Gadini / Pixabay

Cotton Swabs are no good

It’s very likely you’re one of those people who have q-tips (cotton swabs) in your bathroom and you use them to clean the ear wax out of your ears.  As you’re already well aware, because everyone and their dog tells you not to and it even says on the cotton swab packaging not to use them to clean your ears out.  However most people ignore this warning from even doctors and audiologists and the warning label on the package and clean wax from their ears with the swabs regardless.

The reason this is a bad idea is because, while it does remove some wax from your ears, it largely pushes the wax around and can easily compact the wax.  Additionally if the swabs aren’t 100% sterile due to exposure to air or other possible ways of contamination, you can easily put microbes in your ear causing ear infections on top of it making matters worse for you.

Clean Ears are important, but too clean is bad too

There are ways to clean your ears that are generally good for your ears, so long as you’re not making an active part of your life to clean out all the ear wax and never have wax in your ears ever.  Ear wax is slightly acidic and it’s that way for a reason.  The slight acidic nature of it assists in killing infections from bacteria and fungi that can infect your ear.  So it’s a good idea to have some wax in your ears all the same.

geralt / Pixabay

So with that, why would you want to clean your ears?  For those of us with listening devices such as hearing amplifiers or hearing aids, the hearing aid itself can get gunked up with wax and if it’s pushed into wax, the listening devices don’t work as well, or don’t work at all with assisting in your hearing needs.  Plus gunked up hearing aids require additional cleaning which you should already have the tools for and the proper education from your audiologist to take proper care of them.

How to clean your ears properly

Aside from going to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor or audiologist to get your ears cleaned properly by a professional, there are other ways to clean your ears at home and I highly recommend these safer methods, especially if you can’t afford to seek a professional to do the job for you, provided you take proper care while doing it as to not rupture your eardrums.  Everything below you can get at your local pharmacy be it Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and even most mom and pop pharmacies.

Ear Wax Removal Kits

The kit here that I’m referring to contains a little bottle of solution and a suction bulb.  What you do with this kit is you lay on your side and drop some of the solution into your ear and wait a few minutes for it to soak into the wax itself.  Then you use the bulb by squeezing the air out of it, inserting the tip gently into your ear canal and then sucking up all the wax and solution.  Do not, however, try to suction directly on your eardrum.  The eardrum only has a few thing layers to itself and it can easily be ruptured.  Follow the instructions that come with this kit.

Ear Wax Removal Tools

These come in a small box than the previous ear wax removal tool set, but in general they’re similar to cotton swabs, just without the cotton.  Again be very careful with these so you’re not trying to scoop out your eardrum itself.  One end has a scoop which you scoop out wax with, the other end has a sort of abrasive bit with how it’s shaped and textured, this is for debriding the ear canal itself and not meant to be used against the eardrum.  Just like with the previous wax removal kit above, read the instructions, they work well for a lot of people.  These two methods aren’t going to super clean your ears of all wax, and that’s a good thing, you want to keep some wax in your ears.

Soak and Wash

My personal method that I use to clean my ears.  For this you’re just literally going to only need a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, a clean wash cloth and a shower.  Lay on your side and drop a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear.  And yes it’s normal for it to tickle.  The peroxide is bubbling because it interacts with a protein enzyme and is actively bubbling out the larger bits of ear wax to make it able to break apart and drain out of your ear.  Just repeat this for the other ear.  You’ll sit with the peroxide in your ear for several minutes, turn and let drain into the wash cloth while the other ear is prepped and bubbled.  Once that other ear is done, turn again and let that ear drain for a few minutes as well.  Then off to the shower.  With a gentle stream of warm water, rinse your ears out.  Don’t worry about getting the extra water out of your ears by shaking your head or anything like that, it’ll drain accordingly in due time, your body will process it properly shortly.

Do ear candles work?

There are people who swear by ear candles and claim that laying on your side with the candle in your ear while it’s burning and then removing the candle that it draws the ear wax up out of your ear and into the candle.  The reality is, it doesn’t work.  In fact an audiologist even tested this out with a client of his that has regular ear wax buildup issues taking images of the ear wax in her ear before the first candle and after the second candle and zero change to the ear wax itself.  Only difference was that now there was soot from the candle in the ear canal.


geralt / Pixabay

It’s sadly quite common among the culturally Deaf to conflate their wants with the needs of all deaf and Hard of Hearing people alike.  Clearly that’s not the case because like with the HoH, they don’t need classes in ASL or BSL, it’s not going to really help them.  Hearing aids do however.  And then there are those who are deaf, but mainstreamed rather than being involved in Deaf Culture.  Most mainstreamed deafs don’t rely on signing, have hearies for family, friends and romantic partners who also don’t know how to sign.  Many of these deafs rely on speaking and lip reading or cochlear implants.

However, those who are culturally Deaf tend to lobby for funding from programs and proposed programs that would help the mainstreamed deaf population (the majority of the deaf population) and the HoH by siphoning those funds to deaf clubs, deaf meetups and signing courses.  They also siphon those funds to sign language interpreters (terps).  I’m not against job creation in services like that, however very little of that money goes towards stenographer services for deafs like myself.

