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Online dating for ivy league graduates

“I’m doing it as a hobby,” Marais, a full-time computer security specialist, said.

Deaf Match is the older of the two sites, but not by much; it launched in 2001.

Haines said members of his site include the completely deaf, aging singles who are losing their hearing — even sign language interpreters who can hear but are looking for relationships with people immersed in deaf culture. But deaf-hearing relationships are apparently the exception rather than the rule, according to anecdotal evidence.

(Demographic statistics on the deaf community are hard to come by; the deaf cannot easily respond to random telephone polls and they are not identified in census data.) Jamie Berke, who runs the forum on deafness issues, got divorced after her deaf-hearing marriage didn’t succeed.

Web site developer Christiaan Marais wasn’t considering a new career when he started “He was trying to get back into the dating scene,” Marais said.

“We were talking about online dating, and I said, ‘You should try one of these sites.’ ” His father was reluctant, Marais said, because it’s hard to find other deaf users on the larger dating sites.

She likes the niche sites, citing the difficulty for single deaf people to find each other.

She considered trying the larger dating sites after her divorce, Berke said, but decided they wouldn’t work for her.

If you find several matches, you can subscribe; if you don’t, you can move on.

“For everyone out there, shopping around makes a lot of sense.” ‘A language minority' Any Web site that helps deaf people find each other — and love — can be extremely important, said Patricia Murphy, director of the disabilities studies program at the University of Toledo.

There are not many people they can be friends with that are deaf,” he said, particularly if they live outside big cities.

Comfortable with technology The site is run as a second business by Haines, who’s first job is United TTY.com, a firm that sells assistive technologies to the deaf community.

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