People’s Perception on Deaf People

I would like to remind many of you with a disclaimer for this that this is my view, my thought and my perception of what I see out of the people’s perception on the Deaf people because every Deaf and Hard of Hearing have different experiences therefore they can share what it is to be under the microscope of the people who we labelled “hearies”. I am only sharing what I have witnessed on hand from what the hearies people have a perception of the Deaf people and Hard of Hearing including myself as I am one of many Deaf person in the world. So, I encourage the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to share their thoughts on what it is like to get an idea of how the hearies people view them as or of. Now that we get this out, as I have said that this is my view for getting the idea of what the hearies have a perception of us Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. It is no secret that the Deaf people doesn’t have it easy, in fact they must work as twice hard to survive whether it be trying to get a job from somewhere and being oppressed by many of people for several decades. I have seen, I am certain that many if not all Deaf community can say that when we declare that we are Deaf or Hard of Hearing we would get a reaction from the hearies as if being Deaf means that we are uneducated and took us as if we have mental retardation or in nicer word “intellectual disability” for some reason. There are a few theories but mainly I can blame a few of the people who invented a term words for the Deaf people which is “Deaf and Dumb” so that misled many of the hearies people to think that Deaf people have no intelligence whatsoever hence the word “Dumb”. Whomever invented that term to label the Deaf people several decades ago were obviously uneducated and in the end, they weren’t intelligent so that is irony since there have been many studies that have done on the Deaf people which have found that they can be as intelligent as others if they are being taught in their native language (American Sign Language, British Sign Language, Auslan, Langue Des Signes Du Quebec-LSQ etc.).

Why not some languages like English, Spanish, French or whatnot? These are vocal or spoken languages, while Deaf people obviously cannot hear so they rely on their sights more than anything and this means visual so that is where the sign languages comes in. These spoken languages became their written languages and sign languages became their communication so it makes no different from a hearie person to be educated by listening their language while the Deaf to be taught in their languages by visual.

People’s Perception on Deaf People

Nonetheless the hearies and the Deaf people would be taught the same education using their preferred languages. That is the problem with one of many perceptions that the people have on the Deaf people, they assume that the Deaf people can learn some kinds of education using the spoken language like English or any of other spoken languages when they cannot hear so that would means that it cannot be entered in their memory so they often have no common sense to realize that there is another way for the Deaf children to learn without changing anything by switching from spoken language to visual and that is sign language. Deaf children learn by visual is one of two ways to store in their memory, both hearie and Deaf children can be learned at the same level of education if teaching the hearie person in spoken language while teaching the Deaf children in sign language and they will store the same thing in their memory from a teacher. If you are going to teach how to spell Apple, both Deaf and Hearie children can learn how to spell Apple in written language such as English but if you are going to teach how to say “Apple” or spell “Apple” without writing the word then you teach the hearie children how to say Apple in spoken language while teaching the Deaf children to say Apple in sign language and both will store that word “Apple” in their memory.

When you go to any hearies, you declare that you are Deaf and you would be almost guaranteed to get an apology from them. That apology act they displayed towards to the Deaf people can be offensive, although the Deaf people have heard that apology from the hearies too many times to the point that they now laugh at them for apologizing and that is because they have heard them too many times that it gets boring. Many of apologizes that the hearies people have said to the Deaf people after they have declared that they are Deaf, whether it be because they thought that the people being Deaf means that they are handicap, they cannot see, they are unintelligent and many reasons I could list but these are a few of the examples that the hearies people have said to the Deaf people. In fact, often when Deaf people books a flight to somewhere they would be met by one of their staff with a wheelchair because they think that being Deaf would means that they cannot walk and that they need help. Or they would also often hand the Deaf people braille papers because they assume that being Deaf would means that they are also blind. Irony they called us Deaf and Dumb back then so I will leave it at that without saying anything else.

Being Deaf or Hard of Hearing simply means that we have no way to hear within’ our own ears, not our eyes, not our nose, not our legs, not our arms, not our private parts, not our hands, not our brains and being Deaf does not affect our ability to learn nor to be intelligent. All it means that we cannot hear or have hard time hearing (hard of hearing) from any kinds of sounds including spoken languages, so we require another way to communicate whether it be the use of sign language or to have a piece of papers with a pen and that ends there. We can drive, we can write, we can draw, we can screw, we can eat, we can drink, we can walk, we can run, we can be genius and we can do anything that any hearies can do except hearing. That’s what the people have a hard time to grasp, not too long ago the other day when someone complimented me saying that I am so smart as if I am too smart for being Deaf and that bothers me. I appreciate the compliment but stop telling the Deaf people that they are smart, telling them that they can do anything they want and whatnot – WE KNOW! Really, it’s unnecessary to compliment the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people of something just because they were surprised by their ability in doing something that any human beings can do while being Deaf or Hard of Hearing. That sometimes gets a bit tiring for some of the Deaf people including myself, we are Deaf but we are not dumb and there is nothing wrong with our brains or anything as everything in us functions same that any of other human beings except their ability in hearing so they switch that from not being able to hear to studying from their eyes. How do you spell A? A. B? B. C? C.

A. B. C. It’s easy as, 1. 2. 3. As simple as, Do Re Mi. A. B. C, 1. 2. 3. Baby, you and me girl. A. B. C. Enough, enough! That made me started singing ABC by Michael Jackson.

