Do deaf folks consider themselves disabled?

DjJonses

New Member
We're disabled, because we need a little more help to get our point across? Nice try, government. 'Deaf VS Hearing" should have never existed. The first person who tried to create sign language in 1700's, do you want to know the hearing people said? " Why should we create a sign if we won't even understand it. " The problem has been, and probably will be for a lot longer is how the hearings judges us deafs over what we lack, when in reality they lack respect, compassion, and education- obviously.
 

HOH Guy

Member
Well Yes & No. Deafness is Disability in that it involves a physical part of someone not working but that does not mean it can't be mitigated. I personally feel it is more of one for the late deaf because they spent their entire lives in the hearing world. So that's all they know. Everyone's experiences is different. I know people who have multiple other issues medically & hearing loss was just the straw that broke the camel's back!
 

manya-hoh

New Member
i'm late deaf i guess (still not sure if the label fits lol), am on disability for other conditions, unrelated to hearing loss. if disability is defined as requiring accommodations - yes, i believe hearing loss is a disability. like i need captions on movies, cuz i can't hear sounds. need a flashing carbon monoxide detector too, for the same reason. in this sense - yes, of course it's a disability. and in a sense of deserving social security benefits - i figure it depends on the person, same as with any other disability really.

i saw a documentary once, about a guy who has no legs and only one arm, and he makes a living by doing motivational speeches. i mean, kudos to him, but i wouldn't tell another person missing three limbs out of four that they should make their own living and not depend on government assistance. cuz that would be just asinine. recently i had to be in a hospital for a while, had a couple of surgeries, chitchatted with a night shift nurse, cuz i was having insomnia and she had nothing better to do, was bored. it turned out she has the same condition i do, that qualifies me for disability. she said she used to be on disability before, and now is working. and i used to work before, and now am on disability. with the same condition, that both of us developed in late adolescence. i think that's just how disabilities are, sometimes you can work and other times you can't, it fluctuates over time and from person to person.

when you apply for disability benefits - they evaluate your situation, pull up medical records, employment, etc, they actually check if it looks like you can work or not. so i personally don't focus on whether in my opinion someone deserves the benefits they are receiving or not. cuz i haven't seen their records, have no idea what their situation is really. someone else checked it, someone trained, experienced, and having access to all records. so yeah, i trust their judgement. my disability, that qualifies me for benefits, isn't glaringly obvious, so sometimes i get looks, eyerolls, scoffs, etc. i think it's silly, but i don't have to explain/justify my situation to every nosy person i bump into, who wouldn't mind their own business and who thinks they can judge whether i'm disabled or not just by my general looks.

if it helps - i volunteer places, so i don't feel like i'm too big of a leech on the society, i still contribute something to it. and yeah, used to pay taxes while i worked. which was most of my life.
 
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x1heavy

Active Member
We just use the HR Block People to file returns when necessary during working years over and above disability. Have been over 20 years, no issues. Agents pass on and we get another.

Being deaf created problems in the 60's and 70's because we were generally not allowed to do anything growing up. That caused other problems later in life. Mow the grass? No someone else will get it. Help with this or that? no some one else will get it. In other words we deaf were treated rather badly in the family growing up. But they did not know better and its all water under the bridge.

The biggest problem with society, is most of the family did not believe in the SSA situation regarding SSI for deaf. In the high school (MSD) in the 80's there was even then a unnecessary divisive evironment fostered by some of the staff teaching that somehow SSI is bad money and so forth for being deaf. I was offered it at 18 and did not take it due to family and school pressures and confusion. (That left about 700 a month on the table) the resulting economic challenges in the workforce after graduation was pretty interesting. Looking back on it it was unnecessary and pretty wasteful. You also remember that in some areas of Maryland they did not believe in handicapped housing beyond 65 and over hud housing which itself was limited to I think 1000 apartments in a region with about 50,000 daily locals and 100,000 workers. Some of whom were disabled and part time. Did not make enough to live on the retail apartment rental and so on in their working age.

