|When you think of communicating with a Deaf individual
you may think of using sign language or lipreading. These are just
two types of communication which can be used. There are many more
methods and not all Deaf individuals choose to communicate in the same
way. Some will change their mode of communication based on who is
involved in the conversation. Knowing what form of communication
is preferred for both participants will make understanding easier.
A Deaf individual may prefer to sign ASL with other Deaf individuals but will switch to signed English when conversing with a hearing person. Or he might switch to written English with hearing people who do not know sign language. Some individuals may choose to lipread and speak in one-on-one situations but prefer to sign when possible. The method of communication depends on the individual and the situation.
Listed below are the most common forms of communication used by Deaf individuals and the resources for additional information.
American Sign Language (ASL)-
This is a language used by Deaf individuals in the United States and parts
of Canada. It has a unique grammatical structure and utilizes facial
expression and body language as grammatical markers.
Signed English - There
are various forms of signed English. The common name for these methods
is Manually Coded English (MCE). This refers to any manual form of
communication which uses English based signs and English grammar.
Cued Speech - This
method utilizes a series of handshapes placed around the face and mouth
in order to show the phonetics of a word. Since many words look the
same on the mouth, this system allows a deaf individual to more easily
lipread words because of the incorporated handshapes.
Oral Method - In this
method the deaf individual uses lipreading and voicing. The success
of this method depends on many factors.
Rochester Method - This is a method which is based on standard English. Each word in an English sentence is fingerspelled. This can be very cumbersome; thus, it is rarely used for everyday communication.