Adorable and so Happy!

so tonight I was talking to my dad via Asl. He’s still learning it but understood what I said. While I was signing I see in the corner of my eye a kid copying what I was saying. Cutest thing ever! I love when children sign!
I also love it that my dad is actually willing to learn ASL. He wanted me to do it as a kid but mom wanted me to speak. So once my dad found out how happy I was with ASL. he said “give me the alphabet I’m wanting to finally be able to communicate with my deaf daughter in her language.” Ever since then he has been practicing the alphabet :)

So, let me tell you what happened to me today… My classmates invited me to a bar and I was kind of reluctant to go, since I don’t drink alcohol and I never understand what people are saying… (perks of being hard of hearing, yay)

Not to mention my social anxiety, which is… well, bad.

Anyway, my classmates promised me we would be chatting in sign language, so I won’t have any problems. I figured I might give it a shot…

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Disability Sensitivity Training Video-

A hilarious video helping out able-bodied folk to end the awkward when interacting with people with disabilities :P

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Shit Hearing People Say (Things You Don’t Say to Deaf & Hard of Hearing)

It’s here! The video is finally here! It’s just a few comments I’ve received or read elsewhere or heard in person that I never understand and it’s both sad and hilarious. So let’s laugh together.

But we’re not gonna laugh at one of the things I make a comment on, which reminds me: trigger warning for a suicide mention.

Since this is part of the Deaf Awareness series, reblogs are extra appreciated!

Tagging chescaleigh to let her know that I’ve made another video in this series! (I guess you can call it a series.)

Deaf wizards not knowing how to say spells and making up their own signs for them and coming up with creative, powerful new spells in the process

Deaf wizards giving their friends name signs that are actually unique spells (when signed with a wave of a wand) that remind them of the friend, maybe a puff of a certain aroma or a special light show or a cascade of specific flowers

Deaf wizards mastering nonverbal spells WAY before their peers because they could never use the verbal ones

Lip-reading Deaf wizards always having the upper hand in duels

Hogwarts not having any interpreters and the staff feeling super awkward but the Deaf wizard being like FUCK IT and enchanting a quill to transcribe everything the professors say. Their peers look on in jealousy as all their hands start to cramp while they take notes.

Deaf wizards being expert mandrake-potters who don’t even have to wear earmuffs

DEAF WIZARDS

A really neat video from BSL Zone about Britain’s first baby to be registered with a sign name on her birth certificate. (Video won’t embed, but you can view it at the link.)

From a description on Mental Floss

Parents tend to give their children names in their own languages. What could be more natural? When Tomato Lichy and Paula Garfield, a British couple who are both Deaf (the capital “D” indicates that Deaf is a cultural identity), were about to have their second child, they began to look into whether it was possible to give their baby, legally, a sign name.

A sign name is not just an English name spelled out with the fingers. While Deaf people do have English names, which can be written, spelled out, or mouthed, they use signs, created specially for individuals, to refer to each other within their own community.

Rant: Hearing People Saying "It's Okay" When I'm Asking for Communication Access

It happened again today.  

I did my civic duty and voted this morning.  Even though I’m living in unfairly disenfranchised Washington DC where our only representative in the U.S. House of Representatives has no voting power and where we have no Senator at all, I still voted.  (All that stuff about DC’s disenfranchisement, though, is an entirely separate rant.)

I stood in line for maybe two minutes tops before I was able to go check in. So the poll workers started talking to me.  It was clear that the immediate thing they needed to ask me for was my name so I could just show my id without needing to understand exactly what they were saying.  And when they spoke some more and pointed to the next table, well I didn’t understand what they said then either but it was clear enough that they were done with my check in and needed me to proceed to the next step.  So I just did that.

So the people at the next table start talking to me too, and this time I’m not clear what they’re saying, so I ask them to write.  Instead of writing, they just start trying to lead me while still talking.  I keep asking them to write what they had been saying.  But instead of writing, the woman says, “It’s okay.”

