Myth – Deaf People Have No Intellectual Capacity

The myth in the title above is surprisingly not that uncommon among our population. I have come across it many times in my life. But this particular myth is not limited to just those who can’t hear. That is what this post is all about.

I know someone is going to chime in here and say that “dumb” means someone who can’t talk. That may have been a historical use of the term, but in my mind it is as bad as calling an African American a Ni..er. It is insulting! 😠

Deaf People Have No Intellectual Capacity

I personally come across this myth on a regular basis and it disturbs me on every occasion. Instead of explaining that I have an IQ in the top 5%, so I am not dumb, I usually go into one of two extreme modes when I encounter this myth. One is that I simply play the part. That mode comes when I decide from my limited contact with the person that they are not worth the effort to teach them otherwise. The second mode is to shout at them for their idiocy. Thankfully, a middle mode most often prevails.

Truthfully, I can’t remember where the words in the title above came from. I found them in my quick notes book where I jot down things I want to remember.

Finally, to get to the overall point of this post and that is that this same myth is far too often applied way beyond those who are deaf. They are used to describe autism and many other life challenges.

I’m not sure why this myth prevails in so many minds?

  • Is it because they are afraid of interacting with people different from them?
  • Is it because they don’t know how?
  • Is it because they are just insensitive slobs?

Maybe all of the above, or maybe none of them.

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