As a speech pathologist, my job is communication. As a person with both deafness and hearing impairment in my family, I am reminded daily of the frustrations that accompany hearing loss.

All too often in our rushed world we hurry along, speaking rapidly, walking rapidly and multitasking. This can leave the hearing-impaired person behind, regardless of age or intellect.

Like deafness, hearing impairment is a hidden handicap. Unless there are cues such as sign language, a cochlear implant or visible hearing aids, we may assume that the person understands a conversation, especially if his speech is intelligible.

One might encounter a hearing-impaired person on a professional or a personal level. We might be selling him a house or giving her a medical diagnosis.

Here are some simple, easy guidelines that might help the public communicate more effectively.

1. Look at the person that you are talking to.

2. Speak at a normal rate, not rapid, but not turtle-like.

3. Do not yell.

4. Ask if the person understands.

5. Be kind.

People of all ages, socioeconomic levels, and gender experience hearing loss. The next hearing impaired person that you encounter may be a friend, a family member or a colleague.

VICKIE GUERRY

Charleston Speech Services

Antigua Drive

Mount Pleasant

Marooned on island

We must improve the safety of Maybank Highway.

Over the last few months, I have witnessed the aftermath of a car crashing into a building, received a call from a pregnant colleague after she was rear-ended and attended the heart-wrenching memorial for David Massie, who was killed while trying to cross the road.

If you make this daily commute, I’m sure you have stories of your own. As Charleston continues to grow, we need to support improvements that don’t just protect our quality of life but protect life itself.

We need upgrades that will slow traffic, including medians, better crosswalk signals and wider sidewalks. These changes will protect the lives of all users.

The people affected by dangerous roads are our friends, family and neighbors. We are a community that must start to protect each other, and designing our streets in a fashion that gets people where they need to go without harm is the most important first step.

KENDYLL COLLINS

Hunters Oak Lane

Johns Island

Art Connects

Thanks to Steve Bailey for his April 14 Post and Courier commentary, “How to get your kid into School of the Arts (and save a bundle).”

We, however, need to clarify our school’s mission and what it is we provide students.

Started 30 years ago by my wife, Dianne Tennyson Vincent, Art Connects Art School offers training in the technical and critical skills needed for students who want to be artists and teach art therapy practices for self-discovery and problem solving.

Fifteen years ago, I broadened our mission to provide drawing, painting, sculpture, children’s books, animation, comics and cartooning with the training necessary to be successful in any field.

As working professionals, students see us manage our own projects from beginning to end. We are traditionalists; our school is built on a foundation of drawing.

Inarguably, drawing strengthens any practice, whether for a doctor, a lawyer or another profession.

We do not exist as “part of a cottage industry,” as the article said, to funnel students into magnet schools like the School of the Arts.

While we have successfully prepared many students for middle, high school, college and MFA programs, our mission is to train individuals, amateur or professional, to create at their full potential.

Many students accepted to SOA continue with us because of our small classes (five students or less), our ability to cater to individual interests and, more importantly, our training of the creative imagination for tangible results in the lives of our students.

ERIC VINCENT

DIANNE VINCENT

6th Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Bad pairing

Unlike pairing a fine wine with a gourmet meal, NBC chose to pair noisy rock music with the Preakness Stakes, a prestigious thoroughbred horse race.

The network should have its corporate head examined.

BILL WALKER

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Marshall Boulevard

Sullivan’s Island

College diversity

The May 17 Wall Street Journal posted an editorial on a new adversity rating to be implemented by the College Board.

Why is it that our society, and most notably the progressive elements of it, need to find ways to deny qualified candidates entrance to institutions while softening standards in the name of diversity?

Let’s face it: Equal opportunity and its sister program of affirmative action has not worked because it created more inequities than it was supposed to eliminate.

Diversity is a noble cause, but when it is accomplished through means that are not only unfair but prejudicial and discriminatory, then it is no better than what it really is: a form of denial.

Adversity as defined by the College Board is a sham and a needless attribute. This is not about giving the poor access to higher education. It is profiling and another step toward inequality.

There is social harm being created, and it is a wrongful approach in trying to solve the age-old issue of discrimination.

The College Board is not empowered to create standards for admission. That role needs to remain with each institution and its trustees.

BRUCE L. PEPCHINSKI

Sound View Drive

Mount Pleasant

Cycling for a cause

The Great Cycle Challenge is a nationwide effort to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. This is my fourth time participating in this challenge, and I am trying to bring greater awareness and participation to this amazing fundraiser that anyone who rides a bike can participate in.

My daughter became fast friends with a classmate in kindergarten who was diagnosed with acute myeloid lymphoma halfway through the school year.

She spent many months at MUSC Children’s Hospital and received life-saving treatments. We visited her there weekly when her blood counts were high enough.

My daughter, now 14, participates in this fundraiser with me. If it had not been for the prayers, the doctors, the research and the treatments, my daughter’s friend might not be here today.

This fall her friend will be attending her local high school and her treatments were most likely brought about by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

LISA GIULIANI

Ivy Circle

Charleston

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