Not Deaf Enough?

kmicican / Pixabay (How you’re going to feel after 30 minutes of training your software)

Having a hearing disability or vision disability is tough enough on it’s own.  However, due to having residual hearing and being able to benefit from hearing aids (though not perfect) many people disbelieve the notion that I’m deaf and blind.

There’s the common misconception that all blind people see nothing and all deaf people hear absolutely nothing, just pure pitch blackness and pure silence.  However, that’s not really the case.  While it’s true some blind people see absolutely nothing and some deaf people live in complete silence, it’s not true for everyone.  Some blind can see and some deaf can hear.

I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not, hear me out here for a moment.  Being legally blind means you can’t see that top most letter on an eye chart at a specific distance from it.  This doesn’t mean you can’t see at all though.  For me that E looks like it could be an F or a B or even a D, it’s hard to tell, but I know it’s an E, it’s always an E.

Likewise with being deaf, it’s not just pure silence, though it can be.  Deaf people can have some hearing, much like with the deaf person that can still somewhat see.  Without my glasses I can’t see very well and legally blind, with my glasses my vision is close to 20/20.  Likewise with my hearing, without my hearing aids, I don’t hear women and children, nor little yappy dogs, birds singing, the sound of the microwave, running water, the toilet flushing, the sound of a toilet seat slamming, doorbells, door knocks, phones ringing, bells, etc.  However I do hear deep tones, bass and the vowels of most men’s voices.

Often people will think I’m not blind because I can still navigate about without my glasses without the need of a white cane.  People also think I’m not deaf because I notice when someone is speaking when I’m not looking at them or that I react to loud noises and bangs.

Just because I can hear a loud crash or a gunshot, doesn’t mean I’m not deaf.  Just because I can still see without my glasses, doesn’t mean I’m not blind.

It’s far too typical for a lot of people to think the deaf hear nothing and the blind see nothing.  Again, it is true for some deafs and some blind, but it’s not true for all of us.

2 thoughts on “Not Deaf Enough?

  1. How much of hearing loss can we consider ourselves deaf rather than hard of hearing? I’m not sure how to name what I have. I have a medium loss in the low frequencies, severe in the middle sounds, profound deafness in the highs, bilaterally. Without my hearing aids, I can hardly hear anything. I can hardly hear a voice unless the person is talking very close to my ear. My house is equipped with lights and mattress vibrators. But when I put on my prostheses, I have an understanding speech of 80%. I can appreciate some instrumental and techno music, but I don’t understand the lyrics, even with my hearing aids.

    1. Hello Coco,
      I would consider you deaf. Where I judge as to if someone is deaf or HoH is whether or not they can consistently understand spoken language without the use of any amplification. As a result, I consider the Severely HoH to also be deaf. There’s a difference in what I’d call “Normies Deafness” vs “Medical Deafness”. Medical Deafness is profoundly HoH at 80 db loss or more. For me to consider you deaf, though, you don’t have to have nearly that much hearing loss, just the inability to properly understand spoken language without the use of an aid.

      Hope that’s helped clear that up for you. You may want to see an Audiologist or ENT to have your hearing properly tested if you’re concerned otherwise. Honestly, it’d make your life a bit easier if you identified as deaf and told people such. Hearies typically understand “deaf” more than hard of hearing. When you say “I’m hard of hearing” they tend to believe that you can hear a lot more than you really can. But when you say “I’m deaf” they’ll take more time and effort to make sure they look at you and get your attention and such.

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