More respect if you are being yourself?

Will you get more respect if you are being yourself?
In this vlog, Joey discusses his experience that if you are being yourself as a Deaf person in hearing world, you will get more respect. Do you have similar experience? Share your thoughts.


  • DonG 16 years ago

    Yeah, I sign my order at McDonalds and then they give me paper and pencil because they can’t understand instead of looking like they are doing me a favor by giving me paper and pen because I point to my ear and that means I can’t understand. Definitely different feeling!

  • Liz 16 years ago

    Absolutely!! Having worked in a hearing environment for the past 12 years, I have evolved from a deaf person trying to accommodate the majority to a Deaf person that requires equality (i.e. everyone to meet halfway). As a result, I have gained a lot of respect from my colleagues over time as they see I am a complete person with my own language that is not inferior. It is not perfect since there will always be a few people that remain ignorant but I do see a big difference between making excuses for being deaf and stating your rights/being proud of being a Deaf person.

    The company I work for now has started captioning their webcasts and videos after I made the request to Corporate. Previously, I politely asked for captioning, explaining it is because I am deaf. I had made it about me but that was a wrong move. Pity on me? NO! This captioning happened after I used different (and stronger) wording, showing that not captioning the webcasts is a form of discrimination against people who may prefer to watch it with captions (without making any reference to myself). Bam! It worked!

  • Penny 16 years ago

    Good question as always…When I returned to school last summer and three quarters I noticed that my professors were prepared to have me in their classes. The Disabled office (I loathe this term) always informed Professors to expect students like me unlike years ago. Professors at private college where I used to attend in 80’s were unprepared and awkward when I took their classes with interpreters. I had to take the time to introduce myself and why I needed to have interpreters. This year I see time has changed dramatically and felt equal among with other students. (Yes, I do wonder how the Disabled office staff approach them) but anyway I had much easier time to develop good rapport with my Professors and they respected me that I wanted us to talk to each other without interpreters unless complicated issues. I often forgot that I was Deaf when I had conversation with them. Professors were prepared and made sure that interpreters had their chairs to sit and take break too. Really neat. I didn’t have to do the work. When I tell others that I am Deaf…Please do not get me wrong that I don’t this every time as there is no need to unless certain circumstances…one example…when some crowd and I wanted to talk to the speaker about not being treated fairly…I wanted to speak out and in that case I felt I had to inform the speaker that I am Deaf (I had no interpreter with me at that time) so they could give me time to explain the situation and have them to ask me some questions…clearly and slowly so I can understand them. Yes the crowd and speaker were stunned and were quiet for few seconds but they allowed me to voice and participate in the discussion…really impressed how they treated me and let me be heard. So it depends on the circumstance.

    When I attended at private college many professors and students always asked me about being Deaf which drove me up the wall but now at De Anza…almost no one asked me about me being Deaf. One of my note taker which we became good friends asked me many months later about me being Deaf. I like that because she got to know me first as a person and when we become friends then she asked me those questions which I appreciate it immensely.

  • Penny 16 years ago

    Correction here…When I tell others that I am Deaf…Please do not get me wrong that I do this every time as there is no need to unless certain circumstances…

  • sir william 16 years ago

    oh yes!
    glad you got it after all those years of being so “deafy”. , , of course i am deaf and accept it as a fact. there will be always some frustrations and limitations.
    i myself am at ease with the hearing. guess it is just my natural way in earning their respect. the world itself is “hearing” and it takes time to convict them that i am a full person, too.
    I love both worlds of Deaf and Hearing. it offers me much more enjoyable life.
    just do not turn the hearing off by being a smart aleck.or so darn demanding?
    guess what? i could not speak nor lipread, but i get along with the hearing just fine. not all of them quickly at first.
    being fun and a hard worker helps, too.
    if anything becomes so difficult, go the pad and pencil method. i usually have to stay one step ahead of them. a big meeting means a request for an interpreter.
    teach them some signs or accept their own signs . . .gestures? put them at ease first then they will respect us later on. you just did a perfect thing! many of us use this approach for generations. or just more and more of you young deaf get this picture?

