I have so much respect for Closed Captioning Blogs

Closed Captioning Blogs, like captionedvines need so much more respect. These blogs put with the amount of ignorant comments and requests to make sure Tumblr is accessible. Before these blogs, I would skip some videos that I see on my dash sometimes if I couldn’t hear them (or pretended that I get the joke to go along with the crowd). All I know that there was something funny going on the video and but I didn’t understand it. Now with these blogs, I can feel comfortable about reblogging these videos for myself and other deaf/Deaf/HOH Tumblr people.

So when I read comments such as “Why we need to caption a 6 second video?” It makes me sad because Deaf/deaf/HOH has hard enough time asking or requesting for captioned videos in real life. It bothers the fuck out of me because it is completely dismissing that we use the internet as well. These blogs are also helpful for second language speakers as well some others who need them for any reason. I get it. There are people who are innocently ignorant about what the heck are those captions on their dash. For the people who like to defend them but death threat other people, death threats are gross. You also not doing any favors to HoH/deaf/Deaf community doing that shit.  Personally, I would eventually lose my patience dealing with these ignorant and shit comments if I ran a closed captioning blog.

I don’t know what up with the trend of hearing people requesting for CC. If you have hearing and completely understand the video, please caption them yourself.  They can’t CC like every video; don’t be lazy.

Let’s raise our glasses for the Closed Captioning blogs and other blogs who caption their videos. You work is not forgotten. I will end this post with a sassy gif for all CC supporters here on Tumblr.

Originally posted by realitytvgifs

youtube

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtyN_Apof0Y)

another amazing one by Marlee Matlin

a brief ASL lesson!

As some of my followers may know, I’ve become more and more hard of hearing over the past few months. The most difficult part of it, for me, is trying to keep up with group conversations, especially in crowded public areas. Trying to focus in on one voice at a time while everyone is talking over themselves is extremely frustrating, and it’s easy to feel left out.

So, I had an idea. One of my family members was born deaf so I grew up speaking ASL, and thought I’d throw together a handful of gifs as a little ASL lesson. It is for both deaf/HoH and hearing people, just some basic phrases to help each other out. I know this isn’t a lot but I know if my real life friends picked up these few words, it would mean a lot to me and I think other deaf/HoH people would feel the same.

Please know that ASL can be slightly different for everyone, so if a deaf/HoH person tells you an alternate way they sign something you can adapt!

Even if you decide to skip the lessons please share!

Hello/goodbye

How’re you (broken down: how)

Please/thank you

Sorry

Excuse me

Good/bad

Yes/no

Okay (broken down: o/k)

Pass thewater (broken down: w)/salt/pepper/menu

Are you okay (broken down: are/okay)

Understand (do you understand/I don’t understand)

xoxo have fun

What could possibly be a valid argument against captioning videos?

Go ahead, please present me with one, because I cannot think of a single reason why captioning videos is a bad thing. I see messages being sent to blogs that provide captions for vines and videos that basically just say “stop captioning the videos” with no reasoning behind it. So please, I’m genuinely asking…how can you oppose captions?

“It’s annoying” does not count, by the way. 

DEAF AWARENESS
  •  if someone is not responding to you, they may not be just acting rude. They may actually not be able to hear you
  •  when you find out out someone is deaf, please try not to let the first words that come out of your mouth be “I’m sorry.” or “I could never live like that.” Deafness is not some terminal illness that we suffer through everyday.
  •  If you see someone struggling to communicate, please do not make them the center of attention. Trust me. The last thing I want when I can’t understand is someone pointing out that I can’t understand.
  •  if someone is struggling to communicate, and you know sign language, please ASK before you start interpreting. Yes, we appreciate the kind offer, but not everyone is comfortable with some stranger intervening. Also, not all deaf people know sign. 
  • -When you see someone with hearing loss jamming to their music in public, and you can hear it, please do not ask them to turn it down. It’s really ruse, considering it may just be loud enough for them to hear it or feel the vibrations.
  •  NEVER cover your mouth and ask if we can hear/understand you.It’s really insensitive. Most of the time, reading lips is very important for people who are deaf to communicate.
  •  Obviously, never ask how they get and keep their jobs. I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain this one.
  • Do not, DO NOT, under any circumstances, encourage or promote the use of technical devices such as hearing aids or cochlears to ANY deaf person. Many of us struggled with these devices as children. As we get older, we start to decide for ourselves if we want to use them. I respect people who their devices, but i do not respect hearing people who know nothing about them suggesting them.
  •  do not ask “if you’re deaf, how can you speak so well?” It’s basically the same kind of thing as above. many deaf children are fitted for hearing aids/cochlears and sent to speech therapy the minute their hearing parents find out. Some deaf people can speak, some people can sign and speak, and some can sign. It’s honestly their choice, and sometimes it’s not a choice.
  • if there’s anything else that you want to know, but just for a slight moment you think “I don’t want to come across as rude,” DO NOT ASK.
  • Thank you for reading. The Deaf Community would love it if these were actually followed. :)