I seriously prefer to just have a stenographer listen in on the call and type out what’s being said when I schedule doctor appointments or call government offices like Social Security rather than someone on a video call signing it to me in a broken, ass backwards inferior language.  It’s my own personal opinion as a deaf person that ASL is inferior to English and Signed English.  What do you expect from a language made literally by a group of uneducated children?

How is ASL inferior to my signed English?  If I ask for a cup of coffee, I can ask for sugar and milk, but when I ask for “milk” I actually get “coffee creamer” rather than actual milk because it’s interpreted to be creamer.  Well sorry you screwed up my order of coffee due to such an inferior language not being able to distinguish between milk and coffee creamer, but when using Signed English, when I say “Milk” I mean actual, literally milk from the cows tit kind of milk.  My use of Signed English has a sign for coffee creamer and a sign for milk.  I can even sign if I want butter milk, skim milk, low fat milk, 2% milk, whole milk, etc.  I also have specific signs for powdered creamer, liquid creamer, and various creamer flavors.

So for someone that’s a mainstreamed deaf that speaks English and lipreads/uses cochlear implants, how is a vastly limited, highly interpretive language like ASL or BSL going to actually help someone like me?  It won’t, it’ll only frustrate me.  Now how will it help someone who’s hard of hearing that uses hearing aids?  Answer?  It won’t, because again, they’re used to milk being milk, creamer being creamer and numerous other things that have to be interpreted in order to get the picture.  Basically literally saying one thing meaning something else.

The mainstreamed deaf and the HoH both do not need sign language interpreters, nor do we need these deaf meetups, deaf groups, deaf clubs, etc.  What we need are language literacy classes (for English, the mainstreamed language of our country ((USA and UK))), stenographers, proper closed captioning, hearing aids, cochlear implants, audiologist visits and education on the care of our hearing and listening devices (and batteries for said devices).

The culturally Deaf insist that mainstreamed deafs and HoH need ASL interpreters and these various clubs, meetups and spaces and ASL classes to “Improve our lives” as “It’s what we need”.  It’s not what we need, it’s just specifically what they particularly want.  It’s a want, not a need.

I know roughly 1000 words with ASL, I wouldn’t say I’m fluent in it in the slightest and my home signing those who rely solely on signing, an ASL user will understand about 30% of what I say.  My deafness runs in the family, and as a result, we have a home sign that’s passed in the family which, from what I can tell is based on ASL and BSL both.  However, there are lots of words I can use and often do, that ASL and BSL users cannot translate because my home signing was created by educated adults in mainstream society.  Hence I have words for coffee creamer and milk separately.  I can also sign words “is, an, and, the, etc” while they cannot.

Do I rely on my home signing in my daily life?  Not at all.  In fact it’s exceptionally rare for my husband, roommates and various friends to see me ever sign anything, ever.  Exception being my husband when I make a video where I’m signing, but that’s about it.  When I speak to my Great Uncle, my two brothers, my sister, my mother, my father, my step father (my mom’s previous husband, not her current alcoholic abusive child molesting asshole she’s currently with).  Otherwise, nobody really sees me sign much at all, it’s exceptionally rare.

I will more often than not speak when I need to communicate even though I always worry about how I sound due to bullying growing up in a mainstreamed school (kinda why I fully support homeschooling and school choice so god damn much).

But, did I get raised using home signing?  No, the adults used home signing but they spoke with the children, even the deaf ones like myself and my system and the HoH ones like my brothers.  I didn’t start learning home signing until I was 11 and by then I’ve already had a good 5 years of speech therapy under my belt, literate in English and spoken English and was lip reading (with some challenges) and wore hearing aids (which helped a ton back then).

Why was I taught the home signing?  Because it’s easier for me to communicate with the adults and vice versa, but I was encouraged to speak orally all the same.

My upbringing in oralism has taught me a lot.  I can speak well and enunciate properly, enough so nobody really even realizes I’m deaf much of the time.  I can read and write exceptionally well, better than average at the very least.  Plus I’m able to mingle in mainstream society and take part in numerous cultures surrounding me and just walk up to a random person and be able to communicate well enough with them, even if I can’t hear them at all, to be able to do things I need, including even as far as getting directions.

Granted I do have memory issues but that’s another story in and of itself caused by untreated hearing loss, which is more common than people want to admit.  Memory issues and depression and feeling isolated aside, my life is vastly better than someone who relies solely on signing and my needs are thusly vastly different than those who are culturally Deaf.

I don’t require a terp for phone calls or even in person visits to my doctor.  Just enunciate or if I can’t catch something, I’ll ask you to write it down or type it on your phone and show me your screen.  For my phone calls, I just use InnoCaption on my Android device so a stenographer listens in and types things said to me.  Those who I would otherwise talk to like family and friends, I just send and receive texts and IM’s instead.  That last part is also why it’s super important for social media giants like Facebook to not ban people all willy nilly for having the wrong opinions and why I dislike posting much on my Facebook at all.  I don’t want my ability to contact loved ones to be snatched out from underneath me because someone got butthurt about something.

