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

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I can imagine how frustrating it would be to feel like a hearing person (or anyone for that matter) has "given up" or "dismissed" you because they are having a hard time understanding what you're saying. I'd just like to say that I think a lot of times hearing people (especially those who are trying to learn ASL or who have little experience with deaf or HOH people) can be embarassed easily by NOT being able to communicate and can seem rude when they're really just shy or nervous about communicating in a new way.

But imagine your frustration if you lived this way for over 50 years around that type behavior, even if only sporadic out in public.

Probably the shy and nervous should find a new avocation from communicating with the deaf.

They could use pagers, (BB , Sidekick) , pen and paper. There is not really that big a barrier that can't be overcome.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
I've had now my first day of being totally silent in public, speaking only while at home. I used pen and paper for everything while I was out and did some sign. It was quite liberating and people seemed to accept that with no problem. Only my mother was embarrassed, but she understands why I did it. She and I have had long talks this weekend about how much the hearing loss to total deaf has affected me. She willingly wore "sound cancelling" ear plugs from the airport to see what is was like for me. She now has a greater appreciation and wants to experience it in public so she will no why I went silent today. We are planning it on Wednesday this week. Grocery store and Target as well as post office. Should be enlightening.
 

Juli-terp-to-be

New Member
I've had now my first day of being totally silent in public, speaking only while at home. I used pen and paper for everything while I was out and did some sign. It was quite liberating and people seemed to accept that with no problem. Only my mother was embarrassed, but she understands why I did it. She and I have had long talks this weekend about how much the hearing loss to total deaf has affected me. She willingly wore "sound cancelling" ear plugs from the airport to see what is was like for me. She now has a greater appreciation and wants to experience it in public so she will no why I went silent today. We are planning it on Wednesday this week. Grocery store and Target as well as post office. Should be enlightening.

That might not be a bad thing for us hearies during a deaf meetup. Making everyone on equal ground. PLEASE do not jump down my throat. I think it would be an enlightening prospect for anyone who wants to learn about the deaf culture.

When I volunteered for the Helen Keller DeafBlind Centre part of the training was to use both audio & visual canceling equipment. It was disconcerting and one woman actually left crying, before finishing the training. Living with my father being legally blind I already had some experience, but no actual personal experience. I am more determined to go on, because of my experiences there.
 
S

stealingmay

Guest
But imagine your frustration if you lived this way for over 50 years around that type behavior, even if only sporadic out in public.

Probably the shy and nervous should find a new avocation from communicating with the deaf.

They could use pagers, (BB , Sidekick) , pen and paper. There is not really that big a barrier that can't be overcome.

I definitely can imagine how frustrating that would be. I should have mentioned that being shy or awkward isn't an excuse for rude behavior. Ignoring or dismissing someone, regardless of the reason is definitely rude. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I don't think that everyone who "dismisses" or "ignores" and deaf or hard of hearing person is being intentionally rude. Maybe they didn't realize how thier actions would be perceived??? I know I have definitely had my awkward moments around deaf people due to my own insecurities with not being able to communicate as sucessfully as I would have liked.
 
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KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
Mother had her 2nd day of "noise cancelling" ear plugs and we went shopping. She just about died at WalMart. I took back a table lamp that we didn't like and while waiting in line, I wrote a short note that said, "I am deaf, do not know ASL. I am returning this lamp as the shades gets too hot and you can be burned." When I got to the counter, I handed the lamp (in box), the receipt and my note to the girl at counter. She went white in the face and asked for a supervisor to come help. Supervisor came over to see what was going on, and read my note, then proceeded to ask the girl why she couldn't handle the transaction. It seems this girl thought it was a note to rob the place. :laugh2:

I mean really, come on. What's your take on that?
 

sallylou

Potterhead and Janeite
Premium Member
Kristina, my take is that the manager is lying. What a pathetic excuse! Dude, we're deaf, not stupid.
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
Mother had her 2nd day of "noise cancelling" ear plugs and we went shopping. She just about died at WalMart. I took back a table lamp that we didn't like and while waiting in line, I wrote a short note that said, "I am deaf, do not know ASL. I am returning this lamp as the shades gets too hot and you can be burned." When I got to the counter, I handed the lamp (in box), the receipt and my note to the girl at counter. She went white in the face and asked for a supervisor to come help. Supervisor came over to see what was going on, and read my note, then proceeded to ask the girl why she couldn't handle the transaction. It seems this girl thought it was a note to rob the place. :laugh2:

I mean really, come on. What's your take on that?

It's weird. We went to Village Inn for free pie Wednesday at lunch, and when we got to the cash register, the person running it gave me a receipt for my credit card that still had the pie slices on it.