This is a thing hearing people have done to me before:

Me: I’m having trouble understanding.  Please write that down.

Hearing person: blah blah, it’s okay, blah blah

Me: No, I’m saying I need you to please write what you are saying.

Hearing person: It’s okay, it’s fine. (Keeps talking and continues to not write anything or make any attempt to obtain a writing implement or paper.)

Excuse me?

Why do hearing people do this?  Why do hearing people seem to think that I need reassurance when I’m simply explaining that the current approach to communication isn’t working for me and that I need for them to switch communication strategies?  What is going on in their heads when they say “It’s okay” without actually doing anything to MAKE it okay?

Once, some years ago, I was trying to complain to someone at the hospital that I had been waiting hours for the sign language interpreter I had requested to arrive with no sign of either the interpreter or any communication on the status of obtaining an interpreter.  Instead of saying, “Oh, I’m sorry, let me check what’s happening with that,” they said, “Don’t worry about it, it’s okay.” WTF?

So it’s not just a one time thing, it’s a thing that hearing people do.  Instead of accommodating my communication needs, they keep on trying to communicate in a mode that I have already explained isn’t working while saying “it’s okay” or otherwise trying to reassure me.

NEWS FLASH for all denizens of the universe who do not themselves experience disabilities that affect communication with ill-informed non-disabled people:  When a deaf person says, “this communication style isn’t working for me” then NO they are not seeking reassurance.  They do NOT want to hear that it is okay for them to be left without comprehension, abandoned to communication isolation, and denied the communication access they have requested. 

NEWS FLASH for hearing non-disabled people: It is NOT UP TO YOU to decide if it is “okay” that the current approach to communication isn’t working or that the people who were supposed to hire an interpreter for you failed to do their job.   

NEWS FLASH: If a deaf person is saying that communication isn’t working, then this is them saying that NO IT IS NOT OKAY.

NEWS FLASH: If a deaf person is asking you, “please write” (or “please get an interpreter) then what they need is for you to ACTUALLY WRITE. (Or actually go check on why no sign language interpreter has arrived and what can be done to fix that).  ”Reassuring” them that ‘it’s okay” DOES NOT REPLACE ACTUALLY WRITING.

NEWS FLASH: Saying “it’s okay” while STILL NOT PROVIDING the communication access the deaf person has asked for is the OPPOSITE of helpful.

NEWS FLASH: If a deaf person asks you to change communication strategy, then what they need is for you to ACTUALLY CHANGE COMMUNICATION STRATEGY.

There’s more rant I could rant about all this, but this is already long enough.

Possible supplemental future rant (which also happened when I was trying to vote this morning): Hearing people who do this:

Me: I didn’t understand, please write that down

Hearing Person: Oh, I understand you just fine, your speech is perfectly clear.

(?? Hello? Logic? Hello?  And, why on Earth do some hearing people think that deaf people are only worried about them understanding us and not about US understanding THEM?)

For instance, Philip Wolfe escaped a domestic dispute and had a friend call the police. Although the dispatcher was informed that Wolfe was deaf and required an interpreter, the police showed up without one and completely misunderstood the issue. The domestic abuse charge was never filed. Wolfe’s partner returned that night and abused him again. In Oklahoma, 64-year-old Pearl Pearson was pulled out of his car and beaten by police as he attempted to show them a card that said “I am deaf.” The officers were not charged for the attack; but Pearson was charged with resisting arrest.
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Alright, let’s do this; 

First of al this is on par with putting up a picture of a blind person, and having them say ‘wear sunglasses, or you’re going to go blind’, because yeah sure if you stare at the fucking sun for a couple hours you’re probably going to damage your eyes, but I can guarantee you most blind people probably aren’t blind because they stared at the sun for too long, and most people aren’t stupid enough to stare directly into the sun for hours on end. The majority of the Deaf/HoH population are not deaf because of wearing headphones (the most prevalent cause of hearing loss is actual aging), and this advertisement - whether or not intentional it doesn’t matter - implies that they are. To further this, in order to have any significant hearing loss you’d have to have sensitive ears, and listen to your iPod on 90% volume 2-5 hours a day , and even then it would only be high pitch hearing loss, so they’d be able to hear most things (including people speaking) just fine. The only time it’s really going to be hard to hear is when you’re in crowded places, when it’s hard to hear for Hearing people anyways. 

