Oh, the questions I’ve been asked! In the course of lifetime (which is longer than I’d like to admit), I’ve been asked some doozies. On the happenstance that you’d like to hear a few, I decided to write down the questions I’ve been asked in the past couple of weeks:
- How do deaf people drive?
Exactly the same way hearing people do. You don’t need sound to drive. If that were a fact, then what about hearing people who crank the radio up to blasting or people who chat endlessly on their cell phone? The only thing you really use sound for regularly is sirens and such. But that’s why they also have flashing lights. Hello? A good driver, deaf or hearing, uses his mirrors and stays visually alert. Sound is not a requirement.
- How do deaf people have sex?
Ummm. Would you like a video blog answer to this question?
Or, as comedian and CODA Keith Wann would answer, “The same way hearing people do—loud and sloppy.”
- How do deaf people talk/communicate?
As diversely as the rest of the population. Some of us sign. Some of us lipread and speak. Some of us stand on our heads and blink in Morse Code. Many of us do snappy variations!
- How do deaf people read?
Huh? We go through the same school system as everyone else. We learn to read—given the school system does their job—just like everyone else. But because some deaf children are denied access to a language before they start school (meaning they’re forced to figure out how to speak and “listen” when they can’t hear anything, instead of allowing them to express themselves manually in sign and then be taught English later), they can struggle with reading English.Wouldn't anyone??
Just like hearing people, there are deaf people who are English scholars, deaf people who just read well, and illiterate deafies. But, in general, how do we read? With our eyes and our brain.
- How do deaf people hear music?
Who says we do? There’s absolutely no way of answering that, because it all depends on how much residual (or amplified) hearing a person has as well as their personal likes and dislikes. It’s kind of common sense, here, folks.
- How do deaf people talk on the phone?
Actually, I don’t consider this a stupid question.
There are several different devices for deaf and hard of hearing people to use in order to use a phone. There are amplified telephones, amplifiers to attach to telephones, captioned phones, TTYs/TDDs, videophones, relay systems, etc. Lots of choices. I won’t go into details in this post, but we have a lot of assistive technology in this realm.
- How do deaf people wake up?
Many deaf use vibrating or light-flashing alarm clocks that shake the bed and blink a lamp when it’s time to get up. But that’s just one way.
- How do deaf people clap?
For the former? Get a life.
For the latter? Deaf applause consists of lifting your hands above your head and shaking them. The reason for this is that it’s more visual. It’s customary for people (regardless of hearing status) to clap for a hearing person’s performance and use Deaf applause for a deaf person’s performance. It all depends on the applauder and the applaudee (is that even a word?).
- How do deaf people have their own thoughts?
- How do deaf people hear their own thoughts?
However, that being said, we "hear" our thoughts very clearly. We are able to think our own thoughts and understand what we mean. We’re not imbeciles! How a person “hears” something is individualistic. You’re probably thinking like a hearie and trying to imagine how a deaf person would hear like you. You have to try to think outside the box.
In fact, in this world, when trying to figure out how people different from you can do certain things, you will always have to think outside the box. You have to stop thinking people must do things in the same fashion as you or other people you know. We’re humans. We’re different. And we do different things differently.
- How do deaf people hear in their dreams?
- How do deaf people laugh?
Also, everyone in this world has their own sound when they laugh. Some snort, some guffaw, some giggle, some slobber…you get the idea. So, too, does every deaf person have their own sound when they laugh. I’ve had people talk about how “horrible” deaf people sound when they laugh (I’ve even seen stupid comments about how “hysterical” deaf people sound when they’re having sex). Horrible in whose opinion? Some snot-nosed, cocky jerk, who believes he has the ear of God in deciding what sounds appropriate and what doesn’t? Hmmm. I think it may be vaguely obvious I have an opinion about that.
- How do deaf people write?