I decided I wasn’t satisfied with the “deaf students at Hogwarts” post, so I’m making my own.
Deaf Students at Hogwarts 2.0


Muggle born deaf children being worried when their hearing aids stop working at Hogwarts (since magic interferes with electrical devices), but then the Charms professor gives them a spell that will protect the aids from the interference. But better yet, magical hearing aids that automatically adjust to your hearing level so you don’t have to have them reprogrammed at an audiologist, and with a magically enhanced battery that lasts for months instead of days.

More deaf muggle born first years going up to their professors with their FM systems and having to explain how the sound could possibly go from that little box into their ears.

HoH students mishearing the spells their friends or teachers are using, and completely freaking out. “DID YOU JUST TRY TO IMPERIUS ME??” “Dude no, I said “engorgio” not “imperio”. “Oh”
HoH students in classes mishearing teaching instructions, with varying results. “Look everyone at how vibrant Brown’s potion is already, it’s the best I’ve ever seen! Have you added the five porcupine quills yet, Brown?” “Oh, you said to add five? I thought you said nine.. Guess it worked out alright anyway.”

Signing students being assigned special spell books that go in detail over the proper wand movements to cast a spell without any verbal additions because spell casting should not be strictly confined to having to say a word.

Winky the house elf is eventually enlisted to the House Elf Interpreting Group and she and the other house elves in the group act as interpreters for the deaf students. The house elves know and teach sign language because they require a method of silent communication in order to be silent while serving the assholes who enslave them. Anyway, the house elves bond strongly with their deaf students as they are with them for the majority of their school careers, and many of the students send their interpreters gifts every Christmas to show their continued appreciation for them. Of the 10 members of SPEW, 5 are Deaf. Also, when bullies try to jinx the deaf kids and they don’t hear the spell coming, the house elf will use their own magic to protect their student, and then let the elves down in the kitchen know which kids are jerks, so they “forget” to send dessert up to their table for a week.

Technology For the Blind and Deaf is Getting Pretty Cool

That picture above is a Blitap – an iPad for the blind. It uses a liquid-based technology to create raised Braille images to be read by the visually impaired. Pretty cool stuff. 

It’s just one of many emerging technologies that can be used by people with sensory disabilities. For the deaf, researchers at the National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning at Gallaudet University, are using 3D motion sensors on a person’s body to help translate American Sign Language motions into nursery rhymes. 

Here’s how NPR explains it: 

Most kids learn their ABC’s through the classic song, but English nursery rhymes don’t translate well to ASL. The sign language grammar structure is much different from that of English…

To translate rhymes to a non-sound based language, she adds, the team keeps repetitive rhythms available through the use of common handshapes.

Motion capture tracks these “temporal rhythms” of hand gestures and reflects the data on a dual monitor like a polygraph, which acts as a blueprint for the 3-D signing avatar. (In ASL, signage and facial expressions work to translate what might be compared to vocal intonations in English.)

Technology has long been cited as a key resource for students with disabilities who are getting special education services. Some technology can be really simple – placing a three-paneled barrier along the edge of a desk can help kids with ADD stay focused. 

Other technology is a little more complicated, like the Blitap or this 3D motion capture. Obviously there’s a cost here. Special education is already costly and difficult to manage, especially for poor school districts. 

