A member of HEARD, or perhaps a visitor to their site, wrote an interesting piece on the fact that emergency horns – to alert residents to everything from hurricanes to invasions – cannot be heard by the Deaf, and that there’s nothing in place to provide for their safety.
It reminded me of something I’ve been learning and re-learning since I started the DeafInPrison.com project.
We in the hearing world take for granted just how much difficulty the Deaf and HoH have in simple, day to day life. So much of our world is based on the ability to hear. Even in some cases, your basic safety. Hearing can be the difference between life and death.
We cross streets while texting away on our iPhones, all the while blissfully aware that we’ll hear any threat. We know the subway’s coming, because we hear it a half mile away. We can tell if a dog is friendly because we can hear his growl, and we know our cats are happy because we can hear them purr.
Imagine what a scary place our planet would be if all that were suddenly taken away.
Deaf Awareness Week is a good time to stress some of these issues. And DeafInPrison.com is a good place, because just doing this project has opened my ears to a whole world of understanding. It’s more than just speech, and even music – although one of the things I have also learned is that many Deaf can and do enjoy music.
Once, for an experiment, I tried to go a whole day blindfolded. Just to see what it was like, and if I could get along without my sight. Well, I’m here to tell you, it ain’t easy. But none of us ever question a world without our ears. Many Deaf tell me that if given the choice, they’d opt for blindness.
Someone wrote – somewhere – Deafness is worse than blindness, because the blind are cut off from things, but the Deaf are cut off from life. I’m paraphrasing, of course – and probably not too well – but I think the sentiment is valid.
As an athlete, I often wonder what life would be like as a paraplegic. I can’t help but admire those brave individuals who overcome that kind of disability and go on to perform incredible feats. The guys who run marathons in wheelchairs – that sort of thing. But, I’ve learned – only recently – that when I see a beautiful piece of artwork, read a stirring blog entry, or hear a stunning score created by someone who’s deaf, I’m witnessing an even more impressive feat.
Here’s your closing shot.
- Deaf Awareness Week – Day 3 PetFinder.com (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Day 1, Deaf Awareness Week (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Hero of Galveston Island: The Legacy of Leroy Colombo (1905-1972) (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Deaf Awareness Week – Day 2: Deaf Art Exibit – From Jean F. Andrews (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- International Week of the Deaf 9-24-12 to 9-30-12 (schoolpsychscholar.com)
- What I Learned from a (Deaf) Baseball Player – From Lipreading Mom (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Why Deaf Girl Amy Is on a Mission to Help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (lipreadingmom.com)
- What I Learned from a (Deaf) Baseball Player (lipreadingmom.com)
- Croton woman hosts talk show for the deaf (newyork.newsday.com)