Bridging the Communication and Cultural Gaps Between Hearing and Non-Hearing
THE CHALLENGES FACING THE DEAF COMMUNITY
According to a May 28, 2022, report, the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world's population suffers from disabling hearing loss. Five percent (5%) may seem like a small number, but that totals over 360 million people across the globe. This number represents only those who are considered hearing-loss and NOT the hearing individuals who interact with the hearing-loss.
In the US alone, approximately 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, making up 15% of the population in the United States of America. Hearing loss has been shown to impact nearly every dimension of the human experience negatively. This includes physical health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity, family esteem, social skills, work, and school performance.
Although there is the American Disability Act which prohibits discrimination based on disability, employers, educators, as well as individuals remain to discreetly discriminate against those individuals who are hearing impaired. Discrimination comes in the form of lack of employment opportunities, expedient health care, justice, and often death. Death has come because of gang members not recognizing deaf individuals signing, which is misunderstood as gang signaling.
Existing systems and structures designed to specifically address and support the deaf community, such as the current technologies and working/living conditions, still allow for a huge void for many hearing-loss individuals. For instance, closed captioning is not 100% accurate. The inaccuracies result in hearing impaired individuals having to spend EXTRA time on totally understanding what message is being delivered. OR timely employment, purchases, and emergency health care are missed because the employer, business establishment, law enforcement and health care provider are not timely connected with the hearing-loss individual.
Likewise, when first meeting a deaf person, hearing people do make assumptions about the individual’s communication. Not knowing there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to communication, nor is there a “typical” deaf person. Everyone is unique and brings their own set of communication needs and preferences, based on the setting and the purpose of the interaction.
WHAT WE DO
Sign-N-Voice Xchange (SNVX) is focused on connecting the deaf community, hearing community, and businesses to create a thriving eco-system that creates a win-win-win opportunity for all.
Our goals include:
Developing and delivering innovative technology solutions
Increasing communication opportunities for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing
Providing accessible services for businesses that want to increase their bottom line
FOUNDER & CEO
Higher education and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 does little to overcome the challenges many hearing-loss individuals’ continually encounter. Challenges such as miscommunications or misinterpretation of signing, laughter about mispronouncing words, delays in responding to questions that affect one’s health, safety, or life.
Instead of these challenges stalling her life, Makini developed a keen skill for identifying solutions that minimized her missing opportunities and delayed communications.
Now, Makini is embarking on a trek to create solutions for others that bridge the communications gap that exists between the hearing and the hearing-loss communities.
Although Makini’s ultimate goal is to make technological paths in how spoken and visual language are combined in today’s world.
LEARNING SOLUTIONS & MARKETING STRATEGIST
Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Ron is a US Air Force Veteran and Learning Solution Architect with more than 28 years of experience in building and launching learning solutions that have been implemented in thousands of academic institutions and enterprise organizations around the world, including Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, the US Air Force (USAF), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Plant-Based Network, and Rock You Academy.
In addition to learning solutions, Ron has helped to successfully launch a range of products, such as a film in theatres and on Netflix, a line of whole food plant-based meals in over 1000 grocery stores, and digital phone services. He has also helped to build support communities for health, business, and technology in more than 400 cities around the world.
As a child, Ron learned sign language and braille, and is passionate about connecting communities.