History and Significance of Deaf Awareness Week

Deaf Awareness Week
• September 23rd-27th, 2013
• Held annually during the last week of September
• The first Deaf Awareness Week (DAW) meeting took
place on May 11, 1972, chaired by Jerry Moers.
• 133 Deaf Organizations involved in DAW now.
• Purpose of DAW is presenting a united front of the
Deaf people to the world.
• The International Week of Deaf also increases
solidarity among deaf people and allies.
• Used as a way to stimulate greater efforts to promote
the rights of deaf people.
Definition of Deafness
• ‘Hard of hearing’ (HoH) refers to people with hearing loss
ranging from mild to severe
– Usually communicate through spoken language
– Can benefit from hearing aids, captioning and assistive listening
– People with more significant hearing losses may benefit from cochlear
• ‘Deaf’ people mostly have profound hearing loss
– Which implies very little or no hearing
– They often use sign language for communication
Current Statistics about Deafness
• 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss (over 5%)
• Half of all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention
• Unemployment rate in USA (16 years and over), August 2011:
– Persons with a disability -- 16.1%;
– Persons with no disability -- 8.8%
• College graduation
– 12.8% hearing graduates
– 5.1% of the deaf or hard-of-hearing graduates
• Incomes
– Hearing families - 26% earned between $10,000 and $24,999
• Deaf or hard-of-hearing families - 28% earned same range
– Hearing families- 29% earned $50,000 or more
• Deaf or hard-of-hearing families - 14% had incomes in the same range
Causes of Deafness
• Congenital causes lead to hearing loss being present at or acquired soon
after birth.
– Hereditary and non-hereditary genetic factors
– Complications during pregnancy and childbirth
• Acquired causes lead to hearing loss at any age.
Infectious diseases
Chronic ear infection
Collection of fluid in the ear (otitis media) can cause hearing loss.
Use of ototoxic drugs at any age can damage the inner ear.
Head injury or injury to the ear can cause hearing loss.
Excessive noise can harm a person’s hearing.
Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is caused by degeneration of sensory
– Wax or foreign bodies blocking the ear canal can cause hearing loss at any age.
Such hearing loss is usually mild and can be readily corrected.
– Among children, chronic otitis media is the leading cause of hearing loss.
Deaf Etiquette
– To get a Deaf person’s attention, tap him or her on the shoulder or flick the light switch.
– Let a Deaf person know that you can hear and that you’re learning Sign.
– If you’re at a Deaf social function, allow the Deaf friend you came with to introduce you
to others.
– Introduce yourself using your first and last name.
– Converse about sports, the weather, politics, pop culture, or whatever else you’d discuss
with your hearing friends.
– When talking to a Deaf/HoH person look at them and speak clearly. They cannot hear
you and lip reading can be difficult to do.
– Don’t barge into a Deaf person’s house because you think they can’t hear the doorbell.
– Avoid ordering for a Deaf person in a restaurant, unless he or she asks you to do so.
– Never try to correct a Deaf person’s signing or lecture them that they don’t sign the way
your instructor does.
– Don’t use the terms Deaf-mute, Deaf and dumb, or hearing impaired.
– *Don’t initiate a conversation about a Deaf person’s hearing loss. Asking such questions
implies that you think of the person as broken or inferior.
Deafness in the Workforce
• Misconceptions
– That deaf individuals will be unable to effectively communicate
– That accommodating a deaf employee would be extremely costly
• Accommodations
– Americans with Disabilities Act 1990
– Reasonable Accommodations can be to provide interpreters, videoconferencing equipment, and visual alerting equipment
• Legality
– During the application and interview process, it is illegal for employers to ask if
you are disabled or what kind of disability you have
– If employed and you feel you have been discriminated against based on your
disability, you have the right to file a complaint and potentially sue within 180
days of the incident with EEOC
Deaf Communication
7 tips when communicating with deaf employees
One should use eye contact, a small wave, or a light touch on the shoulder to get
individual’s attention
Always maintain eye contact when speaking to a Deaf individual
Do not slow one’s speech or raise one’s volume when addressing a Deaf individual
unless they ask you to
Use hand gestures and point to items that one is referencing in his or her
conversation, including mimicking actions such as “lunch” or “type”
Use visual aids, such as a PowerPoint presentation or a written agenda with notes
During meetings, in order to assist an interpreter to help a deaf person who may
be able to lip read, enforce a rule that only one person may speak at a time
When a conversation between a hearing employee and deaf employee is
interrupted by someone calling on the telephone or knocking at the door, the
hearing employee should be sure to let the deaf employee know that he or she is
stopping the communication to respond to an interruption
Famous Deaf People
Helen Keller (Public speaker and writer)
Heather Whitestone (Miss America 1995)
Sean Berdy (Emmett from Switched at Birth)
Marlee Matlin (Melody from SaB)
Derrick Coleman (NFL Seattle Seahawks
starting fullback 2013)
• Beethoven (Composer and Pianist)
Deaf People can be Sexy too! ;)
• Sean Berdy (Emmett from Switched at Birth)
Deaf People can be Sexy too! ;)
• Marlee Matlin
(Melody from
Switched at Birth)
Calendar of Events
• September 24th 6pm – 3rd Meeting LWCC
• September 24th 7-9pm – Deaf Bowling Social
– $6 unlimited bowling and shoes rental
– Westview Lanes 1700 Ward Blvd. Wilson, NC
• September 25th 5-7pm – FroYo Silent Social
hosted by Barton College Sign Language Club
– FroYo 101 at 3401 Raleigh Rd Pkwy W Wilson, NC
• September 27th 7-9pm – Deaf Awareness
Event at Pentecostals of Greenville
Calendar of Events Continued
• October 8th TBA – School For The Deaf Wilson,
NC Tour
• October 15th 6-7:30pm – SAB DiversiFYI
Workshop in MSC Social Room (60 people)
• October 22nd 6pm – 4th Meeting LWCC
• November 5th 6pm – 5th Meeting LWCC
• November 19th 6pm – 6th Meeting LWCC
• December 3rd 6pm – 7th Meeting LWCC
SAB DiversiFYI Silent Pirates Workshop
Events Sign Up
• We need people to sign up to assist with the
following events
• Preferably two people per hour
– Deaf Awareness Event Pentecostals of Greenville
September 27th 7-9pm
Personal Website: www.ecusilentpiratesweebly.com
Twitter: @ECUSilentPirate
Vine: ECU Silent Pirates
Youtube: ECUSilentPirates
LinkedIn: Silent Pirates Group
Email: [email protected]
OrgSync: search Silent Pirates
– Please register on Orgsync.com and add us
– This will be one of the easiest ways to keep you updated,
conduct polls, do sign-ups, and keep track of your
volunteer hours (VSLC is now requiring you to use OrgSync)
• Change our format to a Deaf culture base
• Promote in-club signing
Sign what you know
Ask questions for what you don’t know
Always use your hands
Weekly Meetings beginning Spring
Hendrix Captioned Movie Nights
Wednesdays ASL Movie Nights
Monthly dinner socials

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