Do deaf folks consider themselves disabled?


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.


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!


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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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.


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?
Trump spent all our money on useless stuff so yeah, the republicans owe us for their careless spending. Don't dare ask us to clean up Trump's mess. He should be in jail for stealing from us. We want our money back cause trump was the one who was lazy, not us.


Active Member
Trump spent all our money on useless stuff so yeah, the republicans owe us for their careless spending. Don't dare ask us to clean up Trump's mess. He should be in jail for stealing from us. We want our money back cause trump was the one who was lazy, not us.
It does not matter now.

We are approaching 1977-1981 historical experience all over again. Inflation to 20% for buying houses, 18% for car payments and about 25 to 30% for credit cards. The Fed took the basic rate that we run everything against every day to 20% minimum prime in 1980 or so. It stopped everything including inflation.

It also temporarly halted people having any money to buy anything. Part of my family owned a Tavern and it was a empty year or so until things improved into the 80's and how.

When you recall those experiencec in life you learn from it and when it happens again such as the CPI and COLA going to 10% potentially more in real time this quarter, the Government will have to increase COLA for VA, SSA and other payments mandated by law and increase the servicing of the debt interest (Which is currently about 400 billion a year for nothing. Just interest on the public debt)

The USA went broke 4 times in our history. The last time was just after the Civil War in which the square mile of London and associated powerful societies arranged a situation where the United States of America is incorperated and now is run as such. So if it ever went out business or bankrupt so to speak, its written off. Has no meaning.

Weimar Germany Economy prior to the rise of the preww2 nationalism was paying workers 3 times daily. Not enough cash that existed then in all the world in valueless German Marks could not buy a loaf of bread or a train ticket in Germany. They had to essentially destroy it and create a new system entirely. That was difficult for many.

America via the Federal Reserve is flexing a new system later this year. If you own a Checking account, you can expect regular deposits of 4 figures or even 5 figures from time to time directly from Uncle Sam, bypassing the entire Congress using the new Digital Money. The goal is you to spend it and only on permitted or allowed things. And it will be tracked.

The rest of the debt is intended to be inflated to nothing. We will be swimming in trillions. But 10 years from now with no debt? Well... we have something special. But we will see.
Having very unequal hearing, say 90/10, or in my case, no hearing at all in my right ear, is VERY DISABLING because you can't instantly "localize", which is a Most important thing for survival. (If you have hardly any hearing in either ear, all is quiet, which isn't a bad thing, because there are devices that can give you back volume for both ears, and equalized, saying you have the doctors and money. that's where programs like ssi and others can help with the burden)
You have to hope you can turn your good ear at the sound quickly, and your head becomes a moving "radar dish", but it's impossible sometimes. You will hear a helicopter coming, but sometimes not be able to locate it, and then it's gone, and you will feel physically disabled at that moment,
and then there is another voice or sound to pay attention to. When you are in the home, all the sounds of the air conditioning, reffer, dish washer, wife yelling from the other room, dog barking, doors closing, tv on, they are amplified, and coming from 360 degrees. Some one, out of sight, can call you, and you may turn the other way at first.
The moment, my left ear lost his brother right ear, was traumatic. If people are talking and turn their heads, you lose the voices, and they are impossible to fully understand. You will hear 3 words from over there, and 2 words from over here, and by that time be totally confused, You will find that if you are not locked eyeball to eyeball with some one, you will be a step behind the conversation, even in sign. Being Deaf from birth and never hearing spoken words, must be a great advantage some times, with the millions of words coming in, and all the hype, you don't need to cypher. It's all about the corners of your eyes, and the corners of your mouth. they are the truth tellers, and your eyes will develop x-ray vision. Able without the diss.


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?
Majority of us dont considers ourselves disabled. It's just our ears dont work. We are equal to everyone else's.


Active Member
I have had some very difficult one way converstations teaching trucking managers whats what with deaf.

I remember one specifically in DM Bowman in Frederick, he was upset over some trouble or other, I came along towards the doorway having finished my work day in the yard. He started making noise about dumb deaf drivers should not be trucking etc.

I questioned him carefully and discovered that he was part of a operation some time before me working with a deaf driver in a dump truck who tried hard but eh... not exactly suited. Dump that here is not going to be here. It might be there. =) After learning details I knew which deaf he was referring to. I knew this one all my life from childhood on up.

Then I told him being deaf is not a problem as long you have hearing aids to hear like people wear glasses. Prior the 70's deaf did not get to trucking at all. Or any driving before that. HE should be grateful that all of my loads came off today (4 total that day) on time, no damage and alls well. If I am doing my job I do not look like a deaf.

Then explained to him the discrimination I fight against being very careful to teach him a little bit about culture between the two. The technology at the time was evolving to satellite communications so HOH can use data like texting without having to deal with telephones anymore (Most of the time) and will continue to evolve after I am gone. Being deaf is not a disability in many ways.

In fact, a deaf person will see all kinds of things most hearing will never see. Or feel things way better than anyone. And so on. When a human being is short or out of a sense that is not working one or more of the remaining 4 will go into over drive to compensate. For me its my eyes and feel. If a bridge was saying I am way too heavy and quit moving prior to collapse then that gives me just enough time to try and get clear. Or I might see a ball come out from between two cars and toss the anchor knowing there is a young child chasing after it in front of my 40 ton vehicle. For him its all about the ball. For me its about saving his life.

I cannot save them all. But I sure like to think I never killed a human yet. Including myself.

One situation leaves me with a bit of chills now and then in remembering. I had parked past San Diego in the low desert one night and kept cool sleeping with the engine running. (Cool is a relative term, the desert actually got down to the 50's that night) I come out of there and did my walk around at sunrise and when I checked under the engine I came across a Pacific Diamondback already rattling away. One of the most dangerous snakes in America.

My legs were like cement blocks as I eased away with that thing making up its mind to strike or not all set up. I took off over him. I suppose a vulture or some such cleaned up the mess. Not going to shed a tear for that one. I could not hear it until way too close. A lesson learned.