Sign Language

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crazyheart

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Does your church have someone signing for the deaf and hard of hearing?

Do you have anyone in your congregation that would need this service?

Would advertising a Sign Leader attract deaf and hard of hearing to your church?
 

Jae

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Does your church have someone signing for the deaf and hard of hearing?
No.

crazyheart said:
Do you have anyone in your congregation that would need this service?
Well - we have a few who are somewhat hard-of-hearing. I don't know how many of those individuals - if any - understand signing.

crazyheart said:
Would advertising a Sign Leader attract deaf and hard of hearing to your church?
Maybe.

A friend of mine from university - who is herself deaf - did her directed research project [the major paper that we had to do to obtain our BREs] on the relationship between deaf Christians in her community - Niagara - and the churches there. One of her main findings was that what the deaf Christians wanted most was not help and accommodation within hearing churches. Rather - they wanted their own churches - where signing would be the common language used - including by the pastor when preaching and teaching.
 

Mendalla

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We provide hearing devices for those who have partly impaired hearing (basically earbuds connected into the sound system) but nothing for those who are totally impaired. One United Church that I used to go to did have a sign language interpreter during services but I'm not sure that it was for every service. It may have been twice a month or something.
 

Carolla

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We also have hearing devices - same as Mendalla mentioned above. A lot of people use them & appreciate their availability.
 

Seeler

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We have various devices to enhance hearing.

We also have a member of our congregation who uses sign language in her job with the hearing impaired in the schools. She taught it to her husband and she can occasionally be seen signing to her husband (up front in the choir) making plans for meeting after the service. I have never seen her sign for an entire service, but sometimes she will sign a musical piece. Sometimes she teaches the children, and/or the congregation to sign - the Lord's prayer, a hymn, or a greeting.

I don't know if anyone in the congregation depends upon signing, or if it would attract people who do not now attend.

In another congregation I am aware of a young woman and her father who both depend, to a great extent, on lip reading. They have to be able to see the speaker's mouth. Sometimes the mike, used for other people who are hard of hearing, gets in the way of their watching the mouth. I've learned to touch her arm, or otherwise get her attention, when speaking to her. It is surprising how many people in that small congregation who do not know that she has a problem. She copes very well.
 

Mendalla

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In another congregation I am aware of a young woman and her father who both depend, to a great extent, on lip reading. They have to be able to see the speaker's mouth. Sometimes the mike, used for other people who are hard of hearing, gets in the way of their watching the mouth. I've learned to touch her arm, or otherwise get her attention, when speaking to her. It is surprising how many people in that small congregation who do not know that she has a problem. She copes very well.
My next door neighbour in one of the apartment buildings I lived in Hamilton was deaf and could lip read so well, that you really could not tell as long she could see your mouth. Nice lady, too. We first met after an ungodly noise awoke the Mrs. and I one morning. Turned out it was this neighbour's alarm. Since she couldn't hear, it shook the bed instead of beeping. She'd put the bed too close to the wall so when it went off, the bed was banging the wall. She moved the bed after we asked what the noise was.
 

Inannawhimsey

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i remember one time when i did a presentation on stuttering during a linguistics course my classmates asked me after if i knew sign language

i was confused "huh?"

apparently i used my hands so much in the presentation :3
 

ChemGal

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I don't see the point, unless there is someone who would benefit, there's a known community who know the language, or it's heavily publicized to attract people.
Not all deaf and hard of hearing people know a sign language.
There are also multiple sign languages. Not all English signers (dunno if that's the term or not) use ASL. ASL is actually based on French Sign Language from my understanding.

Someone was brought into my health class (an optional, informative high school class useful for those interested in the health field, not 'health' class) who was in an intense sign language program. It wasn't ASL. I recall her referring to it as natural signing, but there doesn't seem to be much info on it, and when I've brought it up with others they are unaware of it, so I'm not sure what exactly it was.
 

crazyheart

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. She'd put the bed too close to the wall so when it went off, the bed was banging the wall. She moved the bed after we asked what the noise was.
Glad it was the alarm and not sexual happenings. Too funny. hahahahaha
 

mgagnonlv

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Does your church have someone signing for the deaf and hard of hearing?
Do you have anyone in your congregation that would need this service?

No deaf person, but a few older folks who are hard of hearing. Because of that, I don't think sign language would be understood. Besides, as Chemgal hinted, there are many sign languages in existence and we would need to know who needs sign language before we know what language to use (ASL, LSQ, BSL...)!

As for other technical help, I don't know. As far as I am aware, our hard-of-hearing members use hearing aids and none seem to complain that they can't follow parts of the service. So would loops or FM transmission help? Maybe, but I'm not knowledgeable in these matters.

Quite frankly, though, I think the first and most important improvement we could do would be to make better use of the PR system. We have a very decent one, with microphones in important locations and 2 wireless ones also, but quite often, announcements or Gospel readings made from the centre of the church are done without a microphone because "there is no need for one". Well, it works decently as long as nobody sneezes, bangs a door, etc.


Would advertising a Sign Leader attract deaf and hard of hearing to your church?
Because of the above, I don't think that sign language "translation" would help. Having one of our church leaders fluent in sign language might help, but I also wonder how to build one stronger congregation – albeit with many ministries – between English, French (often either of them as second or third language), American Sign Language, Langue des signes québécoise and British Sign Language... That might be too much to ask.
 
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