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Fitness Is My Sickness Welcomes the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders,  an estimated 37.5 million American adults aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing, including an estimated 738,000 with hearing loss at the severe to profound level. 

Two frequent terms are used when characterizing individuals’ hearing losses, deaf and hard of hearing. Deaf refers to those who have complete hearing loss and are unable to use residual hearing to process information or communicate with others, even with a hearing or amplification device. Hard of hearing refers to those who have mild to severe hearing loss and are able to use a range of residual hearing to process information and communicate with others in addition to the help of a hearing or amplification device. Both the Deaf and Hard of Hearing largely communicate using American Sign Language.

Tailoring Group and Exercise Classes for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

Many gyms, studios, and fitness centers in the San Diego community lack the necessary tools to assist and include the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community in their existing fitness classes. Fitness Is My Sickness is here to tackle this issue.  We made modifications to our existing group fitness classes and adapted exercise programs to provide an environment where those experiencing any form of hearing loss feel included, comfortable, and capable of exercising!

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are many considerations gyms make to ensure exercise and communication is safe and effective for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  You will see a few of these considerations in action during our fitness classes:

  • Demonstrate exactly what is required from start to finish, as many people who are deaf or hard of hearing are very visual learners.
  • The speaker should use American Sign Language, facial expression, body language, gestures, and common signs or cues, such as thumbs up or down to communicate emotions and meanings.
  • Some basic cue or feedback signs, for words such as “ready,” “start,” “faster,” “ok,” “stop,” or whatever words are necessary for activity should be established and used consistently.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community Hits Close to FIMS Hearts

Monique Allen, owner of FIMS, always had a passion for fitness and her passion was quickly reinforced in 2013 after a motorcycle accident. She experienced a quick recovery rate due to her being in great shape and her inspiration to motivate others with fitness was born. Monique’s other passion is American Sign Language. She learned sign due to working with nonverbal autistic children and went on to learn American Sign Language to provide her autistic children with a form of communication. Soon she found herself with another passion and loved the language and community so much, she continued her studies to become an interpreter.  Monique Allen - Owner

Because both passions are so strong and ever-present in Monique’s life, she merged her two passions at FIMS and knew immediately she could provide a home the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community could embrace. 

FIMS Presents Sign & Sweat Events Series

We created Sign & Sweat Events to further our efforts in drawing awareness to the San Diego Community of the limitations the Deaf and Hard of Hearing experience in the fitness world. We are dedicated to holding a series of Sign & Sweat Events throughout the year. We want everyone to mingle and experience our adapted exercise program and group fitness classes designed for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing! We spend half of the class communicating in American Sign Language and the other half getting our sweat on! Monique hopes to create a bridge between FIMS’ existing audience and also hopes to make her gym a place the Deaf and Hard of Hearing can also call home. Secure your spot and learn more about the upcoming Sign & Sweat Event on March 9th from 10am-12pm by clicking RSVP.  

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