But these kinds of technology are worthy of exploring in an educational setting. 

Signed Languages of Canada

Very few people know this, but in Canada we have four to five distinct signed languages. All of which, yes, are distinct, human languages. (So, ASL ≠ English, BSL ≠ English, LSQ ≠ French, etc.).

“But, why four to five?” you may ask. Simple, really. We have:
American Sign Language (ASL)
Langue des signes québécois (LSQ)
ᐃᓄᐃᐆᒃ (Inuiuuk or Inuit Sign Language)
Plains Sign Language (PSL)
Maritime Sign Language (~MSL)

The ‘to’ bit is because MSL (not the actual name for it; English just uses “Maritime Sign Language”) is either still its own language or has become a dialect of ASL. But, this I will explain later.

Let’s start off with this term: Language Families.

A language family is like a family tree. People and relatives on one family tree are related to one another, and those not on the family tree are not. People not on your family tree share less genetic code and do not exhibit the same traits as people on your family tree do (so red-hair gets passed down as does eye colour and the like).

Languages act the same way: languages in the same tree have similar traits and you can match characteristics even if Great Aunt Mildred shares almost nothing in common with you, you can still find similarities (even if that means going into your genetic code to see if she passed down that rare form of cancer she had).

Ever heard that English was a Germanic language or that French is a Romance language? Those terms are saying that English is in the Germanic Language Family and that French is in the Romance Language Family. What that really means is you can find similarities between German, Dutch, Scots and English in the same way you can find similarities between Spanish, Italian, Romanian and French.

Now, what does this have to do with signed languages? Also, why do you keep saying signed instead of sign

Well, personally, I prefer signed over sign language because many hearing people have a tendency to hear sign language and assume it is one, universal language (which is oh so wrong).

Moving on… what do language families and signed languages have in common? Well, we established signed languages are unique, human languages, eh? What that leads us to is that all languages (almost) have brother, sister, cousin, grandmother languages. That is true of these Canadian languages (three of which are as Canadian as English and French, the other two are as Canadian as, well, ever … meaning they are indigenous.

Let’s start with the ‘to’ language: MSL. Why is it a ‘to’?

So, older Maritime Sign (MSL) was a part of the BANZSL language family, meaning it came from old-British Sign Language, or BSL (yes, we love our acronyms). When the UK went on its killing spree–*cough* I mean its colonizing spree, it brought with it Deaf settlers who spoke BSL. Those settlers stayed in the Maritimes (see map below) and their language changed from old-BSL to Maritime Sign Language (similar to how old Latin changed to French).

Now, because ASL is a massive, massive language (spoken by most Americans who sign, excluding Deaf Hawai’ians as well as most Canadians who sign), it is taking over linguistics communities in the Maritimes, where more and more people who would have learnt MSL are now learning ASL.

“Why is this bad?” you ask.

Language colonization and language shift is a real, and scary, occurrence. Languages breed culture and vice versa. Loss of a language means loss of a way of looking at the world, a loss of a culture. Just ask any First Nations, Métis or Inuit individual, and they will tell you the same thing.

So, today, it is known that Maritimers that sign as a first language (S.F.L.; think ESL but with 300% more periods in the word) sign in very different ways (yes, signed languages have accents and dialects) where the accent is super strong and the dialect is different. However, this difference is not known if it is its own language still (most words come from BANZSL origin, structures are from BANZSL, etc.) or if it has taken on so much from ASL that it has become a dialect (you know how English has a shit tonne of French-originating words in it [shit tonne, in this case, = 45%], same thing is happening here).

In total, THAT is why MSL may or may not be the fifth Canadian signed language.

Now, moving on to the four that are known.

Let’s start with American Sign Language or ASL. It is spoken all across Canada and the States except in most of Québec where LSQ is spoken. It tends to be in anglophone areas, but that is because education only really provides Deaf individuals ASL–English support instead of ASL–French support. Additionally, ASL has a lot of English borrowings (like how we borrow French’s à la carte or soup du jour), but that has no bearing on the fact that a francophone communities can also have ASL speakers present (which is the case in some extra-Québec communities, in fact).

