Having lived with a mild hearing loss since I was a baby, throughout that time, I have heard some weird and wonderful things from my hearing.
Sure, there are some reasonable questions that you can ask which I don’t mind answering.
But it’s the weird things that I think will get everyone interested, so I thought of putting together a video some of the weirdest and also unhelpful things that have been said to me.
What’s up, everyone? I am Ahmed Khalifa, and in this video, I’m going to be talking about 15 unhelpful things that people say to deaf people. People like me, who has a little bit of partial deafness.
And, it’s shocking. It’s pretty shocking.
This is all part of Deaf Awareness Week where I’m trying to use videos to raise awareness, talk about it, have some fun, and just to educate people on what to do and what not to do, like..saying…unhelpful…things.
Oh boy! This is going to be fun, I mean really fun, because these are actual things that people have said to me. of a tiny hearing problem as well.
So, let’s get to number 1.
1. “Wow! You Don’t Look Deaf”
Yes, that’s right. Because I don’t have horns and tails and green skin, and that’s what a deaf person looks like, right?
I’m not really sure how to answer that statement or reply to that comment because what is a deaf person supposed to look like?
I don’t think they have a specific kind of trait or appearance or kind of personality or whatever. So, it’s a weird comment to make I think.
2. “Do you really need subtitles?”
Why yes I do, yes. There’s certain situations where I can live without it, but in most situations, I do kind of need it because otherwise I’m just watching people making noise from their mic because I just can’t hear the right things.
And because of that, you know what? I just have to put it on, and I’m sorry if you don’t like it.
But why, do you really need subtitles as well? Do you really need to be here? I’m only joking, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but that’s the idea.
You know, we do need subtitles sometimes, and some people really depend on it and just to be at work. So, I’m sorry if it’s making your life difficult, but oh well, what you gonna do?
3. “I can’t live without music”
Well, get this, a lot of us can’t live without music either because we enjoy music. That’s right, it’s possible to do that because for me, I can still hear it.
I can still play the guitar right behind me, or I can just go out and enjoy music. And there are people who are much worse off than me actually in terms of their hearing loss.
They sometimes like to go out to a night club, and you can feel the music. And you can kind of dance to that music as well.
So, I don’t really wanna miss music. No, we’re not missing music. We still get to enjoy music, maybe not as much as you do, and we can’t hear as much as you can, but we still love it.
4. “So does that mean your other senses are heightened?”
No, no, I’m not a superhero, and obviously, I’m wearing glasses, so, no. That doesn’t really happen at all. I don’t know what makes you think that.
5. “Why don’t you just get one of them cochlear implants?”
“That will help you.”
Oh dear, here’s a fun one because you know, you are the expert. You know better than me, right? You know what I should do, what I should get, and you know that that’s going to solve everything, right?
Well, guess what? That’s not true. That doesn’t really happen like that because first of all, you’re not an expert. That’s just weird.
Second of all, it doesn’t always work, and thirdly, not everyone can have it.
Even for me, if I want to have it, it’s not going to do anything for me because of the type of hearing loss. So it’s not applicable to everyone.
So, to answer that question, no.
6. “Do you need braille?”
Braille? No. No, unless I need to use my ear to touch the braille.
No, no, that’s not gonna happen, and I don’t know why you’d need that.
7. “You actually know how to drive?”
Why yes, isn’t that amazing?
The fact that I can use my hand and my eyes to drive and my feet as well, isn’t that amazing?
Because I’m not really capable of using my ears to steer the steering wheel because I just can’t get that grip really. So I just have to use my hand and my eyes and my feet just like the rest of us.
8. “Oh, you can’t hear me? But you can hear me, right?”
“Oh, he can hear me, it’s okay.”
Hm, yeah, that’s gonna help me. There’s a lot to say about that one.
It’s a crappy thing to say. Don’t ever say it. That’s not gonna help anyone, and I don’t know why you’re saying that because you should know better.
So, if that’s what you’re thinking, don’t say it.
9. “I know how to do the sign language in alphabet.”
