Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Deaf Are not Stupid: Communicate with Them!

When someone sees my article title, if they are deaf, it is likely that they would understand what I meant by that. There are so a lot of misconceptions about deaf people and all the time when I encounter one, I ask what is wrong with these people?!  Yesterday I was with my friend at a book store in Rochester, NY. The store was about to close. We knew that it was time to close, and we were getting ready, but there was store employee who was staring at us to make sure that we were leaving without even letting us know that they were closing the store.

After we left, my friend asked me did you notice they were watching at us more than they were looking other people if we were leaving? I say oh yeah! I knew that the woman was looking at us, but I did not pay attention to it. My friend felt upset about how they watch on deaf people without trying to communicate with them.  Apparently they were not comfortable communicating with us. My friend had encountered like this incident before in this store so it was not new to her.   

Some hearing people are afraid talking to deaf a persons, because they think they are different. There are people who think the only way to communicate with deaf is to use sign language which is absolutely untrue! How many times I had someone tell me “oh sorry! I don’t know sign language with sorry face” to get my sympathy.   Deaf people are not all the time with those who can sign with them. Most deaf people have hearing families and friends who don’t know sign language. Deaf go to everywhere and communicate others using whatever communication method is available such as pen and paper. 

I was surprised that the store employees could not communicate with us. There were not any alarms to let people know that they were closing. Instead they walked to hearing people and told them they were closing. But they did not talk to us.  My friends said, “It's kind of insulting that they had to put a distance between us and them where they could have come closer and just have a paper and a pen to let us know that they are closing”.  Instead of staring us like we were an strange things fell from the sky, all they needed were to come to us with some respect and let u know that they were going to close the store.

I am sure there are a lot of deaf people who have experienced kind of this thing. Next time if you are deaf and someone stares you thinking that you are not leaving, because you are deaf, tell them you are not a TV screen.  It is just so annoying when people do kind of these things to deaf.  Misconception like believing deaf would not understand things need to stop. I have always argued that understanding  and hearing are two different things. Deaf people are not really stupid as some people think. Being deaf does not necessarily mean that deaf person can’t see things. It does not mean they are immature.  They have sights and senses like everyone else. People need to give some humanly respect!


  1. Yike, I do remember .. Once time the lady frozen and do not know how to talk to me. I said what's problem? she talked too fast and her head shake. I said Wait minutes .. Can we use pen and paper. she seem refused. I told her i need to talk manager.. she get her boss. and Boss say what's problem?

    I told the manager about situation? Manager say Oh, alright.. written back forth and it is working fine.. Manager say why.. I said that lady do not know how to communicate and refuse to use paper and pen. Manager say Ahhh.. I get it. I will talk all of employer. it is working fine.
    I was not aware of that the store is going to close. Manager finally realized it is misunderstood.

    Best way to talk manager without rude.


    1. Margaret

      Yeah it is frustrating when people don't try to talk to you because of your deafness.

  2. I think that sometimes this happens simply because they don't know how to communicate with you. Lip reading and sign language are a couple of options. When communicating face to face, written communication such as pen-an-paper or texting isn't at the front of most minds.

    I think that most times they're not trying to be rude - they're just clueless because they haven't been educated on how to handle the situation properly. I know that I haven't been.