Deaf People Cling To The Margins

Sometimes I cling to the margins with my fingernails, and sometimes I stomp on them with both feet. I haven’t been in the mainstream for so long I don’t even realize what it is anymore.

I have been deaf for going on thirty-five years now and believe me that requires some serious margin clinging. It just amazes me how the mainstream has no idea of what being deaf means. I try to teach them but often that becomes just too tiring.

Everyone assumes that all deaf people know sign language

The ADA act which became law in 1990 mandates signing for all public announcement and have yet to change that archaic means of communicating especially since from the beginning 98% of hearing impaired people don’t understand it. But, I guess that is government for you, isn’t it?

Everyone assumes that all deaf people can read lips

In reality only about 20% of the English language appears on the lips so even those who are good at reading lips have to guess 80% of the time.

When I tell people I am deaf they assume all they have to do is speak a little louder

I don’t understand this one. I tell them “you can scream at the top of your lungs, and it won’t make any difference!” I give them tools to communicate with me, but it is seldom accepted. They just speak louder.

One of my biggest fears in life is that a policeman will kill me

In most of the rest of the first class nations it takes a year or more of academy training before candidates are allowed to handle weapons. In the US they are given a lethal side-arm after 13 to 19 weeks of instruction. That is certainly not enough time to learn much about the people they are going to serve let alone knowing when to shoot and when keep it in the holster. I’m just afraid that I am going to be stopped for a simple traffic violation and when I don’t hear the officer tell me to come out of my vehicle (or any other command) he may feel threatened by my lack of non-compliance. You get the idea so no use going further.

Every person in the world now uses text messages and email

That is except for all the businesses I need to contact. Those seem to all be limited to only voice calls and Faxes (I know what are faxes??? šŸ§). I send email to them telling them that I am deaf, and they need to use texts to communicate with them. The first thing that happens after that it that they call me again!

Deaf people just to survive in this world cling to the margins daily.

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