  • ASLGuy 16 years ago

    Wow…. I never thought about this one… and I will try this myself soon !

  • Penny 16 years ago


    You always asked viewers good questions…now Can I ask you some questions? I wonder how does your son and daughter feel when you attend to their sport practice and communicate with other hearing children? Do they feel embarrassed or awkward? Do your children feel that they have to help you to interpret if other children wanted to ask you some questions? Or do you make sure to leave your children out and tell other children to write notes to you? Hope you do not mind me asking because I feel that maybe other Deaf parents can learn from you and avoid putting responsibility or burden on their hearing children to interpret for them and other children.

  • J.J. 16 years ago

    Same as Don G above. I sign and let them figure it out.

    Communicating with young people is easier though….they are more receptive.

  • Kathy 16 years ago

    Yeah, I had experience with my two children before when my two children play soccer. I never said I’m deaf or can’t hear… I just went ahead and be normal person. I never had any problem.. Now my kids are getting older and still playing sports. Both children played soccer since age 4 and now both went different sport. my son play football and my older daughter now in high school is looking forward to join HS soccer team. Especially my husband is hard of hearing.. He always involve with children sports. He always introduce me to hearing people and had no problem with that.

  • Soccer Mom 16 years ago

    Yes!!! My daughter plays soccer so I attend her games too. I do notice that when I indicate via gestures that I am deaf, I would get a typical response, “Oh, ok.” Back then, I did not think of it. Now you have raised a rather interesting perspective. By informing them I am deaf, I inadvertently put up a wall and degrade myself in the process. I send them a message that I am “disabled” and they have to deal with me as a disabled person. They then feel ill at ease because they do not know what to do with me, perhaps they wonder if they have to accommodate me. I, on the other hand, would become a bit anxious and self-conscious. Looking back, I realize I had stopped saying I am deaf whenever I attended a game. If I need to know something, I would just go up to a parent I do not know and ask a question. Most of the time, the parent would not be taken aback by my gestures and/or my “funny” voice. He replies in a friendly way. Occasionally, he would make a comment during the game. What a difference! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • Benno 16 years ago

    What a great topic. I did recognise that when I said I’m deaf or I cannot hear, the situation is set up with me being on the lower level while the hearing other is on the upper level. And, the hearing person then tended to smile and nod the head and became uncomfortable.

    If we act what you did, hearing people feel they aren’t superior and have to act with more respect towards us. I haven’t try it yet. Did you use non-verbal communication and/or gesture?

  • jkjm 16 years ago

    I do believe it makes a big differences…there are times I do not let them know that I am deaf first and they treat me like I am human..if i tell them that I am deaf first then they treat me like I have an disability and have to be treated like a dummy with care..

    I may be silly but I really hate that and lately I have been making an effort to rebuke it. Every places I go, I show that I am deaf first before who I am and when they treat me below average then I surprise them with my attitude by letting them know that their approach sucks (kindly of course)..How has that worked out for me?? Not well, obviously because now they think that deaf is rude with a disability. sigh….

    I am now realizing that it is not worth it…maybe I am feeling defeated that I can’t be “deaf” first as an identity of who I am…so, I stopped doing that and state my name as an identity then they find out that I am deaf later and still have little more respect for me becuz they are seeing that I am capable of performing just as well as they can..

    So, in conclusion, I would agree with you…but I wouldn’t call that “being yourself” because some of us identify ourselves as Deaf first before our names…some don’t…

    I belong to a hearing family and I have my own hearing family and I am the only deaf in both families….as much as I love them, I still don’t feel like I can be me wholly..I am not saying that my family treat me like most public places do but they do make me get involved with the “hearing” world where I do not use my language as often…maybe that is why I try to make a point that I am deaf before my name but I am not liking the result…..

    interesting eh?

  • DonG 16 years ago

    Thinking about this a bit more — you are describing Basketball — that is a physical activity, sure, it’s easy to show and demonstrate what to do, etc. Now, what if it is your kid’s Drama club (you can’t hear the cues or help practice lines) or a Hearing party where they are just standing around and talking. Do then?

  • John M 16 years ago


    I learned from someone about how do use to approach to the hearing people without the displaying of ear (fingerpoint). I used the sign language. They did change their behavoir. It was working at all. In the result, I can see a real equal as hearing people. I would encrouage everyone to use the sign language without the displaying of ear (fingerpoint)

  • Wanda Gaddis 16 years ago

    I was born deaf. Taught oralism first. I never explained I’m deaf. Just mingled with everybody like you did when you stopped introducing with “Deaf”. At age 11 learned ASL. Then I went to public high schools when there were no interpreters available. I went from class to class without explaining I’m deaf. Later on I tried introducing “deaf’ and it only got worse, everybody stopped what they were doing, to watch. Then they started pitching in trying to explain what the others are saying. I trying to read all of their lips at the same time. Whoa!! No more! 🙂

  • Cynthia K 16 years ago

    Joey, Interesting.

    My twin sister and I both know sign, worked as interpreters in junior college; now we are both hard-of-hearing (same ear). I am teach junior high at a private school (hearing kids); ASL is one of the subjects i get to teach! I have a hard time hearing some of my kids…they talk so quiet! I tell them, “You have to speak up, Mrs. K can’t hear you.” On my biography on the school website, I have debated whether or not to include “HOH” as part of who i am as that is how i identify myself. the problem would be would it result in parents pulling their kids out of the school.

    On a positive note, we have a new family coming to our school this year. The mom is Deaf and one of my students from last year told the family that I know ASL which has helped them decide to transition to our school.

    Should I identify myself as HOH on the website, or not? comments?

  • DonG 16 years ago

    John M. — I like that. I’m going to try that and see what reactions I get when Hearing people come into my office asking where the bathroom is or some such. Curious how much difference it will make.

  • Jac 16 years ago

    Few were good and bad.
    My hearing daughter was cheerleader for 6 years, last spring was her last. Cheerleaders had been required all parents to involve into it for earning moneys for selling, car wash, etc. to support for their trips to competition. Got some good experience, except bad was the mothers did not keep me posted what’s going on at competition, they talked behind my back. I had to go through a rough times by time I talked with school to get interpreter for cheerleader trips, meetings, and parents. It was helpful, it start getting better by a little time. Few mothers were good to me, they kept contact through email me.
    My girl had been gone to three different private schools, met new faces over and over.

    Your topic is good, I agree with you.

  • Jean Boutcher 16 years ago

    It depends. I will show you some examples.

    On a menu, I would point at sushi and sign “4” as I look at a waitress. She would understand promptly.

    I would write on paper before I enter the store. A salesperson knows instantly that I use paper for communication. Then he would respond in the same way.

    #1 PASSERBY: He asks where the National Zoo is. I use gestuno: “Two blocks south.”

    #2 PASSERBY: He speaks so fast when he asks a question. I offer my PP (pen and paper). With the eyes of a frog, he would mouth exaggeratingly, “Can you lipread?” I would smile and write, “No, but I can read and write! Can you?”

    EUROPEANS (not including Brits): I have never had any problems with them on train or plane or in a restaurant. We would use a great deal of gestures without their knowing that we are deaf!

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Thanks for all of the comments above.

    Penny (#7) – Good questions!! I do not believe that my children are embarassed that we are deaf because we always try to act normal. But that’s something we never asked whether they felt that way.

    There are some situations they will just offered to interpret when we had difficult time communicating. I also am guilty for asking them to interpret few things as well. My wife and I agreed that we must stop doing this – even decline their offer to interpret as well. We agreed that we need to show that we are able to communicate somehow ourselves.

    What about others?

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Don G (#13) – I understand what you are trying to say and I agree with you that it is easier to interact with hearing children while doing physical activities. However, in other situations, we will just do the same and figure it out to communicate without losing any respect from hearing people.

