Friday, October 28, 2011

Have A Spooktacular Halloween

So......this week has been a very emotionally-charged time for us. I am not sure where to start... I might as well spit it out and get this over with.



Do you remember that we had a consultation meeting with a trainer? Let me say this; it didn't go very well, and it left a bad taste in our mouths. To make a super long story short; the trainer we had, was either inexperienced or did not care enough to take on our case, used scare tactics to ensure that we were going to continue training sessions with her. The trainer had a very preset judgment of Layla. She made Layla out to be a vicious evil dog with incurable issues. At the end of the consultation; she simply said that we needed to either return Layla back to the rescue agency or put her to sleep. Naturally, it left us very bereft because we were not sure how Layla came from being a dog with manageable issues to a dog that was unsociable and a danger to people around her. Apparently, the trainer's image of Layla and our image of Layla differed GREATLY.

Fortunately; we had a wonderful group of loving friends, and family who strongly encouraged us to NOT give up on Layla and to obtain a second opinion from a different trainer. We ended up obtaining a different trainer who had more experience, and a willingness to work with us. This time around; we had a better feeling about this person, and finally can look forward to getting right tools to communicate with Layla. 

I could go into more details about why or what the trainer had done that did not meet our expectations. This trainer certainly does deserve some bad review from us. However, I feel that it is simply not necessary for me to rehash all of bad feeling about her and paint this person in a bad light. Who knows; perhaps that woman is good for some people, and happens not to be a good fit for us. The bottom line is that she did not connect with Layla and us. 


We are not giving up on Layla. She is too important to us and I don't think it is fair to give up on her this quickly. Currently, she is no longer allowed on the sofa since she has a need to "guard" the sofa. It is a work in progress. Layla is very stubborn and does not always quite come immediately when she is called to get off the sofa. I know she understands the sign command for come yet she is just stubborn. It does test my patience to be signing COME COME COME COME to her until she finally gets off, and it is a good thing I am stubborn as well. I don't give up until her BUTT IS ON the floor or on her dog bed. Occasionally, I do have to remove her with a leash, and put her in the crate for not listening.On the bright side; Layla knows where her makeshift dog bed is located at and that she knows that she belongs either there or in her crate if she want to rest. 

Since Layla is now no longer allowed on the sofa; the cats have reclaimed the sofa as their personal space, and we humans can't seem to win. It is either dog or cats that will reclaim the sofa. Not us human beings. Ah, a life of a pet owner. 


This weekend has my favorite holiday of them all! I am quite excited to be dressing up and attending a fun party that will be hosted by my little sister, Lauren and her boyfriend, Joey. I won't tell you what Stu and I are going as right now. I will be posting it next week. I don't want to ruin the surprise! All I can say is that there is an old prom dress, and tons of make-up. As for Stu; he will be going as himself (he's scary anyway) BUT with an addition though. That's all I will be telling you right now. 

Then this upcoming Monday (Halloween); LS has invited me to come up to spend the day trick n treating with her children. It will be nice. It has been years since I have accompanied kids while trick n treating. It will be cute to see all children dressing up and going out for candies.

I applied to two jobs in person today. One didn't seem that promising and other did. The job I applied to, that has some promise, was a family-run grooming/kennel business. They had a Deaf employee in the past, and seemed to be unfrazzled by my Deafness. So.....Keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Please do stay safe this weekend if you are going to party for Halloween. Get a DD (Designated Driver), okay??? Use protection. You don't want a surprise Halloween baby or STD. 


Lastly, use your head--really. You'd be surprised how many people lose their heads (no pun intended here) during the major holidays. Okay, Mom or Big Sister moment over! Have fun guys! 



Have a spooktacular Halloween,

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh...I'm Sorry That You're .....


(I am sorry.....that you're hearing)

I am trying something new with my introductory animation film that I normally have in my every It is a Deaf Thing post. Just click play and you will see the theme for today's post! 

What brings me to talk about this topic today is a common occurrence that I get when I meet somebody for the very first time, and the person learns that I am Deaf. The conversation goes something like this:
Person: Hey, are you Ashley? 

