Activities and opportunities that most people take for granted can be very challenging or even impossible for someone who is disabled. The Internet, while making many things more convenient for almost everyone, can now often mean the difference between exclusion and access to those with disabilities. This is also true for members of the deaf community, who are increasingly using the Internet to find and connect with one another.
- Skill level:
Register as a member on All Deaf, a free social-networking site for the deaf or hard of hearing. This site is a well-rounded, moderated forum that includes an introduction section, general chat, a picture/video section, a deaf culture FAQ and current events relating to the deaf community, It features information on deaf education, the ADA, and technology and products geared toward the deaf and includes sections on family and relationship topics and on general interest topics.
Consider a membership in Tag Deaf, another free deaf social-networking site. Tag Deaf features a gallery, the ability to browse member profiles by information, events, quizzes, classified advertising, videos, groups, blogs, polls and a chat forum. You can choose the language in which the site appears, chat live and use Instant Messenger.
Try an online dating site such as Deaf Singles Connection, which allows free browsing and free contact initiation. This site offers online profiles, online classified advertising, member photographs, instant messenger, private mailbox, and public chat forum.
Look into a membership with Deaf Dates. This site features free registration, with verification of certain personal information (age, occupation, etc.) required as proof of sincerity, and has blogs, chat, forums, videos, deaf events and news, and live customer service.
Tips and warnings
- Observe online safety tips, both in social networking and dating. Deaf Dates advises being wary of anyone making financial solicitations. Do not share financial information with people you meet online. Be careful of posting too much personal information. If you choose to meet with someone, do so publicly and without giving out unnecessary personal information. Report individuals whose behaviour you find intrusive or threatening.
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