(there are not a lot of images or gifs of ASL, so here have the translation for “play” in ASL)

ASL is the most common sign language in the world and super well studied especially because the world’s only Deaf university, located in Washington D.C., is taught in ASL. Because of this, I am going to not talk at length about ASL, even though it is the language I speak.

LSQ! Or Langue des signed québécoise!

(remember how I said there are like no resources for ASL … there are fewer for LSQ. So, here is the gif form of the manually encoded French alphabet in LSQ [same as ASL]. Manually encoded means LSQ needed a way to use French non-orally, so people spell out French words when needing to use French while speaking LSQ, so there are about 24 handshapes encoded to the 26 Latin letters of French)

This language is spoken primarily in Québec (except in Montréal where ASL is beginning to displace LSQ*) as well as Ontario, New Brunswick and certain other parts of Canada. It has legal recognition in Ontario alongside ASL in only educational, legislative and judicial domains (ugh.), but nowhere else. It can be found generally in francophone populations (remember: ASL–English bit… Canadian gov’t still sees LSQ and French/ASL and English attached to one another … which, culturally, is correct, but linguistically not at all)

This is really well known in francophone Canada and a tonne of resources can be found on this language in French. So… yeah.

Now for the two native or Indigenous languages of Canada:

Plains Sign Language (PSL) and ᐃᓄᐃᐆᒃ (Inuiuuk)!

PSL was used as a trade language before Chinook Wawa took over in SW Canada, mainly in the, you guessed it, plains or prairies. The range of this language extended down into the States as well, but it is unknown if there are any speakers left in the US. In fact, there is almost zero data on the language within Canada except a handful of people still speak it. This is because StatsCan only collect information on ASL and LSQ (badly, at that), so any info on other signed languages is lost.

(see all those colours? those are oral language families. see the words inside the colours? those are (oral) languages. Note: this is an outdated map, so many names are offensive. also, sorry for the awkward map photos, best I got)

But, let’s focus on trade language for a sec. A trade language is a language used to communicate across linguistic barriers. In Western Canada, there were not only a metric fuck tonne of languages spoken, there were also language families up the wazoo. What this means is international traders from, let’s say, Musqueam to Blackfoot would not know how to communicate. This is where a trade language steps in! They are taught internationally to children and traders to facilitate communication (like English is used worldwide now). Oftentimes, trade languages like PSL or Chinook were not full-fledged languages and worked just enough, however PSL grew out of that into its own language that survives today amongst some First Nations Deaf.

The thinking is ᐃᓄᐃᐆᒃ was also a similar language, but there is no records or data of that, just some correspondence with word origin in far-removed communities. HOWEVER, that being said, Inuiuuk is a language that exists today and is in the process of being documented and trying to be revived! There are programmes at Arctic College and McGill working with both Deaf and hearing Inuit to secure a bright future for the language. In fact, it is being used on the legislative assembly floor of Nunavut.

While it is looking bright, it is a critically endangered language with only about 50 speakers remaining (even though there is less stigma attached to deafness and Deaf culture in Inuit culture, so… yay).

That out there, it is important to note that neither PSL nor Inuiuuk are being recognized for what they are: important Canadian languages. Unlike First Nations, Métis and Inuit languages which are seen as real and important (to varying degrees), Inuiuuk and PSL are hidden, understudied, under-recognized languages, which is detrimental to those communities as it is known that there are at least Inuiuuk monolingual speakers.

Awesome conclusion time!

Take this knowledge and educate others! Signed languages have a major stigma attached to them already, and few Canadians realize we have multiple, n/Native signed languages within Canada. Spread this around: on Tumblr, to friends, to family, online, on Facebook. This is important!

And, who knows? You may one day run into someone whose first language was Inuiuuk, and, gosh darn, you would just make their day if you knew about their language!

(Or at least some of you may stop assuming signed languages are just signed variants of oral languages or assuming that sign language is universal, which, you know, is also a benefit!)

