Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ignorance Is Bliss....To Whom???

It seems like every time I tell someone about my experiences out in the hearing world, their remark is "There's no fixing ignorance." But I thought ignorance was bliss. This confuses me. Now, I'm not saying all Hearing people are ignorant. Not by FAR. But why is it so hard for so many people to understand the concept of "I'm deaf. I cannot hear you. Could you please write that down?" It seems most only hear, "I'm death. blah blah blah blah." Yes, that's me. Just give me that sickle and I'll dress up like the Grim Reaper and be "death." But seriously, why is it so hard to understand that I cannot lipread? Especially when it's introduced with, "I can't lipread. I am deaf. I need that written down." Yet most people continue to talk on, completely unaware that they lost me at Hello. Don't understand it. What would be better? What could I possibly say or write to get them to understand? I've tried writing to them so that they "see" I'm deaf. I've tried talking to them so that they hear, "I'm deaf." I've tried acting it out in a mirage of images and mime. No luck. So, tell me. What's my next step? Holing up in my house isn't exactly working for me. I'd love to know!


  1. Hey Michele,

    Well. There's 2 methods that you can try... one's very effective I've noticed. You can just go up to the person and sign, "Hi, I'm deaf, and I would like a piece of paper and pen so I can communicate with you."

    I've seen other deaf people do it, and it WORKS.

    The other option is to use your voice. The Deaf accent will usually clue them in. :P

  2. Please excuse... The real quote is from “On a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” by the eighteenth-century English poet Thomas Gray: “Where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise.”

    This is often misquoted and I never understand what people think they mean. Can anyone help on this?


  3. Hi,

    Interesting post - I've been thinking about this for more than an hour. Rewrote several times. Made me late for the gym.

    Several bullet points

    1. Ignorance
    You do fix ignorance. Have you got through to some people? that's a start.

    Different kinds of ignorance:
    Haven't learned
    Slow to learn
    Refusal to learn
    Unable to learn

    Some of those are fixable.

    2. Speech=hearing
    Voicing makes it more confusing. If you speak, it's harder to process that you don't hear.

    3. Who's deaf?
    Ever notice, Deaf on tv usually lipread, or are interpreted, you never see them communicating with notepad? I haven't written notes since high school. Maybe txt me?

    4. Location
    It doesn't help that until the last 25 or so years, this area had nothing but Oral Deaf Education, and from what I understand was actually pretty well known for it's Oral Deaf program.

    This topic could use a lot more discussion. Should probably be something that DHHS should put together to discuss in schools?

  4. Hi David,

    You're question may be a masked attempt to correct an idiom, or a real question, I can't tell.

    It means that you don't worry about what (dangers, problems) you don't know (about).'Ignorance_is_bliss