Me: (taking paper out and scribbling on it while the person is standing there, slightly confused): Yep. 
Person: Ooooh.....(eyeing the paper)

Me: I'm Deaf. This is how we can communicate. You know, by writing.Person: I am so sorry! 

The act of apology confuses me. I understand the intention behind that apology. I do. A part of this is because the person is awkward and doesn't know what to say. Other part of this is because he/she just feel bad that I am unable to hear as if being Deaf is a huge inconvenience for me. But...really, why are you apologizing that I am Deaf? 

Me: Oh why are you sorry? 

Person: Well....because of your...you know, condition.

Me: My condition....you mean me being Deaf? 


I am happy with the way I am. I am really okay with not being able to hear. I am okay with not speaking. Not being able to hear is not my choice. I've been this way since birth or shortly after birth. It is not like I picked up a pen and popped my ear drums or someone rattled me so badly that my ears broke. Not speaking is my choice. I made that choice as a kid not to speak, and I've been fine ever since. Nobody made me this way. However, being Deaf does require a lot of adaption because not everything will be accessible or everybody will be accommodating. Nonetheless, I have adapted very well. I have been surviving in the "hearing" world for past 26 years, and I will be just fine for next 60 years.

I assure you...I am NOT inconvenienced. I have tools to back me up in all different scenarios that you can think up of. Sure, there is some bullshit that I have to deal with that hearing people don't have to deal with. Then again, everybody do have their own share of BS to deal with. This is part of life. At the same time, I am quite happy with my Deafness. It has given me so much and shaped me into the person I am today. I view it as a gift instead of a curse. If I am given a magic pill and told that it will cure my Deafness then guess what? I wouldn't take it. To be able to hear will drastically change who I am, and I don't want that for me.  

Person: Well...yeah.

Me: Oh.... I am really sorry that you're hearing. 


I don't say it out of spite or to be mean, but rather to break the ice. It is funny. Once I apologize for the person being able to hear, the person realizes how silly his/her apology is, and we move on to the topic that the person wants to talk about.


But really, don't apologize. Or I will give you look like this...I promise:

                                   


Saturday, October 22, 2011

'Net Pooped Out & I'm Forced to Ramble

Whew! It has been too long...our internet pooped out on Wednesday night. I contributed it to high wind we were having at that time. I applied the same excuse for Thursday since it was also cold and windy. On Friday, we finally knew something was not quite right, and Stu called AT&T. We ended up having a tech person coming over today. Viola! The result....we got our internet back! 

Be prepared for a lengthy post with a lot of pictures since I am quite behind on this blogging business. Just a word of warning! *winks* Have fun reading! 


La-La was a great traveler! Layla was unable to decide where to lay and rest on the way down--it took her 15 minutes to really relax and sleep. She had a wonderful time visiting my family. She got along with the boys (Henry and Fiesta) very well--she got nippy with Henry upon introduction to assert her dominance, then they were good after that. My family absolutely adored Layla and told us to come back soon! On the way back home, Layla was an old pro; she just jumped on the front seat and slept the entire way--just see the picture! 


Stu turned 27 on Tuesday! So I surprised him by making Red Velvet cupcakes....yummy! The candles were so cool--they all glowed in different colors, and it was called Rainbow candles. Cool. I wished I was able to take a picture of that in the dark, but my camera battery pooped out. Geez. Anyway, Stu had a great birthday and we went out for a nice dinner! Stu had a massive steak...OMG...and no, he did not finish them all. It took us a week to eat it all though! Stu said that he didn't feel any different from being 26, and I teased him about being closer to the BIG 3-0, and that kind of backfired because he pointed out that I was next. 


I want to make a shout-out to a wonderful sweet person who happens to be my dear friend for many years....THANK YOU JESS AND FAMILY for this surprise in the mail: 



Layla and I went to Petco with our gift. I told Layla to get whatever she wished. she didn't pick out treats. She didn't pick out toys. She picked a pink polka dot coat with a hoodie! Okay...Okay...maybe I picked it out for her since I've made her over 185 dog biscuts. No worries; over half of the treats went to my family pets because there was no way that Layla was going to be able to eat all of the treats! She was just like me....you can take a girl out of 'Hetto but you can't take 'Hetto out of the girl! 




