Deaf culture - do's and don'ts, etc. Let's make a list!


Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
NEVER as a hearing person say 'Oh Im deaf too and I know signs!' when the truth is you don't because you WILL get busted and you WILL be humiliated publicly. I had this happen today. I mentioned the reason why I do not hear well is because I am profoundly deaf in left ear and HOH in my right ear, and the girl next to me says - 'Oh! Im deaf too! That loud machine is making it hard to hear.' And this is coming from a fully hearing person that was fine and functional right up until that point. Then she insisted that we 'sign' with each other. I ended up having to explain all my signs to her. UGH. Thank God tomorrow is the last day I have to work with her for a while.


New Member
What flat out pisses me off me is that since I choose not to place myself in situations where I could not understand what the hell is going on and as a result end up feeling like and looking like a idiot, people never invite me anywhere to do ANYTHING with them!!! Look, A**holes, I don't want to go to the club or where the music is so loud that I cannot hear anything at all much less UNDERSTAND. I wear hearing aids, true! however, I cannot do that marvelous trick of focusing my hearing on a single persons voice in a crowded/loud club or bar. Trust me, if I could...I WOULD! Another thing! No! I am not going to go to a Party out in the woods or in a field after dark where the only light to be had is scattered camping fires (if that!)

Does not mean that I would not enjoy myself at your bbq or a subdued house party or even going and hanging out at the lake/park/quiet well lit neighborhood bar.

Dammit, I thought I would feel better after ranting, now I am just pissy...:evil:


Active Member
1) Don't EVER forget to take off your hearing aid and cochlear implant when you're going swimming, going in the shower, going to a water park. (i accidently got my hearing aid wet like a few times when i was little with my old hearing aid. and one time this year with my new hearing aid..oops)
2) Don't make fun of deaf people.
3) Don't talk like you're talking to a crazy person. if you know wat i mean for lip-reading from hearing people. It annoys me alot. because they're opening their mouth widely and i'm trying to read what they're trying to tell me.
4) Do: ask me to learn sign language from me, it might help for a hearing person if they're trying to tell me something when i have my 'ears' off.
5) do: write something down on a piece of paper if my ears are off.
6) Do: go up to me and tap me on the shoulder if i don't have your attention. Mostly because they're waving at me trying to get my attention or baming on the tables. it does get annoying.
7) Do: be careful with your hearing devices. Alot of times people forget where they put them, or their dog chews on them, or its being dropped on the floor.

oh a couple more don'
8) don't use your implant during gym...if you're doing dogeball in gym it will totally hurt...happened to me one time by accident. I take off my implant during gym. and the softball hitted me on my implant spot..and 2 times on my face last year..espically on my nose but luckly no bleeding!
9) don't shake my bed to wake me up because it scares the hell out of me like there is going to be a tornado, a earthquake, a fire, or someone is breaking in the house. I would rather if you try and touch my shoulder and tap on me or turn on the light.


New Member
Mine did too. (GRRR.) Over the years, they resorted to shaking my head, holding my jaw tight to try to manipulate it to move, put their hands on my lips (GROSS), put my hand on my throat (as if that ever works, gimme a break, folks...feeling throat vibrations doesn't help), blowing tissues to show the nonplosive and plosive sounds (rolling eyes), making me look at myself in the mirror while imitating lip movements, etc.

One of my pet peeves is when people have the galls to correct a way that I say a word (for example, "peet sa" instead of "pezza" for pizza). Pffft. No matter how hard I try...I will never speak perfect like a hearing person...because I'M NOT A HEARING PERSON!!!!! Peanut butter, anyone? It tastes good and will make you talk like Mr. Ed the horse.

I pronounce it as peet sa. If other people don't like it, then I suggest they sue me. By the way, I've never been corrected on it and wouldn't change . . . who are they to say how the word is actually pronounced?


Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
Another pet peeve - a couple here suspect their toddler son is mentally retarded and they have him enrolled into a special needs program.

From what I gather it sounds more like he is deaf rather than mentally disable. They say that he will not respond to them unless they are directly in front of him or tap his shoulder. He has not learned to talk yet, and he has trouble walking.

They haven't even taken him to an audiologist yet for testing on his hearing. However they do use signs with him, but not fluently. Only words like potty, hungry, sleepy, want, etc.

As a hoh/deafie, I will try to make contact with this couple and tell them from personal experience not to completely rule out deafness until they have a confirmation from an audiologist that his hearing is fine. My fear is that if someone doesnt step in that this boy will be delayed severely in language and spend the rest of his life struggling to communicate when in fact he has a clear mind, he just hasnt been given the tools to express himself.

I'm sure Shel and Jillio would love to have a field day with this couple.


Active Member
Premium Member
NEVER as a hearing person say 'Oh Im deaf too and I know signs!' when the truth is you don't because you WILL get busted and you WILL be humiliated publicly. I had this happen today. I mentioned the reason why I do not hear well is because I am profoundly deaf in left ear and HOH in my right ear, and the girl next to me says - 'Oh! Im deaf too! That loud machine is making it hard to hear.' And this is coming from a fully hearing person that was fine and functional right up until that point. Then she insisted that we 'sign' with each other. I ended up having to explain all my signs to her. UGH. Thank God tomorrow is the last day I have to work with her for a while.

OI. She sounds like a mental case too.


New Member
Do be willing to write back and forth with me, if you need to tell me something and don't know signs for it.

Do not "dismiss" or give up on us if we don't understand what you are saying. This is annoying.

