Deaf Culture/Identity Questions

Gremlin238

New Member
Hello Sir/Ma'am,
I wanted to ask if any would be willing to answer a few questions for me regarding Deaf culture, your experiences as a Deaf individual, personal opinions and topics relating Deaf culture for a paper I'm writing for my Deaf Communication and Culture class? Also It will answer some lingering questions I've through out my time in the classroom.

1) Are cochlear implants detrimental or beneficial to the Deaf community? Why?

2) What does it feel like being Deaf in a hearing dominated society?

3) What are some major cultural differences between the Deaf community and hearing culture that you’ve noticed?

4) What do you wish the hearing individual knew about the Deaf community?

5) What improvements would you like our society to make that can improve the lives of those in the Deaf community
 

x1heavy

Active Member
There was a old battlefield in debate for and against Cochlear Implants decades ago. Generally if a set of hearing parents had a deaf baby, they are either get the idea or are told to implant the cochlear to eliminate the deafness and do away with all of the things that come with being deaf. So they wave a credit card (Figure of speech) and pesto. Problem solved.

Hold your horses on that a little bit. No one thought to wait a while to ask the child how he or she likes being deaf. I give you a example from real life. In Pot Spring Elementry we had one student who was born naturally with half a forearm. No wrist to speak of and certainly no hand to go with it. Everything was looking good as nature built him. Just forgot the matter of a few required parts on the work order so to speak. Well, we gave this boy a very hard time excluding him as unfit. Well... all of us mostly had one fear. The 30 foot rope to the roof of the gym. He hotly challenged all of us one day and told all of us off (About 60+) and made sure we knew where we can find the problem within each of us. (Staff did not interfere) one of us bigger kids told him OH yeah? Go up that rope.

Oooooooo. Then silence. Right up the rope he went. (I conqured the rope later in my teens.. and defeated height as a mental fear in trucking later than tha) Up and down he went. We all loved him from that point on. He told us... it does not matter to him having one hand, thats all he knew. What would he ever do with two hands? We adopted him as one of us that afternoon.

So, implants? Ask the kid when he or she is old enough to understand the freedom to always choose that implant someday later in his or her life. Not to be forced onto it possibly against his or her will.

I documented the rest of the questions and then some in previous poss. I do not feel the need to tell the hearing people what they can do with deaf people. You will run into a whole range of situations with hearing which I deal with on a case by case basis, one at a time. Mostly discrimination. However I solved that by emigrating to the south and west where they need everyone not stuck on stupid or nailed down. I occasionally examine the society back in my home county in Maryland and they are woefully chronically short on resources for the deaf and others. There is not too much compassion in Governmental Budgets other than what they are issued at the new fiscal year. The rest of it is from Private money. The building i Live in is a private company, however they are tied into State and Federal govt and run as if it was a state facility within a very narrow range such as the building code. Arkansas is the absolute bottom for renters. Period you have no rights. As a deaf renter? HA.

What I cannot stand and hate to the bottom of my heart is employers who are paid by Uncle Sam to seek out and hire those who are disabled such as the deaf. Essentially subsidized. Figure a 5.75 minimum wage, Government pays employer 12 more of that per hour I worked there as a deaf employee so that they can show diversity and other virtue signally things on the airbase cutting grass. If they can come up with 17.75 for little old me, they could pay me 15 dollars to cut grass with bush hog tractor and be quiet about all that hooha about being deaf or hiring those who are less than functional in the unregulated workforce.

I turned them down. I cut enough grass on my own lands and forest at the time (A few acres) and do other things. I dont need to interview for a tractor grass job then be handed a weed eater. Forget it.

The deaf here make do. But they are still about 20 to 30 years behind Maryland in terms of sheltered living and other issues that Arkansas will have to evolve and meet at some point in these people's lifetime. Long after I am gone.'

Its not all bad. There are hearing friends I keep in my heart who function as if they are deaf. They are that fluent in the language in all forms for the deaf having absorbed it all their lives and certainly in the Deaf Church. They are probably by now raising families. And if any of them come up deaf well.. they are more than fully equipped to take care of that challenge when the time comes. However. Many deaf I run into do not enjoy positions of authority or power except in limited cases myself included. I was a crew boss from time to time with a hearing crew and when the inevitable question came up about me being deaf, I told the person just yell and be profane about a problem Im from the sea, we can yell without getting personal or hold hard feelings. And since most of them were truckers that was not hard to do. HEY BOSS THIS &^%$ TIRE IS FLAT. etc etc etc.

Sure its flat, but as a temp, its not my problem or emergency to solve, find a regular staff leader and have them deal with it. =) But dont tell anyone that. He he.
 
Last edited:

Gremlin238

New Member
There was a old battlefield in debate for and against Cochlear Implants decades ago. Generally if a set of hearing parents had a deaf baby, they are either get the idea or are told to implant the cochlear to eliminate the deafness and do away with all of the things that come with being deaf. So they wave a credit card (Figure of speech) and pesto. Problem solved.