The other main problem I have with this ad, is that it takes a device I use on the daily - for a disability I’ve lived with for half my life at this point - and uses it to create fear. This ad is a scare tactic being used to try and convince people to listen to their music quieter, and has very little to do with the majority of the Deaf/HoH community that actually uses hearing aids. All this ad does is extenuate ableism by making hearing loss seam like something that is somebody’s ‘fault’, which is absolutely not fucking true. When I see somebody else wearing hearing aids, my first thought is not ‘oh, poor them’, or ‘oh, I wonder why they’re deaf’. I don’t even take that into consideration. They’re just people. I’m just a person. And using something that most Hearing people will take as a symbol of my community to create fear, and (intentionally or not) put people like me down? That’s disgusting, and disrespectful, and absolutely 100% inexcusable. Especially for a group claiming to be looking out for people’s health.  

10 Things I'm Tired of Explaining to Hearing People

1.  I don’t like talking on the phone.  I repeat, I don’t like talking on the phone.  It has nothing to do with social anxiety, being an introvert, or trying to appear mysterious and technologically impaired to my peers.  I literally cannot understand a large percentage of what people say on the phone.  The only person I’ll answer for is my mother.  A thirty-second conversation can easily turn into an excruciating seven minutes of “I’m sorry, what?”  So stop calling me and stop asking me to call someone else.  I use the phone only when I’m desperate. 

2.  If it’s not captioned, I don’t want to watch it.  Too many times people have some funny video on their phone they want me to watch and each and every time I laugh and pretend to understand what’s going on.  Newsflash - I don’t.  I may pick up a word here and there and even get the gist of it, but the details are utterly wasted upon me.  So don’t bother unless it’s captioned or you’re going to sit there and tell me everything that’s being said.

3.  Turn that *bleep*ing music/tv down.  If we’re going to engage in an actual conversation that demands extreme listening on my behalf, turn off all the loud noises in the environment.  I’m not riding around the car with you with Lady Gaga or Kanye West blasting through the stereo.  It’s hard enough trying to tune out background noises like circulating air, loud car engines, heavy footsteps overhead, the microwave going off, Seinfeld, and all the clicks and squeaks in the room.  Have some consideration.

4.  Don’t whisper in my ear.  Just don’t.

5.  Look at me when you talk to me.  I swear to God, I burn the most calories walking up to someone to ask what s/he said.  Stop walking around the place and running your mouth.  It’s not just disrespectful to Hard of Hearing people, but all people in general.  Who do you think you are, roaming about expecting the world to just tune in to you?  You want me to listen?  Acknowledge me.  Turn around and face me when you talk.  That makes me feel like you actually give a damn.

6.  What I can’t hear is not your entertainment.  Don’t tease me, don’t test me, and don’t harass me about the things I can’t hear.  It’s not my fault that my brain and my ears don’t register certain sounds that are so easily heard by others.  It’s hard enough having to manage knowing I miss a large percentage of what goes on around me, but I don’t need you making me feel guilty or embarrassed.  Also, whistling behind me or making little noises to see if I’ll pick up on them?  That’s just a dick move.  Don’t be an asshole. 

7.  It’s not an accent and I’m not from a country you’ve never heard of.  I don’t even have the patience or comfort level to go into detail right now. 

8.  I’m not “Hearing Impaired” or “Deaf,” I am “Hard of Hearing.”  I have the right to identify myself however I want.  I’m not impaired because that implies a sense of brokenness.  I’m not broken.  I don’t need to be fixed.  And I’m not D/deaf.  Look into the difference but I’m not going to go into detail.  Some people embrace that title, others don’t for their own reasons.  Again, it’s their business, not yours.  I am Hard of Hearing.  I was born with sensorineural hearing loss.  I cannot hear certain sounds.  I have hearing loss.  Get it right or keep your mouth shut. 