Instead of looking mortified and giving an expression of SWEET BABY JESUS, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME (for those who are Will Ferrell fan, you should know that phrase from one of his movies); she was a good sport, and waited at the door with her brand-new coat. Yep, that's right; I've got a styling dog! 

Yesterday was an exciting happy day for me. It was because I got something in the mail...again--the odds of getting nice stuff in the mail twice in the week was about to make a girl happy, right? I ordered a special dog bowl for Layla. The bowl was designed for dogs that literally inhales their food. 

For those who own dogs with large barrel-type of chests; they all acknowledge the risk of a dog getting BLOAT (click on the word bloat--I have linked it to a good article-- if you want to learn more about this condition), and it is a very fatal condition. Only a few dog survives from this. 

Anyway, Layla ate way too fast for our comfort, and it put her at an increased risk of bloat. I ended up doing a bit of research on appropriate method to reduce this problem, and learned about BRAKE 'EM bowls. It was designed to have the stoppers in middle of the bowl to force dog to eat around and slow down their eating. I got a cute bowl for Layla. 



Sure enough, the bowl was a success! Layla went from eating 30 seconds to 3 MINUTES. I was very impressed. Layla wasn't. We all knew it was good for Layla even though she was a bit unhappy to have stoppers in a bowl to prevent her to fully grab food in one gulp. 

Jody, the trainer, is coming on Monday to meet with us and teach us how to communicate effectively with Layla while working on her issues. I am a bit apprehensive about it even though I know it is for the best. I will keep you all posted about the meeting. 

I will sign off by leaving you with a few pictures that I have taken with my camera. I have been experimenting a lot with close-ups, angles, photoshopping, and applying techniques to picture-taking. I am no pro at this, but this is fun to document our lives through pictures, right? I am hoping for a really nice fancy camera for Christmas or my birthday. We will see.......





Have a stellar weekend, 

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh, You're Deaf?

Fooling but educating...perhaps? 


The spark of this idea came from when I first began dating Stu (who is now my husband). This did happen many times before I dated Stu, but I never really formed that idea. Everything happened for a reason, eh? Anyway, the situation was that I went shopping with Stu at Fox Valley Mall nearby our college. We were looking to buy things for our families as their Christmas presents. I entered Clarie's (it's an earring/jewelry store)  and I was exploring to buy earring studs for my ears. Stu was with me; walking behind me not too far behind, but not too close to be mistaken by others that he was with me, and was probably bored out of his mind. However, he kept himself occupied by observing how people reacted to me. 

The store clerk, a young woman in her early 20s, called from the storefront desk and asked me if I needed any help. Stu decided not to alert me and allowed the situation to unfold itself. He was curious how it was really like for me when I was on my own. The lady called once again to me, and once again, I did not respond. The lady scoffed and rolled her eyes. She muttered some not so nice things under her breath. Probably something like great, what a bisch or something like that. I plucked out the earring studs, completely oblivious about what had just happened, and walked up to the counter to make a purchase.

I smiled at the lady and received a rather frosty respond from her. The lady did not smile or make a small talk. I shrugged, not really thinking of anything about her response, and put my purse on the counter. I began to dig for my debit card. The lady scanned my items and spoke out loud the total cost. I did not look up. The lady made a loud sigh and rolled her eyes again. Then she made an unsavory comment about me without me knowing that she even had spoken to me. I pulled out the debit card and smiled at the lady. The lady frowned and repeated the total cost. 

I pointed at my ears and shook my head. Then I pointed at my mouth and shook my head. The lady was taken aback for a moment and she was not sure what the hell just had happened. I sensed her confusion. I repeated the mimicry of pointing at my ears, shaking my head and pointing my mouth while shaking my head.   I added a gesture of hand flapping as if it was a mouth speaking and shook my head to show the lady that I was unable to speak. 

The lady was still puzzled. 

Stu finally decided to step in and said, "Hey, she's Deaf."

The lady looked at Stu then looked at me. 

Stu stressed once again, "She's DEAF. She can't hear you." 

I smiled at the lady and nodded then signed, I AM DEAF. 


The lady gasped and gave me a huge apologetic smile. She said, "I am sorry. I didn't know that she was Deaf. I am sorry! I didn't realize!" She continued to blabber. Then she finally said, "Um, did you hear me saying stuff to her?" Stu nodded his head. The lady looked even more embarrassed. She spewed out more apologies. I had to assure the lady that it was honestly not a big deal and if it had happened to me as a hearing person, then I would have probably reacted the same as she had. It seemed to help the lady to calm down some more. We bid her farewell. Stu and I walked out of the store into the mall and started talking about the whole scenario.

It was where the idea was born.

Ever since that moment; I continued to behave in the same way as I had at Claire's, but this time around; I had complete awareness of what was going on around me. I knew the store clerk was calling at me but I intentionally ignored the person while shopping. Every time when I approach the store clerk's counter to purchase my items; I made it very clear that I am DEAF, and I loved the blabbering reaction from the store clerks. Then I explained to them about Deaf awareness, and that there was no hard feeling at all. I left them with a small lesson to remember for rest of their lives. 

It may seem ... unfair to some of you. To me, I feel it is plenty fair and very educating. Now I don't do this EVERY time I go out. I do respond to some of them by explaining that I am just perfectly good and thanks after notifying them that I am Deaf. At the same time, when I see an opportunity then I do grab it and hope to leave them with a good lesson. I try not to laugh on my way out...mind you, it's not mean ha ha ha, but a good chuckle of knowing that I have a small perk inside my pocket that I can pull out and use anytime to educate people. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Brings Lovely Things To Us


This past weekend was very lovely. One of our dear couple friends got married in a park nearby our house. It was a perfect, beautiful autumn day. Our friends, M and S, got married under a weeping willow tree next to a lazy river. The leaves fell to the ground...oh so softly...on warm breeze. The sun light fell through trees. It looked as if it was a magical moment. M and S exchanged heartfelt vows in front of a small audience. It brought tears to my eyes. It was just a perfect autumn wedding. M and S love was so profound and beautiful. I was glad to be a part of the wedding. Stu missed his first football-related activity in...probably about 15 years...all for M. Stu was more than glad to be stand up for M and S. The reception soon followed for lunch (yes! it was a morning wedding--very beautiful). I had a wonderful time. We even took small baby pumpkins home with us after the wedding! 









The weather is kind of finally cooling off after an abnormal week of heat (80 degrees in WI during fall, wow). 


Layla is continuing to come out of her shell. Her food guarding behavior is finally reducing mainly because cat food is finally gated off from Layla. She is slowly being able to drop food out of her mouth at command especially if it's food she picked off the sidewalk during our walks! What a progress! Layla is improving with her social interaction with people. Layla is very resilient and wonderful. She has had her moments of being naughty and those behaviors got corrected immediately. Layla is learning what is acceptable and what is not. It is a great sign. It makes me happy to see how far she is coming along. 

Jody, a trainer, is coming on the 24th to work with us. I am relieved that a professional will come in and teach us how to work with Layla. Then the next step would be enrolling Layla into a dog obedience class. 

On Sunday, I made a discovery about Layla's health. 

She has no front teeth between her canine teeth on both upper and lower jaws. 





Let me correct myself; Layla's teeth are worn down to her gums. It is very unusual for a dog that is as young as Layla is. If Layla is much older then I could dismiss this to old age. However, Layla is not  old--she is estimated to be between age of 3-4 based on her canine and molar teeth plus health of her gums. I am not sure why or how this happened to Layla. We may not ever find out full information regarding Layla's past. The possibilities could be:

A) She was used as a bitch at puppy mill to breed puppies. Layla did have a litter or two in her short life. The reason I know this is because she came with her medical records and she was shown to have litter(s) in the past. 

**Puppy Mills are terrible places that does not take care of dogs**

B) Abuse or neglect. Sometimes if a dog is left alone in the crate or kennel for too long then the dog will try to chew the wire on cage to get out. 

C) Poor nutrition and cleaning of Layla's teeth. Excessive wet dog food, human food, or inappropriate food intake can deteriorate health of teeth. 

I did try to contact the rescue organization where Layla came from to get more information regarding her past. Unfortunately, they either did not know or were unwilling to share because I still have not heard from them.

