Remember this article where I talked about the misconception that all deaf people should know sign language?
Well, I wanted to follow up on that and also add a couple more misconceptions about deaf people – that they cannot talk and also that they SHOULDN’T be talking and should be using ASL instead.
Both misconceptions are utter bullshit in my opinion. Most deaf people are more than capable of talking. Some just choose to use sign language entirely and not talk unless they absolutely have to talk. Others may mix talking with sign language as well. And others, like me, pretty much talk 100% of the time with very little sign language.
Like I mentioned before, I was raised in the mainstream hearing world and learned to talk via speech therapy. I have very little issues communicating with most hearing people one on one though I still have issues with group discussions. But that’s a topic for another time.
While I’m more than capable of talking, I do have a “deaf accent” as do many other deaf people who also talk. I sometimes sound like my nose is stuffed up and I’ve actually been asked, “Dude, is your nose stuffed up?” I never know what to say to that, so I just say I just have a cold or whatever and leave it at that.
I also have been told “You talk well for a deaf person.” I don’t know what to say to that either, so I just say a halfhearted “thanks” when in my mind I actually want to tell that person to fuck off, but that’s not me. I’m more the laid back type.
One deaf person on Facebook said that she’s also suffered from this dilemma, that she’s not allowed to talk, which she believes is a stigma attached to her as well as discrimination. I feel her pain. I’ve been there myself. She should be able to be allowed to talk. Just because she’s deaf doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be allowed to talk. To this girl, I say to her, talk all you want – fuck what other people think. 🙂
Every deaf person is unique and it is up to that particular deaf person on his or her preferred means of communication whether it is via speaking, sign language, pen and paper, etc. Please do not tell a deaf person how he or she SHOULD communicate. Respect that deaf person’s wishes on his/her preferred means of communication. Thank you.
Please leave a comment or send feedback on my Facebook page 🙂