    That’s other reason I am bringing this up – to see what others have to say and share their experience as well. Maybe in 20 years, we will not even be discussing this kind of thing! 🙂

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago

    Cynthia K (#16) – You asked whether you should call yourself HoH on the website. To be honest with you, that’s something you need to decide yourself. I always say this – do what you think is best for yourself – not what others think of you.

    I can understand how awkward it can become. Have you seen Riding for Deaf Schools vlog? In that vlog, Robin Horwitz, showed that he never said he was deaf until his hearing clients meet him in person, they were completely surprised that he was deaf. At the end, he got more respect than ever. So maybe you do not need to mention anything and let people find out themselves?

  • Advocate4ASL 16 years ago

    Great vlog! This is what I advised my 8th grade son who is Deaf in mainstreamed setting- dont tell the students you are deaf. Just sign to them. Then they actually want to learn sign language. Cant wait to see how it will become more of a signing community environment more than just “center-based” program! Makes a difference!

    Be yourself!

  • Penny 16 years ago


    I saw your reply in that you agreed with Rogue re; not asking for interpreter for job interview. I agreed with both of you. Three or four years ago when I was asked to come in for interview I decided not to ask for interpreter. Lo and Behold I got the job offer (temp basis). I could tell that the manager wanted to know about me being Deaf. I had the full control in the interview because the employment law does not allow managers or employees to ask us about our disabilities. However, I was too nice and told her about myself. Now I am doing some job hunting and I have decided not to ask for interpreter for my job interview. Let us see what is going to happen. 🙂

  • Marsha 16 years ago

    I’ve started “signing” to hearing people and allow them make the accommadation to meet my and my son’s needs intstead after I took a deaf education class at Western Maryland College 13 years ago.

    David O Reyonlds was our professor with Dr. Coryell when he told us that we shouldn’t degrade ourselves just because we “can’t” hear. Once we shook our head “no-hear”, it became negative and a less person. Ever since he mentioned, It struck me big time and I’ve signed to the hearing people every since.

    Thanks David for the inspiriation!! 🙂

    Thanks Joey for bring up the discussion on vlog where everyone can discuss…because not all of you had the chance to take class with him and Dry Coryell.

    🙂 Marsha

  • Merle 16 years ago

    I agree with you! It is very important to give hearing people impression that we can communicate and listen with our eyes. More often my hearing friends forgot that I am Deaf, and look at me as an equally being because I communicate and do things with them like you explained.
    Lets practice that everyday. I jumped up and down like a kid when you explained this clearly!!!

  • ernie freyre 16 years ago

    Great Topic. From my experience in any sports as involvement no matter where you from such as North or south pole or all colors and races, they treat with all respect. Very true on your comments and normally with an involvement is more positive.

  • debby 16 years ago

    Years ago my hearing daughter was cheerleader, beauty contestant, and played softball for eight years. Some of her friend’s parents did not look at us differently. They talked to me and my husband in gestures or communicated with us through writing notes. They asked me if I could take their children to the game or other activities or I drop my daughter off to go with them. I got used when people first tried to talk to me and I “signed” told them (” can’t hear”) in gesture and they sometimes acted like they were scared but most accepted me and found a way how to communicate with me. I guess it helps because I grew up with my hearing family, my hearing brother got mad at some of his neighbors when they made fun him about his deaf sister but when they met me they changed. At work in hearing environment and as taxpreparer during filing season, teach ASL at church and university or other places. However, my children told me that some kids in school made fun of them because their parents are deaf. Now I am grandmother, I still am involved in my hearing grandchildren’s activities. They are not afraid to tell their friends that their grandparents are deaf. I think our time is better than many years ago.

  • Michele Ketcham 16 years ago

    I agree that it’s important for Deaf people not to put themselves in the position of “apologizing” for their Deafness or putting themselves in the inferior position. I just flat out say “I’m Deaf” (without apologizing tone) and I find that hearing people just accept it as such and I rarely have problems as a result.

