(Brief Review) Special Needs Deaf (SND) are deaf people who, for one reason or another, need special methods to teach them. There could be many different reasons. For example: No exposure to Sign Language, little or no education, eyesight problems, behavioral problems, slow learners. The first method to help SND people understand the Word of God was to think in pictures.
Pictures are used for teaching the Bible, salvation, and language education. Remember these ideas when using pictures.
- Emphasize Only One Idea – This rule is especially true when you are teaching a language. A picture needs to have the main meaning as the central focus of the picture. DO NOT clutter up a picture with many backgrounds, other characters, or other words. For example, you want to teach the sign “wolf,” then use a picture of a wolf only. DO NOT use a picture with other animals in it.
- Use Clear Pictures With an Outline Around the Subject – Some pictures look “hazy.” The subject is not clearly defined. Colors and shapes just seem to blend into each other. Use pictures that have an outline around them to clearly emphasize the shape of an object or person.
- Point at Pictures – One common way of teaching is to actively use pictures by pointing at them while you are teaching. I do this almost every time I teach. When I show a picture of a Bible story, I point to the picture and do the sign and/or actions. One Sunday, I taught about creation. I had a PowerPoint presentation of creation. I just pointed to the pictures and asked the Deaf who, or what the pictures were. I pointed to Eve and signed “name?” (My face was questioning.) Those who knew, signed the right answer. Those who did not know the right answer just copied my signs.
- Picture Word Cards – Picture word cards are used to teach SND Deaf people new signs. You can make word cards yourself or sometimes find them in stores. I have made near 300 word cards for use in teaching SND Deaf. (Write me if you are interested in the word cards.)
Editor Note: I have personally watched Bob Himes teach every level of Deaf person in the Philippines Deaf Camps. It is always interesting and amazing to watch SND Deaf people begin to understand. I noticed that his lessons were never hurried, but went at the pace of the person who was being taught. Once they began to understand, he reviewed, quizzed, and encouraged them until he was sure they understood. Try these methods for yourself! – JBarr