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Deaf In Barbados

Hearing impairment, deafness, or hearing loss refers to the inability to hear things, either totally or partially.


Symptoms may be mild, moderate, severe or profound. A patient with mild hearing impairment may have problems understanding speech, especially if there is a lot of noise around, while those with moderate deafness may need a hearing aid. Some people are severely deaf and depend on lip-reading when communicating with others.


People who are profoundly deaf can hear nothing at all. In order to communicate spontaneously and rapidly with people, they are totally reliant on lip-reading and/or sign language. People who are born deaf find lip-reading much harder to learn compared to those who became hearing impaired after their had learnt to communicate orally (with sounds).


The Deaf Community has a culture, which is unique and beautiful.


Communication is often a challenging task for many, but by employing the skills and tips outlined in short guide, you can embrace the deaf

Communicating With The Deaf


  • Look directly at the person.

  • Don't obscure your face or mouth with your hand, facial hair, microphone, or other distractions.

  • Always ask what the preferred communication method is.

  • Be aware of the environment. Large and crowded areas can be very difficult for persons with some hearing loss.

  • Bright sunlight and shadows can also present barriers to people who read lips.

  • To gain the attention of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, first call his or her name. If there's no response, touch them lightly on the arm or shoulder.

  • Signal by moving hands where they can see.

  • Speak clearly and evenly. Don't exaggerate your speech. Try rephrasing your sentence if you are asked to repeat yourself several times.

  • Detailed information that involves a number or address might better be provided through an alternate means of communication.

  • Don't change topics in a conversation without warning.

  • Use transitional phrases such as, "Okay, we need to discuss..."

  • Never say, "Just forget it.", If you' are experiencing difficulty communicating.

  • If communicating orally, ask if you can write. Keep messages simple and direct.

  • Communicating through an interpreter? Don't say, "Tell her that..."

  • Don't speak to the interpreter nor try to involve him/her in the conversation.

  • Focus on the deaf individual.

Help For The Deaf In Barbados


Association for the Blind & Deaf

St. Paul’s Avenue, Beckles Road, St. Michael
Telephone 426-3438;  Workshop: 427-7453 (w) Fax 228-0295E Email:


Barbados Organization of Parents of the Disabled

Albert Cecil Graham Development Centre
Ladymeade Gardens, Jemmotts Lane, 

St. Michael



P. O. Box 267,  Bridgetown,    E-mail:


Albert Cecil Graham Development Centre

Ladymeade Gardens,  Jemmotts Lane, 

St. Michael
427-9514 or 436-9027 (F) 427-7448

Sign language is not a random group of uncoordinated gestures, but rather a highly sophisticated and complex form of communication.


Interpreters must be well trained and maintain the highest standard of ethics. Interpreters facilitate the inclusion of the Deaf in oral presentations.


The American Sign Language (ASL) is most commonly used.

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