What strategies are there to communicate with people?

Learning objectives: Evaluate different communication strategies across a range of settings and evaluate options for responding to social challenges

Everyday we meet people who may not be familiar with deaf people and how to communicate with us. Remember that this will not be the first or last time, and also that you are most likely going to be the expert here.

Signing, speaking, gesturing, pen and paper, and even the Notes app on your phone are all options, but only you know what works best for yourself. Keep this in mind while searching for a solution with the person that you’re conversing with. Figure out what option would work best for you both at that moment and try that option out!

However, the person may not be interested or just not in the mood, so don’t take it personally if the solution that you’ve suggested doesn’t work out. Keep trying until you’ve exhausted all of your options!

[GIF Description: a determined Justin signs: “How do I communicate this?”]

Doing this will help you find strategies that work well for yourself. All deaf people have different communication preferences, and you will not be an exception. The most important thing here is finding what works the best for yourself while making yourself feel good about communicating with others. 

Key Question

Discuss with your friends!

What are different ways to communicate with a person other than speaking and signing?

Deafverse Tip

Try teaching someone a few signs, or downloading a new app for communication!

Try It in World One: Duel of the Bots

Now that you’re here, take a moment to think back to the times that you’ve had to communicate with hearing people. What worked the best for you, and what else that you could have tried?