Popular Assumptions People Make of Deaf People by Jennifer Wilson

Just meant to be a (truthful!) laugh…

Deaf people cannot enjoy music.

Welllll…I guess my iPod was a complete waste of money, and my music videos are just there for decoration. Seriously though, we DO listen to music, and if we cannot hear it, we can enjoy it by feeling the beats. Simple as.

Deaf people cannot/shouldn’t drive, it’s too dangerous.

Oh gosh, I forgot to tell my examiner when I passed my test first time! Oh, and while deaf people lack some sense of sound, we make up for it through the magic sense of SIGHT!

Deaf people choose what they want to hear.

Couldn’t be further from the truth. If that was the case, we’d either be unable to hear anything…or we’d be hearing!

Hearing aids/cochlear implants must be really annoying and uncomfortable to wear.

Well, I guess those huuuge ridiculous headphones you’re wearing must be the bane of your life.

(Exaggerated speech) HE-LLLOOOOO! H-O-O-O-O-WUH *pause* A-RE *pause* YOU! TO-DAY?

Please don’t exaggerate, it makes my eyes hurt.

(Using exaggerated gestures) How…do…YOU *while pointing at my chest*

Erm, didn’t your mother tell you it’s rude to point?

Oh! You’re deaf? Ermmmm…don’t worry, I’ll go ask someone else…

I understand. I looked “deaf” up in the dictionary, the term was “Someone who you cannot speak to or ask questions”. Understandable.

(Person jumps in to help without my consent)

Erm…..I think I can do this myself, thanks. Didn’t you notice I was already in the middle of it?

Do you need help darling? (asked every 10 seconds)

I told you before – NO! If I need help, I will ask for it. You wouldn’t push someone who is in a wheelchair would you?

You’re deaf? Awwwwwwww I’m SO SO SO sorry to hear that/awwww you must have a crap non-life/(something along the lines of that)

Answer #1. Awww, you’re hearing? Awwwwww I’m so soo sooooo sorry, you have to put up with all this NOISE!

Answer #2. Don’t feel sorry for me because I’m deaf, feel sorry for me because I’m beautiful :-).

People who finally shout “EXCUSE ME!!!!!” after not being heard, then after we politely move, they give us a scornful look and say something rude…

Wow…I took another look in that dictionary…”deaf people must not be spoken to politely”.

But also…if someone doesn’t respond to your “excuse me” the first time, what other reason would there be other than that they’re deaf???? You’d be standing in front of a VERY lifelike statue otherwise…

You’re deaf? But…but…but…you can TALK?!

*gasp*! Well I’ll be damned!

You’re deaf? Ohhh…SORRY…[wild windmill gesture]…BUT…I…[wild point to self]…DO…[frantic nodding]…NOT…[wild hand flapping]…SIIIIGGGNNNNN…[wild hand movements]

 Well, you’re doing a pretty good job. Well done. Oh and just so you know, some deaf people DO sign, and some don’t. Some use both spoken English and sign language….got that? No? Well, put it this way…if a person is born in Japan, that doesn’t mean they can ONLY know Japanese…people can be bilingual! Plus not ALL deaf people sign!

Does your boyfriend/girlfriend/other half sign? No? (angrily) WELL THEY SHOULD!!

Erm….two points I’ll make out here.

One – if it’s that important to you, why aren’t you signing yourself?

Two – I don’t NEED to sign with my other half. Some people DO use sign language when they communicate with others, and some don’t find the need to. Don’t judge what you don’t know.

Oh!!! I know sign language!! [does ‘why don’t you f- off’ gesture]

Ooookeee…let me tell you what that LITERALLY means. Ready? N….Backwards N…Through….great!

You can’t be deaf, you don’t look deaf!

Oh yeah…we are born with gills, but they gradually disappear as we get older.

Why do you talk different?/Why is your voice like that?

Yeah, go ahead and point out our differences. It does WONDERS for our self esteem.

[while chatting with friends, either in BSL or SSE, complete strangers] Oooooooh!!! Look at them signing!!! LOOK!!

While I appreciate your interest, I must stress that we are not monkeys in a cage at the zoo. If you are interested in sign language, COME AND TALK TO US…DON’T point and talk ABOUT us, it’s rude!!

Oh you’re deaf? WOW! My cousin’s best friend’s brother’s wife’s dentist’s grandma’s best friend was deaf too!

Oh…my…GOODNESS! What ARE the CHANCES of that?!

Happy Monday!

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2 thoughts on “Popular Assumptions People Make of Deaf People by Jennifer Wilson

  1. Yes …(sigh) …. Over the past 6 decades of my life being profoundly deaf since birth, I Have been there, except those situations referring to CI / HAs. Just get on with life and appreciate creation/nature with sight/mobility before these senses go …. shalom

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