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Deaf Awareness

REDUCING BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION

We use communication every day in nearly every environment. Learning and developing good communication skills can help you succeed in your own language.

While it takes time and practice, communication and interpersonal skills are certainly able to be both increased and refined.

There are four main types of communication we use on a daily basis:

Verbal

Nonverbal

Written

Visual

Let’s take a look at each of these types of communication, why they are important and how you can improve them by reducing barriers to communication. Different people have different ways of communicating what work best for them are:

Verbal communication – Differences in how you speak, including the tone, pitch, speed and volume of your voice could change how your messages are taken in. Try to avoid using jargon or abbreviations and complicated words and terminology. Make sure you always speak in a respectful way, adjusting your speech to suit the individual. ­

Visual communication is the act of using photographs, art, drawings, sketches, charts and graphs to convey information. Visuals are often used as an aid during presentations to provide helpful context alongside written and/or verbal communication. Because people have different learning styles, visual communication for the deaf is fundamental.

Sign language – This is a recognised language throughout the world. British Sign Language (BSL) is used by individuals in this country and there are variations of sign language in different regions. ­

Makaton – This is a form of language that uses a large collection of signs and symbols. It is often used with those who have learning and physical disabilities, or hearing impairment. ­

Braille – Is a code of raised dots that are ‘read’ using touch. For people who are visually impaired or who are blind, the system supports reading and writing. ­

Body language – This is a type of nonverbal communication. There are many different aspects of body language, including gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, body positioning and body movements. Each of these will communicate information about an individual or a worker often without them realising it. ­

Gestures – These are hand or arm movements that emphasise what is being said or used as an alternative to speaking known as iconicity signs. ­

Facial expressions – These support what is being said by showing reactions or feelings. They can give you valuable clues that you can use to check out a person’s feelings. ­

Eye contact – Maintaining good eye contact is an important way for a worker to show that they are engaged and listening. ­

Position – The way that we stand, sit or hold our arms when we are talking will provide others with clues about our feelings, attitude and emotions. ­

Written communication – This method is used to send messages, email, or provide evidence.

In classroom, we deliver a variety of resources to meet everyone’s needs, this also includes activity games, multiple choices, questionnaires, one to one, peers and group activity. It is important to keep all learners motivated during their learning curve.