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View Full Version : Something most people probably never think about.


Clean Lawn
07-17-2007, 07:35 PM
After talking at length regarding my new company and reading information on all the other companies that have made posts in this section of the forums, this one thing had not come to mind once while I was discussing my business or reading anyone elses.
How many people have been asked to come a give a estimate for a client and shown up there only to find out that the client was deaf?
Well one of things I can add to my list of things I can do, is that I know American Sign Language. Maybe I should say that I have studied the language for several years in the past and was pleasantly surprised when I was able to put my signing skills to the test today and gain a customer and potentially much more through the deaf community. One thing about the deaf community is when a business is deaf friendly, they love that and will use it. Unless for some reason the business is horrible but that isn't me and as long as I have say and control it never will be.
I was curious after it happened how many other lawn care professionals have found themselves in that same situation but felt helpless because they could not communicate with the deaf client?
Now I am even more curious if anyone out there has considered going to school to learn some basic sign language signs to better themselves and make themselves for accessable for deaf clients?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Yes, I was very excited by this today. Its not very often that I have had the pleasure to use my knowledge of American Sign Language but it was great!
Have a great green day!

Steve
07-17-2007, 09:45 PM
Oh that is fascinating!

I know nothing about this, but is there some kind of logo one can put on their website that shows they can speak using sign language? Does the American Sign Language Association offer something like this? If they don't maybe you should write them and let them know they should!

Have you ever considered to offer some sign language classes at night at your local church or library? It could be a great way to reach out to your community and teach them as well as build up goodwill within your community for offering such training.

Clean Lawn
07-17-2007, 10:42 PM
That is actually a great idea! Because I have friends who are deaf (which is one of the reasons I started studying american sign language) but having that information on my webpage when it is created is a great idea.
I am in Virginia Beach, Virginia and we have a LARGE deaf community here. Tidewater Community College was the first community college here to offer an associate for interpreters (which was one of my original intentions when I started studying the language) and every Friday night there is a Silent Dinner at one of the local malls (it rotates to a different mall every week). But I hadn't gone to a Silent Dinner in a long long time. My youngest is only two years old and already knows some sign language.
I am going to write to several of the deaf organizations regarding your suggestion because I think it is a great one. I am also considering finishing my interpreting degree just because I feel it would be a great benefit to my company to have.
Anyone that lives in the Hampton Roads area or in Virginia period can send me an e-mail at cleanlawn01@yahoo.com and I can point them in the right direction to start taking classes to learn american sign language.
Also in Richmond they offer Silent Dinners also but I will have to e-mail the director of the AAS program there at J. Sergeant Reynolds about theres. It has been a long long time since I was up there too.
And when I woke up this morning I thought it was going to be another typical Monday, a sleepy one. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Steve
07-17-2007, 11:31 PM
Well keep us posted on what happens!

Do you have any suggestions to other lcos when interacting with a deaf customer?

Clean Lawn
07-18-2007, 01:13 AM
Yes, there are wonderful trained interpreters that have studied for years and years to perform their jobs. If you are working for a deaf client and need to speak person to person than go that extra mile to pay a deaf interpreter to come and make everything easier for the both of you. If you cannot find an interpreter or cannot afford one then the old pen and paper is going to be your best option. You won't offend anyone with either of those options.
You will offend a deaf person if you stand there speaking so slowly that no one in their right minds would understand you or screaming at the top of your lungs at them. They cannot hear you and no all deaf people cannot read lips. That is a false myth. If your lucky enough to meet one deaf person who can read lips consider yourself very very lucky and once again please speak normally and make eye contact. Do not try to over pronounce your words or speak ridiculously slow.
Most states also have a service known as a TTY that allows for a deaf and a hearing person to communicate. You speak to an operator and they type in what you are saying to the deaf person and the deaf person would have a special phone that allowed them to see what the operator is typing to you and to type their responses. That is how 99.9% of them will communicate via phone. They are fond of the palm pilots (but that is not the name of the ones I am trying to speak of). E-mail is also an easy way to communicate with the deaf. You will want to try to avoid cliches, idioms. etc... they won't translate the same as they do in English.
Hope this is helpful for everyone and I am so glad someone came in today and this subject was made available. I know most people have never met a deaf person before but in this industry your chances are greater than most of them.

Steve
07-18-2007, 06:39 PM
Very insightful! I was thinking, you could even do a speech for the local chamber of commerce. Or what if you put together a press release about this topic and then sent it to your local paper. Maybe they would write an article about you! That could be some great free publicity.

Clean Lawn
07-19-2007, 10:31 AM
That is another great idea!

Clean Lawn
07-21-2007, 09:14 PM
I haven't found anything that people use to show that a business is deaf friendly, so I am going to present the idea to the members of the deaf community over the next several weeks at the silent dinners. I want to get their feedback since it is a service I am including for them because of my signing knowledge. I will also be going back to school to brush up some more on those signing skills. I am also seriously considering finishing my interpreting degree and get my interpreting certification. I think it is not something I necessarily need but I think it speaks more highly of my commitment to include my services to the deaf members of the hampton roads community by going that extra yard.
I will let everyone know more as I know more on this.
I wanted to add that this forums by far are the best I have come across. I have had such a positive response by the members and the operators/moderators of these forums. Professional is the best was to describe everyone that I have had the priviledge of speaking with from here. Thanks everyone, ya'll are helping me make CleanLawn the best lawn service and landscaping business in my community by far!

Steve
07-21-2007, 10:27 PM
Quote[/b] ]I will also be going back to school to brush up some more on those signing skills. I am also seriously considering finishing my interpreting degree and get my interpreting certification. I think it is not something I necessarily need but I think it speaks more highly of my commitment to include my services to the deaf members of the hampton roads community by going that extra yard.
I will let everyone know more as I know more on this.
If a program doesn't exist, you could always start one. Create a logo that could be put on websites and store windows that shows the customer, this store can communicate with signing. Or something to that effect.

Quote[/b] ]I wanted to add that this forums by far are the best I have come across. I have had such a positive response by the members and the operators/moderators of these forums. Professional is the best was to describe everyone that I have had the priviledge of speaking with from here. Thanks everyone, ya'll are helping me make CleanLawn the best lawn service and landscaping business in my community by far!
Thank you very much too!

I noticed in another post you had mention you run some other businesses as well. Could you make a new post and share with us some of your experiences in those businesses? It might help other readers who are considering getting into those fields.

Thanks!