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How many HH or deaf people here have felt discrimination from others?

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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 10:41 AM
Original message
How many HH or deaf people here have felt discrimination from others?
Hearing loss and deafness is a handicap that cannot be seen. It is also a handicap that is often looked down upon by those who hear. More times than I can count, I've been made fun of for my deafness, been frowned upon as if I am lacking in a great part as to being human. Yet, these same people who are negative about hearing loss/deafness, would go out of their way to help a person with a visible handicap, whether it's a permanent, such as blindness, amputation, paraplegia, etc., or temporary one, such as a broken leg or arm.

When people make fun of my hearing disability,and yes, sometimes its friends of many years, I let them know there is nothing funny about it. A couple of years ago had one long-time friend tell me she was sick and tired of repeating herself to me and wouldn't do it anymore because it was too frustrating for her and thought it made me and/or her look stupid. I asked her to think it about it from my end, that even with my hearing aids, I don't always get all the sounds, and it's very isolating and even more frustrating when I can't participate in daily life, can't interact because I've missed the sounds, the voices. I also told her it's not about her when I kindly ask for clarification of what I just missed. It's about including those you love and care about in the daily moments of life.
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nothing pisses me off more
than when people think I am stupid because I can't hear. I let them know it, too!
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-04-06 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. or people don't think you're paying attention
that's what I usually get
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-24-07 04:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. I was at the store one time with my
hearing boyfriend (now fiance) in Southampton, UK. I was purchasing some edibles and a newspaper (looking for the right change in my purse) and the woman (I didn't see her facial reactions) asked me, not realising I was deaf, "Do you have a 5 p coin?" I didn't get it, obviously, and she repeated it, getting annoyed, "Do you have a 5 p coin?"

My boyfriend was just coming back after looking at some things, realising that she was talking to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and cued "Do you have a 5 p coin?"

The cashier blanched and said, "I didn't realise. I'm sorry." and handled our purchases in a much more friendly manner.

Don't you get annoyed when you're in a store and the employee follows you around asking you if you need help? I was at Claires in my hometown in the US, looking at jewelry with my sister in the store with me.

My back was to the employee and she asked me, "Do you need help?" and obviously, I didn't respond. She asked me again and again, each time louder than the last request. My sister finally heard and walked to the employee, "My sister's deaf." That really makes them feel bad because they would get annoyed with me before my sister or my parents intervened to tell them I was deaf.

I mean if they don't think you're paying attention, and when they are told that I'm deaf, they really feel contrite for their behavior and say sorry to me, even when I didn't realise they were annoyed with me in the first place.

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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I sometimes turn my hearing aid off or pretend not to hear them.
When shopping. I get irritated when I don't want assistance. And I get irritated when some places policy is for all their employees to greet and ask if they need help.
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Lowell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've felt discriminated against
sometimes, but I don't see it as a disability. Sometimes it is a blessing. Besides, friends among the deaf community are valuable and understanding. Who needs shallow friends with no compassion or comprehension of what it means to be deaf/HOH. It's like the idiots that ask you your favorite band. WTF was that?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. I want obvious hearing aids so people know I am hoh
I ended up with in the ear type (or is it in the canal, small but not tiny ones, don't fill my outer ear) due to finances, but wanted obvious ones, loudly colored behind the ear ones so people would notice that I am hard of hearing. I am very forward about showing friends my aids and explaining my condition. I teach a dance class and let them know the first class that I am hoh so if they ask something and I answer more out in left field than normally, please ask again since I probably didn't hear.

Things that piss me off:
Mr. UP tells me that when I don't hear or understand, I am hard of hearing. When he doesn't hear or understand, I am not speaking loudly or clearly enough.

People who complain about having the words on when I watch a DVD.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-26-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. I don't care for my hearing-aid it is a bone conduction type using...
a band over the head. At times it gets uncomfortable. It is bulky and clumsy to use.
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. I face it daily.
When I call on IP Relay or something like that, and they just hang up on me, and they don't know what a relay is.


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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-26-06 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. People can be real jerk toward the HoH
Sorry you have to deal with that so often :pals:
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BlueStorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. I get it all the time, even from family members...
When I am at my sister's house and her neighbor is there as well as my mom and they are in a conversation, I miss out on alot. I keep asking them to repeat themselves and my mom and sister get frustrated with me and snap at me. I don't think they truly understand what I go through with my hearing impairment. I often have to ask the person speaking to me to repeat themselves at least several times and they get frustrated and give up on me, thus usually leaving me in the dark. My mom yells at me to get my hearing aids fixed as they don't seem to be strong like my old ones, I guess she doesn't understand that 1.) my hearing is getting worse 2.) there's too much damn noise around in the area what with kids screaming and cars going down the street. 3.) there is just too much pandemonium going on I can't focus on what people are saying.

As for closed captioning and subtitles on DVDs, I really hate it when people get mad at me for using that because it's distracting to them. My dad won't put up subtitles when he is watching a movie, how inconsiderate!!

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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sometimes I just want to stick my hearing aids in other people's ears
Edited on Mon Jul-10-06 02:37 AM by Whoa_Nelly
Just so they can get a clue about how much noise we have to filter out, how much we have to discriminate in being able to "decode" speech that has so many tone levels, and make them live it, even if just for a few moments to minutes.

I feel your pain, dearheart. :hug:

Am so sorry your family members treat you like that. I bet if any of them had a broken leg, or were recovering from a major operation, am sure you would, along with everyone else, accomodate them, and they would, at some level, expect it.
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-24-07 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. My sister did an mentorship at the hospital's
audiology department. I took part in some of her testing. This was pre-CI for me, as I wore hearing aids that worked with a box and a microphone attached to my shirt (this was when I was 14 years old).

