Monday Night Inspiration: Navigating Deafness.

The above video has a lot that I can relate to. Although I never had speech therapy (there are a lot of theories as to why my speech is so good, but those theories are for another time), I relate to a lot of the opinions and challenges she came up against. For example, I have often had people think that my parents had helped me with writing articles (when I was young), or that I surely can’t be a very good writer if I’m deaf. Or, that I ‘need help’ with certain challenges, such as learning something new.

In my experience, sometimes deaf people often take a bit longer to process something or learn something new, but that is only usually because instructions are often given via speech (lipreading-taking it in visually and then understanding the instructions versus just hearing it) or we want to be sure we’ve got the right instructions. She is right – we shouldn’t think of people in terms of limitations, but instead we should view these things as challenges that we can achieve with the right communication tools. Being deaf is about a communication barrier – nothing more, nothing less. It isn’t that we can’t do something because we can’t hear. Like she says – we can do everything that hearing people can do – except hear.

I also love that she speaks a bit about being a deaf writer, I always find it interesting finding out more about other deaf writers and how they have navigated the challenges and attitudes that other people have. I think this video is geared more to a hearing audience, to raise deaf awareness of some of the issues for deaf people in a hearing society. I hope you enjoy it – and happy Monday!

Now, wait a minute, when we do this, when we say – ‘I can’t, I’m deaf,’ or whatever the problem is, we put ourselves in a box.’ – Rachel Kolb.

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