Communication in the Deaf Community
Some of you may already know a few things about communication with a deaf person or in their community, but there are a lot of things a lot of hearing people do not know or never known about in the deaf community. Let get start with the history→

The language is called sign language it has been around for a long time. But do you know what being deaf was like without a language without communication in the early centuries?

American life caused a lot of problems for those who were deaf. Doctors did not understand and no one knew anything about deaf or sign language due to there weren't any resources there were no books, no classes, no internet nothing. It badly influenced them emotionally, and mentally.

It all changed in the 16th Century when an Italian physician named Geronimo Cardano believed that the deaf community should be taken cared of and education on how to communicate with the world. He said that deaf can be taught to communicate their thoughts and ideas through pictures and symbols rather than words and phrases if we help them it can make a difference.


The idea of educating the deaf took off like wildfire and spread out. It began in French Paris, in 1755, Abbe Charles Michel de L'Epee created the first sign language school that was at no cost to the students. His ideas led to the creation of fingerspelling, and gestures that represented whole phrases or words.

In the following years, deaf schools opened up in New York and Pennsylvania, with a total of 22 schools across the United States by 1863. In 1864, the biggest deaf community occurred in Washington, D.C. The only liberal arts college for the deaf in the U.S. and world was founded. The college was appropriately named Gallaudet University, after Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Today it is a very popular college that helps deaf people so much to be ready and prepare for the real world after graduation. Today ASL is the fourth most spoken language in the U.S!!! But just because our language is so popular don't mean everything is 100% great for the deaf community in communication there are a lot of negatives we experienced. The negative issues in deaf Communication in different places still happens today.

  • Family: If you're a deaf child surrounded by hearing members in the family that knows little to zero sign language you would understand its very hard an emotional break down not to be able to communicate with your family members. Even holidays in a group it is very difficult due to being left out of place and ignored. If we ask what are you all talking about the hearing person says oh I will tell you later excuses. We tend to hear that being said then it doesn't happen they don’t tell us anything or involves us. About 92% of Deaf children are from families with two hearing parents, and 8% have at least one Deaf or hard of hearing parent. Only 4% of children have two Deaf parents. The high percentage of Deaf children with hearing parents is significant for several reasons. Although sign language may be the most logical choice for a student who cannot hear a spoken language, most hearing parents with a Deaf child do not know sign language. Some researchers suggest that “young deaf children of hearing parents do not have any truly accessible and competent language models, either for sign language or for spoken language. I am so lucky I have a family who knows a little bit of signing, but it isn’t easy when in am in a group dinner no one uses sign language to communicate when I am there it’s like ok “I AM INVISIBLE TO YOU ALL!” It really hurts and a lot of us deaf experience it which is why we tend to hang with our deaf friends more than our hearing family. If you ever have a deaf family member or ever have a child or family member whose deaf please LEARN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE for them to be able to communicate with you because it’s not right and not fair to them who are deaf feeling like they don’t belong in the family, feel unloved, feel like no one cares, being left out of place, feeling lonely and got no one to turn to not even anyone that would understand them in their own family.


  • Cops: Dealing with cops is very hard for us due to they would refuse to get a sign language interpreter, don’t listen or understand us and gets very impatient with us include misunderstanding. They also don't really tell us anything.

  • Education: Blame the schools on the low education they didn’t teach us enough or well enough sadly and let us out of school early into the real world when we have no idea about things. Which is why we don't know how to read well, or write perfectly and have bad grammars. But it's not our fault. Sadly today people make fun of our grammars and writing even reading we get misunderstand we also don't make senses when we write. It is because children who were born deaf even born into a deaf family or went to school for the deaf teach them ASL that's their first language. They get confused by ASL and ENGLISH which means they write in ASL and take out the verb in writing when not supposed to. For example "Favorite mine me hurt love. When it should: It is my favorite, but love hurts me." Which explains why our English isn't the best. Someone once told me go open up a dictionary because my grammar wasn't perfect and that hurt my feelings.

  • Drive thru: To get food by drive through is very difficult because we can’t speak through the speakers and can’t hear it.

  • Hearing trying to speak to us-->When someone try to talk to us from behind is difficult because when someone behind us tries to grab our attentions by talking and not know were deaf it ends up as ok “YOU'RE RUDE and IGNORANCE” It's very hurtful and not our fault so it tends to be taken the wrong way by misunderstanding. There's also when someone comes up to you not know your deaf and keep talking blah until you say you’re deaf they go oh and leave stop talking to you. When a hearing ask you to call them on the phone to hear your voice and you can’t due to deaf which they don’t know until you tell them the person stops talking to you because of your deafness. VERY RUDE!