Suspend my mom and oops, now suddenly it’s that much more difficult to casually speak to my mother.  Suspend my husband or roommates, BOOM now suddenly it’s a thousand times more challenging to communicate with them.  #FuckCensorship

geralt / Pixabay

I’m sorry to say it to the cultural deafs, as much as everyone around me knowing sign language would make it far easier on me to communicate with people in my daily life, being involved myself in cultures that are mainstreamed in the larger hearing communities, I can’t simply expect everyone around me for 50 sq miles to learn to sign.  It’s not practical, feasible nor is it reasonable.

Learning to sign is literally learning a whole new language.  Besides, most people that are going to learn a second language in America are going to learn a language that they will far more likely to run into far more regularly than a signing deaf person.  Here in America that second language would be Spanish.

I know the argument, and I’ve chimed it myself a few times.  “Not everyone will visit a foreign country, but anyone could go deaf” yeah yeah I know.  Yes, it’s true, anyone could literally go deaf for a multitude of reasons, including even a firework accident with a firecracker exploding too close to the ears (not kidding, that’s happened).

However, most people from hearing cultures would result in working towards correcting their hearing.  They would fight tooth and nail to restore their hearing in some size, shape or form, even if that’s a cheap option like getting hearing amplifiers from Britzgo to aid in it.

Even a small minority of the deaf population actually sign with estimates towards 80% of the deaf population not even knowing how to sign in the first place.  Rather these majority deafs rely on what residual hearing they have and listening devices (including cochlear implants) and lip reading.

Like myself, I rely on hearing amplifiers and lip reading for the majority of my conversations, regardless of my ability to sign.  Know how rare it is for me to actually sign?  Maybe once or twice per year at best.  That’s how rare it is for me to use as a deaf person.

“But what about phone calls?  Don’t you use a video call to a relay operator?”

I did at one point in time, and by one point in time I mean for like 4 different calls.  The relay operator kept getting hung up on and it didn’t matter if I was ordering a pizza for delivery, calling a government office like Social Security or even checking store hours for a local store, they think I’m a telemarketer.  So instead what do I do?  I rely on an app called InnoCaption for the deaf and hard of hearing on my Android phone, gives me a special number they call and everything.  Someone listens in that’s a professional stenography and I simply speak in return after reading what the other party says.  So no signing required.

“But what about deafs who can’t talk?”

You mean deafs that choose not to talk?

“They can’t talk because they were born deaf!”

Many audiologists consider “profoundly hard of hearing” and “mild deaf” to be the same thing, others don’t so that’s debatable whether I was born deaf or hard of hearing depending largely on the audiologist.  I speak and I speak exceptionally well.

I also know several people who were born profoundly deaf, never heard a single sound in their entire life, and they can vocalize and speak.

I suppose the real difference is whether or not we were abused as children.  Those of us who were mainstreamed or homeschooled and went through speech therapy and taught English with some supplemental signing to assist us in language development in our early years grew up into adults who were able to speak.  Then there are those of us who were abused as a child by parents who sent us to deaf schools where they valued not speaking at all and thusly never ended up developing crucial spoken language skills and additionally stunting their educational attainment.

The only people I know of who are profoundly deaf and can’t speak all have “deaf school” upbringing while those who were born profoundly deaf that were homeschooled or mainstreamed in public education with speech therapy and supplemental signing for language development ended up being able to speak.

Want to know what would really benefit?  Not draining funding from other programs into little clubs for you and other Cultural Deafies to just have a place to gather once or twice a week for social get togethers and allow that funding to be used for things that are actually beneficial.  You know, for things like hearing aids, cochlear implants, audiologist visits for those who need help getting it due to insurance issues, as well as literacy classes, speech therapy, things like that.  THAT would actually be helpful.

These little gathering social meetup club things you guys try to drain as much resources into as you can isn’t helping anyone but stroking your own egos and you’re damaging the deaf community at large because of your selfishness and your isolationism.

It would also help greatly if you stop spreading lies and misinformation about us to people and actively perpetuating them.  I’m actually sick and tired of having to explain to people that the majority of deaf people actually do speak and that the “deaf people can’t speak” bit is a myth.  I’m also excessively tired of having to explain to people that “not all deaf people sign, most of us don’t” and yes I’m also excruciatingly tired of having to tell someone that “no this or that or the other thing isn’t offensive” because they were informed by another deaf person through a terp that it’s offensive to us.

I hate that people walk on eggshells when they learn I’m deaf because they’re afraid of all these little misc crap listicles that you guys have made about how hearing people need to do this, hearing people need to do that, hearing people need to remember this and that and hearing people need to provide us with blah.  And that’s provided they’ve seen those videos which, let’s face it, some have and it’s scared them enough that they actually want little to nothing to do with us.

I’ve had one person who’s seen one of these videos tell me that it’s offensive to write things down for a deaf person and my first thought was “Where the hell did you get that from?” and he said it came from a YouTube video shared on Facebook about communicating with the deaf.  I told him “No, it’s not offensive, it’s a really good idea and very thoughtful.” and I had to end up telling him about how deaf culture is a cancerous tumor that needs excised.