  • Nick Vera 16 years ago


    Correct me if I am wrong. I recalled your previous entities in about or more than one year ago, your vlog described your personal experience when you uses gestuno in Europe as the perfect example you ordered foods at any fast food restaurants. Then you went to McDonald’s, you tried to use ASL to the cashier. His/her reaction was like “don’t know” or “shocked”. Next, he/she went to find pen and paper and come back to you. He/she looked at you as different person or degrading something.

    In the same manner, for this approach, I tried to use ASL to the cashier at Safeway store, she immediately brought me pen and paper when she was unable to understand me. She was sort of little bit audism approachings. In spite of what she thought about me, I must educate and use my ASL to hearing person as equal in communication.

    You made the excellent vlog! Cheers!


  • Joey Baer 16 years ago


    That’s correct and I think it is a little different. In my previous vlog called, What would you do? which can be found at, I was talking about hearing people who were NOT able to read my order.

    But Nick, that’s something similar and maybe I would have done different back then.

  • RLM 16 years ago

    Of course, the best policy is to be ourselves than patronizing to the hearing people.

    I usually receive favorable responses from hearing people than anyone deaf, who attempts to speak or switch to Language Contact (PSE) or SEE.

    I always am on the same course whether I dealt with deaf or hearing people. I often have been told by many hearing people how much they appreciate my non-special treatment or switch code to SEE or PSE. I usually treat anyone much same.

    I recently observed one deaf guy attempted to speak to the hearing guy last weekend at the bar. Guess what? This hearing guy was really TURNED OFF by that deaf guy spoke unintelligently, instead of really being deaf hirself!

    See that? Handful of hearing people came to me and expressed their remorse for not knowing any sign language. I replied “All right! You could learn this language if you devote to the study of ASL” That takes us on the equal footing.

    In the past, I got really sick of seeing deaf people diselevate themselves to please hearing people. Those deaf people got the short end of line when they acted that way.

    Many hearing people really get annoyed whenever any deaf person switched code to PSE or SEE. They rather engage in pure ASL, not watering-down ASL.

    Jean Boutcher,

    You give real great logical pointers how to deal with hearing people. We ought to use more common sense than dumb-down ourselves to hearing people.

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)

  • mae 16 years ago

    I do agree somewhat. I did learn, from someone else or through a reading — I don’t remember which now, that when I advise someone else that I am deaf, it looks almost like an apology. I do not need to explain myself. My being deaf becomes apparent when I begin to communicate. This is definitely a nice feeling. However, I do believe there are limits. The more educated and socially-oriented a deaf person is, the more likely he/she has learned how to behave in socially-acceptable ways. These socially-accepted behavior, an strong indicator of courtesy, will be welcomed by the general society. I have often seen deaf people say that making excessive noise on purpose, such as banging on doors or hollering at each other in public, is permissible because they are being themselves; but in fact, the society sees this as being barbaric. I just want to make sure that it is understood that “being ourselves” does not give us permission to be discourteous.

  • mae 16 years ago

    Also, we also need to include within the limitations of this “comfort zone” the hearing people’s bias and feelings in approaching a deaf person. If they have experience or comfort in approaching a person different than them, the experience for this meeting will be more positive than these who have little or no experience. The deaf person contributes also to this experience as well.

  • The "D" Housewife's Tales 16 years ago

    Hey Joey,

    Yesssssss…..That’s what I have been doing this to hearing people all my life!

    Good to know that you can be more yourself to anyone!!

    “Enjoy Your Life”
    The “D” Housewife’s Tales

  • marybeth aquila 16 years ago

    yes sure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i noticed that myself when i said i am deaf or my sibling said to them that i am deaf… sure no commucation each other if i do myself just enter the hearing world i can talk anyway but don’t say that i am deaf .. no just talking with them and no problem with this and they accept me easily.. so i told my sibling not to say any more about she is deaf or whatever… very much i agreed with u .. when i was seventeen years old i had a wonderful time with my cousin’s wedding and there had a big wedding events there and i went with the family to yacht with the freinds and family and i met many people without saying i am deaf… and i can see that way.. so now i am old lady hahaha .. still someitme people saying i am deaf and blocked our commucation.with eachother … so often i do commucate with hearing people often i dont get shyness at all ..

    ok sure dont ever say i am deaf !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just enter to the hearing world and talk with them being myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thank u Joey to share with us all… Smile !!!!!!!!!


