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This article is about Communication by the deaf, the hearing impaired, and the dumb.
Communication is the activity or process of passing information from one person to another. It no doubt facilitates inter-personal relationship, exchange of messages and ideas, as well as proper awareness. In a world that rapidly going digital, where phones and computers are central to communication, how do people with hearing impairment, deaf or dumb cope?

According to Ogbue et al, a hearing impaired or deaf person is not able to use his hearing to understand speech. Again, the conference of executives of American Schools for the Deaf had defined “the hearing impaired as those in whom the sense of hearing is non-functional for the ordinary purposes of life.” Hearing impairment simply means a defect in hearing whereby there is total or partial hearing loss. Having now understood the meaning of hearing impairment, who is then a dumb person?
A dumb person, according to BBC English dictionary, is someone who is completely unable to speak. As long as communication remains an essential part of human existence, the hearing impaired and the dumb thus benefit from it, although in a limited way. It gives them a sense of belonging as members of the society. Apart from the use of ‹sign language› as a means of communication by this class of individuals, another means of communication they make use of is the wireless phone and the computer.

In making use of these communication devices, they use instant messaging as a way of communicating. Coming to the wireless devices especially handsets for instance, messagings are done using texts and pictures. This is by far the commonest way they communicate because one can express himself/herself using graphic pictures or emojis, which send quick information. Again, the hearing impaired being good in written works utilizes text messaging very well. Just pause for a moment: what comes to your mind when you see a hearing impaired or dumb person operating a mobile device or computer? Definitely, they will not be making calls with mobile devices. It is nothing other than these three things: text messaging, playing games or listening to music. While some of these are done separately, others are carried out simultaneously.

There are some channels through which hearing impaired, deaf and dumb people communicate by using using communication gadgets or technologies. These include SMS, email and social media. SMS as previously noted is concerned with sending instant messaging using texts or graphic pictures. In email, it is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Historically, the term ‹E-mail› (electronic mail) was used generally for any electronic document transmission. Internet email message consists of three components – the message envelope, the message header and the message body.

Social Media is unarguably the most popular channel of communication this 21st century. It enables an individual to meet and interact with people both within and outside a geographical location, connect with friends etc. Some of the examples of social media we have today are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and so on. With the emergence of social media, people now share ideas, exchange information and keep in touch a great deal. The hearing impaired people as well as the deaf and dumb benefit greatly from these technological innovations. It is imperative to note that the hearing impaired, the deaf, and the dumb cannot do without these aforementioned communication channels in this computer age. These communication channels give them a sense of belonging, help them to be in touch with the world around them and enhance their relationship with people. If you present a phone, for example, to a hearing impaired or dumb person, what do you expect him/her to be doing with it? Is it not for communication, or just merely for entertainment? No matter how we see it, but if they are deprived of this necessity, they will regrettably become introverts, withdrawn, depressed and feel discriminated upon.

Copyright 2021 Kings Ndubuisi Onwe
Culled from: https://www.sunnewsonline.com/how-hearing-speech-challenged-people-communicate-w...

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