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Reaching Out to Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing People: Developing a “Deaf-friendly” Website. Matthew J. Starr, MPH National Center for Deaf Health Research Department of Community & Preventive Medicine University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY

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Reaching Out to Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing People: Developing a “Deaf-friendly” Website


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    1. Reaching Out to Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing People:Developing a “Deaf-friendly” Website Matthew J. Starr, MPH National Center for Deaf Health Research Department of Community & Preventive Medicine University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY This presentation was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5-U48-DP-000031-03 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    2. Objectives • Gain basic understanding of Deaf culture & perspectives; • Increase awareness of what makes a “Deaf-Friendly” website; • Identify resources for community-based collaboration. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    3. Working with Sign Language InterpretersMaintain Proper Eye Contact • A deaf person will usually watch the interpreter to follow what is being said. However, when the interpreter is voicing for a deaf person, attention can and should be focused on the deaf person, not the interpreter. • When proper eye contact is not maintained (the hearing person is not directly looking at the deaf person), the deaf person can feel ignored or left out. • With one exception! National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    4. What should you call me? 1. Alternatively Hearing 12. Hearing Disabled 2. Auditorially Inconvenienced 13. Hearing Handicapped 3. Communicatively Challenged 14. Hearing Impaired 4. Deaf-and-Dumb 15. Just Different 5. Deaf as a Post 16. Partially Deaf 6. Deaf-Mute 17. Sensorially Ungifted 7. Deaf 18. Thick O’ Hearing 8. deaf 19. Tin Ear 9. Deef 20. Tone Deaf 10. Differently Abled 21. Totally Deaf 11. Hard of Hearing 22. “deaf as a door nail” National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    5. Deaf People • Deafpeople rely primarily on visionto communicate. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    6. Culturally Deaf People • American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary language of the Deaf community. • The uppercase "D" refers to a specific sociocultural group whereas the lowercase "d" is used when a more general reference to hearing loss is intended. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    7. Hard-of-Hearing People • People who are hard of hearing rely primarily on hearing with the help of amplification. • Not part of Deaf culture. • Baby Boomers. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    8. The Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities are not homogenous. • People who are culturally Deaf • People who are oral deaf • People who are hard-of-hearing • People who are late-deafened • People with cochlear implants • People who are D/deaf-blind • People who are D/deaf with additional disabilities Each of these groups has very different communication needs and cultural distinctives. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    9. Perspectives: Cultural Model • Acceptance of ASL as a language and uses it everyday • Indicated as capitalized “D” • Embraces the values, mores and ways of the Deaf • Is viewed as a language minority (such as those who speak Spanish) Jessica Cuculick, MSW, Deaf Strong Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center, September 2006 National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    10. Perspectives: Medical Model • Broken/fix it principle • Rejection of ASL as a language • Indicated as a lowercase “d” • Deafness is viewed as a disability • “Hearing Impaired” is a term often used Jessica Cuculick, MSW, Deaf Strong Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center, September 2006 National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    11. Deaf-Friendly Website Design • Cultural Sensitive Terminology • Captioning • American Sign Language • Backgrounds and Contrasts National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    12. Culturally Sensitive Terminology National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    13. Culturally Sensitive TerminologySample Website: http://www.ahiha.org/ National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    14. Captioning • Pros: Accessible to oral deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. • Cons: Not accessible to ASL users. National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    15. CaptioningSample Website: http://www.precisiontransfer.com/justaskme/streamingenglish.html#Flash National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    16. Captioning Resources http://www.webaim.org/techniques/captions/ National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    17. American Sign Language • ASL is a visual language created by Deaf people. • ASL is neither written nor spoken language. • ASL is a fully developed, natural language which has no grammatical relationship with English. • ASL is not an universal sign language. • http://www.wfdeaf.org/ National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    18. The ASL Community: Issues of Readability • English is their second language. • Oxford English Dictionary: 60,000 words • ASL: Approx. 10,000 words • Classifiers: Handshapes used in American Sign Language to show movement, location and appearance. • http://www.jal.cc.il.us/ipp/Classifiers/1CL.swf National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    19. The ASL Community: Issues of ReadabilityNational Association of the Deaf www.nad.org National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    20. Issues of Readability:NAD Website • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Score: • General population: Aim for 7 to 8. • NAD: 16 • Flesch Reading Ease Score: • The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document. • General population: Aim for 60 – 70. • NAD: 25 National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    21. The ASL Community: Issues of Readability What matters deafness of the ear, when the mind hears? The one true deafness, the incurable deafness, is that of the mind. Victor Hugo National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    22. Sample of ASL/Captioning website:Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing http://kcdhh.ky.gov/ National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    23. Sample of ASL/Captioning website:Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/pubhealth/flu/flu_05/factsheets/flu_mythsfacts_asl.html National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    24. Sample of ASL/Captioning website:Sorenson Communications http://www.sorensonvrs.com/vids/index.php National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    25. Backgrounds and Contrasts http://www.hknc.org/ National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    26. Sample of Backgrounds/Contrasts website:AT&T • http://www.relaycall.com/national/relay.html National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    27. Who benefits? National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    28. Developing “Deaf-Friendly” Websites:Collaborate with the Deaf Community! • Identify Deaf community leaders • Interpreting Services • Pitfalls of working with some deaf web designers National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    29. Collaborative Resources • World Federation of the Deaf • National Association of the Deaf (USA) • Canadian Association of the Deaf • http://www.deafwebsites.com/ National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    30. Recommended Readings • Dolnick, E (1993) Deafness as Culture The Atlantic Monthly • Baker-Shenk, C & Kyle, J.G. Research with Deaf People: issues and conflicts, Disability, Handicap & Society, Vol. 5, No.1, 1990 National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center

    31. Afterthoughts Matthew_Starr@urmc.rochester.edu National Center for Deaf Health Research Rochester Prevention Research Center