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  • Writer's pictureMickey Carolan

Mornings with Mickey - A CODA's guide to getting a Deaf Person's attention - 3 NOT APPROVED ways & 5 APPROVED ways

Happy New Year My Friends!




"Oops," I froze.


I had just thrown a small plush football (smaller than a baseball) and hit my father in the head. I had zero idea how he was going to react; it could go one of two ways. Thankfully, this time it was diffused with humor. He signed "weak." But hey, I now had his attention. On the arm of the sofa, we had these mini footballs with the San Francisco 49ers logo on them. As lazy teenagers, we'd sometimes toss those into the kitchen from the living room to grab our parents' attention.


That is an example of the first NOT-APPROVED way to get a Deaf person's attention.




Another way, one my mother constantly reminds me about, was when I would bite my father's leg at the Deaf Club after repeatedly whining as a little tyke that I wanted to go home. My retort to my mother now is, "We left, didn't we?" This is an example of a second NOT-APPROVED way!


A black eye


Lastly, one that I've never done because I've seen it in action, and it never ends up going well: grabbing a Deaf person on the shoulders with force. It's important to remind readers of that unless you'd like a black eye. This is the third NOT-APPROVED way!


Now onto the five APPROVED ways that I use as a CODA. They are approved for YOU to use as well!


  1. A light tap/touch on the shoulder. (tap/touch and then take a couple of steps back to give the person some space).

  2. Wave your hands to gain their attention.

  3. Flash the lights on/off repeatedly in a room if they cannot see you.

  4. Stomp on the floor – yes, it's ok, trust me.

  5. Bang on the table ever so slightly – again, yes, it's ok.

Today, my friends, if you encounter a Deaf person and need to politely gain their attention, remember the five APPROVED ways!

This week's book recommendation:

This week's book recommendation is one I started a couple of months ago and read one page per day. The Daily Dad: 366 Meditations on Parenting, Love, and Raising Great Kids.

Click the photo to grab your copy!

The Launch

If you liked some of those short stories, there are plenty more in my upcoming book Mom Dad Not Hear: 30 Powerful Stories and Lessons about Leadership, Life, and Love from My Deaf Parents.


Please consider joining the Mom Dad Not Hear Launch team!


Visit the LAUNCH TEAM PAGE to learn more!


Can’t commit to the Launch team but want to stay in the know and read the first chapter for free? Sign up to read the FIRST CHAPTER!




P.S. Feel free to share this invitation with friends and family who might be interested in joining the launch team. The more, the merrier!

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