Voicing for yourself

#1
I am new to having a hearing loss. I lost my hearing after being sick a few year ago. I haven't found a comfortable way to communicate yet. I was in a chat room last week and the topic of talking for yourself came up. I've always thought I'd just talk for myself. But someone told me that I might sound deaf to hearing people. Is this a thing? Is this true or was the other person just trying to worry me?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
#2
If you haven't already, you will probably develop a deaf accent. As my hearing got worse in the last few years, I was told I was developing a deaf accent. After getting my first CI, someone I barely knew told me I had lost the deaf accent.

Your voice depends on what you hear, though you can learn to talk w/o hearing.

One way to vision it is something that came up recently for me. I was listening to a video of someone with a southern accent. I told another person that if I went back down to the south I felt I could easily talk with a southern accent (I was born in GA but moved to DE when I was 11 many, many, many years ago). Then just thinking about it I was talking with a southern accent.
 
#3
I am not hearing anything. I don't have hearing aids. The audiologist said that they aren't really strong enough and I don't qualify for cochlear implants. What does a deaf accent sound like? How will I know if I have a deaf accent? Does your brain forget how to speak?
 
#4
I am not hearing anything. I don't have hearing aids. The audiologist said that they aren't really strong enough and I don't qualify for cochlear implants. What does a deaf accent sound like? How will I know if I have a deaf accent? Does your brain forget how to speak?
People might start asking you, where are you from?

Not really, your brain does know how to speak, but it lacks the necessary feedback that helps it adjust details in the speech. You don’t know if you are too loud or too quiet related to background noise, and you can’t hear when small details in how you pronounce different sounds. You still get it mostly right since you remember how to pronounce things, but the automatic self correction that takes place when you hear yourself is missing.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#5
I'm still vocal and do use my voice every day...have been told I "slur" my words at times...sound a little "foreign" too. I was also told to keep speaking when I became deaf or I would forget how to pronounce the words....so I did...and glad for that...as I can converse with hearing and sign with the deaf.....
 

peekaboo

Well-Known Member
#6
I think hearing people need to understand that most who recently lose their hearing need to understand that they are not deaf and still can hear with a small hearing aid, those who are born moderate-severe hearing loss is another thing, hearies don't know the differences.
I use my voice but most tell me that can tell I have a deaf accent but try not to hurt my feelings telling me they can't really tell but still tell me that they can hear my deaf accent... which is it? That to me is very confusing! They say they hear it ... but, it's not that bad? So are they saying that having a deaf accent is bad? IDK.
If I had my way, I would not wear a hearing aid at all at home or at work or any place for that matter. I shouldn't have to wear my hearing aid to please hearing people make their lives "easier." I have nothing against hearies, I just feel like they are trying to "fix" us when there is nothing wrong with us. Just my deaf voice speaking out here. No hard feelings toward hearies :D
Maybe I just have a strong set of mind about my deaf culture ;)
 
#7
I'm still vocal and do use my voice every day...have been told I "slur" my words at times...sound a little "foreign" too. I was also told to keep speaking when I became deaf or I would forget how to pronounce the words....so I did...and glad for that...as I can converse with hearing and sign with the deaf.....
Who told you that you would forget how to pronounce words? An audiologist?
 
#8
I think hearing people need to understand that most who recently lose their hearing need to understand that they are not deaf and still can hear with a small hearing aid, those who are born moderate-severe hearing loss is another thing, hearies don't know the differences.
I use my voice but most tell me that can tell I have a deaf accent but try not to hurt my feelings telling me they can't really tell but still tell me that they can hear my deaf accent... which is it? That to me is very confusing! They say they hear it ... but, it's not that bad? So are they saying that having a deaf accent is bad? IDK.
If I had my way, I would not wear a hearing aid at all at home or at work or any place for that matter. I shouldn't have to wear my hearing aid to please hearing people make their lives "easier." I have nothing against hearies, I just feel like they are trying to "fix" us when there is nothing wrong with us. Just my deaf voice speaking out here. No hard feelings toward hearies :D
Maybe I just have a strong set of mind about my deaf culture ;)
You said you wouldn't wear your hearing aids if it was up to you. Who is making you wear them? Are you an adult? Is it your parents? Why not just stop wearing them. Do they help you at all?
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#9
Who told you that you would forget how to pronounce words? An audiologist?
No...and never took any speech classes. I became deaf at age 14. Some words I do/did pronounce wrong...such as "San Jose"....(used the J instead of the H)...San Juan..(used the J instead of the W). And learned that words are not always spoken they way they are spelled....Words that are not used often?...You can forget how to pronounce them.
 

peekaboo

Well-Known Member
#10
You said you wouldn't wear your hearing aids if it was up to you. Who is making you wear them? Are you an adult? Is it your parents? Why not just stop wearing them. Do they help you at all?
Yes that is correct I wouldnt wear them if I had my way, but since I work, I have no other choice. If I work in a place where it was all deaf then yes I wouldnt wear it, but since there is not much of a choice as to deaf work jobs, I dont have much of a choice, do they help? sometimes... not all of teh time which can be VERY very very very frustrating at times and stressful when trying to hear them talk and read lips. Its hard work!
 
