Myths about being deaf


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Myths about being deaf

  1. 1. Myths About Being Deaf As a hearing individual, I can’t relate perfectly to the deaf community. Growing up I didn’t even know anyone that was deaf, so anything I heard about it I tended to believe. This resulted in a lot of misconceptions about deaf people, most of which are still common belief today. When I took my first American Sign Language class and my professor was deaf, I discovered that what I had heard was as if it had come from Pinocchio himself. Do Deaf People Read Braille? I’ll get the stupidest myth out of the way right now. Braille is for the blind that cannot read. Deaf people are perfectly capable of reading. That doesn’t make them incapable of reading Braille, but there isn’t any more reason for them to learn how to do it than seeing and hearing people. Do Deaf People Want to Hear? Those that have enough hearing ability to just need hearing aids may create the idea that hearing people are desperate to be able to hear. The truth is that they are happy the way they are. They find not being able to hear everything as peaceful and in general they view hearing people as slightly insensitive and oblivious to their surroundings anyway, which doesn’t foster a desire to become hearing. Can Deaf People Read Lips Perfectly? It is a very great accomplishment to be able to read lips without any error or misunderstanding. Most deaf people that are proficient in lip reading can really understand about 30 percent of what is being said. In a predictable situation, such as a cashier check-out, that understanding increases to about 60 percent, but is still not very high. Can Deaf People Communicate Internationally? A lot of people assume that sign language is universal and understood the same by deaf people everywhere. The truth is that American Sign Language is different from even other English-speaking sign languages, such as British Sign Language and Australian Sign Language. It would be about as
  2. 2. unrecognizable as French is to Americans. Luckily, they do have more experience communicating with hearing individuals that don’t speak sign language and can therefore communicate better than the average hearing person might be able to with another foreign hearing person. Can Deaf People Talk on the Phone? As telephone conversations depend a lot on hearing and speaking, you would think that signing and conversing would be out of the question. Due to developments in technology, deaf are now able to talk to each other over the phone through both cameras and caption calling. Using smartphones with built-in cameras it is possible to sign back and forth, or with those that can’t sign, the caption call service automatically types what is being said onto a screen for the deaf to read. These are just five of many common misconceptions about the deaf community. Thanks to increasing technology, they are more capable now more than ever and will continue to be so with texting, camera phones, and calling with caption capabilities.