(Fullerton, CA, USA)
It’s okay to help someone you know who is Deaf if they ask for your help. However, if they do not ask, do not interfere. When my fiance and I go out to a restaurant, I let him order for himself. The waiter may look at the hearing person for help (with quite a terrified look on their face) but I know my fiance can get across that he wants a hamburger with no onions and a coke.
So, let the Deaf person take care of themselves unless you are asked for some reason to jump in and interpret for them. Treat your Deaf friend like you would any hearing friend you have. Do not feel sorry for them because it looks as though they are having a hard time because the hearing person is not understanding them. This is their chance to teach the other hearing people in the world about the Deaf and perhaps teach themselves patience (if they don’t have a ton of it already from dealing with so many hearing people who don’t know what to do when faced with their first Deaf person).
However, if you are in customer service such as waitressing or a department store and notice that someone who is Deaf has come into your store or restaurant — and you know ASL, then by all means, do switch tables with your co-worker and take the order. I know my fiance does appreciate it when this happens, even if the person is just beginning to learn sign, they at least know how to act with him and can make the experience a little easier.
Comments for Helping or Caretaking??