Got a date with a deaf or Hard of Hearing person this Valentine's Day? Don't stress or let any communication barrier stop you both from enjoying of a great date!
Ensure a delightful date with these simple tips to enhance your Deaf Awareness:
What's your plan for the big day?
Are you going out for dinner? Pick a restaurant that's not in the shadows—good lighting is key for a perfect lipreading setup. Or, if you're going for the home-cooked route, use lots of candles and awaken your romantic spirit.
Also, remember not to cover your mouth when talking or talk with your mouth full - It doesn't need to be said, does it?
What about going to the cinema? Check for accessible subtitled cinema show. This link will help you: YourLocalCinema.com
And if you're a theatre enthusiast, look for those BSL-interpreted performances. Go check this website: TheatreSign.com
HOW TO COMMUNICATE?
Now you will see that the main tips for communicating with a deaf/hard of hearing person are quite romantic!! Start reading:
Before you start speaking make sure you have the person's attention by waving your hand or tapping the person's shoulder. This is a nice and classy first physical contact, don't you think?
Always make eye contact. That's a very romantic one!
Use short and simple sentences and please, don't shout. That's not pleasant and it can also make your body language seem aggressive – not the tone you are aiming for I bet?!
Use normal facial expressions and gestures. Remember, you're aiming for charming, not charades.
Ask if you are communicating O.K. If not, get creative—rephrase, jot it down on a napkin, or share a pen and paper. Classic style is always more romantic.
Be patient, smile, be nice, and, for the love of romance, never give up!
LEARNING SOME SIGN LANGUAGE IS A WINNING BET
You will give such a great impression if you learn bit of sign language. Wouldn't you do the same if your date would speak Spanish or French?
Learning fingerspelling, how nice is the food, asking to go for a walk, or signing "I love you" can make your date's day.
Here's to a Valentine's Day that's not only memorable but also Deaf Awareness-approved!