For the Deaf, Social Distancing Without Counseling Can Mean Social Isolation
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 13, 2024

For the Deaf, Social Distancing Without Counseling Can Mean Social Isolation

The pandemic has flipped life upside down across the United States, shuttering schools, hobbling the economy and costing millions of Americans their jobs. But for the deaf, new social distancing guidelines, like staying 6 feet from others and wearing a mask, can present particular challenges, making everyday tasks more complicated and bringing increased stress and anxiety. BetterHelp answers your questions with a licensed counselor.

Some 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss. In the United States, more than 37 million adults, about 15% of the population, report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Many deaf people rely on visual cues like the movement of another person’s lips, said Michelle Willenbrock, a vocational rehabilitation counselor in St. Louis. Cloth masks eliminate this visual information and can also muffle speech, she said.

New social distancing rules can also create practical problems for the deaf and blind populations.

“There are individuals with disabilities that also rely on guides or job coaches to help them understand their job responsibilities,” Willenbrock said. “This definitely creates a challenge for vocational rehabilitation, employment agencies and employers.”

A lack of access to vital information about COVID-19 is also a concern. According to Willenbrock, not being able to meet with a counselor in person can create anxiety and depression in people with severe expressive and receptive communication barriers.

“The challenge is getting a sign language interpreter to be present on Zoom and making sure that the captions work,” she said.

Sign language interpreters are among a growing group of essential workers during the pandemic, often called on to stand beside officials communicating vital information on television and in internet livestreams. But they are not everywhere.

Zoom meetings and FaceTime chats have largely replaced in-person gatherings and social events for the deaf and blind, who are subject to the same lockdown and shelter-in-place orders as everyone else.

Hayes, who uses pro-tactile American Sign Language, a form of ASL that relies on physical touch between people communicating, said she was recently on a Zoom call with black interpreters that had more than 200 people.

“These platforms allow us to be semiconnected to each other still, and that is a huge thing to be grateful for,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine this pandemic happening without these resources.”

Roberta Cordano, president of Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for the deaf in Washington, said it was time for the United States to rethink the way it responds to crises.

“We must re-imagine our world to consider, to include, our deaf community first, not after,” she said, urging improvements in education equity, health equity, employment and retraining, and support for deaf entrepreneurs and researchers.

As the number of coronavirus cases in America begins to slow and states gradually begin to reopen with restrictions, there is work to be done to protect deaf and blind people, like requiring the use of certified deaf interpreters and sign language interpreters for all public service announcements and rethinking the current one-size-fits-all definition of social distancing, Cordano said.

“The ‘two adults, 6 feet apart’ standard carries its own inherent bias, assuming all those social distancing are the same: that they are hearing, seeing and without any need of support,” Cordano said.

She added that a significant portion of the U.S. population, including young children, older adults, deaf-blind people and other people with disabilities, need people in proximity for their safety and well-being.

As leaders begin to navigate a world already forcefully reshaped by the pandemic, Cordano said it was important that deaf-blind people “have a seat at the table on policy and design.”

“Because our daily lives have always required us to adapt continuously, we have the natural skill, energy and commitment to adapt when a large-scale crisis hits,” she said. “It’s in our DNA to adapt and innovate.”

Today's News

August 5, 2020

Will Superblue be the 'Infinity Room' writ large?

Turmoil after a museum deletes 'Black Lives Matter' from postings

Animal sculptures from the golden age of carousels find new home at Crocker Art Museum

New exhibition at Centre Pompidou features works acquired by the museum over the past decade

Firstsite opens a display of works by Phyllida Barlow

'Young Poland: The Polish Arts & Crafts Movement' to publish November 2020

Americans of varied backgrounds represented in new exhibition

Congolese refugee artist seeks niche in Greece

Krannert Art Museum prepares to reopen to the public

Sotheby's Old Master Director Chloe Stead joins Colnaghi

Eccentric, astonishing, fascinating - the extraordinary Tony Parker Collection comes to auction at Ewbank's in Surrey

Future Generation Art Prize 2021 shortlist announced

The Design Museum in London reopens with Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers

Heritage Auctions' two-day Summer Sports Card event tops $9.4 million mark

William 'Refrigerator' Perry's Super Bowl XX jersey coming to Heritage Auctions sale

The Birmingham Museum of Art announces Nancy Hendrix as Director of Development

Helen Jones Woods, member of an all-female jazz group, dies at 96

What is it like to watch live dance again? Amazing

GOST Books to publish 'Hayal & Hakikat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & A Handbook of Punishment'

Coventry City of Culture Trust launch new brand identity and film inspired by the city

The Rockettes' 'Christmas Spectacular' is canceled

The most iconic artistic depictions of gambling

For the Deaf, Social Distancing Without Counseling Can Mean Social Isolation

IAGR: General Info & Duties

Dedicated Vs. Cloud Hosting

How To Get Back On The Road After An Accident

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful