Being Deaf….

Source: DO NOT OPEN « creativetidalwave.

ignoreWorking in a deaf school for many years I learned the value of incidental learning. So many students lacked a lot of common knowledge often taken for granted. We are constantly learning from events and situations that are going on around us though we are often not aware or participating in them directly. Being deaf cuts one-off from a more experiences than most are aware. They are often clueless of what is happening around them because they are not alert to turn to observe due to a lack of being able to hear to know something is happening.

I don’t often talk about what it means to be deaf in a hearing world these days but the words by one of my blog buddies got my attention.   I readily admit that there have been several times in my life that I just didn’t “get it”. As stated above being deaf cuts one off from more experiences than I like to admit.  When I often sit silently as my friends converse about one thing or another my mind leads me in a different direction than what is actually occurring around me.
To get a basic idea on how this happens I would suggest you try the following experiment.  Find a movie somewhere on your TV that you haven’t seen before and turn off the sound. Then make up a story about what you are seeing.  No cheating by turning on the closed captioning now!  🙂 Now I’m not talking about a Sylvester Stallone movie here; you will need one where people are actually talking. 😉   I will lay dollars to donuts that your story will have almost nothing to do with the actual dialog taking place. If you have a DVR go back to prove my observation.

You must understand that I, and most deaf people who choose to remain in the hearing world, experience this type thing on a daily basis. I know from so many past experiences not to read too much into my conclusions about what I think is being said around me but doing just that gets me in trouble quite frequently. When I am feeling down I imagine bad things being said; when I am happy it is often a happy story.

In talking about the last sentence in the quote I always make it a point when I am working in the soup kitchen to tell every one that doesn’t know me that I am deaf and am not ignoring them if they talk to me while I am not watching them.  I suspect many deaf people are labeled snobs because they don’t reply to other they don’t see.

Living in the hearing world definitely has its challenges for those of us who are deaf but I personally am never one to shy away from a challenge so bring it on!  (ha).