  • Hospitals a big problem today they don’t always get us a certificate sign language interpreter not even anything to use to communicate and it is hard for us to write down when doctors and nurses use words we don’t know and don’t understand. Which leaves us alone and confused. They don’t ever tell us anything either. Here is a video for an example from Switched at Birth tv show. It is a big problem today they don’t always get us a certificate sign language interpreter not even anything to use to communicate and it is hard for us to write down when doctors and nurses use words we don’t know and don’t understand. Which leaves us alone and confused. They don’t ever tell us anything either. Here is a video for an example from Switched at Birth tv show.


  • Jobs getting a job can be very challenging for us because no one wants to hire us due to our deafness due to communication and they do not want to hire and pay for interpreter due to they don’t want to waste money but that is very wrong and against the ADA LAW. They would say we aren’t against disability which is false they are. Once we apply they don’t call back. Why? Because they throw away our application in the trash.

How do we communicate with you?

  • Body Language
  • Lips readingimages.jpg(but not everyone is a lip reader or professional one)
  • Old fashion paper and pen
  • Laptop, phone, Ipad typing
  • Videophone it like a webcam alike skype, facetime, oovoo, but a phone for the deaf where there’s an interpreter in background voicing for u and signing back to the deaf person. There is also where deaf can see deaf on cam and talk to one and another. It's very popular right now. I think it would benefit greatly for jobs if jobs hire more deaf people business could increase money. We also use a videophone to set up our Dr appts or make phone bill calls etc. Do all deaf communicate in the same way? Different communication sign languages around the world, and body language.

  • No, deaf people communicate differently there are some who doesn’t know ASL at all they took oral went to all hearing schools which is very hard. They had a lot of speech therapy (which I’ve had) Then others lip read. There are those who use sign language with no voice and those who sign and use their voice which that one is me. There are 25 different sign languages all over the world so that is right not only hearing has their many different speaking languages because deaf does too. Same as we have our own culture just like you have your culture. We use body language to communicate sometimes such as baby, drink, cat, heart, you, me, dance, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and sleep they are easy.

  • About sign language in body language: did you know Baseball is the first sport that used our language to communicate to their players without voices? That made big history in sports. Deaf players are popular for baseball. There was our first deaf player named William Ellsworth Hoy from late 1800 who made history in baseball then it went on spreading to other sports. Hoy taught sign language to his boss and co-players it starts being used for silent signals. Luther Taylor is another deaf who helped the Giants win in 1904-1905. There was also Edward Dundon became the first professional deaf umpire. All of them had a positive communicate influence over the development of baseball sign language.

dummy hoy targa field Gallaudet University.jpg

The positive today is that more and more things are getting better for the deaf with communication, but I am praying it gets better with JOBS, COPS, EDUCATION, HOSPITALS, FAMILY little at a time, but good news is some things got better there is a foundation for the deaf and parents who are hearing to learn ASL and materials resources on what to do to get help that is needed by Nyle Dimarco the first deaf AMERICAN TOP MODEL winner, there's closed caption in theaters, there is machines hospitals can use with interpreter service, there have been tv shows with deaf people in it even movies, there is a deaf rapper and recently had a deaf musician named Mandy who won American got talent show and for a lot more to improve it will take time to grow with voices we need hearing people to support us and join us for DEAF EQUAL RIGHTS.

Body Language

Communicating non verbally through conscious or unconscious movements, gestures, and expressions.


Universal Gestures:

*Sneering- For attack or defense.

Dick-Cheney Sneer.jpg
dog growl.jpg

*Head nod- Yes (except in Bulgaria (No) & Japan (I hear you but may not agree)).


*Shoulder shrug- "I don't know."


Cultural Communication Guessing Game

  • World cultures have different ways of communicating.

  • The same body language, gestures, hand movements, eye contact mean different things to different cultures.

  • A, C, & L below are used differently in lots of cultures.

  • How many different meanings from you can assign to each gesture, below, or can you name a country you know has a different meaning than the U.S. meaning?

  • 1 point for every correct, alternative meaning. >15 points- you're doing well!





Japanese Communication

* In Japan, people do not touch each other, in public, not even married people hold hands or kiss.


* The American "Ok" sign means money, in Japan.

* If you use it while talking, a Japanese person could think you want a bribe.

* Nose blowing is rude- spit or snort, instead.

* "Japanese are unimpressed at the English custom of men wearing a handkerchief in their jacket top pocket. This is the equivalent of proudly dangling a roll of toilet paper from the pocket, ready for action" (Pease 118).


For communication, your mission is to teach us about how another population inter act with each other. Examples:
Pick a country ( Germany, India, Spain, Mexico) and share the customs of how to greet someone, hand gestures, dating practices. Should I visit the country how do I make sure I am not offensive to the people. OR you can choose people who are blind, hearing impaired, autistic, chair bound, how do you communicate with them? After the presentation, students should be more comfortable when communicating with these diverse groups and have an appreciation of the culture.

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