She tested on someone with a CI and me. Said the CI was good for differentiating spoken sounds while my hearing aids were good at differentiating sounds (like a car horn, bird tweeting, etc).

In her last weeks of the mentorship, my audiologist that she worked with wanted to show her how loud my hearing aids were. He first sat me down and put a small sound thingy in my ear. He then told me to tell him to stop when I heard the sound.

He kept the sound level and told my sister to listen to what I heard (it sounded very low to me). She sat down and didn't expect the REALLY LOUD sound (for her) and she grabbed the thingy and took it out. She was like, "Holy (&#(& that's LOUD!"

She understood the extent of my hearing loss then and there. Two years later I got a CI because my last hearing aids were constantly breaking down (it had a wired belt attached to the box) and there was nothing else besides the CI. I wanted to keep onto listening so I took the plunge, best decision I've ever made!
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
9. I get upset with phone recordings that are difficult to hear even tho...
I am using my 45decibel volume control phone.

I get upset with tv stations that have their sound lower on HDTV vs their analog.

I get upset with utility companies and others that provide service that don't have their mouthpiece close to their mouth so I can hear them.

I consider those situtations to be discrimatory on the part of those people.
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Seldona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-20-07 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. I get the stupid comments a lot.
Never mind that I am tested at over 140. heh

I don't let it bother me, other than that it can be especially annoying at work.

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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-24-07 04:27 AM
Response to Original message
12. When I was in Elementary school
And even now, my friends who I've just made friends with, who don't realise I've had that happen to me a long time ago.

I would be in a group of friends in Elementary school. They thought it would be really hilarious if they started laughing and wait until I said, "what's so funny?" And they would reply, "Nothing." They would start laughing again and I asked the same thing and got the same response, and I finally said, "Oh fuck off." (I was 13 years old by then and I rarely swear ever, only when I'm really annoyed) They realised that they had hurt my feelings and told me the real reason why they did that, "Just to annoy you." I would say in response, "You know that was really mean." They would say I'm really sorry and got me some candy and books to apologise.

That irritates the hell out of me. My partner does the same to me just to get a rise out of me, if I ask him who was on the phone, he would say, "Nobody." I really FUME and rant and rave. "I'm sorry, it was my parents," he would apologetically say. He now tells me who was on the phone.

If my friends here heard a joke not worth repeating, they don't think and I said, "Oh what's all the groaning all about?" They said, "Oh, you don't want to know." I would be like, "I'm curious now, just tell me." And they will tell me, and I would reply, "Oh you're right, that was SO not worth repeating!"

I mean there are people here that are so patient with me (in the UK) unlike the US where there were people who would get really annoyed if I asked them to repeat what they said.

I do the same to my fiance, if he does the "Nobody" line. We would be talking and if he asked me to do something, I would pretend not to get it (even if he uses Cued Speech on me). "What?" *he repeats his requent* "I didn't get that what?" and it really gets the rise out of him. I would be, "Now you know how I feel when you won't tell me who you talked to on the phone."

He's stopped the Nobody thing. There are barely people here who get annoyed with repeating. The hardest people to talk to for me are men. If I can't lipread (and some of them have thick accents here, like Geordie accents), I would be like, "I'm sorry I can't understand you, is it ok if you wrote that down?" They would gladly oblige. Even my male friends have taken to "pretend Cued Speech" (strangely I can understand them so much better if they waggled their fingers at the side of their mouth, for some reason) so I can understand them. They would talk to me, and If I didn't get it, they would pretend to cue to me and I would get it.

I feel that they are so much more patient in the UK than the US.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
16. I used to get really upset about it, but I don't
so much anymore. Mellowing with age, I guess! Most people who get irritated with you when you can't hear are usually contrite when they discover your deafness/hearing loss; some even have the sense to be embarrassed about their rude behavior. I figure that the people who aren't contrite and who continue to have a problem with it aren't worth being bothered with. They're not the kind of people I want around me, anyway. Again, I think it's mellowing with age, because it used to upset me greatly. Now, I just think, fuck 'em.

My stepsister used to scream at me to "clean out your ears, damnit!", while we were growing up. Boy, was she red-faced and contrite when I had to begin wearing hearing aids at the ripe old age of 19! My mom had her walk around with cotton stuffed in her ears for just a few hours, just to get a taste of what it was like for me. She couldn't wait to take the cotton out, because she couldn't stand it! At least she had the luxury of doing so, I'm stuck with my ears, lol.

It was actually a built-in "character index" for me when I was dating. If a date or boyfriend had a problem with me not being able to hear, or with wearing hearing aids, then he wasn't the kind of person I wanted to be with, anyway. Unfortunately, it took me awhile to truly realize and accept that, to get to the point where I'd consider it HIS problem and not mine if he had a problem with my hearing. My fiance has no problem with it and totally loves and accepts me for who I am; he has endless patience with having to repeat things or with my constant misunderstandings (even with my hearing aids in, I often have trouble with hearing, the aids are not a cure-all). Unfortunately, not everyone does. Sometimes I don't bother asking people to repeat themselves, I get just as tired of it as they do. Sometimes, I just try and guess what they're saying based on body language, what I hear of their tone, and the context of the situation.

When I got closed-captioning on my tv, I was blown away by how much I'd actually missed over the years and how much I'd misunderstood. Same with movies. I sure wish movies would be closed-captioned in theaters, THAT would make it so much easier!

But, at this point in my life, if anyone has a problem with my lack of hearing, fuck 'em. That's THEIR problem, not mine.

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