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Hobbies & Activities

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Being deaf or hard of hearing shouldn't stand in the way of anyone enjoying or discovering new hobbies & activities. Whether you enjoy solitary activities such as fishing or reading, or would like to engage in group activities, like playing cards or pool, or even if you would prefer activities that are a bit more strenuous, like Horseback Riding, there is always something for you to do. If you have a Hearing Impairment or even if you are Deaf, this should not prevent you from playing or taking part in a wide variety of hobbies and should not effect how well you play them.

People with Hearing Impairments can achieve important benefits by taking part in activities & hobbies. These activities do not only encourage socializing, but also bring enjoyment. Hobbies generally do not require as many skills or as much exertion, as sport, but can help prevent depression, improve your mood, reduce anxiety & stress, as well as get you out of the rut. Some hobbies are also good exercise and can provide many health benefits. Some bobbies, however include barriers like affordability, transportation and communication.

This however, is not always the case, as there are also many hobbies, that are free or inexpensive, can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home and, do not require much verbal communication. There are normally ways of overcoming obstacles such as those associated with communication, so that everyone can participate. It may require more planning & organization, or slight adaptions to the activity, but the benefits will make it worth your while.

Below are a few Hobbies available for the Deaf and people with Hearing Impairments . To view more information about these Hobbies and others, view the menu on the left.

Art & Creative Writing

Art & Creative Writing are hobbies that are enjoyable hobbies that are not effected if you are Deaf or have a Hearing Impairment. Hearing Impairments will not effect how well you will be able to create Art or participate in Creative Writing. Art & Creative Writing are not only enjoyable, but offer many benefits.

Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. Both fictional and non-fictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems, while Art can include a number of activities including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Pottery
  • Beadwork, etc

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Books & Reading

Reading is a wonderful hobby and very inexpensive. This hobby that can be enjoyed even if you are Deaf or have a Hearing Impairment. Hearing Impairments will not prevent you from enjoying reading. Reading not only enjoyable, but offer many benefits.

The act of reading improves your ability to absorb and comprehend written information, helping you in virtually any career path. There are very few jobs today that don't incorporate written information or instructions, and the more you read, the easier it is for you to absorb that information and execute your job better. Reading can be surprisingly social, too, with book clubs turning books into a true social event.

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Card, Video & Board Games

Building Puzzles, and playing cards, video or board games, are all great hobbies. If you are Deaf, or suffer from a Hearing Impairment, should not prevent you from finding some card, video or board games that you will be able to play and that you will enjoy even if you are Deaf. Some games can also be adapted, so that that both individuals with Hearing Impairments and without can play against each other.

There are a wide range of card & video games for all ages and genders. Some of the most popular board games that individuals, who are Deaf, include: Chess, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes.

Some of these games might require the assistance of assistive devices to communicate, such as a card with the words "Checkmate" or "Check", which could be used during a game of Chess, or individuals can show a deaf person that it is their turn through head movement and eye gaze. Since the addressee in a signed conversation must be watching the signer, a signer can avoid letting the other person have a turn by not looking at them, or can indicate that the other person may have a turn by making eye contact.

There are also computerised versions available, such Card Games and Chess, which are available to play on a computer.

If you enjoy playing computer games, there are a variety, which are available, many of which can often get acquired for free, or fairly cheaply.

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Horseback Riding or Hippo Therapy

Horse riding is available for the Deaf in South Africa as a sport, hobby and forms of therapy, known as Horse riding Therapy and Hippo Therapy.

The Deaflympics does not have Equestrian as a sport, but People with a hearing loss are free to compete at the Olympic Games. In the Paralympics, there is currently no unique classification for deaf athletes, they require an additional disability which meets one of the Paralympic criteria to participate. Singapore Paralympian dressage rider Laurentia Tan fits the bill. She is deaf and also has cerebral palsy, so she competes as a CP athlete.

Horse riding offers many benefits and is not only good exercise, but is also:

  • therapeutic 
  • recreational
  • beneficial in all aspects of people in their mental, physical and social lives.

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