Deaf Adults As Role Models For The Hearing World

The only exceptions when deaf people interact with others are with their family members, adults in the community or the workplace, and at school. Unless otherwise, most deaf people do not meet with hearing people. The absence of past experiences with other deaf people makes it challenging for hearing parents, especially when bringing up their children. The difficulty leads to the fear of feeling intangible loss when making informed decisions about their children. Giaouri et al. (2022) show that existing researches propose that hearing parents use spoken language when communicating with their deaf children while socializing with the hearing. Further, several other pieces of research have shown that deaf children communicate unconducive, which detriments their social, psychological, and cognitive development.

Borrowing from Haualand and Holmström, Giaouri et al. (2022) show that reports highly correlate interaction quality between the hearing and the deaf and communicative competence in sign language. Arguments also show the deaf’s realistic and healthy expectations, positive reaction to deafness, and deaf identity exposure help form healthy interactions between the deaf and hearing alike. The absence of role models that deaf children can identify with leads to increased low self-esteem and limited vocational and social options, which results in a high possibility of high school dropouts. Deaf role models impact the lives of deaf children by shaping their expectations and effective communication, which builds up the children’s resilience against psychopathological perceptions. The facilitated self-confidence and sense reinforce the deaf children’s cultural knowledge importance and linguistic models in their early settings. Additionally, deaf role models are critical contributors to providing information and educational support. As such, it is paramount that deaf adults be infused in early intervention programs that include collaboration, formalization, infusion, and education.

I have come across two deaf people in my life. In both instances, I experienced their tendency to separate themselves from the hearing individuals, their primary reason being their inability to interact. From the two encounters I had with the deaf and hard-of-hearing people, I noticed their lack of willingness to engage in conversations resulting from stigma, which made them feel unexpressed, lonely, and socially marginalized. According to Giaouri et al. (2022), deaf role models are critical in the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing children since they help alleviate the negative behaviors they develop as an extension of social exclusion. The mentors help the deaf children change their perspective about their surrounding world, positively impacting their inspiration, achievements, and attitudes.

However, based on my encounter with the two deaf individuals, it becomes easy to establish the disconnect they experience when all the people they interact with are their classmates and family members. In support of Giaouri et al.’s (2022) views, it becomes the responsibility of professionals dealing with the hard of hearing to ensure appropriate interventions are in place to help the individuals accept their nature. The impact of collaboration, formalization, infusion, and education is fundamental in changing the deaf’s point of view about their lives. Such interventions are critical since they help broaden the deaf’s understanding of their perspectives while widening their personal experiences of being a hard-of-hearing person and of deafness as a subject. Governments should also implement similar interventions among the hearing to help reshape how they interact with the deaf, which will ease the challenges the hearing-impaired face.