Seriously I spend more time explaining where these bullshit things come from and why they’re bullshit than actually having conversations that I want to be having sometimes.  I inform someone “Hey, I’m deaf” because I want and need them to pay attention and to understand I have huge difficulties hearing them, usually because otherwise I get people creeped out by my creepy death stare, among other things like getting them to keep facing me when they speak.

But hey, if you think sign language will fix everything, fill both your hands with grocery bags and while you’re carrying them, tell me about your day.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Looking in on those in the signing only deaf community, I notice a lot of activism which is mostly just ill effective smoke signals back towards the crowd that’s cheering it on, which is themselves.  There’s blog post after blog post, video after video of things titled like “10” or “15 things hear people need to do” and my response?  Well no, hearing people don’t need to do anything.  They don’t really have to know anything other than whereas I’m deaf myself, I’m not culturally Deaf.  So the only thing they need to know is “I’m deaf” and “I’m a lipreader, but sometimes I can’t quite catch what you’re saying, especially if you’re relatively new to me”.

Generally, upon knowing I’m deaf, those with functioning hearing do tend to forget sometimes due to lip reading making it often appear like I’m just hard of hearing or in some cases makes them completely forget I have hearing loss at all.  Hearing folk are quite accommodating once they learn someone is deaf, in most cases.

Most people don’t have a problem turning on closed captioning when I ask, have no problem helping me at the drive thru when I’m with hearing buddies, have no problem repeating themselves in most cases.

Yes many people still say things like “I’m sorry you’re deaf” and “I don’t know how I could possibly live without my hearing”, but it’s not said in jest to us.  Those that feel sorry and explicitly state it, actually do wish us well and not meaning ill will, meaning they’re not tossing us any shade.  And those that say they can’t live without hearing, when we tell them we get by just fine in most cases by learning to adapt to the situation end up seeing us as brave and tough cookies more than pathetic wastrels.

There’s no need to get angry nor upset at the hearing and more often than not, any perceived discrimination you receive isn’t actually discrimination, just frustration with someone ignorant and nothing more.

Don’t get me wrong, discrimination does indeed happen, especially when it comes to employment hiring practices as well as instances involving servers or flight attendants (service industry).  However most of the damage done to the deaf in hiring practices revolves around those who are culturally Deaf making us all look like none of us speak, making it out that lip readers don’t exist and making us seem like we’re completely incapable when that’s not entirely the case.

Yes group meetings are difficult if not impossible, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t speak, it’s just our attention can’t easily be divided when it comes to conversations.

Those that rely only on signing instead of speaking involved in Deaf Culture are actually the cause of a great deal of the issues we deaf people face, due to the mountain of myths and misconceptions about us and it is so frustratingly difficult to dispel these myths when Deaf Culture keeps rearing it’s ugly ass head.

The hearing aren’t our enemies, they are our friends, and they truly do care for us.  At least most of them do.  There are narcissists that can’t think about anyone but themselves which is growing all to common these days and seems to get worse as the years progress.  They’re not discriminating against you for being deaf though, what’s going on is that they’re at a job and they feel they shouldn’t have to do it and hate being there.  It’s not just you that they’re shitty towards, they’re like that to the hearing as well.

geralt / Pixabay

Needless to say, it’s quite different, rather I should say next to impossible.  This comes up on account that every so often I get asked how I manage to edit audio in some of my content, and the truth of the matter is, I export the audio and open it up in Audacity and the first 20 seconds of the audio is without any speech allowing me to select a sample to remove background noise, at least as much as I reasonable can.

I’m sure it probably picks up noise from my computer’s fan, maybe the air conditioner as well, I’m not entirely certain.  However selecting at least 10 seconds of that blank space as an audio profile then using audacity’s noise removal tool allows me to crisp my audio.  From there I can better see where I speak and the misc filler words that I say.  Filler words are commonly by themselves surrounded by blank space.

This allows me to cut the audio of filler words, background noise and further I can increase the gain or compress the audio, usually I compress the audio since compression was recommended to me before by a couple audiophiles.

Then for background music I browse through various audio based websites that are free to use and royalty free, some artists requiring attribution while others simply don’t care or release in public domain or creative commons.  For me to figure out what will work is relying on the base I have in my conduction headset.  Best way I can describe it to someone with functional hearing is that I just kinda feel the music out primarily more than actually listening to the tones.  I also rely heavily on the artist or comments to describe the music accurately for its theme in regards to what the audio sounds like.  This helps me find the tune for the genre I’m after.

I import the new audio for background music into audacity as a new track and I decrease it’s gain until it’s peaks are roughly 15-20% of my vocals and repeat the tract as needed on the same track until it’s at the end of the vocals and snip off the remainder of the music to fit the timescale.

From there I can export the audio as an MP3 and save the file for Audacity.  Typically I then also send the file to someone willing or interested in listening to it to give me critique on if the music doesn’t fit, music is wrong genre, music is obviously looping or if there’s any other misc changes that need to be made to the file and I edit it accordingly.

