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.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

When you have some hearing loss but not to the severity that I have it, you’re considered hard of hearing by an audiologist.  However, that’s not to say that it’s a cakewalk for someone that’s mild to moderate in regards to being hard of hearing.  Any hearing impairment at all significantly makes life in a world of noise that much harder in degrees harder than those with less hearing loss or even those with perfect hearing.

A big part of the problem with those that are having issues with hearing loss is they’ll be in a conversation with someone one on one and will think they hear a word completely different from what was actually said.  This happens with me as well with being a mild deaf.  My residual hearing will make it sound like someone has said something completely perverted when it’s not the case at all.  More so for me than it would be for a HoH person though, but the struggle is similar.

The hard of hearing person may mishear one or two words per sentence which by itself can make a thought sound incoherent at best.  Even worse for the HoH is even if someone isn’t mumbling, it’ll surely sound like mumbling.

A big deal with these people is when they ask someone to speak more clearly, most people end up speaking louder, which doesn’t typically help.  It does sometimes, but most times it still sounds mumbled.  The best approach is to slow down your speech a touch and focus on enunciating your words clearly.

Hearing person, “So I went out to the store to buy some deer and got back in my fuck and cooled off”

HoH person, “I’m sorry, what?”

Hearing person speaking more clearly by enunciating his words “So I went out to the store to buy some beer and got back in my truck and drove off”

Hearing Person speaking the same just louder “I SAID I went out to the whore to try to some deer and dude black in my fuck and dozed off!”

Enjoy the example.  Maybe you’ve got a chuckle out of it.  But it’s a reality for so many people that can’t properly hear.  This is far more an issue with the Hard of Hearing leaving their hearing loss untreated because things like hearing aids are so damn expensive.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

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.