So, don't be afraid to try pen and paper if you need THAT to express yourself or understand others. You do it for YOU as well as for me.

Never, never ever rely on a third party to interpret if they are not paid or seem unwilling. Get a clue and take responsiblity for your own communication with a Deaf person. For example, a married couple - hearing and deaf, and the inlaws always bother the hearing spouse to interpret everything for the deaf spouse. This can be annoying and piss off the "interpreter." It shows a lack of interest in trying to communicate with the deaf spouse, and it creates resentment in the hearing spouse.

Never ask a child to interpret for his or her parents if his/her parents don't want them to be in that role.

Good stuff!!!


Active Member
I had quite a doozy yesterday at work from a FAMILY member of all people. I was sitting at the table waiting for us to be called in to work because Sanitation had not yet finished cleaning and so I had my headphones on and of course at max volume so I could hear it. Then my step-cousin comes and sits down and hears the music then she mouths something to me so I removed my headphones and asked her what she said then she rolled her eyes and said "Nothing - it's no wonder your deaf!"

I was like damn - why do you have to offend me for something I can't change. So I just replied - "We'll no wonder you're such a bitch!" since it was pretty evident her crudeness shown at full force the moment she said what she did. People around me know Im deaf and know why the music is that loud for the one ear that functions somewhat. I dont think people realized that I would stand up for myself in that manner. I just looked to the other girl beside me who had quite a puzzled look on her face and I said "She's family, I can get away with it." and walked off.

And thing was - it wasnt just ignorance - it was plain stupidity. The step-cousin in question KNOWS I am deaf and was born deaf - but she can be incredibly hateful and inconsiderate at times and often blames other people for her problems including me - which I dont worry about.

your step-cousin needs to be on the death row, we have no time for shit people like that

Hear Again

New Member
When initiating communication with a deafblind person, try to get their attention first by calling their name. If they don't respond, situate yourself in front of them and then wave your hand. If you still don't get a response, gently place one of your hands underneath the deafblind person's hand for tactile sign.


New Member
Premium Member
A woman from the office scare the shit out of me today, she wave a paper in front of my face and I damn near had a heart attack! tap my table or shoulder. Don't sneak up on me :nono:


New Member
I was told

I like the one where the other person in explanation for why I somehow did not know a particular piece of information... I told you, you just did not hear me.
I am very concerned about getting incoming information and pay extremely close attention to the people around me. If I don't know it it is because they said it where I could not see them. They know I watch to hear. So if something got said that did not get through to me it is because they said it to the air or someone else not to me. It is usually the same person that does this in whatever circle of people I am with.
Another one that happens is the person in charge will just cut me out of the loop doing all speaking to someone else who I then have to interrogate often learning that questions did not get asked that I would have asked. That is particularly insidious for so many reasons.


Well-Known Member
In Thailand and other Asian countries, yes, to point is very rude. Using the full hand is considered polite.

I prefer people to place a hand on my arm when getting my attention, or at most a little tap. I get most annoyed if someone shakes me even on my arm and especially if they wave their hand in front of your eyes. Throwing objects is not only rude but dangerous as many have stated. Yelling....I hate yelling....we have feelings and we not only read lips, but facial expressions and body language and gestures. Yelling is very intimidating and will make any deaf person shy away from or avoid that person. Exaggerating words, is yes hard to 'read' and also makes the deaf person feel inferior and second class.


New Member
While some people will take the time to be patient and relay what they spoke again and again for a Deaf or Hard of Hearing, it is sad to say that there are those that assume that Deaf or HoH don't pay attention when the hearies speak to them, hence the fustration and impatience that ensues, and the accusation that they are not paying attention, then giving up with "nevermind"! :pissed:

Um, that's not the case, you may be confusing the Deaf or HoH or you're speaking to fast, your lips are quirked or twisted funny, or you didn't get the attention of the person before speaking (you know that annoying thing where the hearies are looking at you and talking and you turn and you're only catching half of what they are saying ?)

Don't accuse those with HoH or is Deaf of not paying attention, they are but they are trying to understand what your saying, because for some of us it does take a few minutes to think about what your saying to understand it, and read your lips at the same time, all the while getting uncomfortable watching your body language change from calm to fustration because you have to repeat yourself constantly, finally ending in an fustrated "You don't pay attention!"

Reading lips is like morse code. For those of us it takes a few minutes to decypher the words your are speaking. When you can't hear, you can't hear the sounds associated with the words your speaking. Some words and letters can look the same to us.

IE: Bliss=Blitz Todd=Dodd

or the letters P and B

or T , C, and D.

Or S and X

Without the sounds of the letters, and without the sounds of the letters combined into words, we have to figure out what is being said sometimes. It's like that for me, I have to go through a list of words and fill in the blanks to try and make sense of what you are saying. It takes me a few minutes and yeah i might have a blank look on my face, but don't mock me with the same look, it only says "You're Stupid" to me.

Try to have patience with us, sometimes we get uncomfortable when you start getting impatient with us.


New Member
Premium Member
When mouthing overenunciated words in an exagerated manner to the idiot deaf woman, Please, please take an extra moment to brush your teeth carefully. Especially that stray bit of spinach..... eww.... just between those back molars...

(joke sort of) No flaming. Just me ranting about seeing the lunch left in the old gal's mouth while she was doing oral acrobatics upon learning that I was deaf.

Uh, ok. The idea here is speak normally to a deaf person. No silly, wide mouthed, fish gasping on the bank rendition of whatever needs saying.

I am deaf not your dentist - geeze!