I'm guessing that they probably have no clue either.

Layla has her vet appointment next Thursday. I plan on notifying her vet, Dr. Heidi, about her teeth and see if she is really okay regarding her dental health. If it is necessary, then we will modify Layla's diet to help her eat better even though Layla seems fine with eating right now. She may also need supplement or special cleaning paste to maintain dental health. We will see. 

I am thinking about visiting my family this weekend since I have not seen them since our wedding in June. Layla will be joining me. It will be a test to see how Layla handles a long car trip--not that long, but definitely almost 2 hours drive--and see how she is able to handle new environments. It will be a learning experience for Layla. She will have to learn that even when we go to new places; she will always be safe and will return home with either me or/and Stu. 

Our cats continue to adjust beautifully to having Layla around. Mr. Jinxy definitely knows that he is the boss and stares down the dog if Layla approaches him too closely. It's funny to watch. Missy is a bit apprehensive around Layla especially when Layla barks at something out of the window. Otherwise, she is doing fabulously; we are taking at Missy's pace, and let her explore the situations by herself rather than us forcing her into them. 



This post is getting rather a bit too long. So thank you for staying with me this long and finding out what is new with us! 

By the way, if you are a zombie fan, then stay tuned for this Sunday October 16th and flip on to AMC channel because..... The Walking Dead Season Two is premiering! 






Have a beautiful week, 

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Caught In The Act

OOPS moment 


When I was younger; I had a misconception that all hearing people had no clue how to use American Sign Language or any form of sign language and I was able to sign whatever I wanted to say without them understanding what I was talking about. 

Needless to say; I learned this in a very hard way, and it was an "oops" moment. Perhaps the word, oops, was not the best choice of the word in this case? You decide.

I am 15 years old. I am having a great morning at Six Flags Great America (an amusement park in Illinois) with my other Deaf friends, Ami and Glow. We are pretty much spent from riding roller coasters all morning and want to sit down to relax, and grab something to eat. We are having a great chat without any care in the world. Hearing people are all around us; talking and chattering with their voices. I quickly scan around the lunch arena and conclude that we are the only Deaf folks around. Great. It is a free ticket to just talk about whatever without TME (Too Many Eyes; this rule applies only to Deaf people, CODA (Child Of Adult Deaf), SODA (Sibling of Deaf Adult or interpreters or anybody who can sign). 

There is a rather large man, perhaps in his middle 30s, sitting nearby us. He has a large paper bowl of cheesy french fries in front of him. He is eating rather messily. Now, we Deaf people are very visual people...and also, rather blunt. I notice this man eating rather slobbery. I turn to Ami and Glow and sign without any care because this man obviously does not understanding my fluttering moving hands.

I make a comment, Wow! This man sure eats like a pig! I exaggerate and dramatize the man's action of eating. I mimic the man's eating style by pretending to shove my face with loads of french fries into my face and smear my face with greasy cheese. My friends are laughing at my dramatic gestures  rather than the comment itself.  Again, I have no care in the world. I know that the man has no clue what I am talking about.  Even if he thinks we are talking about him; it doesn't matter because he has no true proof that we are talking about him, and it's not my problem.

Suddenly, I see Ami's eyes widen, and Glow tries to get my attention to quit signing. Of course, I continue making fun of the man's eating habit--completely oblivious to my friends' change in their behaviors. Within a few seconds, I see dark shadow falling upon me, and I look into that direction. Sure enough, the man is standing next to me. His large body is imposing and his face is flat. I look at him and raised my eyebrow to express my annoyance of being interrupted. What does this hearing man want? 

The man takes a deep sigh. Then he start to......sign!

Look, I know what you are talking about. And what you are saying is not very nice. Miss, you need to mind what you say. 

The man must have seen confusion on my face.

No, I am not Deaf. But I do know how to sign. My mom is Deaf. 

My face becomes very red. I am partially shocked that this man has understood our entire conversation and can sign. I am also pretty embarrassed to be caught in a misbehavior. I am not a mean person, but here is this man thinking I am a vile teenager. 

The man wags his index finger at me and frowns at me rather in a disapproving manner. 

Oops!

