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Interests: Awareness

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<p>Deaf awareness, an issue important to all deaf and hearing people, affords you insight into what you can do to be supportive of people with hearing disabilities, and how to cope with deafness if you are experiencing hearing loss, are hard of hearing or hearing impaired. Deaf awareness also comprises knowing about deaf history including famous deaf people, deaf events, deaf news, deaf programs and services offered by your school, college, or community, and recognizing that deaf culture is complex and full of diverse backgrounds, opinions, and competences, with deaf playing a variety of roles and holding positions in politics and the media, as educators and medical practitioners, and working in many fields of entertainment, sports, and scientific disciplines. Having awareness of issues related to the deaf community does not only mean attending a rally during Deaf Awareness Week and taking a course in American Sign Language (ASL), rather it’s about having a clear understanding of the life experienced by people who are Deaf.</p> <p><strong>Coping with Deafness</strong><br/> Deaf awareness makes a difference in your life as a deaf or hard of hearing person, as you can learn coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with your disability, in addition to being able to educate others of what your experience of life is as a hearing impaired person. Deaf awareness strategies include the following set of actions:</p> <ul style="padding-left:25px!important;"> <li>Using Hearing Aids: Some are barely visible and some can even be implanted inside your ear for no visibility at all;</li> <li>Maintaining your Self-Esteem and Respect from People: You have to know that you are as valuable an individual as anyone else;</li> <li>Making yourself available to be part of social events: It is important that you do not feel isolated, so make sure you reach out to others;</li> <li>Choosing the best possible for you: Make sure your house phone and mobile phone have features that help you communicate effectively;</li> <li>Participating in committees and events planning: Have the courage to get involved in your community, working as an advocate for the Deaf.</li> </ul> <p>There are many other options for you to help you cope with your deafness, hearing loss, and hard-of-hearing problems.</p> <p><strong>Being Supportive</strong> Deaf awareness involves the ability to be supportive to people you know who are hearing impaired, as well as the deaf community in general, advocating their rights to equal treatment in areas of education, medical treatment, work opportunities, and respecting the fact that they are individuals capable of self-determination who have the ability to be self-reliant. Among the actions you can take to be supportive of people living with deafness are positioning yourself in such a way that you can be clearly visible to a deaf person in your proximity; learning how to project your voice so your speech is adequately loud; separating words for clarity and waiting for a quiet environment before beginning a conversation; making sure the topic at hand is known by the deaf person who should also be paying attention to you as people with hearing impairment often ignore sounds around them; do not start more than one conversation at a time with a big group of people as a deaf person will not be able to keep up with what is being said. Others things you can avoid doing is whispering jokes or talking about the weather, and then saying “It doesn’t matter” to a deaf person who didn’t understand the jest of your words.</p> <p>Deaf awareness encompasses your knowledge of every day happenings in deaf communities, your overall understanding of deaf culture and history, as well as the development of practical skills that help you to communicate and interact with a partner with hearing loss, someone experiencing gradual hearing loss, and friends at school who are deaf or a co-worker who happens to be hard of hearing.</p>
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