Online dating is a natural fit for the deaf, he said.
“They are so used to being able to communicate by typing when they talk to someone on the phone,” he said.
At first glance, it may seem like just another set of niche online dating sites. Two small but growing sites devoted to dating for the deaf, both founded by children of deaf parents, now offer non-hearing singles their own place on the Internet to find love.
“It’s better to think of sign language users as you would think of a language minority rather than a disability group,” Pollard said.
“Can you imagine what it would be like to not even know anybody else who has your experience, how lonely and isolating that would be?
Any way we can increase direct connection between deaf people is a good thing,” she said.
By coincidence, “vice president of romance” Trish Mc Dermott formerly worked as an American Sign Language interpreter, making her well-versed in the issues surrounding deaf culture. While there is no selection criteria where users can identify themselves as deaf, members can mention a desire for deaf partners in their personal description.
Full-text search was recently added to the service, making it easy to find anyone who mentions “deaf” or “American Sign Language” in their personal ad.