GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Dating during a pandemic is already difficult. With the ever-present shift to online dating, deaf people are hoping to create their own platform, to allow for people in their community to connect.
Jeanette Johnson is leading the effort to make Flamevee, her company, a reality. It's a dating app specifically for people who speak sign language.
She says there are problems with the existing culture of dating as a deaf person.
“Limited video capabilities. That’s a barrier. And meeting hearing people, unfortunately, a lot of hearing people have a lot of resistance towards dating deaf people, because of communications, or they have preconceived notions that we have a lower IQ or those types of things, so those are things we’d have to work through, unless it’s someone familiar with it that knows, that that isn’t the case,” Johnson said.
There's a test as well, to make sure you understand sign language before creating your profile.
“Hearing people are welcome of course. As long as they know sign language. That’s a priority,” Johnson said.
The app isn't a reality just yet. There's a prototype, and a plan to create one. Jeanette just needs to secure start-up funding.
“As soon as we get the $40,000, we’ll be able to develop. It should take about 5 months to develop,” Johnson said.
Learn more about the app and donate to Johnson's Kickstarter here.
Updated version of this article contains corrected link to Johnson's Kickstarter.