Signing Circle on Wednesday, May 6 in Waimea

Dear Signing Circle,

We are meeting Wednesday, May 6, at 1:45 - 3 pm at the Food Court at Parker Ranch Shopping Center in Waimea.

Some interesting statistics have come to light about how many folks experience significant hearing loss.  In the research, they are called “late deaf”.

Among 18-44 years old, 20% of the population are late deaf, between 45-64, 30% are late deaf, from 65-74, 40% are late deaf, and after 75, 50% are late deaf.

Interestingly, most late deaf deny and hide their hearing loss for an average of seven years before trying hearing aids and cochlear implants.  Even after seeking technological support, most express serious frustration with the technological tools.

Many late deaf report withdrawing from friendships and the workplace into self-imposed isolation.  They feel like a burden on others because they repeatedly ask, “What? What?”  Soon, friends, co-workers, and family members dismiss them, “Never mind, I’ll tell you later” and later never comes so the late deaf stop asking.  They feel diminished, incompetent, and alone. (Source:  A Hearing Loss and Late Deafened Blog SayWhatClub 9-25-2012)

Would late deaf folks, their friends, and family enjoy incorporating some ASL in their lives to improve communication?  Would they enjoy Signing Circle?  How can we find the late deaf on the Big Island?

Come share your thoughts and ideas at Signing Circle next week.  Also, please bring announcements about upcoming events of interest to ASL users.

As always, our only rule is to try to keep our voices turned off during Signing Circle.  This motivates us to use ASL exclusively during our time together.  We can always use pen and paper, or finger spelling, and a great deal of pantomime when we hit a speed bump.  Funny misunderstandings are always a source of widespread giggles.

Anyone interested in using ASL, learning ASL, and practicing ASL are all welcome.  Some of us are hard of hearing, some are deaf, some are speaking, but we all share a love of ASL and a good sense of humor.  Beginners and experts enjoy the Circle.  It's just a casual opportunity to learn cool new signs, make new friends, and re-connect.

Hosted by Nancy Oppenheim

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