In the UK, 71% of Tinder users would feel nervous dating a deaf person. Relax! Deaf twins Hermon & Heroda (a.k.a. Being Her) teamed up with Tinder to teach British Sign Language and share accessible dating tips. Here are three. Do you have tips to add?
1. Ask the person how they would like to communicate. Some people listen with tech like hearing aids, some text, and some sign. British Sign Language is the dominant sign language in the UK, and American Sign Language is the dominant one in the US. Ask which sign language they know, and then have fun learning!
2. For the date spot, a quiet place will make it easier to hear for people who are hard of hearing, and a place with good lighting may make it easier to see facial expressions. But don’t assume, ask.
3. If you’re not immediately understood, be patient. Try saying it again, convey the same message in different words, write it down, look up the sign, gesture, or find other creative ways to communicate.
Disability justice Campaigners Hermon and Heroda are fighting the widespread misperceptions hearing people have about deaf people, but we need more advocates in the movement. Equality, for all of us, starts with love.