How to better engage the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Eric Singer

Public Information Officers, listen up, really, listen up! Published research could help you link up with what may be an underserved segment of your community. These external stakeholders are the deaf and hearing impaired community. Eric Singer’s Flash Briefing guest this week is Derrec Becker. He is the Chief of Public Information and External Affairs, South Carolina Emergency Management Division. Derrec is also the author of “We Don’t Hear You. Assessing Phonocentrism in Emergency Public Information to engage the deaf and hard of hearing community.” Derrec told Eric that among the takeaways he learned was in how emergency information was presented and message structure, “In this community, they wanted to be told what to do first in an emergency, followed by reasons why and what’s happening.” According to Becker, an example of this type of structuring would be, “Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in three days.” Becker confirmed to Eric that for this group of external stakeholders, “You need to start with the action, what you at home need to do and follow up with supporting information. It kind of confirms with that news belief that you should lead with the most important information and follow it up with supporting information.”  There are more specifics about how Derrec’s agency is taking first steps to really engage with the deaf and hard of hearing community during emergencies and sunny days in his conversation with Eric in the PAST Fusion Cell’s Flash Briefing. We have also provided you Derrec Becker’s full research paper to give you more insight into what he learned and best practices. To listen to this Flash Briefing, please click on the link below.

Flash Briefing – Week of January 13th, 2020