The holidays are upon us. You may have a favorite deaf person or even a group of deaf people, in your life you’re celebrating with. If so, the time has arrived to think about finding that perfect gift. Fortunately, there are lots of options for both the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. The internet has made it easier than ever to find everything from low-tech options (clothes, sunglasses, food, jewelry, books) to high-tech gadgets (light-activated alarm clocks, phone accessories, computerized toys) and more. Here are a few of our favorite options, ranging from high-tech to low-tech, and budget-conscious to high-end:
- WiFi Video Doorbell. The Skybell Digital Doorbell was not designed specifically for those who are deaf or hard-of hearing, but its features are perfect for that demographic. Some people wait to hear a doorbell ring at their house to let them know that someone has come to visit. The Video Doorbell equips your door with a Wi-Fi enabled camera that allows you to see who’s at your door from your mobile device—whether you’re at home, at work or on the go. When someone rings, an alert appears on your phone, and you begin receiving a live video feed of who’s at the door. Use ASL and a video feed to communicate back to your guest over your phone, without even getting up and going to the door. It also comes with a night vision feature. From $205.
- Wake Up Light Alarm Clock. There are a lot of cool vibrating alarm clocks out there that are ideal for the deaf. We like the Smartshaker by ILuv, but Philips light alarm clock offers a new twist: It wakes you up using a colored sunrise simulation, and does it gradually, just as a sunrise would. It works in reverse, too. When you’re ready to go to bed, just let the clock know, and it will gradually dim the light – just like a sunset. $132
- All Sorts of Jewelry. Etsy, the marketplace for individual sellers and creators of handmade art, has a ‘deaf’ section, that offers all kinds of fun options. You can buy a made-to-order sterling silver ring for $30, engraved with your name or a favorite sign in ASL. There’s an ‘I Love You’ necklace in ASL, hand-cut from either a dime or a quarter, for $24.99. Designer Naama Gilo offers a series of inspirational messages, love bracelets and initial jewelry starting at $30. The Etsy deaf shop has all kinds of other fun stuff, from ASL scrabble tiles ($10), ASL alphabet blocks for kids ($50), T-shirts that ask ‘What part of [sign language, in ASL] don’t you understand?’ ($14.99), pink glitter ASL ‘I Love You’ stickers ($6) and lots more.
Besides the Etsy deaf-specific shopping area mentioned above, there are plenty of other sites that offer gift options that are apt for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Harris Communications, which aims to be ‘the one-stop resource of products for people with any level of hearing loss,’ has a ‘Novelties & Gifts’ section on its site, which includes separate categories of apparel, cups & drinkware, arts & crafts, games & toys, greeting cards, party favors and more.
A 16-year-old hard-of-hearing girl named Hayleigh has her own site, Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms, offering custom-designed jewelry to adorn hearing aids for folks who are self-conscious about them. A couple in Georgia snagged the ‘DeafGifts’ URL almost 20 years ago, and have been offering their own interesting selection of options ever since.
Enjoy your holidays.