26 Aug You don’t look like you can’t hear!
Condensed from an article by Arielle Schacter
“Wait a minute…lemme get this straight—you have a hearing loss,” a middle-aged woman demanded of me last week, “How come you don’t look like you do?” Startled, I was immediately taken aback. How could I possibly answer this question? After all, what does a person who is deaf or hard of hearing even look like? Are my ears supposed to protrude so far out that everyone can easily see my tiny aids? Should I be signing, not speaking? Or is my speech supposed to be so strongly accented that it’s obvious I have some form of hearing loss? Although her question was both ignorant and rude, it represents one of many common misconceptions about hearing loss. There are so many false ideas floating around about what a person who has a hearing loss is like or can do.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE OLD TO HAVE HEARING LOSS
When my grandfather first developed a hearing loss, he refused to wear hearing aids. Despite having (at the time) a very young granddaughter with a hearing loss, he believed that losing his hearing automatically meant that he was growing older.
The best estimates are that somewhere in the range of 22-36 million people in the United States are deaf or hard of hearing. Among Americans under the age of 18, 12 of every 1000 have a hearing loss. In short, there are plenty of young people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and the number is rising. If you know a young person who complains of not being able to hear in class, or appears to not understand what is said to him, PLEASE call to schedule a FREE hearing evaluation.