9.  Maybe that person just didn’t hear you.  I’m living proof that people like me exist – people who do not experience the “normal” range of hearing that most people experience.  If I exist, then certainly others like me exist.  Stop treating me like the I’m the only one of my kind and start wrapping your head around the fact that if someone else seems to be ignoring you, it could just be that s/he didn’t hear you.  Don’t let your ignorance define your actions. 

10.  Getting hearing aids is a personal choice.It’s none of your business whether or not I wear hearing aids.  It’s not up to you to make that decision for me nor should you even express your opinion on me getting them unless you’re a loved one.  I don’t care about the latest technological advancements you’ve heard about and I don’t care if you think they’ll improve my life.  I will make the decision.  I will decide if I want them or not.  Hearing aids are not a cure all.  For some people they work and that’s great.  For others they do nothing but amplify sounds they can already hear to irritating frequencies.  And sometimes hearing aids just don’t do anything for some people.  They affect everyone differently.  We’re not all the same nor do we have the same range of loss.  What I choose to do with my ears are none of your business. 

Arthur C. McWilliams IV

DEAF FRIENDLY TERMS What’s in a name? (A lot. What you call us makes a difference.)

NOT APPROPRIATE TERMS:

Deaf & Dumb: We may not be able to hear, but it does not mean we are stupid or retarded.

Deaf-Mute: Some of us voice, and voice well. But we decide when and with whom we want to voice. Because we cannot hear how loud or soft or how high or low our voices are, sometimes we are ridiculed and we feel terrible. Would you want to be laughed at? Neither do we.

Pipi: Tagalog version of mute. Not true. 

Hearing impaired: Why focus on the negative? This term was popular in the 70s and 80s, but now is used mostly by doctors, audiologists and other people who are mainly interested in our ears “not working”.

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APPROPRIATE TERMS:

deaf: This is okay when talking about people with hearing loss, in general.

Hard of hearing: Some of us can use the telephone, and hear quite a bit. We hard of hearing people live  in between both hearing world and Deaf world - we have an identity of our own.

Deaf: YES! The big D distinguishes us as a group of people with  our own unique language and culture. We have our own identity  and we would like to be respected as such. Many people all over the world call themselves Deaf

Edit: The reason why I posted that picture is to show people the different terminology used to describe/identify a d/Deaf/HoH (Hard of hearing) person and the proper terms. The descriptions of each term I wish I could rephrase.

I understand some people don’t mind the word “hearing impaired” but it is quite offensive to some/most who are d/Deaf/HoH. Yes, the first thing when meeting a Deaf/HoH person is to ask 1) mode of communication and 2) what terminology they prefer. Me, personally, I prefer hard of hearing. When I’m meeting someone entirely new, I say deaf. Because “deaf” is easier to grasp than hard of hearing. Then I describe to them what deaf means and what I can/not hear (simplified of course).

I also understand the descriptions for some of the terminology is/can be offensive and hurtful and I apologize for that. I personally dislike the word “retarded” and “stupid” because those are NOT acceptable words. I wish those words could disappear from the dictionary. But I cannot rephrase or delete the R word as this picture is not mine. If I could, I would politely rephrase it to what I think its best.

I not meant to hurt anyone. Everyone is unique and amazing, it’s not ‘dis’ability but it’s ABILITY. Because we are capable of doing anything/everything. If anyone disrespects you because you are “different” then say byebye to them. You know you have people who care/respect and mostly importantly, love you for YOU. 

I again, apologize on my behalf for offending anyone with the “R” and “S” word and believe me, I wish I could rephrase it to be more polite. But this picture is meant to show how some choice of words could really be offensive to one who is d/Deaf/HoH.