Over the next year, I hope to embark on a long-term blog writing project. These posts will center around a key concept: how to be more deaf friendly. I don’t think I will restrict myself to one setting or entity — e.g., how a college or university can be deaf friendly. I want to search for strategies that apply broadly, whether they are used in an educational, social, working, or other environment.

I feel inspired to start this because too many times ignorant people have made seemingly simple situations, such as one-on-one conversations, much more difficult for me than is necessary. With only slight modifications in accommodation, demeanor, and other strategies, those situations can be made much more appeasing, beneficial and invigorating to all parties involved.

My plan is to go beyond what the Americans With Disabilities Act and other laws require. I want to focus particularly on either human behavior, which cannot entirely be regulated by law, or simple strategies that are largely unknown. Obviously, I’ll have to be reasonable with what I can expect, and I anticipate that some of my suggestions may be controversial. But I also plan to argue that the tactics that can improve life for the deaf and hard of hearing have benefits that extend to hearing people.

Possible topics I may discuss in the future will likely fall in one of the following categories:

  1. accommodations
  2. body language/demeanor
  3. captioning/subtitles (though I have touched on the topic here and here)
  4. environment/setting
  5. speaking/speech

I am solicitous to see how this turns out, and how much I learn from this project.