Some if not many people would look at the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people as if it’s a disability or a disease. Even Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labeled Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a disease. Some of us don’t look at that way, we look at it as if it’s our ethnicity because some of the Deaf people have several generations of Deaf family, from great-great-grandparents to the Deaf child today, not only that we look at it as it is our ethnicity but also our culture and that is something that many of the people refuse to understand. Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is doing everything in their power to knock us out of our existence and that is considered culture deprivation but not only that they also want to deprive us from our languages too especially American Sign Language. This is why you would see Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing reels in the parents of newborn Deaf children using fake researches that they did by themselves while they truly never did do any research but they pretended that they did so to scare the parents of newborn Deaf child into opening their checks for them to exploit money from them by convincing them that if they want what is the best for their newborn Deaf child is to get cochlear implants at earliest age as possible. Unfortunately, they often fell for that trap while in the end they did nothing but allowed Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to harm their child’s future because even with cochlear implants or hearing aids they have very slim chances of being able to understand what the people is saying. They market them as if it is the miracle cure, while it’s not at all because all they do is to give them a sound that to let them to know that there is “something” is making a sound but not “what” sound. I cannot fathom how some of the hearies people to think that having a Deaf child or Deaf adult to have a cochlear implant or hearing aid would make them as if they become normal like these hearies people when they have been normal along and by cochlear implants will complicate the Deaf people’s life in long-term. I am not personally against cochlear implants, what I am against is how some of the people act as if they do work when they never knew since they never have been Deaf and they assume that by having their children cochlear implants means that they can hear everything when they don’t. They just think that because they were misled by the people like Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Another thing, some of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing child who ends up going to the mainstream school instead of going to the Deaf institutes or the mainstream schools with Deaf programs would end up being put in the special education because many board of education and Individualized Education Program (IEP) assumes that the child being Deaf or Hard of Hearing would automatically to have a learning disability. Being Deaf or Hard of Hearing has nothing to do with learning disability, as I have empathized that there is nothing wrong with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s brains except their ability to hear as they can get the same education as anybody else get if they learn them by visual which is using sign languages. Bilingual-Bicultural (BiBi), a Deaf education programs would be the perfect for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (moderate or severe) children because they would be taught by teachers using sign languages. Words by words that any other teachers speak but in sign languages instead and they will receive the same education levels that any of other would.

Hearing-Impairment

Okay, I must say that I am very exhausted by hearing and seeing that words on some of the websites or anywhere else. That words or term is considered offensive to many Deaf people, to properly call us would be Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Not Hearing-Impairment, not hearing-impaired and I think that the blind people would prefer blind over sight-impairment or blind-impairment but again I am not blind so they must speak for themselves on what term they would prefer. Anywhere, whether it be from news, magazines, websites, movies, television shows says hearing-impaired or hearing-impairment makes themselves uncreditable and unprofessional. There is over 360 million Deaf people in the world, that’s the potential numbers of a base that you can tap in and the use of hearing-impaired or hearing-impairment isn’t a good way to lure them to be the customers or clients because you would be offending over 360 million Deaf people so that’s considerable large numbers of the people you would be offending so rethink about that. If you want to show yourselves that you have a dignity, that your business, brand or company (magazines, news, channels etc.) is a respected one and have a good reputation then start with Deaf and Hard of Hearing instead of Hearing-Impaired or Hearing-Impairment. We’d greatly appreciate that.

Police Officers Towards Deaf People

Police is probably one of a few worst groups when it comes to treating the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. There is no need for me to write a long or several sentences on what the police officers has done to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people as you can find out what they have done to them by doing a search engines like Google or Bing. For some reason, whether it be audism or that they aren’t properly educated about the Deaf community and or that they despite minorities as the Deaf falls under that category which is unfortunate. But lately you can see that there has been several news that’s popping up where you hear that they have killed a few of Deaf people lately such as Daniel Harris and another one from Kentucky in span of a month if even that. Not only that it seems that the police officers aren’t educated enough to know the difference between the sign languages and the gang signs. Daniel Harris was getting out of the vehicle, trying to inform the police officers that he was Deaf and I am certain that the police mistook them as gang signs so they went happy-trigger shooting him which have resulted him in death. That could have easily been prevented only if the police officers acknowledge the difference between the sign languages and the gang signs. It is a shame, really and ever since the few incidents late last year from the police officers with the Deaf community have terrified many of us Deaf people. I strongly believe that if the police department would hire someone who is Deaf that knows American Sign Language so that the police officer can memorized the behavior of the Deaf person well enough so that the next time the police officer to pull over or to confront a Deaf person then he would remember that Deaf person who he sees at his department on daily basis so that he would not be misled to think that the Deaf person is being aggressive or trying to “resist” the arrest. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing people weren’t trying to resist arrest as all they were trying to communicate in American Sign Language and trying to inform the police officer to handcuff them in front so to allow them to at least have a way to communicate because by handcuff them from the behind then that would have barred their communication with the police officer or any law enforcement.

What’s Audism?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audism

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bloggers/Journalists

If you work for news or have a blog I encourage you to write an article to share your view on the people’s perception on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people so in attempt to at least gives a bit clearer picture for the people what it’s like to be poorly viewed from the hearies., Please feel free to trackback to this article and I will be more than happy to review them so that way they can be shared within’ in this article for everybody else to read. Maybe you will have a better luck to clarify for them and hopefully that it can results them to be aware that they are being improperly educated about the Deaf people. I am not trying to be offensive or anything but that is what it is and to be frank it’s tiresome.

Thank you for all your time reading this article and I bid all of you a good night!

Joshua “Joshie” Sullivan.

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