Saturday, July 24, 2010

"SO, LIKE, WHAT CAN DEAF PEOPLE DO, ANYWAY?"


From time to time, people have asked me what kinds of jobs deaf and hard of hearing people can have. Seems many people can’t seem to fathom that a deaf person would be just as employable and beneficial to a job as a hearing person would. Is it that difficult to see that we’re just like hearing people…only without the sound? Never underestimate a person just because they can’t hear you. In most cases, all other faculties work just fine. But I’ll save the “intelligence” conversation for another time.

Fact is, “deaf people can do anything hearing people can, except hear.” That phrase was coined by the first deaf president of Gallaudet University (the only liberal arts university specifically for deaf and hard of hearing students), and is very true. There are deaf individuals in almost all occupations out there…doctors, nurses, lawyers, athletes, entertainers, pilots, architects, veterinarians, administrators, entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers, scientists…everything. The only job skill that would be a huge problem for a deaf worker would be answering the phone.

Here are a few sites specifically created for deaf and hard of hearing workers:

Association of Medical Professionals With Hearing Loss

A resource for Deaf / hard of hearing lawyers and law students


Deaf Pilots Association


Deaf Entertainment Guild


USA Deaf Sports Federation

If you're a deaf or hard of hearing person, take a moment to comment and tell the world your occupation or job and why you do it just as well as (or better than) anyone else.

17 comments:

  1. Deaf people cannot play the guitar and sign at the same time... There are in fact many things deaf people cannot do, hearing can, it's a question of relevance, what can DEAF do, hearing can't ?

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    1. why would someone want to sign while playing the guitar? thats beyond retarded...

      there is few things we cant do..


      Face-palm

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  2. I'm going to assume from this ridiculous comment, that you are, in fact, hearing. You state that deaf people cannot play the guitar and sign at the same time. Are you sure about that? Because I happen to know at least a few who can, indeed, do just that.

    See, you're doing exactly what I meant from my post...you're categorizing *all* DEAF people into one group. Your question, "What can DEAF do, hearing can't." Well, I guess that would depend on the deaf and hearing people in question. I know for a fact that I can do lots of stuff many hearing people can't. My Deaf friend can do many things some hearing people can't. Just like my hearing friends can do many things some Deaf people can't. But those things have no relevance to their hearing loss.

    Deaf people can do anything hearing people can, except hear. It's a fact. Of course, every individual, hearing and deaf alike, have unique abilities and talents that other people do not possess. But my point was that, just because we lack a fully intact sense of hearing, doesn't mean we're not as capable as someone who doesn't lack that.

    Point in fact.....we can do anything...just like hearing people can do anything. Don't, in your (ahem) ignorance place us into a bottle and say we're disabled.

    Each person has their own abilities and disabilities (regardless of their hearing status), and to say that all _____ people can't _______ (fill in the blanks), is nothing short of stupid.

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  3. You will be very surprised MM is deaf or hard of hearing. I can't remember which he classes himself, and won't go there either. But his comments can be.... mmmm... what's the word?

    He's read between the lines on a post a bit back I not long written.

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  4. From Wikipedia: "The word "ignorant" is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware."

    The only cure for ignorance is to be made aware.

    The reason, as I am sure you know, that one might ask that kind of question, is that the general public has limited interaction with any deaf persons. It's not likely she asked two or more deaf people that same question - you're likely the first on her path that she was close enough to ask.

    Perhaps one thing that might help those people, is to help them see how one might be enabled to do just about any job. A phone job would even "technically" be possibly, although awkward, through a video relay call. One could be a conference speaker, with an ASL interpreter. The fact that us hearing folk need a brochure that says "how to talk to the deaf" just shows that we don't know.

    I am glad to have some deaf friends, to whom I can ask what I call "stupid hearie questions".

    I've not been deaf - I don't know what it's like how it feels, how it changes a life - except what I learn through deaf friendships.

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  5. Hi, Liz! Thanks for the comment about MM. Good to know. By the way, I read your blog and enjoy it very much. :v)

    Bill! I didn't know you had a site with captioning trailers and whatnot. Cool! Send a comment to this post with the link for all of my readers! And I do appreciate your hearing perspective. I don't mind at all when my hearing friends ask me questions. It just gets tiring when being asked that by many people I don't know and in a condescending way.

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  6. Thanks Michele. :) Although I have not known your blog for long, and have not left many comments, I like your blog too, and keep coming back.

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  7. Please look at http://www.yesdeafcan.com. The website is dedicated to all deaf individuals who are striving to succeed in their professional goals and ambitions.It would be nice if you could post your profile. It will help other deaf people to become motivated and inspired by your achievements.

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  8. Awesome suggestion, Anonymous. I am listed there and so should all deaf people!

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  9. deaf people can do many things indeed. however, I wouldn't let a deaf doctor fix my heart or do a complicated surgery because you cannot use both hands for surgery and sign at the same time. There is still a small limitation if it comes to job. Yet, deaf people are not dumb as hearing people perceive.

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  10. Anonymous,

    Thank you. You've proven my point. You have now given a wonderful example of discrimination based only on the fact that the surgeon is deaf. You have no idea of his or her skills, experience, ability, communication methods. Nothing.

    And yet you say "I wouldn't let *A* deaf doctor fix my heart." Meaning, any doctor--if he is deaf--isn't good enough to do heart surgery (on you). Typical thinking. And very, very wrong. And it's exactly what my post was trying to say.

    You have now supplied a perfect example of discrimination, stereotyping, and putting *all* deaf people into one category.

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  11. As long as the heart surgeon is qualified. Deaf or hearing, it doesn't matter. I'd trust him with my life.

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  12. Ah, Liz.....the feelings I get when I hear from an open-minded individual........ahhhhhhhhhhh.....

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  13. While I do believe deaf people are just as capable as anyone that can hear, there are employers that just... don't hire deaf people. I have a friend, and the majority of her family are deaf. Her mom is deaf, as well, and she can't find a job anywhere because no one wants to hire a deaf person. What could they do to fix that? It's so frustrating and just saddening.

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  14. Unknown, you are absolutely right. As a Deaf person, I can honestly say I've experienced exactly what you write about. It truly is a shame.

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  15. Well... I am deaf. And I know that deaf people can do anything but hear. I was in band and played a lot of musical instruments included guitar. I am currently in college and I am halfway to graduation and I never have any problem except that in fact of me not have any job because of their unexcusable discriminations that deaf people should be banned from do anything that hearing people can do.

    I have been suffering for long time from many problems and I have proved them that all of us are just a human and we are equal in God's name. And they are simply saw me as a mental handicapped because of my financial but they know nothing about deaf people. And they are just ignorant for don't even care about each other but they expected us to do whatever they want us to do but we are not robot... PERIOD!!! WE ARE NOT DUMB... and we are just same but the only difference is our abilities of hear.

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  16. Anon,

    Thanks for your comment. You, of course, are very right. Many people just can't seem to see through the deafness and that we're just like everyone else except we can't hear. I appreciate your comment!

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