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Where are you from?
It’s a very common question.
I’ll explain and I usually get “Oh…that makes sense” reply. Does it really? Because you just made a judgmental call when you asked me where I’m from. I’m not from England. Or Germany. Or Australia. I was born deaf, in America. You can give me the stares all day long.
In reality, the looks and questions you ask us can make us insensitive when we can do nothing about the way or how we use our voice or even answer your questions that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Here’s another. “Why don’t you sign?”
It’s a choice. I actually do know American Sign Language. But why don’t you sign? Oh wait you don’t know how to. Hahaha. So here I am speaking English with an “accent”. A language I worked so hard on for 9 years. Wait no. All my life. Exclamation point.
I’m going to be real blunt here for a minute. Who needs a class on Latin language in High School when they should offer American Sign Language? Don’t get me wrong Latin is great if you want to be an expert on dead languages. But do it in college. Okay, please don’t kill me. Here me out. Who speaks Latin these days? Okay, it is a beautiful language and it’s like poetry. But ASL is a beautiful language as well. ASL is perfect. Not to mention how EASY it is to learn. It provides community within the community of hearing loss. No barriers, no awkward stares, no awkward communications, no writing down on note pads, no yelling at us, no super-slow-speaking-just-so-we-can-understand-you-sh!t and ecetera ecetera!
Just be a decent human.
Now, this is mainly for humor. People do say such things and you always have to have a reason to laugh it off. People are stupid. Don’t be like them!
“Can deaf people drive? How do they hear the ambulance?” – Do you listen to music while driving?
“How come you don’t have cochlear implants?” – How come you don’t get Lasik?
“What are those behind your ears?” – These? Oh, I hope you don’t mind me listening to the radio.
“Where are you from?” – ‘Merica! “No, really where are you from?” – What I just said the first time, are you deaf?
“Why do you have an accent if you’re born in this country?” – Why do you have a limp?
“How do you hear the music?” – Just like anyone else…but with certain pitches and vibrations
“How come you don’t sign?” – How come you don’t?
“Are you chewing bubblegum?” – No, but do you have some?
“Hey umm I don’t mean to be rude but” – Sure you do, but I’m used to it.
“Do you have one of those assisted hearing dog?” – Sure I do. Do rescue dogs count?
“Hi how are…(staring at my ears…) – Hi, my name is Amanda and it’s rude to stare. Yes, I’m deaf.
“How are you deaf if you wear hearing aids?” – How are you speaking if you can hear?
“What is your language?” – I just spoke English.
“Did you get your teeth pulled?” – Go cartwheel in traffic.