  • Sawyer 16 years ago

    This is a very interesting vlog. Myself, I’m a Deaf student entering a private university (First day of classes tomorrow!).

    I’ve been struggling a bit trying to make friends since I thought that it was bit too awkward approaching a random person with pencil and paper. So, usually I would wait till somebody tried to talk to me, then I would “point+ear” then use pen and paper. As you should know, this method wasn’t fruitful.

    So- your vlog presents an potential for an experiment. (Oh, by the way, I’m psych major- potential there for a research project.) I shall do this from now on. Well. Maybe not when ordering from Starbucks. Ha.

  • Joey Baer 16 years ago


    Do share with us whatever you find! Good luck!!

  • Sandra Goldstein 16 years ago

    I had a number of experiences. When I attended the camp that I got scholarship. I happened to be the only deaf camper. No interpreter was availalbe. It was before 1990. We, the youths, went along very well. We used gestures because we played sports and participated in many activities. They did not require communication or conversation.

    Nowadays I am no longer a young lady. I went to the math conference . I happened to be the only deaf conferee. Boy, I did not feel comfy with the interpreter along with me. I got the second hand information. The hearing conferees asked me if I came from another country. That interpreter happened to be very ill. I tried to communicate through the pencil and pad. One woman screamed when I showed her a piece of paper. It was very rude for deaf people to show paper to hearing people because hearing people depend on sounds. It also is very rude to tap on hearing people’s shoulders. They jumped when I tapped on their shoulders. It is the deaf way to touch people.

    Before 1990 and After 1990 the same treatment from hearing people no matter how well we spread about ASL, etc. Ignorance is the key in the hearing world regarding the deaf issue.

    Sandra Goldstein

  • Tara 16 years ago

    I don’t see myself any difference from the hearing people. Whenever I go to places and I just walk as of who I am. 🙂

    Few weeks ago, I went to my daughters’ school to register them. There was a lady out in the office started to talk and I looked at her and smile then start signing back. She didn’t reacted or anything and she smiled back and with no trouble getting pen, paper and started to write. I find this much easier doing this way by go as who you are and that it would more likely feel some less with communication barrier.

  • Rachel Friedman 16 years ago


    Yup, As I am a paraeducator working with Deaf children at a special education at Public school. We join with hearing children, and never told them that I am Deaf but they already knew that I am Deaf cuz of my communication with them. They felt comfortable with me cuz I taught them a square game running around within the 4 square on the ground. They loved to get my attention even we don’t have communication but body language. It is wonderful that they respect me

  • J J 16 years ago

    It’s equally important to be yourself….you don’t have to be apologetic that you are deaf. Personally, I’m a tough guy in my employer — I usually go like, “I’m here if you want my business. Otherwise, move on.” Most of time, they work with me.

    For example, I lead a meeting over teleconference with folks from regional offices over USA. I speak through an interpreter — but I never introduce myself as a deaf person nor indicate that I am speaking through an interpreter. Usually, I went as a guy with woman voice. That doesn’t bother me… however, hearing employees in the same room would announce much later that I’m deaf.. I was like, “aruughhh”. I did that again in other meetings and don’t care about what they would think about me because I have nothing to lose. I keep that attitude for several years, and as I look back, I realize that it did help me a lot with numerous promotions I got… right now, I’m moving up into management level — and the only profoundly deaf person to hold that at the highest level in my employer. Naturally, I intend to keep wearing that “tough” attitude and I wouldn’t bend and cry just because I am deaf…. and do have guts to ask them to come the half way and I would do the same. If they won’t, then I wouldn’t either. So far, I don’t have any problems…

  • cnkatz 16 years ago


    good one here, you did – decided to respond before reading the comments.