Hold your horses on that a little bit. No one thought to wait a while to ask the child how he or she likes being deaf. I give you a example from real life. In Pot Spring Elementry we had one student who was born naturally with half a forearm. No wrist to speak of and certainly no hand to go with it. Everything was looking good as nature built him. Just forgot the matter of a few required parts on the work order so to speak. Well, we gave this boy a very hard time excluding him as unfit. Well... all of us mostly had one fear. The 30 foot rope to the roof of the gym. He hotly challenged all of us one day and told all of us off (About 60+) and made sure we knew where we can find the problem within each of us. (Staff did not interfere) one of us bigger kids told him OH yeah? Go up that rope.

Oooooooo. Then silence. Right up the rope he went. (I conqured the rope later in my teens.. and defeated height as a mental fear in trucking later than tha) Up and down he went. We all loved him from that point on. He told us... it does not matter to him having one hand, thats all he knew. What would he ever do with two hands? We adopted him as one of us that afternoon.

So, implants? Ask the kid when he or she is old enough to understand the freedom to always choose that implant someday later in his or her life. Not to be forced onto it possibly against his or her will.

I documented the rest of the questions and then some in previous poss. I do not feel the need to tell the hearing people what they can do with deaf people. You will run into a whole range of situations with hearing which I deal with on a case by case basis, one at a time. Mostly discrimination. However I solved that by emigrating to the south and west where they need everyone not stuck on stupid or nailed down. I occasionally examine the society back in my home county in Maryland and they are woefully chronically short on resources for the deaf and others. There is not too much compassion in Governmental Budgets other than what they are issued at the new fiscal year. The rest of it is from Private money. The building i Live in is a private company, however they are tied into State and Federal govt and run as if it was a state facility within a very narrow range such as the building code. Arkansas is the absolute bottom for renters. Period you have no rights. As a deaf renter? HA.

What I cannot stand and hate to the bottom of my heart is employers who are paid by Uncle Sam to seek out and hire those who are disabled such as the deaf. Essentially subsidized. Figure a 5.75 minimum wage, Government pays employer 12 more of that per hour I worked there as a deaf employee so that they can show diversity and other virtue signally things on the airbase cutting grass. If they can come up with 17.75 for little old me, they could pay me 15 dollars to cut grass with bush hog tractor and be quiet about all that hooha about being deaf or hiring those who are less than functional in the unregulated workforce.

I turned them down. I cut enough grass on my own lands and forest at the time (A few acres) and do other things. I dont need to interview for a tractor grass job then be handed a weed eater. Forget it.

The deaf here make do. But they are still about 20 to 30 years behind Maryland in terms of sheltered living and other issues that Arkansas will have to evolve and meet at some point in these people's lifetime. Long after I am gone.'

Its not all bad. There are hearing friends I keep in my heart who function as if they are deaf. They are that fluent in the language in all forms for the deaf having absorbed it all their lives and certainly in the Deaf Church. They are probably by now raising families. And if any of them come up deaf well.. they are more than fully equipped to take care of that challenge when the time comes. However. Many deaf I run into do not enjoy positions of authority or power except in limited cases myself included. I was a crew boss from time to time with a hearing crew and when the inevitable question came up about me being deaf, I told the person just yell and be profane about a problem Im from the sea, we can yell without getting personal or hold hard feelings. And since most of them were truckers that was not hard to do. HEY BOSS THIS &^%$ TIRE IS FLAT. etc etc etc.

Sure its flat, but as a temp, its not my problem or emergency to solve, find a regular staff leader and have them deal with it. =) But dont tell anyone that. He he.
thank you so much for your detailed incite, i really appreciate it. this is a lot of info, more current info. Im my class we learned about Deaf history can culture yet i still feel like I still don't know enough. then again I just barely started learning about Deaf culture and history recently.
 

danhieux

New Member
Hello Sir/Ma'am,
I wanted to ask if any would be willing to answer a few questions for me regarding Deaf culture, your experiences as a Deaf individual, personal opinions and topics relating Deaf culture for a paper I'm writing for my Deaf Communication and Culture class? Also It will answer some lingering questions I've through out my time in the classroom.

1) Are cochlear implants detrimental or beneficial to the Deaf community? Why?

2) What does it feel like being Deaf in a hearing dominated society?

3) What are some major cultural differences between the Deaf community and hearing culture that you’ve noticed?

4) What do you wish the hearing individual knew about the Deaf community?

5) What improvements would you like our society to make that can improve the lives of those in the Deaf community
Tackling question 4.
4) What do you wish the hearing individual knew about the Deaf community?

