Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tips on Meeting Deaf-Blind

Hello again! I'm sorry, I know it has been a long time since i have written in my blog, but life happens sometimes!

Last night I went the the Deaf Advisory Committee for the Illini Deaf and learned so much on the Deaf-Blind community. I wanted to let you all know what I learned so that maybe we can all pass this information on to the people who have yet to know.

1. Treat the deaf-blind person as you treat anyone else. Always be natural - never patronizing in your questions and your actions.
2. Address a deaf-blind person directly, not through someone else. Speak by forming the letters of the manual alphabet distinctly while he or she holds one hand lightly over yours to feel the position of your fingers. be careful to move your fingers directly from the position of one letter to the next and pause slightly between words. If deaf-blind persons are unfamiliar with the manual alphabet, you can print capital letters in their palm. be sure to pause between words.
3. Use the words "see," and "hear," or "blind" naturally, without hesitation if your conversation calls for them.
4. Let the deaf-blind person know when you enter or leave the room. Always say who you are.
5. Offer your arm when walking with a deaf-blind person. Do not push him or her ahead of you; let them hold your arm, just below the elbow.
6. You do not have to physically support a deaf-blind person who is entering a car or train or going upstairs. just place their hand on the door-knob or stair rail for guidance. You need not help deaf-blind persons to sit down; just help the put one of their hands on the back of a chair so they can judge its position.
7. Describe things that are happening - or are about to happen - around you when you are with a deaf-blind person.
8. Show deaf-blind persons that you are confident they can do useful things. This is an important form of encouragement.
9. Remember that your behavior toward deaf-blind persons will not only affect your attitude, but may be important in reinforcing the attitudes of their family and friends.


Rusty_Coyote said...

Great tips! Pretty similar to what I posted too :)
Love the points about "attitude". Sometimes we, as Deafblind, have enough things to deal with and to throw in people with negative attitudes (sometimes in our own families). Thank you again for educating the general public!

Abbie said...

Thanks a lot for the tips!! It is nice to see you writing again too :)