Communication. Helping people connect since 4000 BC
Communication. It is the cornerstone of every successful relationship around us. Without effective communication, we would not be able to navigate the daily maze we call life. Being able to communicate our needs, feelings, hopes and dreams allows us to be understood and makes us a part of something bigger than ourselves. In our diverse community there are often challenges with communication that can lead to missed messages. Sometimes the biggest challenge is not what was communicated but what was not. Communication comes in many forms but in the end, it requires three elements: A sender, a message and a receiver. In 1620 Juan Pablo de Bonet wrote a book that contained the first known manual alphabet system. The hand-shapes in this system represented different speech sounds, which later evolved into sign language.
Today we have so many communication devices that make our lives easier. For somebody who does not have the ability to speak verbally, sign language gives them a vehicle for communication. For someone who is unable to speak or sign, assistive technology not only makes communication possible, it breaks down barriers that stand between them and what is needed in any given moment. Technology can assist in communication by making it clear what the message is but it is not effective without a willing listener.
The ability to listen is; in my opinion; the most basic component to communication and the most important thing that one can do. Connecting with those around you is not as difficult as some make it out to be. We talked about connecting with others in a post over 4 years ago here. Since then, not much has changed. Sure, technology has evolved in leaps and bounds, but the main ingredients to this dish we call communication have not changed a bit.