Crossing the Line: Guest Post by Cynthia Dixon

Cynthia Dixon is a Blogger and a huge supporter of She’s been invaluable to us with her efforts on behalf of the Felix project – #JusticeForFelix.

Her musings on life within the Deaf and HoH communities can be found at: and of course, her RSS feed is available in our Sidebar.

From the 4Ears4Eyes Web site:

Image courtesy of

Four Ears, Four Eyes.  This describes me, Cindy Dixon.  My hearing loss ranges from mild to profound, depending on the frequencies.  Without glasses, I’m

legally blind.* You could say I’m a “lite” version of Helen Keller. Fortunately, my vision is perfect with lenses, and though hearing aids help to a certain extent, they will never give me normal hearing. 

Hearing loss is not funny, but I believe having a sense of humor is a huge asset in dealing with deafness.  Read my stories to see a different perspective on deafness, whether you’re hearing, hard of hearing, or deaf.    
*My vision is 20/800 – I need to be 20 feet away to see something a person with 20/20 vision can see at 800 feet.


All my life, I’ve been labeled hard of hearing. Fitted with hearing aids at eleven years of age, I accepted this label without question. But at this point in my life, I’m beginning to question it because it doesn’t seem to fit me anymore. Coping techniques that worked in the past are no longer working, and my children tell me more often that I’m shouting, not speaking. Here’s the most recent wake-up call:

I was in the kitchen, preparing breakfast without wearing my hearing aids. My son, Super Hearing Boy, was in the living room.

“Hey – do you want jelly on your toast?”


“Tell me if you want jelly on your toast!”

More silence.

“Okay, guess not.”

A minute later, my son appears, his eyes incredulous.

“Mom! I answered you twice at the top of my lungs! You are really deaf!”

Super Hearing Boy used the Bark Code, low-pitched sounds barked at me to indicate a response to a question. In the past, this code worked all over the house – even through closed doors. The ability to use this code maintained the illusion that my hearing loss wasn’t so bad, after all. But now it’s failing me.

Who am I? Am I hard of hearing, or am I deaf? I’ve always thought that the word “deaf” meant “a total inability to hear sound.” Do I have the “right” to call myself deaf even though I can hear low frequency sounds, or would that be a lie?

Recent online interactions with other deaf/hard of hearing people have shown me there is diversity in those who call themselves “deaf.” Deaf people speak, talk on the phone with the right equipment, play an instrument, and yes, even play in bands. Deaf people do these things. Deaf people – like me.

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