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The Hard of Hearing need proper advocacy when it comes to their hearing loss and their overall needs.  Far too often, the cultural deafs will insist that the Hard of Hearing are being advocated for by them, but their promoted solution more often than anything else, is learning sign language for their region, such as ASL in the USA or BSL in the UK.

What’s wrong with hard of hearing learning sign language?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with learning a new language, however the Hard of Hearing aren’t already involved in Deaf Culture, and quite frankly Deaf Culture is excessively difficult for an outsider to get into, even if that very outsider is another individual either born deaf or went deaf as a child but was mainstreamed rather than being sent through a school for the deaf.

Since the Hard of Hearing is already involved in one or more cultures from the hearing world, they tend to prefer largely to interact with the hearing world and continue to do so.  So generally, the HoH individual will not gain any significant benefit learning sign language due to most hearing people not knowing sign language themselves.

As a result, say an American HoH person does learn ASL, the only thing that opens up to them is being able to better communicate with deaf people who already sign.  Now keep in mind signing deaf are only roughly 20% of the deaf population.  Not all deaf people sign, I’m one of them.  I can sign, but I prefer not to due to culture.  So if you have deaf people who are lip readers and speaking because of our preference in culture as for who we all hang out with (friends, family, spouse, etc), how would sign language really even benefit me personally as an oralist?  Answer is that it really wouldn’t in most cases.  Same goes with the hard of hearing.

The Deaf Culture cultural clash

The exclusiveness and isolationist nature of Deaf Culture creates a cultural clash in which the mainstreamed deafs like myself, and the hard of hearing like my roommate who are already involved in one or more cultures from the hearing world in a stark contrast with how Deaf Culture is.

For example.  In the hearing world, one generally avoids being too blunt about something to the point of being rude.  For example, if we hire a painter to paint a room, and we’re not pleased with the work.  We’ll tell them something along the lines of “It’d be better off if you sanded the edges around here some and then paint back over it”.  To someone involved in Deaf Culture, this is different.  They’ll say in the same scenario for the same painter on the same wall on the same job, “This job is sloppy.  Redo it.”

There’s also the fact that within cultures of the hearing world, talk about bodily functions aren’t openly expressed such as the need to defecate, however discussions of bodily functions isn’t culturally taboo in Deaf Culture which many, including myself, are quite off put about.  A hearing child in school will walk up to a teacher and whisper “May I go to the bathroom?” so that others don’t hear the request.  The deaf child in school will simply stay where they are regardless of who’s looking at them and sign “I need to crap, right now.”

Many people involved in Deaf Culture are heavily negative towards people who don’t already sign or who aren’t already part of their culture.  Even worse is if you don’t have the “right” politics, they’ll alienate and ostracise you even further.  An example of this is for the UK, if you were in support of Brexit, they’ll kick you out of their groups and push you away.  In the USA, if you don’t think Donald Trump is “literally Hitler” and a “far right Nazi who’s hell bent on destroying America” then they also push you out of their groups to alienate, isolate and ostracize you.  You have to walk on egg shells.  And from what I’ve seen of Hard of Hearing people, they’re not some political monolith, they’re diverse in their thoughts, opinions and even their political beliefs, from some being left wing and right wing, some being authoritarian while others heavily libertarian.

But primarily in Deaf Culture, you have heavy socialist leanings because of how Deaf Culture heavily relies on disability payments and on the hearing that signs (interpreters and CODAs) and are generally accustomed to having things handed to them.

For example, I know of an instance in both Phoenix, AZ as well as in London, England in which the deaf were offered to make the decision on what to do with X amount of funds.  They were offered two choices.

  1. The funds can be used to provide sign language classes, classes to improve literacy and english comprehension, audiologist visits, hearing aids, cochlear implants and general education for taking care of your listening devices.
  2. A club space for weekly social gatherings.

Can you figure out which direction the cultural deaf went?  If you picked option #1 you’re sorely mistaken.  They picked #2.  If they had picked #1 then they’d have benefited the hard of hearing, which is partly who that funding was also supposed to benefit and would’ve greatly helped deaf people who wanted to learn to sign and have better literacy and get help with getting listening devices that they otherwise couldn’t afford.

So instead of helping out the majority of the deaf (roughly 80%) and the hard of hearing, they chose to solely think of themselves and literally have all the funding spent solely on themselves (the Culturally Deaf) as opposed to the deaf majority and the hard of hearing.

How how did a minority manage to make it’s way into making that decision for everyone else at their detriment?  Simple, they claim that offering hearing aids and CI’s and english literacy courses were “culturally offensive” and essentially used the hecklers veto in order to get option #1 removed from the table.

So you could say it’s not so much that they picked option #2, but rather, complained and whined and protested until option #1 was taken out back and shot because of their cultural sensibilities that the majority of people the funding was meant for don’t share.

So what’s the conclusion?

The culturally deaf need to leave the hard of hearing and non-culturally deaf people alone and the culturally deaf need to stop thinking solely about themselves.  They need to stop claiming to support the hard of hearing when they clearly don’t and need to stop claiming they’re helping the hard of hearing by insisting upon them learning sign language that won’t help them any.

The hard of hearing and the non-cultural deaf are in the same camp together in that we are already involved in the mainstream cultures involving the world of sound and noise and would prefer to stay in our already existing cultures we’re a part of, instead of leaving those cultures in favor of one that’s alien to our own and often clashing with our own cultural sensibilities and taboos.

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This is a common thing parents of a child that’s born deaf ends up going through.  Do they get the child a cochlear implant or do they forgo that in favor of sending the kid to a deaf school and being part of Deaf Culture?  The culturally deaf (Deaf) will insist that giving the child a cochlear implant implies that the kid has a disability and equate it to child abuse, but is it?

