Use your speech or lose it

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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.

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