How to make new friend with deaf person?

When you first time see the deaf person join in your workplace or class, or see them enjoy talking to other deaf at the cafe or any place..You never have deaf friend before, right? So, what are you going to do if you want to make friend with deaf people? Don't worry, you can do that!

Last time, there is a hearing person appeared so suddenly and want to talk with me while I was reading my book in a bus school. She is interested in me and used pen & paper to communicate with me! :D After few months, we become best friends! I also have good friends in the Multimedia University (MMU). I really thank to them for helping me so many times! :)

You also can get new deaf friend!

How to do it?

1. When you meet a deaf person, just ask him/her if you can become a friend or not.

2. Don't worry, you can use pen & paper to communicate with deaf people because they understand about you don't know how to use the sign language..

3. Try to understand what deaf want to say and can learn the sign 'spelling' from him/her. Normally, I teach my hearing friend to sign 'spelling' like a, b, c.. from start. After that, she can spell so very fast..

4. You can ask if he/she need your help or not. Don't be scared and embarrassed when the deaf person is your friend. You also can help to explain what they are talking to deaf person when he/she don't understand what other friends are talking since you and friends are in the social group.

5. You can join in the deaf's activities if they invite you. You will become a good friend to him/her if they like you! :D

If your deaf friend is not comfortable with you..why? how? You need to read this info below;




*Learn the manual alphabet and sign language. Even a little helps!

*Make sure you have the attention of the deaf person before communicating.

*When communicating, focus your attention on the deaf person. If a hearing person comes and interrupts, first excuse yourself a moment, before turning from the deaf person.

*Use facial expression and natural mouth movement

*If communicating with someone who can lip read, speak slowly and clearly with a normal tone of voice.

*If possible, include the deaf person in the conversation when a hearing person joins. No one likes to be left out.

*Help the deaf person to feel comfortable during social gatherings. Introduce them to your hearing friends.


*Don't refer to the deaf as "deaf & dumb", or as "deaf-mute's"

*Don't insist that the deaf person try and talk.

*Don't place your hands in front of your face or lips when communicating with the deaf. Your face and lips give the deaf many clues to meanings they must see!

*Don't turn away from the deaf person when communicating.

*Don't talk down to a deaf adult. Don't be paternalistic and assume you know what deaf people need or want.

*Don't stare at the deaf person -- it is rude in any culture!.

*Don't persist in helping the deaf IF it is not needed. Help, Yes! Embarrass, NO!

*Try and find out the interests and opinions of the deaf and allow them to express themselves freely.

*Don't become discouraged if you have difficulty learning sign language well. Don't be afraid to ask the deaf person to sign slowly, just as you must talk slowly when speaking.

*Don't complain if a deaf person needs your assistance with a phone call.

*Don't forget about deaf people at meetings. They can "take an active part"!


*Some deaf have their doctorate degree, and some have excellent reading ability. But remember that not hearing the sounds, has made it very difficult for the average deaf person to learn vocabulary and grammar. The average reading level of the average deaf is about grade 5 (more or less). Keep this in mind and learn the approximate reading level of the deaf person, and work with that level.

*Deaf people are often discriminated against in the work place. Not only is the unemployment rate higher, but often being passed by for promotions, often leaves deaf under paid, and under-employed (and sometimes also frustrated!)

*The "Deaf World" has its own culture with what is accepted and not accepted! On the one hand you often find more hugging, on the other, the deaf world does not "pussy foot around" like the hearing, but may be much more blunt and frank about expressing opinions, likes and dislikes!

*Deaf have often been left out, mistreated, controlled and manipulated by the hearing world. Underneath there may be a high level of distrust, until you have proved your love, responsibility and reliability, and that you are not there to control and manipulate them but to accept them as equal individuals to you.

*From the source 'Deaf Hope website'

Post a Comment


Edward said…
Hi Selina.
I used to be afraid to talk to deaf people, cause i was afraid that i could not communicate with them. I guess its important for hearing people to understand deaf culture and the language as well.
Good tips, its really helpful for people who wants to start to know more about deaf. :)
adachadisini said…
hi selina. can i take yr entry n post it to my blog? mostly my blog reader is hearing. emm..from yr entry i hope it will help them n give them some information about deaf culturer??
act. i want to translate it into malay n post it to my blog,..
can i??

Selina Wing said…
You can translate malay in your blog if you want, but don't forget put my blog link, ok? :)

You can allow to copy and paste my entry post since you ask this permission from me.

Hope your friends will love it..haha
take5shopOn9 said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
mervynjames224 said…
This reminds me of a few years ago, when it was suggested hearing people 'Adopt a deaf person for a day' it was heavily opposed by the deaf who thought it the ultimate patronisation. The first response of a deaf person to someone asking them if they want a hearing friend, is negative. It is seen as an intrusion of privacy. It would be OK for those who have few or no friends due to various factors, but again, as deaf are vulnerable people, I'd want safeguards put in place.
rainingheaven said…
i must go find some deaf people to hang out more often la.
my signs are going down the drain soon! yikes!
Selina Wing said…

you learned sign language b4? :D You want go out with deaf friends? Try to check
:P You can try to see their performance 'sounds of silent dreams'? Bring your friends ;)
rainingheaven said…
hi selina,
i am learning SL with ymca.
i'm planning to take a few more friends to the event end of this august. but i am stil lacking of one deaf event for my assignment :(
Cam said…
Hello! :) My name's Camille and I am from United State. Well, you know what? Also, I am deaf, woot-woot! ^_^ I would like to connect and chat with any deaf people in Malaysia but I tried to search anything like connect through deaf Malaysian people in the Internet. It's kinda hard, oh well. I noticed that deaf Malaysian people use the sign language like our American Sign Languages, of course. :) Would you give some information about connecting and chat with deaf Malaysia people to me? I love meeting any people in other countries! Thanks :) :)
Selina Wing said…
Hello, Cam.

Yeah, Deaf Malaysian got use ASL but mix with BIM because got a history about them bring american sign languge (ASL) introducted to Deaf community in 1970s before our local sign language (BIM).

That is why Deaf visitors can communicate with Deaf malaysian here. If you want to visit Malaysia, can. :)
Try join on Facebook at or check on my friend's tour company at

My deaf friend can guide you go visit around malaysia! :D