A manager was standing by counting white sacks, and I reached over and wrote, "remove pie?" I did not even have to use my own paper and they fixed it right away.

I do take my netbook , where I made a conversation pad in Word that I can write on, and they can write back, and then it can be deleted. No waste.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
It's weird. We went to Village Inn for free pie Wednesday at lunch, and when we got to the cash register, the person running it gave me a receipt for my credit card that still had the pie slices on it.

A manager was standing by counting white sacks, and I reached over and wrote, "remove pie?" I did not even have to use my own paper and they fixed it right away.

I do take my netbook , where I made a conversation pad in Word that I can write on, and they can write back, and then it can be deleted. No waste.

Hadn't thought about the netbook. I could do that. My purse is large enough to put it in when I wasn't using it. :giggle:
 

bonus_scribit

New Member
Four things that I thought of: 1. Don't seem exasperated and ask me, "Do you have your hearing aids on?!" 2. Don't grab my ears to find out. 3. Don't scream at me. Look at me when you talk and don't make funny gestures with your mouth. 4. Don't mimick a deaf person sound (i.e. eh?) or gesture to try and be funny by holding your hand behind your ear.

yeah, and also (although maybe this is just me, since I wear dark brown Phonak Naidas with brown hair, which always covers my aid) don't say, when I say that I wear aids, "Oh... *pause*... are you wearing it now???" *groan* That really annoys me!
 

melissa

New Member
-Don't start talking to me when I'm reading, without saying my name first to get my attention. This happened yesterday at my work placement- I couldn't start work til my email account had been set up so I was reading a booklet one of the girls gave me. All I heard was 'humph umble mumble blah garg do that for me?'.

-This has happened in previous employment- DO NOT ask 'are you wearing your hearing aids??' when I can't hear you.

-When I have to ask you to repeat something (usually short cos then I have no idea of context) 3 times, then you say 'nevermind, it doesn't matter', it makes me feel inadequate as a person. Even when I'm lipreading. It makes me sad.

-PLEASE DON'T overenunciate and start acting really differently when I've told you about my hearing than before. Please don't start rubbing my shoulder every time you want my attention, when just saying my name worked before! Older women tend to do this. I don't like being touched by them!

-Inevitably, the first question I get is 'are you totally deaf without those in', 'how deaf are you'. The answer is no, but it's difficult to explain my hearing loss without going into audiogram stuff! I usually say no, it's mild/moderate but I have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds.

-When you say 'there are some [high pitched] things it must be nice not to hear', and laugh, it's not funny. I can hear fire alarms, burglar alarms, things which are high-pitched and annoying. I can't hear you say plurals, or the oven beep, or the phone ring if there's background noise (eg tv). I don't get to choose what I can and can't hear.

-When a high pitched or loud noise hurts my ears and I'm cringing, don't say 'I thought you couldn't hear!'. My audiologist told me there's an automatic response where you blink/squint if it hurts, and she could see me doing this with some of the really high pitched noises.

-DO relate- when I told someone I wear hearing aids, they didn't ask am I completely deaf without them. They DID say 'my friend has hearing aids'.
 

CJB

New Member
-Don't start talking to me when I'm reading, without saying my name first to get my attention. This happened yesterday at my work placement- I couldn't start work til my email account had been set up so I was reading a booklet one of the girls gave me. All I heard was 'humph umble mumble blah garg do that for me?'.

-This has happened in previous employment- DO NOT ask 'are you wearing your hearing aids??' when I can't hear you.

-When I have to ask you to repeat something (usually short cos then I have no idea of context) 3 times, then you say 'nevermind, it doesn't matter', it makes me feel inadequate as a person. Even when I'm lipreading. It makes me sad.

-PLEASE DON'T overenunciate and start acting really differently when I've told you about my hearing than before. Please don't start rubbing my shoulder every time you want my attention, when just saying my name worked before! Older women tend to do this. I don't like being touched by them!

-Inevitably, the first question I get is 'are you totally deaf without those in', 'how deaf are you'. The answer is no, but it's difficult to explain my hearing loss without going into audiogram stuff! I usually say no, it's mild/moderate but I have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds.

-When you say 'there are some [high pitched] things it must be nice not to hear', and laugh, it's not funny. I can hear fire alarms, burglar alarms, things which are high-pitched and annoying. I can't hear you say plurals, or the oven beep, or the phone ring if there's background noise (eg tv). I don't get to choose what I can and can't hear.

-When a high pitched or loud noise hurts my ears and I'm cringing, don't say 'I thought you couldn't hear!'. My audiologist told me there's an automatic response where you blink/squint if it hurts, and she could see me doing this with some of the really high pitched noises.

