Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Deaf Does Not Equal Stupid

I'm 2 days late and 2 dollars short, but I just read Happy Feminist's post about disability issues, led by Diary of a Goldfish's urge to blog about disability.

The Husband is 75% deaf, which means with hearing aids, he can function somewhat normally, and without hearing aids, I want to pinch him. (Lizard Eater is not a very patient person. And the only time The Husband doesn't have his hearing aids in is in the middle of the night. When babies cry. The Husband does respond quite quickly to being kicked, however.)

This should not be taken as a wholesale endorsement of kicking the deaf.

My .02 about deafness: do not assume, if someone is hard of hearing, that they are mentally impaired. How does that connection get made, I wonder. I mean, he doesn't exactly have hidden hearing aids. And they're in both ears. And when he can't hear you (for instance, when you are the employee at McDonalds saying, hullo kin I take yer order), he leans in, tilting his good ear toward you.

For some reason, rather than this indicating to the person that he is, indeed, hard of hearing and would like for the person to speak more clearly and/or louder, this indicates to the person, "I am a freakin' idiot. Please treat me as such."

Don't.

3 comments:

Anne said...

I completly agree! I am losing some of the hearing in my left ear..and when I cant hear something said I always turn my head so that my good ear is toward the noise.

People are dumb sometimes.

Karen said...

Oh my gosh, Lizard Eater, were we separated at birth? My husband also has a hearing loss and has large hearing aids in both ears. Of course I was nodding vigorously while reading the kicking-your-husband-in-the-middle-of-the-night-when-the-baby-cries part.

And the McDonald's employees. Totally.

Sam said...

I'm awfully disappointed that you don't endorse kicking the deaf. Now what will I do for fun?