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
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
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
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.