I came across a repost on Instagram that says as followed:
“I feel like it’s easier to just identify as deaf because if I say hard of hearing, it gives me too much leeway.”
“People think I hear more than I actually can.” @deafinitelydope
This could not be more TRUE.
I honestly feel like this is my daily struggle. Whether I just met this person or have known this person longer. It really doesn’t matter.
The fact you tell them one thing, they assume the other way.
It’s definitely hard to identify who you are as a deaf or hard of hearing individual. Whether you should go by the audiogram, how hearing population think of you, how the deaf or hard of hearing think of you. I’ll explain this in a second. We live in a world where people have no clue and are uneducated on the hearing loss.
It’s also part of the reason I started my blog.
I’m constantly seeing adversity and judgements. People whispering stupid shit. We know this happens. I’m tired of it. Period.
Rant over. The audiogram tells you where you fall on the hearing loss spectrum. How much and what pitches you can hear based on the decibels and frequencies. It usually ranges from mild, moderate, severe or profound. For example, my recent audiogram showed I have profound hearing loss, I will never hear high pitches, the sounds I can hear without hearing aids are the kind where you’d have to be 5 feet from the train. My hearing loss basically nearly fell flat on the chart where I have severe to profound hearing loss. That means legally I’m bilaterally deaf.
The deaf and hard of hearing community has certain spectrums where we seem to think we fall on. For example, I use oral speech and wear hearing aids. To them, I’m hard of hearing. If I weren’t using oral speech and mainly used sign language to communicate and don’t wear hearing aids, I’m considered deaf. This actually came from someone I used to work with who was deaf and used sign. But then again, there’s certain ranges that makes them comfortable with who they are and who they rather identify themselves with. It’s a choice. Be you and be ok with it.
The hearing population is where this becomes a situation if they’ve never met a deaf or hard of hearing person. It can be good or bad. It can go both ways. I’ve always told them I was deaf. That’s who I’ve always known myself to be. There has been times where I’ve caught myself saying hard of hearing and they seem to think I’m not. Because I use oral speech and wear hearing aids. Thinking I can actually hear everything because my hearing aids are supposed to be magic and cure me.
Hearing aids are great and even the most expensive ones on the market, the most powerful ones out there are not perfect.
Pay attention here. Hearing aids are lifesaving technologies. They are there to help you hear better. If you’re a lip reader you may and will always still be a lip reader even with better hearing aids. Like I said it doesn’t cure.
(Cochlea implants are great too. But I have no experience in that department and am not ready for an irreversible surgery.)
I actually want to shut my hearing aids off at the end of the day because I’m exhausted from the overwhelming amount of listening I have to do. Think of it this way, a radio that’s gone static all day. Once I turn that off, I have silence and have peace with myself again.
My point is, people assume you hear everything or nothing at all. Be mindful of your actions.
Thoughts? Feel free to email me or leave a comment.