When a presenter asks the interpreter to participate


I am completely baffled by how many times the interpreters are asked to do something while they are in the middle of interpreting. At a conference, the speaker called the interpreter up to draw names for the raffle prize.  In college, the professors seemed to confuse the interpreter with a teacher’s aide.  Doctors have handed medicine over to the interpreters to hold, asked them to help me up, and have continued speaking the entire time.  

Here’s a tip, presenters/teachers/all hearing people: despite what you may think, the interpreters are not there to entertain you. They are not there as an extra set of hands to help pass out papers, set up equipment, change slides, or anything other than to facilitate equal access to communication and information.  

FAQ's

So many of us (d/Deaf/HoH) have gotten a lot of questions regarding: Sign Language learning, Deaf Community/Culture, Interpreting, and other things in between. So I decided to do a “Master” post with answers from myself and other d/Deaf/HoH replies.

Also this will be updated quite frequently so keep checking back for more questions/answers!

 1. Sign Language:

It is best to learn Sign Language from a class and in person. Yes Online can help but in person, face-to-face interaction is best. Find Sign Language classes in your area (HS, College). It is best to have a Deaf/HoH Instructor/teacher as they know the Deaf Life/Culture/World from first hand experience. Deaf people work hard to tell the hearing world that Deaf Can. Deaf give the best advice in learning Sign Language. Also, here’s a link to help you out.

Also, try and find a Deaf Community in your area if you can’t find classes and you’re learning Online. The best is to learn from the Deaf Community and going to events. If you live in the USA: Here is a link that can help you find your area if they have Deaf Events. If you live outside of USA… use Google to search “Deaf Community in ( your area ), Province/State, Country. Something should pop up!

2. Sign Language Interpreter

Every Deaf/HoH person has their own mode of communication when it comes to sign language. In this case I will use American Sign Language (ASL) as examples.

Some prefer true ASL, word order.

There is also PSE which is “Pidgin Signed English” it isn’t a Language but more - ASL signs in English Word Order. Example in English: Are we going to the mall tomorrow? PSE: We go mall tomorrow?

SEE Signed Exact English is where you use sign (different from ASL) and use a, the, and, -ing, -ed in your sentences.

Some prefer when the Interpreter is mouthing the words while signing. (SimCom is talking/signing at same time, but i’ll get to this later)

Others is just no Sign Language, but lipread Interpreters.

Now it comes the Interpreters themselves. Many Deaf/HoH will agree with this: We like Interpreters who KNOW what they are doing, who are Ally’s/willing to accommodate us. This is what some/most Deaf/HOH want to see in an interpreter. Everyone is different though in what they want.

3. How can I find Sign Language resources when I have no classes nearby?

Obviously Sign Language is NOT universal. Each country has it’s own Sign Language. Except Canada/America, we share the same Sign Language (American Sign Language). Even though Canada/America/UK/Australia has English as their main language… but they have their own Sign Languages!

So make sure to research what Sign Language is used in YOUR country. 
Here is link on different Sign Language Related Links

4. Wait Sign Language isn’t Universal?!

Nope! Not at all! Lovely slecnaztemnot did a post about it… here

Only exception would be Canada/America sharing the same Sign Language (American Sign Language) but… some parts of Canada has LSQ (Langue des signes québécoise) which would be in Quebec mostly and small bit of Ontario. 

5. What is SimCom? 

SimCom is Simultaneous Communication. Meaning, the person is signing AND talking at the same time. This is not an ideal option for someone to do because voiced language and signed language have completely different grammar. So it’s impossible or extremely complicated to Sign AND Voice at the same time. Your brain just can’t do it. You either slow your signing down, or don’t voice at all. 

6. But I’ve seen people SimCom before, why are they doing it if it’s impossible to do?

SimCom is only really meant for when you’re around Hearing AND Deaf individuals. Even if it’s 14 hearing people and 1 Deaf and one of the hearing people know ASL… it is a must to have said hearing sign while talking so the Deaf person isn’t behind or lost in the understanding of the conversation. Here is a video explaining it.

7. Why are Closed Captions (CC) so important? 

Well I’m just going to leave this here for your wondering eyes to read.

8. What’s the difference between deaf and Deaf?

Check this link out explaining the differences between deaf, Deaf, Hard of Hearing and why some people don’t like the term hearing impaired.

