Deaf Culture V.S. Hearing Culture

John Curtis

New Member
Hi Everyone! My name is John and I am taking a sign language course. One of my reports is supposed to be about the differences between deaf culture and hearing culture. I am hearing and I don't actually know anyone personally who is deaf. Could anyone give me a few points about how Deaf culture is different from hearing culture? Thanks, I really appreciate it! :)

Old Analog

Active Member
Under our world our culture, scroll down to is deaf cultural real or a mith, you'll find an old discussion and under introduce yourself the first thread there, and you might read through late onset deafness, that's a start :2c:


Active Member
You will find that the Deaf Culture is it's own closed community as it were same with the Hearing. As a deaf trucker wearing hearing aids to comply with the DOT Medical Laws that allow me to drive 18 wheelers usually among hearing creates for interesting situations if it comes up with someone who does not understand deaf drivers in particular at the workplace.

I remember one mid level manager giving me a hard time at DM Bowman in Frederick Md one day because he was learning that I am a good driver but happened to be a deaf one. But all he could tell me about was the previous two deaf drivers he had in the past that did not work out for a variety of reasons and ranted on about it. I spent a hour with this manager outside talking about the differences and told him that you give me a load A to B what date and time it picks up where and when it delivers and what and so on. All is good within the workplace. I'll fix the rest on my own as it were. Ive enough on my plate doing that job in those days than to worry about discrimination between hearing and deaf. (That got taken care of in a few minutes of talking...)

He was very suprised when I not only explained the differences between deaf and hearing but learned from him about the two deaf previous drivers to identify them by name. Its not hard. Then I explained to him what they were being deaf. And then I made him see that his blindness towards people who may not have something that he does in life is a problem as a manager and as a person. He did better that year after so I think that issue was resolved.

Once in a great while being deaf around hearing bosses makes for very bad situations when they forget that I am deaf. I had one in Arkansas spend a few minutes making sure I knew exactly where to go with the truck to deliver mixed concrete to a partiucular new job site that had no address. His words:

"Get off the freeway, go south until you run into another one of our trucks on the left at that job site. Do you Understand?" (He was in a hurry and reduced the instructions to very simple that a child could understand being very busy and rushed....)

"Yes Boss"

I go down the freeway find the particular exit, go into the town and found the job site on the left with other trucks like my company kind. Got in line and delivered my Concrete to a church that was being built. Pouring a foundation. Now... keep this in mind when I say what happened next.

I returned to the company yard and gave my signed papers as delivered to the boss and told him its a pretty big church they are building there on the corner downtown. (It's like oh... 500+ people that could sit in it when finished)

The boss sat there for a minute and said... wait a minute I did not send YOU to a Church... you were supposed to go to a housing development to pour curbs not church foundations. OMG. etc. Well it was not long before the top suits and chiefs in the upper management got involved because the concrete was not the right kind for church foundations.

And so the boss took the blame and the company eventually rebuilt that corner of the church which was falling down due to the bad foundation at that corner. Very expensive to do something twice in building a church as big as that one.

I was not punished. But defended my situation very simply describing exactly what a particular boss told me using a specific word group quoted here. At some point everyone had a good laugh and laughed some more teasing him. Poor Boss. It all worked out in the end. But very expensive all around. That was about 20 years ago. I don't live too far from that church and when I go by to get mail I examine that specific brick wall and foundation to see how its doing and remember that poor boss who could not take the time to describe the situation correctly....

That day there were TWO job sites on the left down that road. The first left was the church job that I drive into. The REAL ASSIGNMENT was the housing area being built about a mile further down the road ALSO On the left. And so.... there it is.

Differences between hearing and deaf? SURE you bet. Makes for interesting times now and then.

I did blacktop work with dump truck and trailer for a Paver and Farm Owner in Finksburg Maryland for a couple of years roughly. He never said anything more than what needed to be said. His way of being a boss was very good on the job site. Once I understood exactly what the process and routine was with the rock, blacktop, backhoe whatever all he did is point to me then point do this there. (Dump there...) point point point.

Now we did not spend that time together in quiet. Oh no. If one of us made a BIG mistake... he starts swearing. Thats when both hearing and us deaf on the crew knew to leave him alone for a while. Preferably until tomorrow. Sometimes he gets so bad and hopping mad that he fires us whole sale. Next morning suns up 7 am phone rings and there he is where you at. Yer late get over here we got work to do. So... =)
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