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Cultural Competency Matters

If your company works with or employs Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH) individuals, there may be an adjustment period as managers and employees learn what is needed for communication access. If accommodations are overlooked, a sense of isolation may lead to the D/HH employees or D/HH clients not feeling comfortable working with the company. A cultural competency training will help all employees understand why accommodations are a necessity to providing clear and accurate communication and a comfortable environment.

If no education is provided, issues such as miscommunication, discrimination, and exclusion may arise. Many people may not have experience working with someone D/HH and many difficulties that could come up are avoidable with the proper training.

DSU provides D/HH culture training for hearing employees will educate them and teach them ways avoid stereotypes, assumptions, and discrimination. Cultural competency will provide an understanding of what it means to be Deaf, what accommodations may be required, and how to connect beyond the language barrier so everyone can effectively collaborate.

Here are just a few of the ways a Cultural Competency Training can positively impact your company:

  1. Creates an environment that values the unique perspectives D/HH individuals offer.
  2. Promotes an environment that supports vision as the primary sense used for communication. Vision offers individuals who are Deaf access to information about the world and the independence to drive, travel, work, and participate in every aspect of society.
  3. Inclusion of specific rules of behavior in communication in addition to the conventional rules of turn taking. For example:
    1. consistent eye contact and visual attention during a conversation, and
    2. a person using sign language having the floor during a conversation until he or she provides a visual indicator (pause, facial expression, etc.) that he or she is finished.
  4. Knowledge on the perpetuation of Deaf culture through a variety of traditions, including films, folklore, literature, athletics, poetry, celebrations, clubs, organizations, theaters, and school reunions. Deaf culture also includes some of its own “music” and poetry as well as dance.
  5. Inclusion of unique strategies for gaining a person’s attention, such as:
    1. gently tapping a person on the shoulder if he or she is not within the line of sight,
    2. waving if the person is within the line of sight, or
    3. flicking a light switch a few times to gain the attention of a group of people in a room.

Deaf Services Unlimited provides trainings to help foster a compassionate environment and to build your brand as an inclusive one. Add this training to your team’s professional development plans!