0.38% of the population of the United States are deaf, and only 10% of them use sign language. The deaf community uses sign language or reads lips to communicate, and some use both. Sign language, on the other hand, is not used in every family that includes a deaf member. Some deaf children who are born to hearing parents are unable to use sign language in the home because the parents have not learned.
In the deaf community, sign names are given making it easier to communicate to a specific person or to speak of someone without needing to fingerspell their whole name. Sign names can only be given by deaf people and resemble something that stands out about the other person’s personality. Say the name is Alice and she is a smiley person; the sign name would be the letter “A” doing the sign for smile.
Sign language is becoming more widely known and used in the world today. Learning a few basic conversational signs would be nice: we never know whom we may meet in a coffee shop.
Cochlear implants are an electronic device that stimulates the auditory nerve through electrodes placed in the cochlea of the inner ear allowing some severely deaf people to perceive sounds. Although they can not hear every sound clearly, they can hear enough to be able to differentiate the sounds.
Gallaudet University is a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. It opened back in 1864, with the original name Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, but was changed in 1954 to Gallaudet after its founder, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. It is located in Washington D.C. It is the only university in the world that was designed to accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing.
Along with this, Starbucks is a well known deaf advocacy company. The company opened its first sign language store just around the corner from Gallaudet University. All employees know and use sign language. Starbucks has its own sign name too!
The Essential Sign, also known as Chrissy Marshall, is a popular deaf youtube influencer, she has a few tips about the do’s and don’ts for the deaf culture. First, do not feel sorry for the community, they do not want your pity, instead learn and get involved with the deaf events. Do not become isolated because of the fear of not knowing enough; instead, completely get immersed in the community and learns signs.