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It’s amazing how often I actually get that specific statement “Deaf people can’t speak!” or “You can’t be deaf, you talk!”  This is sorely a myth.  Only 20% of the deaf population rely solely on signing, never saying a verbal word in their life.  The remaining 80% of the deaf population do, in fact, speak.  My preference in communication is verbally with my voice.

You can clearly hear me speaking in even my video on reviewing the Britzo hearing aid system in which I’m speaking using a crappy microphone.  I’m deaf and have been deaf since very early in my childhood.  Granted initially school administrators thought I was literally just retarded and put me in special ed initially in kindergarten only for the special ed teacher to inform them “This kid isn’t retarded, he just can’t hear.”  Thus the speech therapy classes were started that would last for 7 years from that point.

I can speak well and articulate my words with proper enunciation and often focus on what I’m saying so I don’t “sound deaf”.  I have a problem in which I am personally always worried about how I sound.  Generally this results in me not speaking in a lot of cases unless I absolutely have to.

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And yes, I am able to sign, it’s not my language of preference though.  I was mainstreamed, and most of my friends including even my husband are all hearing or hard of hearing.  I don’t bother teaching them how to sign unless they ask me how to sign something specifically, with the exception of this one roommate who wants to learn to sign for reasons of having a second language and being unable to find a class nearby.

Generally, though, I find things more accessible to me to speak using my voice.  There are rare instances in which I’ll go mute, but to save on confusion I don’t sign in those cases.  What I do instead like when I go into a gas station by myself, I’ll type on my phone in a note that reads, “I am deaf, I need $20 in gas on pump 3.” and communication problems averted.

Every so often, I run into someone working that knows basic signing.  Enough to tell me my total and say thank you usually.  In some very rare cases, I run into someone I can call fluent in signing and they bust it out.  Some hearies think it’s offensive to just suddenly start signing when they learn someone is deaf, but trust me, it’s really not.  It’s no different really from having a hispanic customer with limited and broken English and you suddenly just speaking Spanish to help the customer out.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Well, I say there’s no difference, but the difference in reality is I do know English.  So why do I go mute from time to time?  Even with hearing aids, communicating verbally with someone is very stressful, and it’s exhausting over extended periods of time.  So it’s literally easier on me mentally to not have to pay that much extreme attention to detail just to communicate with someone when I can get by with less stress just passing my phone back and forth if I absolutely have to communicate in those cases.

It doesn’t mean I can’t speak.  The problem, though, with using my voice isn’t just me worrying about how I sound.  It’s also that ugly myth that keeps rearing it’s ugly head “Deaf people can’t speak”.  People learn I’m deaf and assume that I can’t be deaf because I can verbally articulate what I want to say.  I know this myth comes from two different sources.  Popular entertainment media and Deaf Culture.  In Deaf Culture it’s taboo for a deafie to use hearing aids or to have cochlear implants and it’s just as taboo to use your voice even if you know how to with or without a deaf accent.  You’ll be “Not deaf enough” for that crowd.  So that group itself perpetuates the myth.  “If you speak, you can’t be deaf” because those involved in Deaf Culture insist that deaf people don’t speak and must rely solely on signing.

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Just don’t believe the myth is what I’m getting at.  Just because someone can articulate and enunciate well, doesn’t mean they aren’t deaf, they very well could be.  They could’ve had low hearing and gotten worse with age, or they were deafened later in life for some reason (and there are multitudes of ways you can go deaf, by disease and by accidents and on purpose).

At The Rim (ATR) responded even to my blog post on listening to music as a deaf person titled “Falling on Deaf Ears” and you can read that on his blog.  He was deafened later in life, he can speak and sign (BSL) and has much the same issues I have with Deaf Culture across the pond in the UK.  In his response to my “Falling on Deaf Ears” article, he states, in brief here, that he was deafened later in life, knows what sound and music is and all its intricacies (so do I as a vague memory in my youth) and now avoids things like sound systems and equipment because it’s stressful and depressing.  We’re not all alike and this is worth mentioning.

OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

My point is, I’m not the only deaf that can speak.  There’s actually a lot of us that can and do.  Even the deaf YouTuber Rikki Poynter speaks with her voice when she’s not trying to cozy up to Deaf Culture that hates her guts for the crime of using her voice.

Rikki Poynter has a deaf accent when she speaks.  I do not.  She can’t hide in plain sight, I sure as hell can and have for a good long time.

But at least, now you know.  Coincidentally, I can also sing.

TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

When I go to theaters I turn my listening devices off because the theater is far, far too loud in the noises that I can hear.  A loud boom or explosion can hurt my ears.  And like with any movie theater in the back woods of Alabama, the theater doesn’t have subtitles in the movies nor closed captioning devices.  The others in my party can enjoy it with the sound while I miss a hell of a lot.  Being the fan of horror almost to a fetish, this is my take on Don’t Breathe on first impressions.

It starts out with this group of early 20’s adults that break into peoples houses and just steal stuff but for some reason decide to only steal so much rather than robbing the house blind, which I think would’ve been the smart move if you’re robbing someone already.  They target houses because one dude does this thing with a computer that has information about a home security company.

They find information about this blind guy that has a good chunk of money, and break into his house after googling his address.  They take off their shoes for some reason and walk around the place trying to avoid the blind guy.  Turns out the blind guy has a rape dungeon.

EvgeniT / Pixabay (Welcome to the rape dungeon, would you like cum with that?)

Chick already tied up in the rape dungeon tugs on some cord that rings a bell alerting the blind guy that she’s fussing around so he goes down to the rape dungeon and just shoots her because he can’t stand her making so much noise.

Blind guy eventually catches the female house robber and ties her up and then gets force fed his baby juice from a turkey baster.  Dude robber helps free chick robber.  They go for the money and try to leave, dude robber gets wrecked by blind guy.  Both males are now dead leaving chick and blind dude.

Chick ends up wrecking blind dude and leaves him for dead and escapes.  Blind dude somehow survived and police didn’t end up finding the blind mans rape dungeon somehow.

Was it a good movie?  Not really.  I strongly disliked how the bad guys (the robbers) had the attempt to make them out to being good guys by making the blind guy a crazy dude with a rape dungeon.  This movie would have been better if they removed the rape dungeon and just made it a survival horror trapped in the blind guys house trying to escape with or without the money just to save their lives.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay (How I see the characters introduced in the Aliens series)

By the time the movie whipped out the rape dungeon, I was rooting more for everyone in the house to die mutually rather than rooting for any particular group so thus killed any suspense the movie originally had.  It’s like watching Alien Resurrection in which they try to introduce all these various characters and their personalities when in reality we’re just getting a sneak peek at the buffet.