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Day Five - Pieces of the Communication Puzzle

It's the last official day of Stink Week!
Even though the week may be over, the fundraising can continue. Your fundraising pages will remain open until the end of the month, so continue to spread the word!
Thank you for everything you do for children who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families!

Someone who is deaf or hard of hearing often uses various sources of information when communicating. For example, in addition to using technology (like hearing aids or cochlear implants), someone who is deaf or hard of hearing often relies on speech reading and visual cues as well as sign language. See more about these below:

Speech reading, sometimes referred to as lip reading, is only a piece in the communication puzzle for people that are deaf or hard of hearing.  It is important to remember, an experienced speech reader can only ascertain a maximum of about 30% to 35% of spoken English in real time conversations.  Speech reading is not an end all solution for communicating with someone with hearing loss.  It is important for individuals to have access to other visual cues, like lip and facial movements, gestures, posture and body language.  When communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, remember to look them directly in the face, avoid covering your mouth when speaking, and don't hesitate to ask them if they are following along your conversation. 


Sign Language

Did you know there are different types of sign language in the English language?  Two examples are American Sign Language (ASL) and Signing Exact English (SEE):

American Sign Language (ASL)

ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. ASL is a visual language, and facial expressions and body movements play an important part in conveying information. Sign language is not a universal language — each country has its own sign language, and regions have dialects, much like the many languages spoken all over the world. For more information visit:

Signing Exact English (SEE)

SEE is a visual language modeled after English. It is a sign system that matches signs with the English language. It is used primarily by children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families, friends and teachers as a way for learning spoken English. For more information visit:

Today's Challenges

1. Print or write down these three words / phrases. With a partner, mouth the words without sound and have your partner guess which one you are saying. 

You have salad / you have talent

Peas / beets

Elephant shoes / I love you

Challenging right?  When talking with someone with hearing loss, speech reading is only part of the puzzle. These are only a few examples of how many words "look" the same and can lead to miscommunication. 

2. Using the sign language chart below, learn to finger spell your name. Try the names of your friends and family members!  

BONUS: When you're finger spelling, try not to mouth each letter as you spell it.  Try saying your name slowly as you are spelling it.  

In The News

Hearing Loss in Hollywood

There are many well known stars in Hollywood that are deaf or hard of hearing.  Here are a couple of examples:

Did you know Stranger Things actor Millie Bobbie Brown deaf in one ear?  She was born with a partial loss of hearing and then gradually lost her hearing in that ear entirely.

Comedian Stephen Colbert is also deaf in one ear. A surgery when he was young left him without an ear drum in his right ear.

  • The Caroline Bass Fund
    The Caroline Bass Fund

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