6 Getting Attention in the Deaf Communit

English Notes
BSL Video

Getting Attention in the Deaf Community DOs and DON’Ts

DO: Sign Language depends on vision. To begin a conversation you must first make eye contact with the person you want to sign to. If this person is not looking at you, you can try waving to catch his/her eye.

DON’T: When you wave in this way, do not wave in the person's face or use huge waving gestures if you are close by. A small flapping movement of the hand is usually enough, as your tutor will demonstrate.

DO: If waving fails, you can tap the person's shoulder if you are near enough. Do not feel hesitant about this tapping, even with strangers, because Deaf community members are used to this type of contact.

DON’T: When touching a person to get their attention, do not tap too lightly, just once, or too often. Two or three firm, but not heavy, taps should be enough. Shoulders are the best place to tap until you know the person well! Remember, if you can get the person’s attention with a wave, there is no need to tap them.

DO: If the person you want to sign to is at a distance, ask other people to pass on your wave or tap until you get this person's attention. BSL conversations can be held at greater distances than spoken conversations.


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