The ones that generally don’t have too much a problem with reviewing my audio files are internet DJ’s that want fresh new content they can use on their internet radio stations.  So giving them permission to broadcast the audio on their radio station gives me free critiques and suggestions for improvement as well as additional potential exposure to new audiences.

I ran across a YouTube video of a deaf lady and she was upset.  Why was she upset?  Obviously the title of this entry gives it away clear as day, but depending on which side of the isle you’re on, you’ll see this obvious giveaway in one way or another.  This isle, of course, is the gender divide.  She initially started out by stating that she was talking with her best friend and named him, yes, a “him”.  The issue was is that she’d go on all these “Dating Sites” and she has to sort through so many messages from numerous men contacting her for either NSA hookup sex, to dates, to whatever and yet she systematically goes through each and every single guy and can’t find a guy she’s interested in because of her list of demands.  And it’s quite the extensive laundry list.

The guy for her must be the following.

  • Be good looking
  • Be over 6 feet tall
  • Like to travel
  • Know ASL fluently
  • Be Deaf or Deaf friendly (And yes she emphasized further on Deaf with a capital D for deaf culture)
  • Enjoy traveling and seeing the world
  • Enjoy fine dining
  • Be intelligent
  • Be a gentleman
  • Dress nice
  • Be romantic
  • Be a good dancer
  • Must make me laugh
  • Be handy around the home
  • Must own a car that doesn’t have any blemishes (she literally mentioned this)
  • Must own a house, no renters, no apartments, no duplexes
  • Must be spontaneous and adventurous

So aside from the fact that she has a guy that’s orbiting her and wanting to break himself off a piece, she looks through all these various men, including men that want to date rather than just a one off night of sex and systematically rejects every single solitary one of them due to her criteria.  Her laundry list of demands.

Here’s the list of what guys are generally looking for.

  • Be attractive (to me)
  • Be young (18+) (or my age)
  • Don’t be a pain in my ass
Total Recall
Most guys don’t know where to begin.

Guys don’t generally care if you own a car, own your own house, don’t care if you can dance, don’t care if you’re like Albert Einstein with breasts, hell most guys even overlook the fact that you have a very pronounced deaf accent.  Heck I even know dudes who don’t have a problem of a gal has a third boob or happens to be missing one being either normal, the chick from Total Recall or the chick from Kung Pow.

Kung pow one boob lady
Most guys would still date her regardless.

The problem is this deaf gal has her standards set extraordinarily high for someone that lives off Social Security Disability in a small studio apartment.  So how likely is it that she’ll become a deaf spinster?  Let’s go through her own criteria and destroy it.

The first set was “Be good looking” or in other words, be attractive towards her.  First let’s look at how men view women in regards to attractiveness.

Men, in general, view most women to be about average at worst with ugly and super hot being a minority.

Now let’s look at how women view men in regards to attractiveness.

Clearly women, in general, find most men not even average, but rather, unattractive with a small minority being even medium to smoking hot.

So assuming she’s looking for someone that’s at least medium on the lower end of the medium side, we’re looking at roughly 15% of the total human population remaining in her dating pool.

Now she wants someone that’s over 6 feet tall.  Thats 14.5%, and it’s not safe to assume that all the 15% of being in the attractive range for her is a part of this figure, we’ll get to that.

So she wants also someone that likes to travel, enjoys fine dining, being romantic, owning a nice car and a nice house with more rooms than she currently needs herself on top of being able to just go out and do something on a whim.  This is someone with a lot of money.

So with most women finding Fortune 500 CEO’s as only being 22% o them attractive, and only 58% of all those CEO’s being over 6 feet in height, and taking into account the statistics on wealthy people who are capable of these requirements overall, she’s looking at roughly 1.4% of the entire male population.

BUT remember, the guy must be fluent in ASL, remember?  That 1.4% of the male population shrinks dramatically to 0.013% of the male population.

So you want to know where all the good men are?  It’s simple mathematics.  Your problem isn’t men, your problem is you and your demands.  You have unrealistic expectations.  You’re not even chasing after the top 1%, let alone the top 5%.  You’re chasing after the top 0.013% and these guys can practically bag themselves any woman they want.  Hell these guys most likely even have celebrities over for a game of poker every Friday evening and have the ability to hire strippers to dance on the tables while they play and smoke fine cigars.  These guys are rich enough the cops knock on their door and go “Oh, it’s just you, sorry to bother you” and step over the bloody corpse of a freshly murdered hobo as they get back in their cars and drive off.

Your expectations of men are highly unrealistic and you should do some introspection on yourself to realize it’s not men that’s the problem, it’s you and you alone.  And likewise, if you don’t change your expectations and settle like men have had to settle throughout history, you’re seriously going to wind up by yourself, alone, probably with cats.

Let me help you with your list.

  • ……

Seriously, just tell that best friend of yours that you mentioned earlier that you like him, give him a kiss and tell him you’d like to go out.  You’ll be much happier.

