Strengthening Deaf Community Ties Through Social Media Platforms
This paper centres around the deaf community strengthening its ties through social media platforms, such as Facebook, by deaf individuals supporting one another and providing helpful advice in ways that are not possible in traditional communities. This focus results in the paper falling into the Social Media Communities and Networks stream of the conference. Social media can be utilised as a third place to inform and support deaf individuals in the case of disasters and emergencies using deaf-friendly forms of communication. Social media groups on platforms such as Facebook are beneficial for deaf members to recount the everyday struggles they frequently encounter as part of the deaf world and receive support and advice from other deaf individuals who can relate to the same experiences. Social media platforms are effective channels for deaf individuals to motivate and inspire one another to achieve their goals in life. Social media enables deaf individuals to connect from across the world to form persistent contacts that defy time and location. These contacts result in a pervasive awareness of what others in the deaf community do in their day to day lives. This support and strengthening of ties within the deaf community is made possible by the accessibility of social media platforms for deaf users. The use of videos, captions, comments and contrasting colours makes it easy for deaf users to interact with each other.