Communication – So what happens if you are deaf/blind…

When we talk about managing and dealing with conflict scenarios communication is key, we highlight how your nonverbal communication your body language, gestures and tone and pitch forms 93% of the communication process. Consequently what we see and what we hear you would regard as thee capability and ability to communicate between human beings. So what happens if you are deaf/blind, where your perceived fundamental senses for communication do not exist as we know them and yet the deaf/blind communicate on a daily basis?
This was highlighted at a recent course I was delivering, were the participant who worked with the deaf/blind community found that translating the spoken word through touch. While effective in the literal sense of send and receiving messages it seemed to lack somewhat in the interpretation, perception of the emotional context. We understand it in the seeing /hearing community when people misinterpret messages, misperceive what is being communicated and the emotional responses to misunderstandings. However the difference is the seeing/hearing community can respond through both non-verbal and verbal communication to show empathy, sympathy or compassion to rectify or pacify any of the miscommunication, the deaf/blind community find this difficult from what I understand. To make matters more complex the participant explained that they had also to work through a third party “ a Guide” who acted as translator/communicator which added yet another dynamic to the already complex communication process and in particular when attempting to manage conflict scenario’s. I had to hold my hands up and say I had no experience of this and no answers or advice to give, suffice to say nobody in the room, of very qualified and experienced practitioners, had any answers to offer only words of acknowledgement and encouragement in finding solutions. I would be very interested to hear from any professional, practitioner or just anybody as to their experience and good practice in this area.

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