Living with Roommates
Living or sharing a space with someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing can be a very positive experience. Here are some tips.
Always remember that people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing are trying to navigate the world and get through life, just like you.
Deaf is a person that does not miss their sense of hearing, and identifies as ‘culturally Deaf’.
Alternatively, a person who identifies as ‘deaf’ tends to see and feel the missing sense as a disability.
‘deaf’ (lowercase ‘d’) people also usually live in the ‘hearing world’. They also are not actively involved with the deaf world in the way that Deaf people are, and only have minimal interaction with ‘deaf culture’.
Discuss how they would prefer to communicate. They may prefer to lipread (also known as ‘speechread’), use sign language or write things down. This will depend on their own unique abilities and preferences.
Maintain direct eye contact, look directly at and face the person when communicating, so they can clearly watch you communicate and better understand you.
Learn some basic signs. Key words and phrases will help immensely. If you are starting out, there are alternative ways to communicate until you learn how to sign (the link will open in a new window).