But getting a CI for a child is like getting them circumsized!  It’s wrong without their educated consent!

I’ve even seen this thrown around in regards to equating giving the child a cochlear implant the same as circumcising a male infant before he can consent to it and thus removing him of bodily integrity at a young age.

However, that’s a false equivalence.  When it comes to the mutilation of the child’s genitalia (Let’s call it what it really is, male genital mutilation), there’s no real medical benefits to chopping off a child’s foreskin after he’s born.  The number of boys that grow up resulting in phimosis is quite low and easily treated with a steroidal cream and has several treatment options available to them.

Well it at least helps prevent the spread of HIV right?

There’s also no viable study that’s worth it’s salt in regards to preventing STDs and the like.  The studies on HIV prevention were bad studies on account that they studied two groups of ment, one cut (freshly done) and one uncut and tested them before and after a 6 week period… you know, the time period when the willy is still sore and sensitive from a wound.  Not going to have much sex like that so of course they contracted HIV at a far, far lower rate. DUH!

Oh but male genital mutilation reduces the risk of penile cancer!

Yeah, and chopping off your arms and legs also reduces your risk of skin cancer.  Be my guest and lop them right off to prove the point, I’ll wait.

Ok, fine, but the CI doesn’t have any medical benefit either!

This is where you’re clearly and horrifically wrong.  If your child is missing a leg due to a defect, the child is given a prosthetic limb to aid the child in learning to walk.  If the child is missing an arm he is given a prosthetic arm at a young age and learns to effectively use it well.  If the child is missing their hearing, they are given a CI so they can grow up having an easier time hearing and learning verbal communication.  It’s in the child’s best interests to have the CI so they can learn to verbally communicate with people.

What about learning deaf culture?

Deaf culture is a very small minority among the deaf.  Only 20% of the deaf population are involved in it.  Deaf culture is entirely geared around just being deaf where the only people they can effectively communicate with are other deaf people who also sign, they also heavily rely on interpreters to be able to make it out in the real world away from their isolated culture and there aren’t infinite amount of interpreters to go around either, there’s actually a major shortage of interpreters with a far too high demand as it is.

Deaf culture isn’t all that great, I’m deaf myself and believe me when I say, been there, done that, and quite frankly found it to be quite toxic personally.

But deaf culture is beautiful and unique.

Not really unique, there are other cultures that also heavily rely on other people.  Did you know there’s also a blind culture?  There’s even an amputee culture.  Blind culture even has very similar cultural trends .  Instead of signing, they read, oddly enough.  Braille, fantastic invention, but the culture geared around it is almost exactly the same as deaf culture, the main difference is it relies less heavily on other people.

People are instantly thinking “Oh this culture is so beautiful” so are the thousands of cultures that the hearing partake it and you’re seriously considering restricting your child away from all those numerous cultures to isolate them and doom them into a single culture because of their disability?  Now THAT is child abuse.

The child won’t be better off with the cochlear implants though

Yeah they will, by leaps and bounds actually.  A deaf child without a cochlear implant going through a deaf school has lower reading, mathematical and social skills than someone hearing in a regular mainstream education.  This is also true when comparing deaf in deaf schools VS deaf in mainstreamed schools with and without the CI.

Then there’s the future prospects of the child.  Do you have any idea how excessively difficult it is for a deaf person to find a job even when a company is hurting for help?  I use hearing aids and lip read because I have residual hearing and can usually get away with that very well to the point one on one a person won’t even realize I’m deaf, though may be a bit creeped out by my stare to lip read.

Being a very well spoken, oral, lip reading deaf person, I literally have employers that refuse to hire me because of my disability.  I’ve had one hiring manager tell me it would be a different story “if I had that implant thing”.  Deaf adults with a cochlear implant are are more likely to obtain gainful educations and gainful employment both than deaf people without the cochlear implants.

Deaf people with cochlear implants have a better time adapting to various social settings and adopting varying cultures, end up with a variety of friends with differing opinions, cultures, ethnicities, tastes, etc all banded together through a common language, as opposed to deaf culture which is isolated with it’s own language and not able to cross cultures due to a language barrier.

Your child will literally be better off significantly in every possible aspect.  Your child doesn’t need deaf culture.  Your child doesn’t need sign language.  Your child needs a cochlear implant.  It’s not child abuse to let your kid have the gift of a brighter and better future.  What is abuse, is restricting your child’s options and crippling his future.

Tumisu / Pixabay

So I’ve been busy building myself on Minds and YouTube and I’ve not taken the time to focus so much on a website.  But now, website is in order and ready to start up and zoom.  Video creation on YouTube is a little bit of a pain in my backside because I strongly dislike speaking on account that I personally worry about how I sound, so I take great care in thinking about my words and sentence so I sound normal and hopefully eliminating the deaf accent.

Blog posts?  That’s easy.  I can type all day long without any issue.  I still intend to produce video content alongside writing in my blog, it’s just so much easier to type than to speak by a long shot.  And so, here I am!  Writing a blog!

The hosting for this blog is provided for free by Cloudaccess.net and honestly, they’re a pretty nice host.  They have paid services as well.  I’ll see how things end up overall, though things definitely seem to be going the route of keeping this host as it’s one of the better free hosts I’ve found.

But CryptoDeaf, Can’t you blog on Minds?

Yes, I can write blogs on Minds, very easily in fact, however Minds is sandboxed by Google due to Minds being completely free speech and since they refuse to censor political speech of people Google considers distasteful, my blog posts on Minds aren’t readily searchable by the internet at large and thus I’m further limited in being able to reach non-cultural deaf and hard of hearing out in the wild as easily there as I am with my own blog.  I still highly recommend using Minds regardless though.