There are about 70 million deaf people in this world that uses sign language as their main language. It is also estimated that deaf people can only decipher about 38% of a conversation through lip reading. This percentage is very low because every person has a different way of talking and enunciating their words. Talking with a person with a certain dialect or accent can make it hard for a deaf person to understand exactly what a certain person is saying.
With hearing people, people that are not deaf and can hear, it is easy for the majority of the world to listen and to participate in a conversation not using their sight. They can use their phones, read a book, or watch a movie while talking with other. This is not something deaf people can do as they rely on their sight to either read people’s lips or to sign.
Because of the disadvantage that deaf people have in this hearing-dominated world, many deaf people are often misunderstood as rude because of their directness or are treated differently. This is why people should make an effort to understand deaf culture and deaf people. In deaf culture, it is considered rude if you are talking to a deaf person without using sign language or when using electronics or other materials while communicating.
If anyone has family or friends that are hard of hearing or deaf should learn at least the sign alphabet to sign to your family or friends. Not only will your friend or family member appreciate your efforts to be more aware of deaf culture, but it also expands your knowledge on different cultures and languages. By making small steps to understand and learn about minority groups and cultures, it will connect people from all around the world and promote unity.
As a student who is taking a Sign Language class this semester, I have learned a lot about deaf culture and sign language. Learning about this whole new language that uses hand signals and facial expressions has opened my eyes on how difficult it is for deaf people to assimilate into this largely hearing dominated society. I want to learn more about this culture and teach it to others so everyone can be more informed about minority groups like the deaf community.