Frederick did have very many housing and other things for the deaf which I consider pretty unique and with all that there was no problem being deaf and being in the workforce. However it was a dead end workforce for them. Dishwashers, retail store people and so on. Whats left" A little bit of Government subsidized employment at County, city, state and federal levels? I had a taste of that in School. its not for me. I also had a taste of early working at Martin Marietta every night cleaning the facility near Baltimore which itself was a major facility including a special clean room for production of classified/military electronic parts etc. There was so much that is kept away and no oppertunity for advancement when you realized that your job as a janitor is dependant on a sub contractor himself as a seperate company hired by MM to clean the place daily without MM actually having to worry about hiring or pay themselves people to do it.

Even if you worked 40 years there and made the place the cleanest this side of Heaven or Hell, you would still be a few dollars over minimum wage scraping along behind your mop. There was no way to advance. Not without going to college or superior technical training to gain the papers you needed to get behind one of those very well paid jobs there. Most of the people there could not be bothered. They had their own issues. One could even argue that MM is a form of parasite leeching off the Government for the so called war effort. Half the stuff they did in that place was unknown to everyone, inclduing the staff working directly inside there. One thinks of the so called 1000 dollar toilet seat for the airforce made by the cheapest bidder back in those days which was quite the scandal. That would be one result of such a corperation making a mountain of money off the Taxpayer. Otherwise there would have been no use for them other than building plain passenger jets. How boring.

In some ways trucking was my path in life and it was both good and bad, but it was a freely traveled pathway and for all the glory and the losses it was a completely independant way forward in life. I was free. If I decided that if this was to be done or that was to be done, then it was on me to get it done. The bosses had their say. But all of the problems of housing, food and income was eliminated in trucking. In due time satellite communications made texting back and forth to dispatch among other things improved the time use considerably. Before that I had to use pay phones in special rooms at the truckstop for hours between each load. Now with satellite the infromation is sent accuately. When Laptops with GPS arrived with phone directories for all businesses in the USA (Hey driver you dont get this number. HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER!?!?) and cell phones made it possible to literally have a load, hook on and be 1000 miles by morning across the USA within 15 minutes of getting information on everything.

Alot of my friends suffered in their trapped economic life. I remember one deaf who worked for DOE (Dept of Energy) at a minimum wage and commuting towards DC which requires a sturdy car or truck that wont get tore up in aggressive traffic and so on he was increasingly in debt while making rent in our first apartment. I did not know this for almost a year until I learned that he was now past due on his expenses and so on. Not doing well economically at all. In fact running negative. I on the other hand had mountains of money and very little to do but sleep at the house when off the road. And even that was elimianted eventually entirely when true over the road work kicked in with good tractors with all the accommodations.

He was able to improve and thrive but I think it cost him and many deaf about 10 years into their 30's give or take before they really got into what they needed to do to thrive in the real world. A part of that is the fault of the state school of Deaf. They were to sit in the class room and learn all sorts of wonderful things but much of it was... a liberal education. I hate to say it has no application in the real world unless you wanted to somehow break into the arts or something that 1 million of people will be trying to do all the time. Very few see success. For every Marlee Matlins you had millions of deaf working out a living based on a little bit of income UNLESS you had education and professional training to break into a real world work that allowed me to have a marriage, a house and lands and so on. Here in the south the cost of living is not that much compared to the east coast back in the day. So that was part of my ability to make money in my working years with the wife when we dealt with everything from Cancer to ordinary problems of being a homeowner etc.

In a way I cheated for many years. Trucking provided a way forward without the excessive costs or issues that many deaf faced in those days. Disability or not. I think there was a larger economic ceiling that prevented many disabled people from getting too far away from the so called workshop. That exists in the real world. Among other barriers. The key is to make enough economically to live on your own to be free standing on your two feet. Or whatever you had left minus a disability or three. THAT has increasingly become worse over the last 30 year or so as our Dollar Devalued and our wages did not rise to keep up with everything.
 
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