Competitive deafness


Does anyone else find people are always trying to put themeselves somewhere on a ladder of deafness? They are always looking to find out how much you can hear and where you belong on this ladder, and particularly to sort people between the Deaf and the HoH, like there's a given dividing line and those who don't get to be deaf enough are sorted into the HoH, like a Hogwarts sorting hat. But everyone has a different sorting hat with no consistency between different folks as to where you belong.

Personally, I don't fit in anywhere, I have a really unusual kind of hearing where I can hear very low and very high pitches almost normally as a threshold but badly distorted, but nothing in the speech frequencies. What does it make me? If taken as an average hearing loss, a common but IMHO useless way of measuring, it makes me mild to moderate HoH. If you take into account only frequencies at which people speak, it's severe to profound. And what I can hear doesn't sound like what it is or where it is, someone up a ladder using a drill sounds like something exploded in my bag. A motorbike coming down the road sounds like someone is washing their roof. It's also fluctuating, such that some days I hear not so badly, others there's a police car driving directly behind me with sirens on and I don't hear anything.

I'm tired of there being a competition, why can't we all be whatever we are, have whatever communication needs and preferences we have? Surely nobody understands the need to have people understand and respect your preferences like those on the deaf ladder? Why do we always have to be fighting about who is at the top?


Well-Known Member
I had hearing friend try to do this. Telling me what they couldn't hear and how they heard worse than me... I don't care either way. Since I talk well people always think I am lying anyways. I gave up a long time ago.


Since I talk well people always think I am lying anyways. I gave up a long time ago.

Oh how true. My hearing is mixed so I hear noises from inside myself pretty clearly. My speech is good, though I can't control the volume or tone very well so I get accused of being aggressive quite a lot. A very daft way to judge people.


Well-Known Member
Competitive? Never heard of such a thing.

sure there are people who ask 20 questions about your schooling, your degree of loss blah blah blah but I have never seen that as somebody trying to be 'competitive'. Many deaf people are more open and talk about just about everything under the sun... no secrets as it were (except maybe the whole LGBT thing-- still issues there).

I grew up oral, learned ASL when I got to college, been through the whole "you're lying!!" thing with hearing people (never from deaf that I can remember honestly) when told I am deaf. I ID as deaf even though 'medically' with a profound loss I somehow have enough hearing with the strongest hearing aids and speech I'd be ID'ed as HoH by some people.

Thhp what's important to me is how I feel about myself and how I see myself... don't care about others- that's their problem if they can't deal.


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Premium Member
Because I'm late deafened and speak "well" (which includes "articulate" or "educated" because I was a long-time English teacher), many hearing people don't really believe I'm deaf and "forget" to communicate with a few accommodations so I can understand. To remind them, I sign when I'm speaking. If any say, "I don't know ASL," I keep on signing and say it's habit. This usually makes believers out of doubting Thomases. :deaf::blah: