Out of the blue I had a phone call from a lovely lady called Heather who had just booked to come to one of our A Day Together couple events. Heather told me about her idea to open up our forthcoming event to couples where one or both partners are Deaf. I listened and immediately thought we should do it. We could not possibly have anticipated the impact of this phone call…
Heather and her colleague Hilary offered to interpret for Deaf couples using Deaf BSL (British Sign Language). Our host partner GoldHill Baptist Church in South Bucks and the rest of the FamilyLife team were enthusiastic and so both ladies began to invite couples they knew locally.
Five Deaf couples (four with hearing partners) together with fourteen hearing couples of all ages attended A Day Together. There was a further surprise in store for the Deaf community.
Chris Murfin, who is responsible for technical matters in the FamilyLife team, took the initiative to add subtitles to all the video clips used as part of the seminar. Audio visuals are a significant part of the day and we like to use lots of film clips to increase the fun factor. Chris could not possibly have foreseen how much his gesture would positively impact the couples.
“No! Really? He did that for us?!”
We had some of the best increases in ‘relational satisfaction’ ever as a result of the day. The highest improvements were in the areas of developing understanding in communication, acceptance of partner, resolving conflict and in attitudes towards affection and sex.
The Deaf couples were extremely enthusiastic about the seminar and moved by how they had been cared for. One person was so impacted that he expressed an interest in exploring the Christian faith! Here are some of their quotes…
“Fantastic idea, well worth it!”
“It is well worth investing and renewing our marriage – rather like a car MOT service – to maintain good function to work efficiently and smoothly together!”
“Excellent notebook. Very comprehensive.”
We are delighted that the day had such a great impact on all of the nineteen couples who attended. It was also exciting for us to be part of a special day so that the Deaf could hear. Heather and Hilary worked extremely hard to prepare in advance by looking at our course materials and dividing up the sessions to take turn signing. It must have been exhausting on the day but both ladies were so cheerful and very pleased to gift their time for the benefit of marriages of these five Deaf couples.