People Who See Your Hearing Device In Public And Start Signing

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
I come across this fairly routinely...someone signing in a store, getting coffee, whatever. Not every day but it's not rare. We don't live in an urban area anymore either. Do you live in a really tiny town, Jane?

It depends on what you consider tiny. The one I am in is about 13,000 with two even smaller ones that you have to look at a sign to know when you cross from one to the other (one, Central City, is north of Centralia and Wamac is south). The three and built up unincorporated area next to them is probably 15,000 or so in Southern Illinois.

I just thought of a time a few months ago when a guy that waited on me when buying pizza mentioned it (after I told why I had to have something written down). And he told me about his other job at an exercise place where several do use it.
 
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dogmom

Well-Known Member
yeah I suppose that's true...the perspective on "tiny". I'm close to several little villages/towns in this rural area we live in now - that have between 4 and 7-thousand people in them. so I guess for me that's tiny. a few of these are "unincorporated". I remember going through Southern Ill many years ago <I was about 12 the first time> when I went with my mom and her peers to a few national PTA conventions. I remember going through Cairo on the first trip. It was the first time I'd been beyond Central Illinois. I learned a lot when we traveled. I am surprised with the 13,000 number you mention that signers are so rare where you are. But maybe it's because the Deaf community is focused around Chicago?
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
yeah I suppose that's true...the perspective on "tiny". I'm close to several little villages/towns in this rural area we live in now - that have between 4 and 7-thousand people in them. so I guess for me that's tiny. a few of these are "unincorporated". I remember going through Southern Ill many years ago <I was about 12 the first time> when I went with my mom and her peers to a few national PTA conventions. I remember going through Cairo on the first trip. It was the first time I'd been beyond Central Illinois. I learned a lot when we traveled. I am surprised with the 13,000 number you mention that signers are so rare where you are. But maybe it's because the Deaf community is focused around Chicago?

I think you may be right about the concentration of more close to Chicago. We are east of St. Louis — find where Clinton, Marion, Washington and Jefferson counties meet and you have found us. Another way is US Route 51 and Illinois 161 cross in the middle of town.

Cairo is a good way south of and us close to the southern tip of the state.
 

nazziegirl

Member
It's unfortunate when people see other people and then make assumptions about how they do (or do not) communicate. I use BTE's in both ears, but I use only English to communicate about 95% of the time.

What really "irks" me is when people want me to sign (usually to a Christian song in a church) because they think it is so pretty, etc. I usually tell people that I am not really comfortable doing that.

The only times I really sign are when I am with my therapist or when I happen to be around Deaf people when I am out someplace.

Sometimes I will let my guard down around people that I know well, and I will start using some signs while I am speaking. I am thinking about going to play Dingo again somewhere soon. I really enjoyed it, and it was fun to just relax and have a good time.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
It's unfortunate when people see other people and then make assumptions about how they do (or do not) communicate. I use BTE's in both ears, but I use only English to communicate about 95% of the time.

What really "irks" me is when people want me to sign (usually to a Christian song in a church) because they think it is so pretty, etc. I usually tell people that I am not really comfortable doing that.

The only times I really sign are when I am with my therapist or when I happen to be around Deaf people when I am out someplace.

Sometimes I will let my guard down around people that I know well, and I will start using some signs while I am speaking. I am thinking about going to play Dingo again somewhere soon. I really enjoyed it, and it was fun to just relax and have a good time.
I had hearing people using ASL and they were surprise that I don't use it. This really irks me b/c I would be talking to them and understanding them just fine. What is with some hearing people thinking if you wear a hearing aid you must know ASL. I had meet a few people that are HOH at my audi office and they don't use ASL .
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I had hearing people using ASL and they were surprise that I don't use it. This really irks me b/c I would be talking to them and understanding them just fine. What is with some hearing people thinking if you wear a hearing aid you must know ASL. I had meet a few people that are HOH at my audi office and they don't use ASL .

^^wow you get irked a lot don't you?
:lol:. You believe in understatement, huh??
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
Rarely use my CI, but I have had people at stores sign to me when i start to write my order etc. I don't mind signing with them, my only pet peeve is when they are Damn JW and all of a sudden want to save me.
 

Lau2046

Well-Known Member
With me, people see my Widex M Dex and say in a loud voice, while pointing, "What...is that??" I actually don't mind. I can answer the questions: the sky doesn't fall and I use it as a teaching moment.

