make a difference for those with communication challenges

Make a Difference for Those with Communication Challenges

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month. This designation is quite broad, but the focus is on raising awareness about difficulties in communicating. We’d like to think of this as an equal honoring of all forms of communication, even if they may be different from our own. Our friends with communication challenges are not always respected or treated with dignity. While it’s true that times have changed, many people still face hurdles that the rest of us do not have to face. There’s still room for us to make a difference for those with communication challenges. So how can we help?

Be a beacon of respect and dignity

The first thing we can do is to be the people who stand up for anyone we encounter by treating all people with respect and dignity. In order to make a difference for those with communication challenges, we have to be the ones who do our best to honor their forms of communicating without judgment or unkindness. Even if we have difficulty understanding the communication, we can still show respect and humility. This allows those with communication challenges to feel like they are equals instead of as “less than.” 

Let’s be the ones who stand for every individual’s respect and dignity.

Learn to communicate in other ways

When we consider speech and hearing challenges, sign language is usually the communication method that we think of. Many of us have been willing to learn another language in order to be more valuable in our business fields. What if we put in the effort to learn some sign language so that we could communicate in that way as well? Wouldn’t that make a difference for those with communication challenges?

Of course, at Signing Time we are all about making it easy to learn American Sign Language. We have our free Signing Time Dictionary for you to access tons of signs that have to do with everyday life. And there’s our video library at My Signing Time, where you and your children can learn to sign together through fun songs and easy repetition.

So check out both the Signing Time website with all of its resources and the My Signing Time site with its 14-day free trial. We make it so easy to learn sign language.

Let’s value other forms of communication

Let’s be honest. Most of us get annoyed when we cannot understand someone because of a different language or a heavy accent. It’s just in our nature to think that our own experience is the standard experience of everyone else. So let’s grow beyond that, and let’s learn to value other languages and forms of communication. 

We’re all familiar with the stereotype of English speakers just repeating themselves in a louder voice when they aren’t understood. Ouch. Let’s move away from that, and let’s be the ones who place others on equal ground with us. It’s not the other person’s job to understand me. It’s a problem for both of us to try to figure out together. 

So, what can you do to make a difference for those with communication challenges? Let’s stand up for everyone’s dignity, learn to communicate in other ways, and value other forms of communication.

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