Do deaf folks consider themselves disabled?

traciedantoni

New Member
The reason I bring this up is because I see many people who boast about the fact that being deaf doesn't make someone disabled BUT they collect ssdi checks every month.

So what's the answer? Thoughts?
 

Beach girl

Active Member
It's kind of a tricky question. I consider deafness to be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I want my Closed Captions on TVs, I think HDMI cables should transmit CCs (BIG issue right now), I want to see more CC options for movies and other public entertainment. I'd like to see better communication for the deaf and HoH when it comes to announcements on public transportation, including busses, subways, trains, and planes. So in that sense, yes, it's a disability that should be covered by ADA and public accommodations should be made for it.

But do I personally consider myself disabled? Well, I'm "not able" to hear perfectly, so by definition, yes, but emotionally, no, not really. It feels like more of an inconvenience than a disability. I can walk, move my arms and legs, exercise, drive a car, use public transportation with no problem, move through life as I wish. I can see, read, think, feel (emotionally and physically).

I had a long and fruitful career for 25 years after my hearing loss started.

That said, if my hearing had been as bad 30 years ago as it is now, I probably could not have had that particular career. I don't know what else I would have done, as my career suited me perfectly in many ways. I suppose I would have done something similar but less demanding in terms of learning new languages.

I don't collect SDDI, but do have a pension from my gov't work.

I would not judge someone negatively, necessarily, for collecting SDDI if they were totally deaf and could not find a job. There's no denying that it is not easy. That said, obviously there are deaf people who are perfectly capable of supporting themselves and do so.

It's a complex question that is not easily answered "yes" or "no."
 

DeafCaroline

New Member
traci - we don't consider ourselves disabled, other people do. I have a degree, and was able to raise two kids on my own and I tried for YEARS to get employed but couldn't because of employers' perceptions of what I'm able and not able to do based on their own ignorance, I contacted employment agencies, government agencies, organizations for the deaf, for the handicapped, I tried every resource I could think of (and meanwhile trying to fend off profound depression resulting from such struggles as a deaf single mother with no job), no one could help me get hired. if it weren't for the fact I had a skill that allowed me to start up my own company, I'd be on welfare and not by choice.

I find your question offensive.
 

traciedantoni

New Member
I respect that response very much.

The reason I brought it up was because of another thread where it was polling people on how much their ssi/ssdi checks are and some of what I read indicated that some deaf people are in fact capable of working but choose not to. I don't think that's fair. And those are the same people who talk crap about how they are treated by society and hearing people. I think it makes deaf people look bad when certain people take advantage of the ssdi system but complain about how they are the same as everybody else.

I don't think deafness is a disability either and I agree it is more of an inconvenience or annoyance when trying to live life with as much ease as possible. CC is definitely a big topic and I support making sure it is accessible in all areas, tv/movies, public transportation, etc. Deaf people need to be able to know what's going on at all times just like everybody else and also enjoy things like movies and entertainment just like everybody else.
 

traciedantoni

New Member
It has a built-in assumption that anyone on SSI/SSDI is lazy and trying to game the system and get free money for doing nothing.

Actually no. It did not have a "built-in assumption." It was a question. I certainly understand if people are having hard times and need help. I'm in that boat myself. The question was geared specifically towards the people who CHOOSE not to work when they are capable of working. Does that mean they will get a job right away? No. There are many hearing people that can't get jobs so I'm not naive enough to think it's any easier for deaf people to get jobs.

My father was lazy and wanted to play bowling all the time so he never attempted to find a job and just lived on his ssdi until the day he died. I find that to be disgusting. My mother worked very hard and still has the same job for the past 29 years. She's lucky to have a good job and she's very good at what she does. If she lost her job she would do everything in her power to get another one instead of just sitting on her butt collecting checks. Does that mean she couldn't collect checks WHILE she was looking for a job? No. It would be helpful to those who need assistance while they're trying to get back on their feet. Not those who live on it for years like my father did.
 

Babyblue

New Member
Some deaf people view themselves as being disabled. Some don't. Depends on the deaf person. I myself prefer not to get SSDI because of the simple fact that I can work and will work for my income.

I do see "some' deaf people that really need SSI or SSDI since they truly can not work for reasons not mentioned.

I also have seen some deaf people that rather to take the easy way out and just sit at home and collect disability..

