*** original post from my xpressivehandz.blogspot.com page ***
This week, I found a plethora of emails and comments from various people from various sides of “Deaf Awareness”, along with other issues. Each comment had some valid points, however, different perspectives, which leads me to what I’m about to write.
I was once hearing, then had a mild hearing loss, moderate, etc. Now I am deaf. I have been across the hearing spectrum.
Each person has a perspective, a reality different from another. Our experiences are different, our deafness is different, the degrees of our deafness and the issues we deal with. Each of us lives in a culture within a culture of some kind. Some of us are stuck between the two cultures, not fitting into either one, such as the Hard of Hearing or Hearing Impaired. They have the hardest time being wedged between the cultures.
However, truth is truth no matter where it comes from or where you are in the spectrum. One person’s perspective of reality may vastly vary from another person’s simply because their life and experiences have been different.
I’m not going to post the comments that were left because all of you have your own blogs, and I read them like many others. I appreciate all of your views, and each of you have valid points. However, just because someone has a different view, does not mean they are wrong, or right or evil, not living in reality, nor does their motivation behind what they write matter (such as someone being paid to write something). The bottom line is we all have our place, our experience, our reality, views and motivation. This is why so many of us blog, and I love reading all of the blogs,,,,,, until they become hatefully critical.
I like the idea of a coalition of some sort to raise Deaf Awareness. Actually, years ago, in a small community where I once lived, we had a place called Resources for the Disabled, run by ALL disabled people, mental illness was represented, returning Veterans, the blind and the Deaf of our community, among others, all were equally important and represented. We put out a newsletter that educated and brought awareness to the community where we lived on various issues, each article written someone representing their own disability or Deaf issues. It was run voluntarily and sadly dissolved from lack of donated funds and grants. Perhaps it was a little before its time.
Questioning someone’s motivation, having a grudge because the “Deafies stole” from you, being bitter because someone makes a different communication choice, or being angry because another parent is following their heart to try a new device for their child whom they have parental rights to choose what they believe is best for their child,,,, all this bickering leads me to ask, “How is this working for you…or US?”
Perhaps it’s time we start respecting the different views and life experiences and realities of others, even if it vastly differs from our own views and let’s start finding things that need to be worked on TOGETHER without blaming or pointing fingers or criticizing.
I’m not saying don’t write about your personal experiences on your blogs.
I’d just like to see some positive suggestions and ideas without name calling or blaming and flaming. I’d like to see solutions and support for one another.
Let’s show “the hearing world” a positive view and something different for a change, such as a group of people striving for some positive changes in our society, people who are trying to break down communication barriers and make it a better place, and to do it with integrity and kindness and a spirit of respect, and respecting the differences.
Even if it is just one person at a time.
I recently read on someone’s blog when they were at the store a hearing person started waving their hands in the air like they were signing. That would have been a great teaching moment, if not for that sales clerk, at least for someone else in the line, to take a moment to show an actual sign, such as “pay” or “money” or even simply “thank you” and “you’re welcome”.
Too often we choose to think the worst of others, or we add to the contentiousness. I understand there will be times where someone is absolutely mean spirited, but there are more times that people just don’t know any better. If we stay so closed within our community, we’re not getting out there reaching others or educating them. With programs coming out now such as “Switched At Birth”, there will be more people curious and wanting to learn. Don’t crush their spirit by questioning their motives or being too critical because the signs they attempt aren’t quite right. Allow them grace. At least they are trying.
As for people who are paid to write things, someone somewhere is probably reading and learning about something they did not know before because someone took the time to write about it, and though it may not be your truth, it is someone’s truth, someone’s reality somewhere. At least they are doing something, and trying to get the message out where it may not reach otherwise.
So, in closing, know this. I read your blogs, I read your comments and I respect your views, even if they are different from my own. I am learning as I read, but understand this about me and why I share posts from others and blog myself. I want to be part of the communication solution for those looking for solutions. I want to be a support to others who have lost their hearing, no matter how, as well as a support to those who have been born deaf or are culturally Deaf by choice. It’s about people, and building relationships with people.
*** Original post from July 21, 2011 over at xpressivehandz.blogspot.com ***