-DO relate- when I told someone I wear hearing aids, they didn't ask am I completely deaf without them. They DID say 'my friend has hearing aids'.

:gpost::gpost:
 

BecLak

Well-Known Member
What I don't like is people assuming I'm ok because I can lipread well and speak ok. Often I have been accused of being rude because I have not responded.
 

donotfeedbsugar

New Member
Good thread here!!

Oh I hate it if someone throws a dangerous object at me. Once a friend threw a pen at me and know where the pointed end landed? Right in between of my eyes. I said OW and reached my hand up to where it had hurt. I then saw some blood on my hand and looked at my friend whose eyes were wide open. I then went to look in a mirror, seeing that I looked so horrible with blood running down my nose. I told my friend what if it had landed right into my eye?! Thank goodness, it didn't.
:eek3: dang
 

donotfeedbsugar

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.


I had to set my guy straight with that...either deal with me and who I am or forget it because if I can't understand then we won't be able to get our points across!!!
 

deafannieboo

New Member
ok, lets see here.....
dont cover ur mouth with your hands so i cant see what ur saying! thats rude and not funny. dont apoligize to me when u find out i am deaf or say thats to bad. dont throw things to get my attention. dont come up behind me and touch me youll likely get hit, wave or stomp or flick a light before u grab me if i dont know ur are near me. dont fuss at my service dog for jumping up when someone comes to the door, thats her job! dont test my lip reading abilities, im far better at it than ull ever believe! yes, i can see people talking smack when they think i cant see them, remember i am a hell of a lip reader, better than anyone i ever met. if u dont beleive i am deaf, dont try and test me with weird little experiments, if i catch you at it ill test ur stupidity level!! ohh, and dont call my cell phone, its for texting only, if you do ill answer it and yell into phone... "Quit calling the hearing impaired, a_s hole!" hehe and when u find out i am deaf dont tell me theres surgerie to fix it now, i dont want to be fixed and will likely tell you... to bad theres not a surgery to fix ur ignorence... (kidding) but have def wanted to say that!!

look me in face when talking and not walk off or ahead of me. stomp or wave or tap a surface to get my attention. its ok to ask about my deafness and if you want to learn sign or learn about it or the deaf community.
 

donotfeedbsugar

New Member
Pls do not much so much focus on our ability to speak like "Wow!!! u can talk!" "U must be so smart for u to be able to talk so good!"

I suggest maybe make a nice comment but dont go on and on and on about it.

OH MY GOD...I GET THAT A LOT...When I was in ASL classes the rules were...WE DO NOT TALK...we can outside of the class but not in class. Once class was over one day someone was signing to me something awkward and I signed and SPOKE "Can you sign that again?" ....all the while the lady disrupted the departing class saying WOW YOU CAN TALK...BUT YOU'RE HARD OF HEARING!!! *grits teeth, cracks neck and sees red*
 

kokonut

New Member
OH MY GOD...I GET THAT A LOT...When I was in ASL classes the rules were...WE DO NOT TALK...we can outside of the class but not in class. Once class was over one day someone was signing to me something awkward and I signed and SPOKE "Can you sign that again?" ....all the while the lady disrupted the departing class saying WOW YOU CAN TALK...BUT YOU'RE HARD OF HEARING!!! *grits teeth, cracks neck and sees red*

Was the lady hearing, deaf, or hoh?
 

Brooke

New Member
I am mildly HOH and don't wear HAs (they didn't help much). I lipread and have since birth, and most of the time I understand what's going on. I am learning ASL but I don't know very much and can't understand it very well. My best friend (who knows more ASL than I do) is attempting to teach me, sort of.
The other day she was saying something to me in ASL during biology. She was signing very fast and not mouthing what she was saying. While someone is signing, I generally watch their mouths the most and not pay a ton of attention to their hands (I realize that I should, but I'm going for understanding here rather than education). After having her repeat it a couple of times (and she never mouthed the words) I got fed up with her and said that I needed to see her mouth move. She then told me to watch her hands. Watching their hands doesn't help if you don't know very much sign language.
I also hate it when people do the whole "never mind" thing. I want to know what you said even if was irrelevant or won't be funny if you say it again. :roll:
People (and even friends sometimes) will be talking to me and turn away from me and say something (not to be rude, just looking away) and I ask them to repeat. The conversation generally is as follows: "Oh, I forgot you're deaf." "I'm not deaf, although I do need to see your face when you talk." "Whatever, freak. :roll:"
People will call my name down the hallways from behind in greeting and I won't hear them. This has happened nearly a dozen times with one friend and she doesn't seem to realize that I'm just not going to hear her if she only calls out my name.
I like this thread and I find it very informative and reassuring, as I thought I was the only one who was irritated by the "never mind' thing. Keep up the good work!
 
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