I have seen some deaf people that are very sucessful professionals and work for their money.

It all depends, Some hearing people are the same way. in general rather to milk the system such as food stamps and welfare or fake a disability etc. Than work.

It irks me knowing that anyone that is able to work and don't work.
 

traciedantoni

New Member
Are you people even reading what I'm saying or are you too busy trying to jump down my throat for asking a legitimate question? I NEVER CALLED ANYONE OUT AND SAID "anyone on SSI/SSDI is lazy and trying to game the system and get free money for doing nothing."

Is this a forum where people can ask questions or not? Do you who condemn me not also know of individuals who collect checks when they are perfectly capable of working? I doubt it.
 

StSapphire

New Member
Are you people even reading what I'm saying or are you too busy trying to jump down my throat for asking a legitimate question? I NEVER CALLED ANYONE OUT AND SAID "anyone on SSI/SSDI is lazy and trying to game the system and get free money for doing nothing."

Is this a forum where people can ask questions or not? Do you who condemn me not also know of individuals who collect checks when they are perfectly capable of working? I doubt it.

Wow, defensive much?
 

traciedantoni

New Member
Some deaf people view themselves as being disabled. Some don't. Depends on the deaf person. I myself prefer not to get SSDI because of the simple fact that I can work and will work for my income.

I do see "some' deaf people that really need SSI or SSDI since they truly can not work for reasons not mentioned.

I also have seen some deaf people that rather to take the easy way out and just sit at home and collect disability..

I have seen some deaf people that are very sucessful professionals and work for their money.

It all depends, Some hearing people are the same way. in general rather to milk the system such as food stamps and welfare or fake a disability etc. Than work.

It irks me knowing that anyone that is able to work and don't work.

Thank you!!!! That is exactly what I was looking for. Especially that last line. Couldn't agree more.

Thanks for seeing the question and answering it without taking it offensively like others here.
 

CrzyMeg

New Member
The reason I bring this up is because I see many people who boast about the fact that being deaf doesn't make someone disabled BUT they collect ssdi checks every month.

So what's the answer? Thoughts?

just my thoughts and my opinions. I dont qualify SSI base on deaf. i have other issues that based my disabilities. For me i am Slow Learner, ADHD, Mood Disorder also very depressive if i am isolated so much. Some are lazy with disability if based only on deaf. Plus SSDI based on my parents disabilities. But heck in my opinions they dont deserve SSI. I know couple deafs are like that. And i also know who also successful. If they are lazy at moment, maybeh they dont have movitation for something in their lives. I got motivations, it is my family and my friends and my boyfriend that motivates me to do something for my life.
 

posts from hell

New Member
Traci - Would you prefer to hire someone who says they are not capable, or someone who are capable if you owned a business? (See what I'm saying here??? I hope so.)

Now we try to represent ourselves as fully able, we can do things everyone can do (and usually the quality of the job is better).

However the social implications of society treating the deaf community as the most oppressed group on this planet is what causing them to be on social security.

Now what would YOU, Traci, do to change this?
 

GrendelQ

41°17′00″N 70°04′58″W
Premium Member
There's been a lot of discussion on this topic if you wander around a bit. The way I look at it, my daughter is disabled. But that's by what society lacks, not by her deafness.

There's this great concept of "participatory parity" as a component of democracy. The thinking is that a democratic state should actively foster the abilities of its citizens to participate in the life of the polity as equals.

And we have laws and regulations designed to achieve this, to attempt to fight the social arrangements that institutionalize deprivation, exploitation, and enormous disparities in wealth, income, and leisure time, denying some the means and opportunities to interact with others as peers. Laws that ensure a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

Now, you could demand this of your schools and neighbors and employers and the people who choose between expensive kneeling buses and cheaper standard buses or those who decide whether your child should get a couple of tennis balls on her chair legs and sit near the front so she can read lips or actually receive instruction in her primary language, appealing to their sense of doing right by all people, but then I wouldn't bet on seeing a kneeling bus or signage in Braille next time you reach the bus stop. Our institutions are more concerned with enforced classification than with access for all. So, if slapping on a "disability" label is required to enforce respect for human dignity and human rights and democratic ideals, I'm OK with that: go right ahead and label my very abled child "disabled." But know in truth that that label points out our society's disability.
 
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