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Spreading deaf awareness in your community

spreading deaf awareness

As a student in high school, I’ve been able to find many ways to help advocate for deaf communities. Recently, I volunteered at an ESY (Extended School Year) summer program for students with severe to moderate disabilities. I designed and led a bench painting project where 20-30 kids helped paint a bus bench to be displayed in front of our school district’s office. A lot of special education teachers and paraeducators supported the project. Our main goal was to advocate for the special education program and students with disabilities. 

Spreading deaf awareness is a great way to ensure accessibility and accommodation among people who need extra support in your commnunity. Whether you are a student, youth or adult, spreading deaf awareness is a wonderful initiative. Here are some helpful tips to get started in spreading deaf awareness in your community!

Spreading deaf awareness in your community

Find Like-Minded Organizations

Spreading deaf awareness starts by educating yourself. Many organizations across the world help connect deaf individuals with resources and supporters. If you want to help, the first thing to do is get involved! Most non-governmental and charity organizations have websites that outline their history and mission as well as ways you can contribute. Many organizations have local, regional, and/or state chapters. Reach out and ask what you can do. Even small actions like re-posting infographics on your personal social media accounts or joining their email lists can be part of advocacy. 

Join a Public Advocacy Group

If you want to go one step further, there are many groups that help with public policy and bigger initiatives. Consider what type of talents you can bring to the table. If you are more artistically inclined or have experience with social media, you can help these organizations spread awareness online. You can make social media posts that explain local statistics about hearing loss or provide resources for people to get further information. Another type of activity these public advocacy groups get involved in is legislation. If you’re interested in possibly being an intern or working part time for these groups, it’s a great experience for a high school student.

Read more: How to help deaf teens advocate for themselves

Utilize Local Media

Most cities and schools have local news sites that post articles and events. Oftentimes, they will accept student commentary. Even your school publications can be a convenient way to raise awareness among fellow students. You could write about your experiences as a deaf person, or interview someone else who is deaf. Another idea is to identify ways that others can be more aware or get involved with the community. Or write about how to be more inclusive.

Start an Art Project

A great way to advocate for a cause is to have a public art installation. It’s visible and can be a fun way for community members to get involved.

I recently led a group of students with disabilities in my school district to paint a bus bench mural. We partnered with the area’s public transportation service and worked with teachers and paraeducators within the special education community. The mural was installed in front of the school district’s office.

Just by being a person with hearing loss you are spreading awareness by living your life. Don’t be afraid to talk about your need and support with your friends and community members. The more we bring awareness to hearing loss, the less stigmas and confusion exist around us. 

Read more: 10 misconceptions about hearing loss 

Author Details
Rachael is a high school student with single-sided deafness from California, United States. She was born with her hearing loss and currently wears the Phonak Cros B and utilizes the Phonak Roger On and Compilot II. Rachael works as a Brand Ambassador and Content Creator for Hearing Like Me. She passionately advocates to create a more accessible world for disabled youth through art and writing.