27707 / Pixabay

From Reddit user Ladymmj

Hello all. I started a new job and I didn’t disclose my hearing issues in the interview but I did wear my hair up with my hearing aids on full display. I got the job and am now 2 weeks in. One of my coworkers is not my favorite, he tends to talk down to others and loves to make jokes at others expense. Today he came up behind me and jingled his keys right next to my ear, right above my hearing aid which of course made a horrible noise right into my ear for me. I somewhat snapped and told him off for doing that right in my hearing aid. He apologized profusely and said he didn’t know I had a hearing aid. I’m wondering if I should let this go or say something to our boss. I’m all for fun and games but I would rather not have this happen again and I’m not entirely sure he didn’t know I have hearing aids as I wear my hair up most days.

And further in the post as a comment

One of the examples of him talking down is a woman in the office will ask him to do something which is her job and he will question or just not do anything she says. We also have an adult living with disabilities working with us and he will often repeat what she says in a mocking tone or ask if we heard her when she asks abnormal questions.

And again

One of my coworkers told me she can’t stand how he talks to her. I’ll talk to her today about documenting her experiences and I’ll start documenting mine.

Just goes to show you there are assholes, that’s needless to say I’m sure, but in these kinds of situations, it’s best to literally speak to your manager or go to HR with the report.  It’s likely the asshole coworker already definitely knew the hearing aid was there and was simply seeing if she could hear it which is even bigger of a dickhead move.

It’s unfortunate things like that happen, and they’re going to happen regardless.  Your best move when things like this example happen is to simply report it to HR and management so they can investigate and put in proper procedures to correct the coworker’s behavior.  It’s the path that if it continues, they have to do something about it or face potential lawsuits.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Looking in on those in the signing only deaf community, I notice a lot of activism which is mostly just ill effective smoke signals back towards the crowd that’s cheering it on, which is themselves.  There’s blog post after blog post, video after video of things titled like “10” or “15 things hear people need to do” and my response?  Well no, hearing people don’t need to do anything.  They don’t really have to know anything other than whereas I’m deaf myself, I’m not culturally Deaf.  So the only thing they need to know is “I’m deaf” and “I’m a lipreader, but sometimes I can’t quite catch what you’re saying, especially if you’re relatively new to me”.

Generally, upon knowing I’m deaf, those with functioning hearing do tend to forget sometimes due to lip reading making it often appear like I’m just hard of hearing or in some cases makes them completely forget I have hearing loss at all.  Hearing folk are quite accommodating once they learn someone is deaf, in most cases.

Most people don’t have a problem turning on closed captioning when I ask, have no problem helping me at the drive thru when I’m with hearing buddies, have no problem repeating themselves in most cases.

Yes many people still say things like “I’m sorry you’re deaf” and “I don’t know how I could possibly live without my hearing”, but it’s not said in jest to us.  Those that feel sorry and explicitly state it, actually do wish us well and not meaning ill will, meaning they’re not tossing us any shade.  And those that say they can’t live without hearing, when we tell them we get by just fine in most cases by learning to adapt to the situation end up seeing us as brave and tough cookies more than pathetic wastrels.

There’s no need to get angry nor upset at the hearing and more often than not, any perceived discrimination you receive isn’t actually discrimination, just frustration with someone ignorant and nothing more.

Don’t get me wrong, discrimination does indeed happen, especially when it comes to employment hiring practices as well as instances involving servers or flight attendants (service industry).  However most of the damage done to the deaf in hiring practices revolves around those who are culturally Deaf making us all look like none of us speak, making it out that lip readers don’t exist and making us seem like we’re completely incapable when that’s not entirely the case.

Yes group meetings are difficult if not impossible, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t speak, it’s just our attention can’t easily be divided when it comes to conversations.

Those that rely only on signing instead of speaking involved in Deaf Culture are actually the cause of a great deal of the issues we deaf people face, due to the mountain of myths and misconceptions about us and it is so frustratingly difficult to dispel these myths when Deaf Culture keeps rearing it’s ugly ass head.

The hearing aren’t our enemies, they are our friends, and they truly do care for us.  At least most of them do.  There are narcissists that can’t think about anyone but themselves which is growing all to common these days and seems to get worse as the years progress.  They’re not discriminating against you for being deaf though, what’s going on is that they’re at a job and they feel they shouldn’t have to do it and hate being there.  It’s not just you that they’re shitty towards, they’re like that to the hearing as well.

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.