Saturday, September 6, 2014

You know those viral videos of deaf people hearing for the first time? I dislike them--here's why.

The following article from Wired was published in March but I came across it for the first time this morning--and I absolutely love it.

Why You Shouldn't Share those Emotional 'Deaf Person Hears for the First Time' Videos - by Lilit Marcus

I don't care for these videos because each deaf individual is different. You don't know the backgrounds of the people in these videos, or what they're hearing (it could be static for all you know--and hey, even static can be fascinating if you're accustomed to profound silence). These videos are of one or two moments taken out of context--context that encompasses months to years of personal, individual cases and choices.

In addition, thanks to these videos, a few people have told me that I should get a cochlear implant because they saw one of these videos 'and the baby/kid/woman could hear like new', implying that I don't know just how flawed I am and hello, here's an easy solution.

I know these people mean well but frankly, unless you're my audiologist, it's insulting to imply that I don't know what's best for my individual case. If you are personally deaf and these videos inspire you to talk to your audiologist about getting one, then great. But I know from past research that they are not for me. I currently wear a hearing aid that helps me tremendously; however, I still--and will always--rely upon lip-reading and will never use a telephone. And that's just a part of who I am--I am not "broken".

No comments: