About the Deaf. It's not them having a culture & language.
It's not a case of "they don't know what they're missing", they have an idea, to one degree or another. At the very least they can see how hearing effects those with it. It's that they do not feel disadvantaged
by their disability. Would you feel the need to get a corneal transplant for your short-sightedness? Why not? Because you do not feel it sets you at a disadvantage in your life. To you, you live a relatively "normal" life.
It's about the fact that because
they do not fit within able-bodied society - which incidentally, that very lack of acceptance is why they formed their own - their needs are neglected in favour of forcing
them to conform in a manner that makes those of us
with hearing comfortable, without respect for their wishes.
Like when teaching hearing-impaired/Deaf children lip-reading is prioritised over education in things such as maths, science or art... and then we wonder why overall disabled kids fall behind their able-bodied peers? It's not so much purely a case of dealing with the complications of the disability, but also struggling against a system that refuses to help you learn unless you do it their way
Again, it's about having your right to make decisions for yourself on your own being taken away from you.
And being denied your basic human rights. (In this case education) It's not outright, but if my able-bodied peers are given every opportunity to do their best job at succeeding academically, yet I am not purely on the basis of my disability, how is that not discrimination?
Secondly, not only is
that patronising, but you've just made an assumption a great many abled people do about being deaf, blind or otherwise disabled. That it's an absolute, one-size-fits-all affair.
Being legally & functionally blind comes in a variety of flavours: Being able to see only light, or only motion, or only vague colours... or any combination there-of. Infact in some cases being blind is exactly like being extremely
near sighted, to the point where you can only focus on something directly in front of your eyeball. Not every one has a lack of optic nerve signal that completely "blacks out" their vision. There are a myriad of different causes for blindness.
Same goes for deafness.
Some can hear really low bass sounds, others only high pitches, some people cannot distinguish the sound of speech specifically, and there are those who experience sound without the ability to distinguish between them & thus cannot interpret them into anything of meaning.
It actually happens a lot where the abled class an outward disability/symptom as if it were the actual problem in and of itself. Do you know how many different reasons there might be for why someone's in a weelchair?
There's the obvious two that are the usual assumptions of the ignorant & unthinking: Paraplegia, quadraplegia. (Usually the former)
But there's also neural or neurological damage, weakness in the weight supporting structures including anything from your hips, to your tibia, knees, feet, or ankles, muscle atrophy, serious anemia or low blood pressure, lack of ability to maintain homeostasis or inability to breathe brought on by stress or exercise, even severe chronic pain or fatigue.
There's also this pervasive mentality that you are going
to get better. Because that's what people do
, right? They get sick, go to the doctor, take their medicine and then they're fixed
(In the immortal words of Kaylee: "Sometimes a thing gets broke can't be fixed.")
Whenever a stranger sees my cane they assume I've hurt my leg
... there is nothing wrong with my leg. I do however have permanent nerve damage that can have any number of strange effects. That's the other form of discrimination actually. When you don't fit someone's idea of what "disabled" should look/be like. My (chronic) friends & I have actually discussed how sometimes we wish we had cancer instead, because then there's no need to explain your unheard of complicated medical condition, or struggling to get across how it effects your life and that it's not going to get better
, or fighting to be taken seriously, or trying to elicit some form of understanding or at least empathy (not sympathy, this is an important distinction) from others.
I mean, it's not nice to have either, and if you do recover, you live under the constant possibility of relapse, and not making it this time... but when you say "I have cancer" people just immediately accept it and have at least a minimum of understanding. (And for some of us, dying as a result of our conditions is a possibility anyway... and we don't get possibilities of recoveries, at best long remissions) But it is very frustrating that unless you've got cancer, you're not really
sick. Unless you're completely weelchair bound, you're not really
These are the only ways you really get taken seriously, once again, this even applies in the medical community.
I actually had one pharmacist tell me "but that's really for cancer patients." in response to my queries into morphine patches for chronic pain, and she meant well, but the entire tone & implication was "no that's for serious and ongoing
pain", when my one condition is practically the definition for severe chronic pain, and I was already taking the oral stuff with little effect, and have had multiple injections not be sufficient on bad
days. (The injections do work better... the oral stuff is the bane of my existence... case of the cure being almost as bad as the disease, for those who've had migraines, combine that with the hangover from hell, but without the pain and twice the "oh god, what did I do
?") I'm now taking schedule 6 narcotics... which is the last category before controlled & strictly controlled substances over here.
This attitude is particularly hard on those of us with invisible illnesses. Because you can't see it, means you don't have to accept it as part of your reality, and even if you do, it can't really be all that
bad. I couldn't even begin
to count the number of times I've been accused of faking
being sick, or of using it as an "excuse"... Even by my own family, who personally witness how bad it can be sometimes. But then I'm also too young
to be sick. I'm a woman in her 20s, although too frequently mistaken for younger, and unless I'm using my cane that specific day, you couldn't tell there was anything wrong with me just by looking.@Freemage:
Like how "dumb" used to mean mute?
I... need you to know that I am so, so sorry. I'm "abled," and I've only recently started to see how difficult it can be for people in wheelchairs because my husband is in one.
There is something wrong with his body. That does not mean he's less of a person. That does not mean he's not good enough to enter certain areas. That does not mean he's not good enough to use the fucking sidewalk
. And these are just the things that the rest of us take for granted. Just practical, everyday things that people who can walk never even have to think about.
I could relate to too much of your post, even if only by secondhand experience. You made me tear up, to be honest.
And I am just so, so sorry. *hugs*
This part, though...
Rawra wrote:When you've been disabled long enough, it can get extremely difficult to relate to abled people. They just exist in a completely separate reality and usually don't even think to compromise or understand... That burden is always on the disabled: Conform, fit in, adjust.
I'm a cashier in a restaurant. We have a couple of people who come in every few weeks that use sign language. I've been teaching myself some of the basics (the alphabet, "spoon," "fork," "knife," "soda," "sandwich," "please," "thank you," "sorry," etc.) just to try to work with them. I give them paper and a pen when I have trouble understanding.
It's all I can do. I really am trying to be considerate, because I know it's got to be a serious pain to not be understood by so many people. I feel like, if it were me, I would be happy to see a non-deaf person making an effort, so that's what I'm doing, even if I do end up looking silly and mixing up my signs sometimes. (I tried to do "sorry"
last time they were there and accidentally did "please."
They look alike.)
I'm not sure whether to be glad I connected with someone on this issue, or sorry that it caused you upset. Shall I go with... both?
Don't be sorry for being abled. Or for those of us who aren't.
Acceptance is usually the best option in most cases.
And hey, in regards to the sign language: you're still learning - everyone has slip-ups when starting a new language.
I can tell you now, that the fact that you've put in not only the thought but the effort
as well in order to relate to them means a lot. And bonus points for doing it on their terms too. Extra for doing so without being asked.
It comes down to basic consideration for others as individuals I think. Just do that as best you can to whomever you meet, no matter abled/disabled, or race, gender, orientation, or anything else... and you'll be on track.*Sorry about the essay lengths... I'm used to debating forums, believe in freedom of information because education is always the better way, as it has a chance to change things. To make thing better.
Also, sorry about anything nonsensical or misspelled, between my brainfog, pill side effect & sleep deprivation some times my mind just momentarily checks out.