Laura
 
With me, people see my Widex M Dex and say in a loud voice, while pointing, "What...is that??" I actually don't mind. I can answer the questions: the sky doesn't fall and I use it as a teaching moment.

Laura

Had an interview and asked, "what is that?" and pointed to his ear while looking at mine. :rolleyes: I don't like the way the interviewer asked. Normally people don't ask though. I think people know, but they play dumb to hear what you have to say. The interviewer was just looking for a way to talk about it and that's how it came out. I wasn't thinking about my hearing loss but the interviewer was.
 
Rarely use my CI, but I have had people at stores sign to me when i start to write my order etc. I don't mind signing with them, my only pet peeve is when they are Damn JW and all of a sudden want to save me.

Happened to me too. Was working as a cashier and one day this lady came with someone and started signing and came to see if we could meet for bible study that's when I realized JW. Told them I didn't sign and "no, thanks." Must have been watching me for awhile before bringing someone who signed. They never came back.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
With me, people see my Widex M Dex and say in a loud voice, while pointing, "What...is that??" I actually don't mind. I can answer the questions: the sky doesn't fall and I use it as a teaching moment.

Laura
When I got my new purple hearing aids and purple ear molds a small child pointed at my hearing aid and asked his mom what it was and she got embarrassed .
I was going to tell the boy but his mom was so uptight I decided not to. That mom missed out on a teaching moment , I hope she told she son what it was when were out of the store. I was told by a girl that I talked like a monkey and I said " Gee thank" it was meant to be a compliment . I thought this was very funny , same here I don't fall about when people asked about my HA or HOH accent.
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RoseRodent

Member
Sounds like an eager ASL learner wanting some free practice between classes and got quite annoyed that you weren't there to help. Or perhaps grew up either bilingual or mostly ASL in a CODA house and wanted to communicate in her first language. Either way, it's not up to you to provide what the person wants, you only have to be you. If they are disappointed you don't sign, it's more a reflection on their wants and the fact you didn't fit into that than anything you did.
 

seb

Well-Known Member
I have encountered a few deaf or non-deaf individuals who come up and ask if I sign or if I am deaf.

Recently, a woman who appeared hearing but fluent in sign stopped and asked if I sign. I said a little. She introduced herself and asked my name. I said my name. She left and said, "sorry, I thought you signed."

I think she was expecting me to sign my name. I don't have a sign name. I am clueless too but I am sensing some people take it personal that I am not signing with them. In my personal life, there just aren't enough people to sign with or people who know much. You have to join deaf events which I never go to because I am not an extrovert.

Most people seem to assume you sign if they see you with a hearing device. Doesn't the school they learn sign teach them that all deaf people are different in communicating?

What should I do to make the conversation less awkward? It's only a few people who seem awkward by it but others who are cool with it.

Perhaps the best way to deal with it is: when someone ask's you if sign, tell them very little. In all the years I have worn HA's I can count on one hand the number of people who have asked about my HA's or my hearing loss: the only ones who have are other HA users or someone looking to get HA's, everyone else doesn't seem to care.
 
Perhaps the best way to deal with it is: when someone ask's you if sign, tell them very little. In all the years I have worn HA's I can count on one hand the number of people who have asked about my HA's or my hearing loss: the only ones who have are other HA users or someone looking to get HA's, everyone else doesn't seem to care.

I will try that. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I don't see how I am offending them by being honest. I feel that when I was a kid, kids seemed to notice my HA but not so much as an adult.
 
Sounds like an eager ASL learner wanting some free practice between classes and got quite annoyed that you weren't there to help. Or perhaps grew up either bilingual or mostly ASL in a CODA house and wanted to communicate in her first language. Either way, it's not up to you to provide what the person wants, you only have to be you. If they are disappointed you don't sign, it's more a reflection on their wants and the fact you didn't fit into that than anything you did.

Interesting...I think the person was hearing but I am not sure how the last person knew sign. Seemed natural at it and not like they were trying.
 

seb

Well-Known Member
I will try that. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I don't see how I am offending them by being honest. I feel that when I was a kid, kids seemed to notice my HA but not so much as an adult.

Kids are a whole different matter, they are much more observant than an adult and they don't miss much. I like you have found being honest is the best approach and if you offend someone than so be it, it's their loss not yours.
 
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