In general there are no modifications to technical rules in deaf sports. Some sports (such as athletics, shooting or swimming) allow for visual aids to be used e.g starting lights.
Use of hearing aids/cochlear implants in sport is at the discretion of the athlete, however they cannot be worn, as an athlete, at the Deaflympic Games or any other international event sanctioned by ICSD. At the Australian Deaf Games, National Deaf Sporting Organisations determine whether hearing aids or cochlear implants can be worn during play.
Yes. Fluency in sign language is not a prerequisite to participate in national competitions. DSA adopts an inclusive approach to participation regardless of hearing loss or method of communication.
DSA has an 'inclusive' approach to participation - for example, persons with any degree of hearing loss are eligible to participate in the Australian Deaf Games, the peak multi-sporting event in the Australian deaf and hard of hearing community. For Deaflympic Games, World Deaf Championships and any other international event sanctioned by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ISCD), athletes need to have a hearing loss of at least 55db in the better ear (three tone frequency average of 500, 1000 and 2000 hertz). For further information visit this page: http://www.deaflympics.com/pdf/audiogramregulations.pdf
There are a number of simple and complex suggestions as to why the Deaflympic and Paralympic movements remain separate. Here is just a snapshot of some of those reasons.
a. The 'World Games for the Deaf' (now Deaflympic Games) started 60 years before the Paralympic Games.
b. The deaf community wish to remain independent from other multi-sport events. While DSA enjoys an excellent relationship with the Australian Paralympic Committee and is proud of DSA athletes who have competed at the Paralympic Games, the Deaflympic Games is organised as a stand-alone event
c. Deaf people see themselves as members of a linguistic and cultural minority and do not see themselves as disabled. Deaf athletes are physically able-bodied and can compete in sport without any restrictions, apart from communication barriers that may occur when playing sport with people who can hear.
At the Deaflympic Games, no communication barriers exist. Athletes compete and interact with each other freely in sign language without the need for sign language interpreters except where hearing officials are involved.
d. There are no unique sports for deaf athletes - they compete on all levels in any sport - the only consideration is to make auditory cues visible. By comparison, most events in the Paralympic Games are adapted according to physical abilities.