Do’s and Don’ts

Here are a few tips in the form of “Do’s and Don’ts” when interacting with Deaf people:

Do’s

  • Ask client directly the best way to interact
  • Have paper and pencil ready
  • Write in short simple sentences
  • Watch facial expressions, eye gaze
  • Repeat if needed
  • Be patient in communication
  • Look directly at the person, keeping your hands away from your face and face toward the deaf person
  • Be friendly; they merit the same respect as anyone else

Don’ts

  • Don’t assume communication is occurring correctly (nodding dos not always mean they understand or agree)
  • Don’t pretend to understand if you do not
  • Don’t exaggerate your mouth movements
  • Don’t yell
  • Don’t have objects in your mouth or cover your mouth while speaking
  • Don’t speak to a deaf person with your back to a light, window, or mirror
  • Do not refer to them in third person as if he/she was not present

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