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How to communicate with deaf, blind, and mute people.

Let's find out on how to treat people with disabilities!

If you meet a person that visually impaired, just be yourself and act like you meet a normal person. Here is the tips obtained from Vision Australia that can be used for reference and guidance:

1. Introduce yourself with normal gesture. They may not recognize you from your voice.

2. Use clear and average intonation. Usually, although they are visually impaired, they actually can hear and talk.

3. Use daily conversation to talk but avoid using the word 'look', 'see', 'stare', anything that involves the eyes as it might offend them.

4. If it is in a gathering, introduce every individual to the person

5. Tell them if you want to leave the conversation.

6. If you are willing to show them direction, explain in detail such as "The window is on your right side." is more accurate rather than saying, "The window is there"

Meanwhile, whenever you encounter someone with hearing loss, you can refer to this tips as a guidance:

1. Get their attention first. Wave your hand or touch their shoulder to let them acknowledge your presence.

2. Use non-verbal language such as eye contact, simple sign language, body language and face expression to help them understand what you're talking about. Example: copying the action of someone eating/drinking/sleeping.

3. Control your voice and speak clearly. Not too fast, not too slow.

4. Be in a well-lit place so that they are able to see you clearly.

5. Write some words in a piece of paper/ notes in smartphone if more explanation is needed.

6. Repeat or change the sentences if they can't understand or hear what you're saying.

7. Some people don't lose their hearing fully so you don't have to use sign language, but speak with a steady voice.

Next, the correct ways to communicate with a deaf-mute person is as following;

1) Relax, and treat it like any other conversation

Speak as you normally would and avoid mumbling or covering your mouth. Most communication is in expression and body language, so feel free to use natural instances of these to help get your point across better.

2) Learn how they prefer to communicate

Tailor the conversation to them and let them determine its pace. Avoid use of jargon, slang or abbreviations too. Remember that they pretty much have their own language in ASL/BSL. Try to keep things simple and to the point.

3) Always speak face-to-face

Make sure you’re facing the person you’re talking to and try not to move around too much either. Keep an eye on the surroundings, try to ensure the light is bright and even, avoiding any hard shadows or sitting directly in front of glaring lights. Try to keep any background noise to a minimum as well.

4) Keep conversation ordered and coherent

Keep everyone silent when one person is talking, and if someone else wants to speak they should wait until the other’s finished first. While speaking, check occasionally that everyone is able to keep up with the conversation.

5) Use gestures and body language

Make liberal use of hand gestures, body language and expression. This can range from very simple things such as pointing to or touching things you’re talking about, to more elaborate miming and gestures. After a while it should start to come more naturally, and you’ll find it easier to spontaneously use your body as a medium of communication. This will help get your point across more clearly, even if the other person doesn’t quite understand exactly what you’re trying to say out loud.

6) Always ask if you can improve

Do not be shy in asking the other person whether they were able to understand you while you were speaking. Even more importantly, don’t be afraid to ask if there was anything you could have done to make it easier. Every person is different, but from repeated conversations and feedback, you should soon acquire a good general idea what methods work and what do not. This is an important rule of any communication, no matter who it’s with. It’s not just about talking, it’s also about listening to what the other person has to say.

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