Probably, the first idea that comes to your mind when communicating with a hearing-impaired person is lipreading and sign language. In fact, there are other methods to connect with them. The deaf changes modes of communication depending on the type of person involved in their conversations.
Both parties should understand the different communication methods used by the hearing-impaired to better understand each other. Here are three methods of communicating with the hearing-impaired:
Individual Home Signs
People with hearing loss develop their first communication skills within their homes. Most of them are born from parents with no hearing disability at all. As a result, parents who are not usually familiar with ASL (American Sign Language) invent their own sign language. Of course, other household or family cannot understand this type of communication.
Another disadvantage of home sign language is that it is incomprehensible to people who use ASL and other international sign language modes of communication. Therefore, it is advisable for both the person with hearing loss and their family to educate themselves with ASL and other recognized sign languages. However, home sign language is still efficient and more comfortable to use when you are in your home.
The American Sign Language (ASL)
The American Sign Language or ASL is the paramount sign language of people with hearing disabilities across the United States and the majority of interpreters are trained to it. Like another verbal language, ASL has its unique syntax and grammar. It also uses body language and facial expressions for grammatical emphasis. You can learn ASL online or through accredited ASL learning institutions.
Manually Coded English (MCE)
MCE is better known as “Signed English” or “English Sign Language”. Unlike ASL, it is not a language. Rather, it is a manual communication that puts ASL signs like the English grammar and uses signs based on the English language. This helps the hard of hearing and the deaf learn English. MCE uses visual codes that represent the oral English language.
Both parents and the person with a hearing disability can take MCE classes. Parents who learned MCE can teach this language to their children even when they are still young. Experts in MCE can also help educate your children alongside you. One advantage of MCE is that it uses fingerspelling to spell out words or names individually which does not have an ASL counterpart.
There is neither a hindrance in educating nor communicating with a loved one who is deaf or hard of hearing. There are different methods of communicating with the deaf. This means there is no sufficient reason that one cannot learn to communicate and interact openly with the rest of the world.
Are you ready to open the doors of your loved ones with hearing disability to a better and fulfilling future? Start educating them now with the different methods of communicating! Visit us now at Beltone Audiology for further inquiries or call us at (888) 210-5846 for a free consultation with one of our hearing healthcare professionals.