness is a great responsibility. If you are determined to make it easier for them, you should definitely consider learning sign language. Picking the right type and committing to regular practice will make your progress a lot smoother. After a while, you may even be able to help others living with deafness and volunteer to make their lives much brighter. Doing something good for those around you can feel very rewarding. Don’t miss your chance to make a difference.