1.Deafness isn’t binary, it’s a spectrum. For many it’s not silence but a great deal of unwelcomed noise. A good analogy is eyesight. It spans from a bit out of focus to no sight at all. In some individuals the hearing capability fluctuates. Some have severly distorted hearing. In my case it’s from Ménière’s disease.
2. Even though I lip read don’t remove your mask to speak to me wo asking.
3. Lip reading, contextualization and straining to hear is frustrating and exhausting. Pretending to hear is even worse.
4. Yes and no are the best answers to my questions.
5. Closed captioning phones are decent but not very accurate same for speech to text apps. Miscommunications are numerous.
6. We need to be told when mechanisms are sounding odd and need repair. Lost a truck to a wrecked transmission that I could not hear it go bad. You probably will need to sell your car if it has a manual transmission since you can’t hear the RPMs.
7. Deaf people will say excuse me seemingly out of nowhere. Yeah we can’t hear our own farts so we excuse ourselves even for the silent ones.
8. That’s it’s ok to tell me that my voice is too loud. We can’t judge that. At least I can’t. Wish there was a biofeedback system.
9. We can’t hear you in parking lots, so please drive slower.
 

x1heavy

Active Member
thank you so much for your detailed incite, i really appreciate it. this is a lot of info, more current info. Im my class we learned about Deaf history can culture yet i still feel like I still don't know enough. then again I just barely started learning about Deaf culture and history recently.
Culture is a living thing by the deaf, if you are among them. If you are not with the deaf then you are on the outside at the fence looking in so to speak. I consider myself deaf, but I have not been to the deaf church in little rock on sundays for over a decade now for a variety of reasons not related to them specifically. If I was to go now I would have to relearn everything and break off the rusted sign language and it will take me about a month of going to be running with them so to speak.

Part of that problem is generational. The other part of the issue is regional. Some of my sign language is east coast and while i have adopted certain slang or signs from around the USA, its obsolete now. I will have to relearn it from other deaf today in person face to face.

Thats one of the biggest things about deafness with a language. It is a living language and will be around as long there are deaf humans who have need of it 10,000 years into the future whatever that might be.

Deaf history is somethign that is ... not like say ... the situation faced by say Robert E Lee when he was in a sitaution at Gettysburg without his Calvary Scouts. He had some decisions to make for the next day during the three days battle. Both sides in that part of our history can fill libraries in the Nth detail going over everything from the War College all the way down to the hand written reports of those who survived the battle or were killed after.

Deaf history is more individual when you move away from the severe State or Nation Restrictions outlawing sign language and teaching of in the 1500's on in the UK and other places and Galludet coming to America and spreading the language among the deaf followed by a dozen generations worth since we were America of what is essentially discrimination with very few bright spots. For example in Texas they celebrate Deaf Smith. I understand him to be a scout or a sharp shooter among other things. Fast forward to about 1950 the first black and colored combined with schools for blind and deaf specifically was opened near Taylor Ave in Baltimore, the MSD in Maryland in Frederick had been functioning since about 1866 or so and even before that in the old Hessian Barracks dating to the Rev War under Washington.

Columbia was built specifically because of a few thousand deaf babies born in the 60's specifically due to German Measles and other medical failures of the time. Maryland was somewhat ahead.

However society did not accept the deaf for a long time. Take trucking. DOT did not allow deaf (Within a strict limit of hard of hearing about 500, 1000 and 2000 hertz at 40db or better with hearing aids and or a whisper test whichever is stricter. I consider myself one of the first 5 or so deaf truckers in a variety of situations ranging from local construction to long haul coast to coast anywhere in North America (Meaning above Central Mexico to Alaska) Most hearing people cannot be bothered to tolerate me, a deaf or HOH to drive a 18 wheeler next to them on the highway. F that. And so many in my family in those days showed discrimination.

Many of my classmates came out of high school decades ago engaged in relatively common simple work. Doing Dishes for example or moving files at Fort Detrick, or entering books at the library. Etc. Relatively simple idiot proof tasks (No offense please, it was what it was0 and these were celebrated as being told that they need to be very good at this work for someday they will have potential.

If I ever hear the sentance "You have potential" one more time from those dark early days of the deaf world in my life I will not be responsible for the applied physics that will occur. =)

Such as history of the deaf. Its a very subjective personal thing. If you are with the deaf, you are the history that you write into a blank page yourself each day as you go.

Given enough years you can summerize the whole thing as I am doing close to 55 and think back in general terms. In some ways its natural for me to be with the deaf. However I have earned my place among the hearing in my work and its not necessarily a place that is allowed or accepted by them to be blunt. They can stuff it.

Why? Some day the truckers will be eliminated and replaced by robot trucks. Anything and everything we humans can do at work to raise a family, buy a home and so on is progressively being eliminated by robot work. My ex, her work at the VA was eliminated and the whole office torn out when a computer replaced it a few years ago.

It would be interesting to see which among us deaf have the courage to harness technology to where they will function as hearing without the hearing noticing that they are deaf.
 
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