In fact, I’m going to let someone that used to be a dude that transitioned into being a chick tell you like it is after she ran into a similar article online.  I have it figured you, most men have it figured out, and this woman also has it figured out, so seriously WTF is wrong with you?  I think what you really need to ask yourself is.  What are you bringing to the relationship other than your problems, your debts and your vagina?  Anything of substance?

geralt / Pixabay

Starting out, I’m deaf myself, just mainstreamed, raised with oralism in mind even though I was denied cochlear implants by my mother at a young age.  Not sure why she denied me getting them exactly these days, though I suppose it was due to not being expected to really live all too long due to complications.  All that aside.

Oralism started originally a very long time ago before technology like cochlear implants, heck even before most of modern medicine.  In the 1860’s USA for example, cochlear implants weren’t a thing and those who are profoundly deaf at birth would have an exceptionally difficult time learning to speak and thus have stunted educational growth.  Times like this are often referred back to by modern day deaf activists that insist that oralism is abuse (it isn’t modern day).

The problem with these activists is that it’s not the 1860’s anymore.  The original cochlear implant was invented in 1957 and the technology has only improved over time.  Zoom over to modern day and the cochlear implant technology is sufficient enough that it would blow a deaf person’s mind, not only making speech that much better than ever in history for deaf people, but overall allows for better communication and integration into mainstream society and it’s vast number of varying cultures and subcultures.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

So long as the auditory nerve is still viable and healthy, and you have a proper enough ear shape that doesn’t require additional surgeries to make a proper base for it, the cochlear implant is by and large the way you should be going in order to get your life kickstarted, especially if you’re a young child.

There are absolutely zero valid arguments against the cochlear implant these days and frankly it’s absurd that people are still leaving profoundly deaf children without these crucial devices that will set their life to be easier with more rich social interactions, greatly improved accessibility and the rich sounds of the hearing world.

So far, the only argument those in Deaf Culture have left revolve entirely around is “It’ll destroy our culture”.  The reason behind this is because they require additional newly born deaf people to come into their fold and be indoctrinated into their culture via deaf schools in order to continue to perpetuate it.  If deaf children are implanted with cochlear implants and raised through oralism, or even raised without the CI and mainstreamed with oralism like myself, they are unlikely to have the ideological slant on everything that Deaf Culture relies on, which is heavily socialistic and authoritarian.

This is why mainstreamed deafs, such as myself, that hold center left, libertarian principles are rejected, outcasted and alienated by and large by those in Deaf Culture.  We can’t get involved in it even so much as to get help learning to sign, because I support the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants as well as lip reading and speaking.

Oralism has opened up my world to allow me to go someplace to eat and be able to actually order my own food verbally, to speak to the server if and when I need to.  Oralism has allowed me to be able to hold conversations with practically anyone I could randomly bump into out in public without the need of an interpreter or to have them learn to sign before hand.  Nobody has to learn an additional language for me to be able to communicate with the majority of people in my country and state.

Granted, I don’t have a cochlear implant and phone calls are still generally impossible for me without assistance, either by having someone call for me and just verbally repeating what’s said on the phone, or using a service like InnoCaption in order to have someone listen in on the call and transcribe what’s being said to me.

I generally prefer to not have to use a service like InnoCaption, but I unfortunately need to in order to make important phone calls to make doctor appointments and other important calls.  With modern cochlear implants, not only would I not really need a caption service because I’d be able to just use bluetooth to hear what’s being said, I’d have a greater feeling of independence.

So what that the technology isn’t 100% perfect and the deaf with them won’t hear exactly like a hearing person will?  At the very least it accomplishes in allowing the deaf to hear and better comprehend speech without inaccurate lip reading.  They do also allow the deaf to better enjoy the sounds of music, not just the varying vibrations.

So as I said, there are no valid arguments against oralism modern day.

thisismyurl / Pixabay

When it comes to hearing loss, especially deafness, speech can become heavily affected. I try to speak where I can even though it is quite exhausting to think of my words before I say them, and to then also have to focus on what the other person is saying while lip reading them. It takes effort and time (and years of speech therapy) but I did learn to speak so that I don’t sound deaf (deaf accent).

We tend to concentrate on the ears rather than our speech but we need to be able to respond as well as hear. Use your speech or freakin’ lose it, seriously.

I’ve been deaf for a long time, and I’ve had to learn the cadence of regular speech, other deaf people aren’t as lucky and have a monotonous voice. Deafness will cause speech lose if you’re not mindful of it and use your voice regularly in both adults and kids.

Deaf people claim they don’t need to use their voice because we have sign language but they’re neglecting their speech which is a vital aspect in communication that will lessen our dependency on others. Yes it’s easier to not attempt lip reading, but why cut off accessibility to yourself and force yourself to have to rely on others to communicate? Sure it’s easier to avoid the stress and I admit I even go mute when in stores by myself because it’s easier just to do that, but should I really be doing that? Not really.

Not to demean sign language usage, but culturally, with Deaf Culture, to cut off accessibility to yourself because you refuse to speak using your voice just seems absurdly bizarre to me. Why make life harder on yourself? My speech usage means I don’t have to rely on it so heavily myself even when surrounded by hearing folk who can’t or don’t know how to sign or are unwilling or unable to learn it.