9. I am hearing and was wondering what is the best way to learn about Deaf Culture/World/Life? I don’t want to offend the Deaf Community and I want to approach them appropriately.

Here is going to be a LONG answer. By a few Hearing People perspectives.

1) My first bit of advice is: when you’re doing anything related to the Deaf Community, keep your voice off and your eyes open. Introduce yourself as hearing right off the bat. “MY NAME ___, ME HEARING”  *Most* Deaf are open to hearing people who are learning sign language and are happy to slow down for you. Others aren’t so keen to slow down. Don’t be put down by your first bad experience, keep at it!!   Remember that Deaf people are blunt, and many go by the “if I can see it, I can say it” rule, and try not to be offended. For example, I was experimenting with a new eyebrow pencil that I didn’t notice was too light for me. My hearing friends didn’t say one word because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. My Deaf friend took one look at me and signed “did you dye your eyebrows? They look weird. Too light” It wasn’t that he didn’t care that’d I’d be embarrassed, he just wanted to give me the heads up. If he noticed, others would too and he didn’t want me to go around looking off. Honestly, most Deaf people won’t be offended by you as long as you are trying hard. They might correct a word you signed wrong, or a faux pas you committed but it’s with your education of the Deaf Community in mind. Take it as a learning experience and a chance to grow

2)  as a Hearing guy with a love for ASL/the Deaf community, I can definitely relate to not wanting to embarrass myself, but  honestly that’s gonna be some of your best education: the community itself. Go to events! If you’re worried about your level  of signing, just inform whomever you’re signing with your level/you’re a student/whatever! People aren’t mean! In my experience,  they’re excited about people learning! That may not be universal, but honestly just take a chance. Go to events. Make friends live your life. Viva ASL!

3)  be respectful to those you meet.  Go in with an open mind and realization that you may face some hurtful opinions because you are hearing.  I’ve learned most of sign language online and in the community.   Go into it curious but not with the mindset of just wanting to learn it because its the new “fad.”  It is a culture, a lifestyle and there are different social parameters to it, and you need to understand that.

10. How to communicate with d/Deaf/HOH?

Well, there are MANY different ways to communicate with someone who is d/Deaf/HoH. But the key point is… ask what the d/Deaf/HoH prefers in communication. Some lipread, use paper/pen, sign language, gestures.  Here is a post talking about the Do’s/Don’ts!

11. What NOT to ask a Deaf/HoH Person

This isn’t a question, but these are common questions we get asked on a daily bases. thatdeafblackguy gotten an ask with his and others answers there.

12. How do Hearing Aids (HAs) work?

deafdiaries answered this question beautifully.

13. I’m confused about the different degrees of Hearing Loss. Can you explain it to me please?

This is an audiogram. This audiogram shows what one could/cannot hear. The yellow thing is called the speech banana meaning sounds that one ear can hear.

This shows the different degrees, pitches and loudness.

Mild hearing loss - 21 to 40 dB (decibels)
Moderate hearing loss - 41 to 55 dB
Moderately severe hearing loss - 56 to 70 dB
Severe hearing loss - 71 to 90 dB
Profound hearing loss - 91db+ meaning anything above 91 decibels 

These are the different ranges.

An idea of how hearing loss could sound 

14. Why is discussion about Cochlear Implant (CI) and Hearing Aids (HAs)  to d/Deaf/HoH considered offensive? Like why is when hearing people mention it, it can be considered disrespectful?

It is considered hurtful/offensive because many Deaf/HoH people don’t wear HAs or have CIs. Some don’t benefit from either, some don’t want to wear them… some can’t have them because it costs a lot. Both of them are NOT cheap. VERY expensive. Here is a post talking about it.

15. Why is Switched at Birth (SAB) such a controversial thing within the Deaf Community or from Deaf/HoH Individuals?

SAB is a debatable topic within the community because it does have it pro/con. Pro:
- in the very beginning it did show Deaf Awareness, Deaf Culture and what Deaf/HOH struggle in daily life. 
- Does have Deaf/HOH Actors playing Deaf/HOH Roles, for the most part.
- Does bring awareness towards hearing world about Deaf world/life/culture.
- Does encourage hearing to be more accessible towards d/Deaf/HoH.

