Okay, look, let me explain a thing.
When I was seven, my left eardrum ruptured and I never regained hearing in that ear. Over time, I have slowly began to lose the hearing in my right ear, as well. I can still hear certain pitches, such as the ‘o’ sound at the end of my name. That’s how I can hear when you call my name.
Since I can still hear certain pitches, I was able to tell that the National Anthem at the football game didn’t sound quite right, because it was all the wrong pitch.
As long as I have the headphone in my right ear, I can hear music. I put the left one in so I can feel the vibration.
I wasn’t born deaf, so I can talk like everyone else. If anything, I can still feel my own vibrations and hear my own tone, so I can sound just like you.
I read lips. If you’re not touching me or allowing me to watch your lips move, I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me. You don’t have to talk louder or directly in my ear. I can understand.
So while you’re over there telling me to “stop the charade” or laughing and saying “no way, I’m legally blind” with extremely sarcastic body language, just know that I have a real issue and get made fun of a lot. You’re not helping anything. Don’t even bother talking to me.
It’s important for us (hearing people) to learn about Deaf culture, for the simple fact that any one of us can have a deaf child, and it is important that we allow them to live a life knowing they have other people like them.
it’s also important for us to remember that someone who is deaf is not broken or sick.
Meet and interact with Deaf people if you can, or at the very least take up learning sign language and researching Deaf history.
I don’t want to see anymore of these “fixed baby” videos, because your child was born deaf, not broken.
YES! I’m not broken, but I’ve always been made to think I am
These strategies are excellent for reading to a deaf child. This example is in ASL but many of these tips work well for children who use English sign systems or spoken language.
|—||Derrick Coleman, Seahawks Football Player #40. First legally deaf offensive football player in the NFL|
Yesterday night a co-worker was throwing a party. I went there right after work so my hair was still up, which is not something I do on a regular basis. You see, I wear hearing aids, and while I am finally comfortable with my hearing loss, the hearing aids are the only visible handicap that separates me from the hearing community. I am and probably always will be self conscious of that. I’m high functioning though, most people don’t even believe that I am severely hard of hearing until I show them my hearing aids, and I love that. I don’t ever want that to define who I am.
I’ve always used my handicap as a driving force to prove to myself (and the world I suppose) that having a disability does not have to stop you from chasing your dreams. In fact, my own hearing loss has been my motivation for my future and I never would have found something i’m so passionate about if I hadn’t experienced all that I have. I’ve worked really hard to reach this perspective and have this confidence and I HATE that I let a dumb comment break me down last night.
I was approached by this guy I did not know, and very bluntly he goes “what the fuck is up with your hearing aids. how old are you? like 40? 50?” So I looked at him and told him to stop speaking to me, and HE got offended. He asked me why, and I told him it was because he was ignorant, but he did not leave me alone. I asked him 3 times to just go away and instead he tried to stand taller and defend himself. I tried to take the high road, despite him being in the wrong, not me. So I walked outside and a friend tried to calm me down. I decided to just head home so I went back in and said my goodbyes with the offender glaring at me the whole time.
I thought I was okay but as soon as I was back outside I let my emotions overcome me. What he said hurt me in a way that I’m still unsure of. I don’t even know where they were coming from, or the last time I really let out more than just a few tears, but they poured hard. Not only did he find my weak spot but I have never felt so disrespected and I am embarrassed that I couldn’t control the way his irrelevant words made me feel. Most of all, I am angry.
I’m angry at his parents for letting him grow up so ignorant. I’m angry at him for thinking it was okay to speak to me that way. I’m angry at myself for momentarily relapsing into self loathing, because I really am so proud of how far i’ve come.
So today I got the opportunity to wait on a large table comprised of all deaf people. It was probably one of the best intercultural experiences of my life because of a few reasons:
A: I have never not had the knowledge of how to communicate with anyone in my own country.
B: I was incredibly humbled that I was able to witness a couple hours worth of silent communication, and be a part of it myself.
C: These people were probably the nicest people I have ever met in my life, and also the most grateful.
D: The amount of skill it took for them to understand my lips was astounding. There is no way in hell I would be able to do that with another human being, and they did it like it was nothing.
E: Deaf people have literally the most intense and consequently beautiful conversations I’ve ever seen. You will never find more eye contact between two humans.
F: There are so many more reasons, but I’m just not doing them justice.
So if you’re a deaf tumblr user, know that I appreciate you and that your culture is probably the coolest thing I have ever experienced in my life. I’m sorry I’m not adequate enough to be able to speak your language, but I am extremely grateful for the few-hour insight I got tonight. Rock on deaf people, thanks for being completely awesome!
Welcome to Feel Good Sunday. Today I present to you a short video on the restaurant Signs.