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Sign Language Around the World

Sign Language Around the World

Outside of the deaf and hard of hearing community, few people realize just how many types of sign language exist around the world. While the exact number of unique sign languages remains unknown, there are hundreds of distinct languages used by deaf and hard of hearing individuals the world over.

There are far more types of sign language than we could ever include in a single blog post, but read on to learn about some of the most common types of sign language in the world today. 

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The Differences Between Deaf Culture and Hearing Culture

The Differences Between Deaf Culture and Hearing Culture

Hearing people outside of the deaf community often aren’t aware of the existence of deaf culture. As with other cultures, deaf culture comes with its own set of values, convictions and socially acceptable behaviors. It can sometimes be difficult to understand what differentiates the two communities.

Check out the key differences between deaf and hearing culture: 

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Sign Language History Heroes: Heather Whitestone

Sign Language History Heroes: Heather Whitestone

In 1995, a 21-year-old woman from Alabama won the Miss America pageant. Heather Whitestone may not be a household name for many, but—for those in the deaf and hard of hearing community—her story is an inspiration.

Heather Whitestone was the first hearing impaired woman to win the title of Miss America.

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Sign Language History Heroes: William Hoy

Sign Language History Heroes: William Hoy

Left deaf and mute after contracting meningitis at age 3, William Ellsworth Hoy (1862-1961) could have spent his life dependent on others. Instead, he became a successful entrepreneur and major league baseball player.

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Sign Language History Heroes: Charles-Michele De L’Epee

Sign Language History Heroes: Charles-Michele De L’Epee

Can you imagine a world where deaf people not only have no rights – but were considered “senseless” and incapable of learning? That was 18th century Europe. French priest Charles-Michel de l’Epee (1712-1789) set a course for change.

Centuries after his death, he is still recognized as The Father of Sign Language and Deaf Education.

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Must-See Movies: 5 Deaf Stars & Characters We Love

Must-See Movies: 5 Deaf Stars & Characters We Love

If you ask most people to name popular deaf or hard-of-hearing stars in Hollywood, one actress reliably comes to mind: Marlee Matlin, Oscar-winner for “Children of a Lesser God” in 1987. After that, it’s usually silence. But recently deaf stars and deaf characters are retaking the spotlight.

Let’s hear it (ugh, bad pun) for these five deaf stars and characters we love.  

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A History of Captioning: Where It Started and Where It’s Going

A History of Captioning: Where It Started and Where It’s Going

Ever since Samuel Morse invented the telegraph in 1837, we’ve been using machines for long-distance communication.

But it wasn’t until the 1950s that captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing people became mainstream in the film industry – and we had to wait for the Telecommunications Act of 1982 for mandated telephone access for all.   

When you look at it that way, captioned services have come a long way in 35 years.

Let’s see how far we’ve come. Take a look back on the history of captioning.

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5 Ways for Hard-of-Hearing People to Navigate Working in the Service Industry

5 Ways for Hard-of-Hearing People to Navigate Working in the Service Industry

If you’re hard-of-hearing, it’s no secret that communicating can be difficult – especially on the job. As with every other part of your life, it’s important not to let these challenges stand in the way of accomplishing your goals. Everyone deserves a rewarding career that they love. That includes you!   

Here are 5 ways for hard-of-hearing people to navigate working in the service industry.  

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4 Phrases to Skip When Interacting with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community

4 Phrases to Skip When Interacting with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community

Whether you’re meeting an individual with hearing loss for the first time or interacting with someone you know well, the basic rules of conversational etiquette apply:  Think before you speak. Talk in a normal voice. Be polite and attentive.

Trying to connect with an individual with hearing loss without understanding their culture can make you come off as rude, however unintentionally. Try to avoid these four phrases at all costs.  

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5 Ways the Deaf Community Has Come a Long Way Since TTY Equipment

5 Ways the Deaf Community Has Come a Long Way Since TTY Equipment

Tech advancements have made an impact on the everyday lives of many people—and the deaf and hard-of-hearing community is no exception. Advancements in telephones, hearing aids, FM systems, cochlear implants and other TTY technologies have undoubtedly made their marks on the population.

But what does this impact look like, and how has it affected relationships with the hearing community?

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