What are some tips for communicating with deaf people?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to communication, nor is there a “typical” deaf person. Each individual is unique and brings their own set of communication needs and preferences, based on the setting and the purpose of the interaction. When first meeting a deaf person, do not make assumptions about the individual’s communication preference. NDC’s Communicating with Deaf Individuals tip sheet suggests that you inquire with the deaf person about their preferred communication needs for different settings. Writing, gestures, speech, sign language, technology, and visual aids are all options to be explored.

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Updated on August 3, 2023

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