Con:
- Halfway through Season 2 it just dropped with the Deaf Awareness/Culture/World. 
- The Signing is not entirely accurate. Yes it is American Sign Language but it’s not in it’s true ASL word order. Deaf actors playing Deaf characters (Marlee Matlin - Melody, Sean Berdy - Emmett, Ryan Lane - Travis, Stephanie Nogueras) do try their best to make it true ASL word order while signing.
- Signing by hearing is SimCom’ed and more English-y
- When hearing Sign it’s a full-view good showing of them Signing
- When Deaf/HOH sign the view is more close up, harder to see their hands in signing, subtitles cover it. 

 SAB is trying their best to bring Deaf representation and acknowledgement. Honestly, though it’s not doing a good job. Yes in the beginning it was doing wonderfully. They showed how difficult it is for Deaf / HOH to interact with Hearing, the struggles in understanding – for a short while. But to make one thing clear, Lipreading is NOT accurate. It is NOT a superpower. Here is explaining why lipreading is so exhausting and what to do to accommodate to those who do lipread.

Also, sometimes what they portray as Deaf Awareness, may not be right. Example, when someone is facing away and they’re talking to a Deaf/HoH person… highly likely that Deaf/HoH person will NOT be able to understand you as they cannot read your lips or see your facial expressions/body language. Crowded rooms? Nightmare to understand anyone even with HAs/Cis.

If you want to know more about Deaf Culture, World, Life, History, the Language… don’t rely on a TV show for all information and stories. Every Deaf/HoH person has their own story and experience. Go find Sign Language classes (taught by Deaf/HoH), engage in the Deaf Community in your area, research online or read books, go to classes about Deaf Studies.

16. I have (Mild/Moderate/Moderately-severe/Severe/Profound) hearing loss and I don’t feel like I belong in the Deaf Community. I don’t feel like I am (HOH/deaf/Deaf) enough to be a part of it.

You have hearing loss? You have troubles understanding speech in noisy environments?
You’re a part of the d/Deaf/HoH Community. It doesn’t matter the degree, how you got the hearing loss, the frequency… if you are wanting to have someone who understands your daily struggles… you’re a part of the Deaf/HoH Community.
You want to learn Sign Language? You know Sign Language but you don’t feel like you ‘fit in’? You are already fit into the Community. You have hearing loss, you have people who GET IT and will be there to understand what you’re going through.

17.I have (Mild/Moderate/Moderately-severe/Severe/Profound) Hearing loss. I don’t know if I identify as Deaf/HoH or deaf…?

You identify how YOU feel is right. If you have Mild hearing loss, know Sign language, will be involved and is involved in the Deaf Community… and you feel comfortable as Deaf? Awesome.
You have Profound hearing loss but feel best as identifying as HOH? Awesome!

We cannot tell you what to identify as. It’s YOUR choice and your own calling.

18. I am hearing but wanting to learn ASL (or any SL), is this culturally appropriate?

Here’s to a blunt response.

We are fine with Hearing learning ASL (or any Sign Language). To join in on the Deaf/HoH Community or learn about our Culture/World/Life.
We just don’t like when hearing use it to their advantage, meaning taking ASL classes to have secret conversations. To make Youtube videos and you’re an ASL 1 student (or whatever level of fluency) thinking you can ‘teach ASL’. Wrong! To make “ASL music videos” when it’s really just Learners doing Englishy signing. Those who DO Teach ASL or do music videos are Certified/Qualified/Well Experienced Interpreters, Deaf people or ASL (Deaf/HoH) Instructors. Some CODAs too. Or to “help those poor Deaf people” and speak on behalf of us.
We are fine with Hearing Learning Sign Language! We just don’t like it when they barge in thinking they rule the Deaf World. You don’t. You are here to learn, educate yourself and expand your knowledge.

19. I’m writing a story about d/Deaf/HOH Characters, could I have your feedback or can I ask you some questions?

Lovely deafwizards has done a wonderful post for this kind of stuff!