Is communication signing easier? Of course it is. It’s easier for me to see movements as gestures that mean something that often subtle or inperceiveable lip movements in order to figure out what someone is saying with or without residual hearing. But it’s also harder to communicate with people in a world of noise with people who do hear, when you yourself refuse to make effort to communicate effectively with them as well.

johnhain / Pixabay

I have a message for the Deaf Culture part of the deaf community, the perpetually offended minority of the deaf community, the 20% of the deaf community that attempts to speak for all deaf and hard of hearing alike. You don’t speak for all deaf people and you certainly as hell don’t speak for nor care for the hard of hearing, so please do everyone a favor and admit that you’re just selfish pricks looking for more benefits solely for yourself regardless if it hurts others or not.

You advocate for the hard of hearing by telling them, “Oh we are here for you” and then you start pushing ASL on them as if that’s going to help them any. Know what would actually help the hard of hearing, who are generally involved in a culture far away from deaf culture? Things like hearing aids. You know those things that some people like myself wear? Yeah, those things.

Know what doesn’t help them? ASL.

Why does hearing aids help them? Because being hard of hearing implies that they have enough hearing ability that a hearing aid will give them a greatly improved quality of life and still be able to navigate and participate in the mainstream cultures at large involving the hearing.

Know why ASL doesn’t help them? Because most of them already have a culture they’re a part of and that involves being around the hearing for a large degree of their lives. So them knowing ASL isn’t going to help them any if nobody around them knows ASL.

The arguement against my argument here is that the hard of hearing knowing ASL can participate in deaf culture. Well, I would buy into your argument and concede my own, if that were actually true. You see, I’m deaf and even I get run off from mingling among deaf culture, and I’m seriously fucking deaf.

You’re so paranoid and uptight about protecting “muh culture” from outsiders that you perceive everything, even a minor question, as an attack for being culturally insensitive by people who know nothing about your culture because low and behold they’re not a part of the culture and are trying to be.

You seriously run a hell of a lot of people off. You guys ran me off and I’m deaf too, and the Hard of Hearing get the same kind of treatment I got the several times I’ve attempted. You refuse to kick the toxic people out of your groups and you all seem to congregate to every group. I’m not kidding, I went to a deaf meetup and two people were being complete asses and it’s sign language, you can clearly see the person being a cunt, especially when others are paying attention to the new guy.

I’m like alright, well I’m not going to that one ever again, those guys were complete assholes treating me like shit. So I go to another one two cities over, a one hour drive to get there and what do I see? Mostly all the same people including the two assholes as before and nobody bothered to kick those toxic pricks out.

Welcoming and inclusive my ass. Oh that deaf person lip reads, therefore he’s an outsider. The Hard of Hearing get the same thing, “Oh he can hear, he’s hard of hearing, he’s not one of us, he’s an outsider” and you treat them like complete shit too and the people that treat him like shit? Nothing happens to them, they’re not kicked from the group, they’re not chasticed by the group, nothing.

Don’t believe me? Then how come discussion topics started by the hard of hearing are too commonly started like Reddit user heheikb689 on the /r/deaf subreddit who says the following.

Title: Is it just me or do Deaf people dislike hard of hearing people more than hearing people?

I’ve tried learning sign language and getting involved in Deaf culture as someone who became hard of hearing in their early teens, but every time I end up feeling more excluded than when I’m around hearing people. If I try using broken sign language, people just laugh at me or roll their eyes. If I ask someone to slow down their signing I get treated similarly. This has never happened to me when trying to learn a new oral language, where people are willing to slow down and help you (unless they’re xenophobic or something). Yet when you see a hearing person learning sign language they are lionized and treated well by the group.

I feel like there should be solidarity between our two communities as we both face exclusion and isolation from the structurally hearing world but I honestly feel lonelier around Deaf people than around many hearing people, who take my struggles with my self-perception/language as existential quirks rather than existential failures (yes, Deaf people seem to assume you’re a failure if you can’t sign and if you feel a shame over your hearing loss).

Anyways before you attack my generalizing please give me good examples where HOH people, especially adult HOH were helped by the Deaf community? I’m feeling like I should give up on my disability activism sometimes…

End quote.

You think he’s alone?

Reddit user Psychoticdream responds to question and statement quoted just a moment ago.

Quote: nope it’s something that actually happens. as a HoH guy my sign language is bad, some deaf people are patient, others treat you like they treat foreigners who don’t know the local language. with derison.

it happens. most people are nice and will slow down or correct you but there’s usually a few more that will look down on you like some kind of peasant.

HoH people tend to be the outcasts of the hearing world, and the outcasts of the deaf community. it happens, you might get luckier than most of us though..
Annnd unquote

And there’s more

ladyMmJay says “I hate the clique mentality. It’s so childish. Regardless of our hearing abilities or non hearing abilities we are all people. I really wish the deaf community was more welcoming.”

inkathebadger says about his deaf or near deaf wife, “Are you my wife? She’s basically one step away from needing and implant has hearing aids and is speaking deaf, and was transferred to a school when she was younger so she could better learn sign and so on and basically hated the whole time she was there because the fully deaf and BSL fluent seemed to hate her guts.

