Samantha Terzis CI/CT
SILLY THINGS PEOPLE SAY...
Hearing inviduals have 1000 "unique" questions and some random comments about deafness which solicit eye rolls from Deaf recipients. This webpage will hopefully avoid a few of those akward moments while answering some looming questions. What are some comments/questions that Deaf people hear?
"YOU SPEAK WELL FOR A DEAF PERSON."
It may sound like a logical statement, and even a compliment, but "just say 'no'"! Some deaf people speak perfectly, some don't. It's something people have a knack for similar to artistic abilities. Some people can draw a portrait, others struggle with a stick figure. Some Deaf can speak well, some can't. Some want to, some don't. It's a personal decision.
"YOU MUST BE REALLY INTELLIGENT TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK."
This isn't the way to make friends in the Deaf Community. We know of people with shockingly high IQs which cannot speak. We know people who have low IQs who can. Intelligence and speech have no correlation.
"WHY DON'T YOU GET A COCHLEAR IMPLANT?"
A lot of Hearing people want to help, and this is the first comment which comes out of the mouths of many. Implantation is an invasive procedure. Some people are interested in getting one, some are not. It's expensive and it's dangerous. It can have amazing results and it can have little results. It's a very personal decision. Implants don't "fix" deafness, and they don't make someone Hearing. The results vary and the responses from implanted individuals post-implantation vary.
"HAVE YOU CONSIDERED EAR TRANSPLANTS?"
Eek! There is no such surgery.
"YOU CAN HEAR WITH YOUR HEARING AIDS SO YOU DON'T NEED AN INTERPRETER, RIGHT?"
Some Deaf people can hear more than others, but not necessarily clearer or have the ability to understand a single spoken word. Hearing and understanding are 2 different things. Hearing aids do not necessarily provide enough clarity to understand what is said. Wearing them may mean a Deaf person can move from hearing nothing to an airplane engine, or in some cases it can allow for much more intelligable speech. Results vary per person.
"HOW DO YOU DRIVE IF YOU CAN'T HEAR?"
They turn the ignition, put their vehicle in reverse, pull out of their parking space, stick the car in drive and keep on trucking. No hearing required. ;)
"YOU DON'T LOOK DEAF."
What should Deaf people look like?
"CAN YOU READ AND WRITE?"
If Deaf people go to school, they learn that skill there. ;P
"WE DON'T HAVE THAT IN BRAILLE."
Blind people will be disappointed, however sighted Deaf people don't usually read braille, so it isn't going to effect them a great deal. ;)
"OH, I'M SORRY."
You don't have to be sorry for their deafness. They are usually ok with it. :)
"I'LL TELL YOU LATER."
(Eek! The unpardonable sin...) Just tell them now.
"DO YOU WANT TO BE NORMAL?"
Deaf people are normal. :) They just can't hear.
"ARE YOU LISTENING?"
They are... in their own way.