    I would say some 5 years ago I discovered exactly what you pointed it out here. When I just simply sign, the dynamics are table-flopped. I just chatted away and they got panicked. In my first encounters, I now vary, sign w/andw/out voice etc, and find myself more and more just ASL my way on –

    I even ask my homeroom class of some 30 hearing adolescents WHO the voice interpreter in class is for? Some would point to me, but I kept silent and waited until they realized its them. They are at disadvantage if their teacher uses a different language.

    And what, you Joey, discussed here had infused pride and happiness in me seeing those “deafhoody” things happen. Deaf people now find the “center” where we can thrive on psychologically strong positive grounds. DPN, Stokoe, ADA, Deafhood, blogs, sacred literature. DeafSpirit, and more – a paradigmatic shifting of our collective consciousness. Wonderful.

    You are definitely contributing to the very new and exciting new medium of our discourse – video in the internet.

    for that, Joey, thank you here and go well with your “deaf” backbone arched back just right and go forth siGNing –

  • Shane B 16 years ago

    Nod in agreement- it’s like ask hearing people we need their help to make communication easier for deaf people. Most hearing people don’t want to burden for deaf people. So, we take action ourselve show hearing people we don’t need their help as we can make everything work out.

  • RoseAlone 16 years ago

    Even my hearing brother, almost 12 yrs younger than I am said that he knew more about the world than you (meaning me) as if being deaf is being ignorant! In other word, stupid, I believe. Until I sent him the message about Audism, he tried to be nicer to me….I think. He has not learned ASL yet thinking I could talk! I told him that hearing people would understand me only 5%!! I guess he is the one who is very ignorant!

  • Brian 16 years ago

    Hi Joey I agreed with you 100%… It is best if you say nothing about your deafness when coaching hearing kids. If I tell them I was deaf they would give me their dirty looks so I let them find out about my deafness. I had been coaching Little League for 7 years. It was a big help from my hearing son. I would give them a big smile, high 5, pat their back or helmet. I communicate with them by visual gesture. I know we can coach hearing teams. I had to stop coaching when my boy moved up to Babe Ruth level and they started asking a lot of questions! I had good momories with them. I’m glad you brought it up. I’m telling you kids would love Deaf coaches!

  • Lars 15 years ago

    Yes, I agree. I have deaf parents, and watched them suffer and struggle under the audism in my childhood. The free, creative and dynamic human spirit should not submit to dehumanization. Instead be yourself as you propose. Me myself I choose to dress very different (1930 style), mostly because Im an artist, but also because I have been marked by the treatment of my parents “being different”. We must insist on our right to be different, and teach others to accept difference. Or else we will be bored to death…

  • John Critser 15 years ago

    After much ado and all the comments, I have not read any of the comments yet. After I type this comment, I will read all comments to compare all of our experiences.

    I have found a different approach. For me some cases are different than others. It depends on the situation and the people, the environment, the atmosphere, the whole works that dictate what I do and what I don’t do.

    If people try to talk to me, and I don’t understand them, that’s when I flash out my notepad and pen. I break into a big smile and give a reassuring pat to break the ice then get down to words. My job is to make it easier for others, because it somehow keeps things simple.

    If I understand the game and respond with the right fundamentals even regulations, then I can command the respect of everyone in the room, and when it comes to communication, it’s more equally mutual between one another, we are able to look at each other in the eye in the same level. Because action (performance) speaks louder than words (that will come in due in awe of our ability to compete with the best of them).

    Silence with knowing eyes speak a thousand words, too. Our eyes can glisten, shine, sparkle, and serve as the mirror of our soul, lock in with me, see my cute dimple as I grin, see how smooth my hands are dribbling the basketball, watch how effortless and accurate my passes are, you can see I am a pro, so let’s sign now, shall we?

    I have a notepad and pen ready, sir! We can do it in every possible way, with body language, eye contact, gestures, ASL signs, home signs, facial expressions, even classifiers.

    I go with anything that works, maintain eye contact, with a smile every time, and let them see what I can do, and even compete with the best of them!

  • John Critser 15 years ago

    I loved cnkatz’s comment #43! Cheers!


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