Okay. Good. Just fine, but I don’t know what I can do with that information because I don’t sign, and for people who does sign language, I don’t think they can have a conversation based on just the alphabet.
You know, it just goes A, B, C, D…
No, I don’t think that’s gonna be much use really.
10. “Can you teach me how to say a swear word in sign language?”
Okay, okay, I mean you know the answer to that. Maybe that is decent, but if you’re actually wanting to learn sign language, you’re not gonna ask me to teach you how to do a swear word.
Learn something useful like good morning or hello, how are you, my name is. Anything like that.
But if you’re gonna ask me to teach you a swear word, no, that’s not gonna happen.
11. “Maybe you can get an ear transplant”
“…and that can cure your problem.”
No, also no. I mean, it’s nothing to do with the outer parts of the ear. It’s more the inside of the ear.
I mean, changing this will not have any effect really, so no, that’s not gonna work. Yeah, that’s not gonna work.
12. “But you have hearing aids now, so shouldn’t your hearing be normal?”
You know what, that question is actually fine. I’m okay with that because not everyone has had an experience of wearing hearing aids and what it sounds like.
So what I would say is no, the hearing aids is not there to replicate an exact way of how a human hears normally. It’s there to assist you.
It’s there to kind of provide you that kind of leverage to help you further.
But it’s not gonna solve anything because sometimes it doesn’t help me at all.
And have you noticed I’m not wearing them right now? Don’t need to, but a hearing aid is not there to solve the problem. And in certain situations, it’s actually worse to wear it in a very rare situation.
So, no, not gonna cure my problem I’m afraid.
13. “Oh, nevermind/Don’t worry about it/I’ll tell you later/It doesn’t matter.”
So if you started the conversation, or we’re having a conversation, and I couldn’t hear you and I ask you to repeat.
And then you’re like don’t worry about it, it’s not important, well, that’s a pretty crappy thing to say because we’re having a conversation.
Now you’re saying it’s not important. Hm, yeah, no, don’t do that. That’s not cool, not cool at all. If you’re having a conversation, at least let’s just help me out, help everyone out, and let’s just keep talking.
What’s wrong with that? Let’s just have shares, let’s have some fun.
14. “Oh, you poor thing. I’m really sorry to hear that.”
Yeah, I’m sorry too, but I don’t want sympathy. I’m just telling you the situation, and that’s it. I’m just letting you know. I’m raising awareness telling people.
That’s it. Don’t worry about it. Let’s move on, let’s just have some fun.
Let’s live life, that’s it.
15. “Oh yeah, I know how you feel. I know exactly how you feel because I feel like I’m going deaf.”
Sometimes, it’s going down. Sometimes, it’s not. But yeah, it’s happening right now. Yeah no, I’m not sure how you feel like you’re going deaf.
You either are deaf or not, or you’re actually really bad and it’s growing worse.
No, that’s a bit different. That’s a bit more complex.
You can’t compare your situation and my situation. It’s too different. Unless it’s a medical condition, then we can talk. We can help. I can learn more about you as well.
But to say it like, oh yeah, I know how you feel because I feel like I’m going deaf, you haven’t had a diagnosis, no.
And there you go, 15 things you should not say to a deaf or hard of hearing person because let’s face it, the majority of them, it’s pretty ridiculous.
Maybe a few of them, there’s a few that make sense, and I don’t mind answering questions. And I don’t mind answering any question I see people have, you know, any question about it.
But if it’s something about like do you know how to drive, or do you need braille, then I think you need to kind of do some research first because no, that’s not something that you should say to anyone stuck with a hearing problem.
I hope you enjoyed the video. I hope you found it useful. Let me know what you’re thinking.
You know, let me know in the comments have you got any other questions, or are you worried about anything else that you should say. It’s down below in the comments section.
And while you’re at it, you may as well hit that subscribe button because that would be totally awesome too.
And as I said earlier as part of Deaf Awareness Week, I’m putting together videos to raise that awareness to help you to help me, and we’re all happy.
Thank you for watching, and I’ll see you next time.
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- How to make the most out of your audiology appointments & your audiologist? - November 12, 2020