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They Do Not Know Their Own Names!

It might surprise you that some deaf people do not know their own names. You may think this happens only in the Philippines, but I have met deaf people even in the United States that did not know their own names! Here are some ideas to find their names.

  1. Many people may think, “I will just ask someone else their name.” Sometimes that works; sometimes it does not work. I have asked people the name of the deaf person, and the answer (In the Philippines) is “ang apa” (the deaf one). Others did not know the deaf people’s names either.
  2. Write your name on a piece of paper or on a white board. Point to the name and then to yourself. Hand them the pencil/marker and gesture for them to write. Sometimes they can; sometimes they cannot.
  3. Get out an ID card of some kind. (Hide your sensitive information.) Point to the card and then yourself. Point to the deaf person with a questioning expression. You? Sometimes they do have an ID with their name already on it.
  4. Look for their name on some of their belongings. People sometimes still write their names on their books, clothing, and other items. You can show your name on something you have. Then point to them and their items.
  5. If none of these methods work, you might have to look for someone who does know their name.

    NOTE: These methods also work for other information, such as birthdays, ages, addresses and more. Be creative and patient. You may have the joy of watching someone learn their own name!

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