Whenever I mention us taking an ASL course (cause we in Canada now) or checking out local deaf/HOH groups she looks like she’s gunna have a panic attack because of those bad years.”

Geddyn says, “I have worn hearing aids since I was three. I never learned sign language when I was young and have made multiple efforts to integrate with the deaf community as an adult, but my experience has been the same as yours each time.

As a result, I no longer even bother to attempt to learn ASL, nor do I make any effort to interact with the deaf community.”

There’s so many hard of hearing and even deaf people who’ve attempted and attempted and attempted some more only to be treated with hostility and contempt. To be run off like Frankensteins Monster by a mob of uncaring jackasses.

You want to help the hard of hearing and the vast majority of deaf people (the whole whopping 80% of the deaf population that aren’t in deaf culture)? How about you stop soaking up all the god damn resources for your pathetic, selfish bullshit and stop demonizing everyone that wants to correct their hearing and improve their life. Stop diverting funds towards deaf clubs and meetups from government funding and instead allow them to be used for improved English literacy, ASL classes, speech therapy, hearing aids and cochlear implants and audiology appointments.

And stop telling government officials that it’s “culturally offensive” because all you’re doing is hurting other deaf people and the hard of hearing in the process while claiming to be in support of them and claiming to be welcoming and inclusive when you’re clearly not.

You’re selfish idiots content with your velvety prison of reliance on everyone around you. You’re happy being deaf, great, a lot of us, myself included, aren’t happy being deaf. And you can claim “Well just learn ASL and be a part of our community” all you want, but unless you kick out and ostracize those toxic people from your groups and ban them from participating, you’re not going to be able to welcome the people that want to participate.

I wanted to participate before, but I’ve stopped trying, because of the hostile treatment I received. And the hard of hearing have the same kind of experience I had involving their attempts as well.

Stop misinforming people and stop lying. You don’t care about the hard of hearing and you don’t care about other deaf people and you’re not welcoming, you’re not inclusive. You’re unwelcoming and hostile, and furthermore you’re exclusionary by your very nature and very isolationist. I much prefer to be in the company of the hearing and hard of hearing than other deaf people much of the time because even though I’m deaf myself, Deaf Culture having cultists have made me see people with my own disability that don’t speak in a very negative light.

So now the ball is in your court. Fix your community, kick out the toxic people, and ban them. And I’m not done with Deaf Culture yet, not by a long shot, I now have 12 scripts to read through as of writing this so I have a massive bone to pick.

geralt / Pixabay

Hello, my name is CryptoDeaf. It’s worth noting that hearing loss when left untreated without proper care and education actually costs the American health care system far more than if they were to completely cover all audiologist visits and 100% of the cost of hearing aids and cochlear implants. It’s a falsehood to believe that denying free hearing aids and cochlear implants to those that need them will end up saving money.

The reality is, denying even hearing aids to someone just hard of hearing can cost upwards to 50 to 60 times more to the health care system than if they had just covered the hearing aids, care and education.

The lack of coverage for hearing results in most lower income people from receiving the proper hearing treatment that they need. And as I can attest to personal experience, my own hearing loss has caused tremendous amounts of depression stemming from the feeling of isolation.

Hearing aids are incorrectly listed by insurance providers as a cosmetic device when the reality is that hearing is not cosmetic but a needed thing in life. We humans are social creatures and require being able to socialize with one another in order to be happy, however you cut the hearing off then we’re going to result in having mental health issues and further down the road atrophy of the brain (dead serious too).

It’s not just about being unable to hear or hear properly. When you can’t hear, you end up with social isoation, loneliness, depression and risk of suicide. It’s high time the health care industry starts giving a damn about people with hearing loss, as it’s really not cost effective for them to deny us proper care. Oh don’t want to spend $13,000 USD for a set of high end hearing aids with all the bells and whistles like bluetooth so we can talk on a cell phone, enjoy music and things like that and an FM transmitter to be able to better hear our party or associates in crowded spaces? Enjoy the more expensive bill of us needing mental health care, therapy, mental health medications, possibility of needing mental health intake care for the suicidal, medical issues caused by suicide attempts, etc.

What can untreated hearing loss result in?

suicidal thoughts
withdrawal from social situations
social rejection
reduced alertness
risk to personal safety
impaired memory
disability in learning new tasks
reduced job performance / earning capbility
diminished psychological health
diminished cognitive function
higher risk of dementia
reduced vocabulary
increased risk of alzheimers disease
increased risk to safety (not being able to hear potential intruders, call 911 or other emergency services for help when needed, etc)

It’s a lot like sitting and watching the game of life but never being able to play yourself.

And worse if I’m by myself and break my legs or back falling down the stairs, how the hell do I place a phone call to get help? If someone is breaking into my home to harm me and I’m alone, how do I get help? The best I can currently do if hurt is to say “I’m deaf I need paramedics to address here” repeatedly until they hang up and wait and hope they got the message and got my address correct.

And yes that’s scenario that’s actually happened to me before and I know I’m not alone in that regard.

It’s cheaper to just give me the fucking hearing aids or CI without cost to me, than it is to treat all this extra bullshit that comes with leaving hearing loss untreated.