#11
How long does it take to develop a deaf accent?
Yes that is correct I wouldnt wear them if I had my way, but since I work, I have no other choice. If I work in a place where it was all deaf then yes I wouldnt wear it, but since there is not much of a choice as to deaf work jobs, I dont have much of a choice, do they help? sometimes... not all of teh time which can be VERY very very very frustrating at times and stressful when trying to hear them talk and read lips. Its hard work!
What kind of work do you do? I am young (20) and worried that I'll never get a job because I can't hear. I wish hearing aids would work for me. I don't go out because I'm not sure how to communicate any more with people. I'm trying to learn sign but it's really hard for me. I know it can be frustrating and stressful to understand. I experience a great deal of anxiety and panic attacks before I have to go out anywhere. My biggest fear is that people will think I am deaf and dumb now. I didn't know about the deaf accent until someone said in a chat that I could sound deaf. I didn't understand that but now I do. Now, I have am apprehensive to use my voice. I'm scared people will look at me weird. If I have a deaf accent will speech therapy make it go away? Or is this something I'll have forever and will it get worse as time goes on?
 
#12
My biggest fear is that people will think I am deaf and dumb now.
Don’t worry about what other people think. It’s not your fault if they have prejudices.

You cannot force others to be kind, well-educated and sensible. You can only control if you yourself are nice and understanding towards people.

From a more practical perspective, I have focused on getting a high-status education, and try to dress up rather than wearing too causal clothes. If someone has a good education or job, it’s kind of hard to keep thinking they would be deaf and dumb. At least there is solid proof I do achieve things. I’ve had to move a lot to get jobs, but with creativity it’s often possible to find ways to find a life that you are happy about. Don’t be afraid of exploring things that are important too you.
 

peekaboo

Well-Known Member
#13
How long does it take to develop a deaf accent?


What kind of work do you do? I am young (20) and worried that I'll never get a job because I can't hear. I wish hearing aids would work for me. I don't go out because I'm not sure how to communicate anymore with people. I'm trying to learn sign but it's really hard for me. I know it can be frustrating and stressful to understand. I experience a great deal of anxiety and panic attacks before I have to go out anywhere. My biggest fear is that people will think I am deaf and dumb now. I didn't know about the deaf accent until someone said in a chat that I could sound deaf. I didn't understand that but now I do. Now, I have been apprehensive to use my voice. I'm scared people will look at me weird. If I have a deaf accent will speech therapy make it go away? Or is this something I'll have forever and will it get worse as time goes on?
I am a supervisor/inspectress at a hotel which requires a lot of hearing and speaking. A lot of people look at me funny when they know that I can't hear what they say and they get frustrated at me when I ask them to repeat. I can't help that. They need to put themselves in our shoes to realize its hard work trying to read their lips and hear them with little to no hearing. ughhhh!!! In a hearing world, they expect too much from us when we are the ones that are trying to "fit" in their world. Kind of hard to do when they don't give us a chance, now not all of them are like that.
don't worry about what others think of you, I, too, need to take this advice as well, as I too do this sometimes. oh well, no ones perfect :D

Being deaf is not a bad thing nor a curse being dumb (mute) is not a bad thing too, that is why we have ASL. :D
People think dumb means stupid, when in fact it means mute. ;) You may want to take some Vitamin D for your panic and anxiety attacks. It may help :)
 
#14
I will look into Vitamin D. Yeah, I'm using the word dumb as stupid not as mute. But now I don't want to use my voice with people I don't know as I might sound different. I can't help it but I don't want to give people something to judge me on. Is that stupid? I do worry a lot about what they will think of me. I don't know how to not worry.
 

peekaboo

Well-Known Member
#15
I hope you get your anxiety and your panic attacks controlled, I had them, they are awful. What I say about dumb... that does ean mute, it does not mean stupid, that is what I am trying to say here. Dumb actually means mute not stupid. The hearing people came up with that and it's been stuck with that ever since. You shouldn't worry about them and focus on yourself and your beatuful deaf accent. OWN it / embrace it! :D
 
#17
I do worry a lot about what they will think of me. I don't know how to not worry.
One thing I have seen work for people is to focus more on other people around you instead of yourself. Help and support people that need it. It can be easy things such as picking up something someone dropped, offering your seat on the bus to someone who needs it, doing volunteer work or helping a friend with something. This serves several purposes. One thing is that you naturally feel good by helping someone. Secondly it removes focus from yourself and your performance, we are neither more nor less important than everyone around us, and it can be interesting to see that we are not that different. Everyone has successes and obstacles, good times and bad times. To see that gives you perspective on your own life. Thirdly, by doing something good for others, you will notice that you actually can do things irregardless of hearing or voice, and you see that you have something to contribute with.

Start small and work your way up towards activities that seem meaningful to you.

Another thing that might seem silly, but that often does have much impact on how we feel is exercise. Are you doing any sport regularly? It does make a difference, so try to find some activitiy you actually enjoy and that provides exercise.
 
#19
One thing I have seen work for people is to focus more on other people around you instead of yourself. Help and support people that need it. It can be easy things such as picking up something someone dropped, offering your seat on the bus to someone who needs it, doing volunteer work or helping a friend with something. This serves several purposes. One thing is that you naturally feel good by helping someone. Secondly it removes focus from yourself and your performance, we are neither more nor less important than everyone around us, and it can be interesting to see that we are not that different. Everyone has successes and obstacles, good times and bad times. To see that gives you perspective on your own life. Thirdly, by doing something good for others, you will notice that you actually can do things irregardless of hearing or voice, and you see that you have something to contribute with.

Start small and work your way up towards activities that seem meaningful to you.

Another thing that might seem silly, but that often does have much impact on how we feel is exercise. Are you doing any sport regularly? It does make a difference, so try to find some activitiy you actually enjoy and that provides exercise.

Yes, thinking about helping others does stop the pity party for myself. I don't exercise regularly at the moment. Since I've had meningitis I have very poor balance and get dizzy. Even getting up from a chair to quickly put my head into a spin. My brother goes to the gym regularly and he has invited me to go with him. I always tell him no, maybe I should consider it and try it out.
 

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