Holy BATS!  I am busted. No way of wiggling out of this one. 

I stammer a quick sign of apology. The man narrows his eyes and walks away. My friends burst out giggling and I stick out my tongue at them. 

At this very moment, I vow to never make fun of anybody in public, and not to assume that hearing people does not know how to read sign or can sign.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly



So...here is what you guys have been waiting for...an update on our newest addition to our family, Miss La-La Layla. She has been adjusting pretty well to our new home. Layla has finally learned, after only 2 days, how to ask to go outside to do her business. Her personality is coming out a bit at time, and it is pretty funny to see what she is like. 

Ever since Layla came into our lives, there has been some changes:

1) Our trash is no longer on the floor. It has to be above the ground because our little snout-sniffer has figured out how to stand up on her hind legs and wrap her paws on the lid of the trash to tip it over. Naughty...Naughty....here is a photographic evidence of our trash being off the ground:


2) Layla has transformed me into an unwilling morning person.  Ever since Layla came into our lives; Stu is the one who lets her out of her crate every morning when he gets up and he takes her outside to go bathroom. As soon Layla is done with her business and comes back to our flat, she has to make sure I'm also up or she will whine nonstop, and once I'm up, she goes crazy with excitement. It's worth getting up at 6 am for. 

3) Endless Adventures. Between our cats and Layla, we never can say that our lives are boring!


4) Long walks are reserved for pleasure not speed. Owning a Basset Hound means you will have to deal with a lot taking sweet time. Layla certainly does like to walk with her nose on the ground. We walk two times a day; 7:30 am and 5:00 pm in the afternoon. It's definitely nice to wake up with the world and meet random neighbors or enjoying a warm late evening with Layla. Soon, it will be enjoying chilly winter evenings!

While Layla is showing her personality more and makes us giggle with her crazy tactics....there is also some issues that we have to address with Layla. With every rescue dog, you should expect a dog to come with an issue or two that needs to be worked on. 


Layla has been exhibiting some unsavory behavior around food. She is fine with being handed treats. She is fine taking treats from our hands. She is even fine with us handing her a bowl of her food at her scheduled meal times. However, when it comes to cat food; she steals it and goes into a very possessive state of the mind. It is known as food guarding or food aggression. You pick and call it what you would like. We don't like this and do not accept her guarding behavior. Fortunately for us, our amazing vet, Dr. Heidi, referred us to a dog trainer, Jody. 

I am in the process of getting an appointment with Jody, and am waiting for her confirmation. Jody is a well-known dog trainer from a town next to ours. She is very experienced with shy, neurotic, excited, or even aggressive dogs. She looks very reputable and I look forward working with her to help Layla to reduce this unsavory behavior. 

This food guarding is not commonly found among Basset Hounds. They're a gentle breed. However, we must take Layla's history into consideration. We don't know if she ever gone without any food or had food withheld from her. This stems from guarding resources that she needs. Layla still does not understand that we are here for her and her meals will always be provided. 

On top of this, Layla is a very timid dog around people she does not know very well. Again, this is not common among Basset Hounds. We know for fact that Layla has had a poor socialization, and her confidence is not up there. Her insecurity is understandable. It is amazing to see Layla come out of her shell even after just a bit over a week. Layla no longer feel afraid when someone walks past her in the neighborhood. She doesn't cower at strange noises at the night. 

We are planning on enrolling Layla in a dog obedience class after we find out more from Jody as where we should go next with Layla. I have a feeling with help from a professional trainer, a class, and slow exposures to new situations will help Layla to become a well-rounded dog in a long run. Patience is the key in this case. Well, it's a good thing I come with a lot of patience! 

Layla may come with a label of  having EXTRA CARE more than other rescue dogs that my family have adopted. She may require more work than most dogs. She may also take some cash out of my pocket. We may end up learning more about dogs' behavior than most owners. Layla may need extra attention in order to get her become a fully secure, and well-adjusted dog. 


But she is definitely worth the work. How can you look at this cute face of hers and give up? Certainly not us. 



Stay posted for updates regarding Layla!



Have a lovely weekend,
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Myth Buster Time!

"Myth buster" 


It looks like "It's a Deaf Thing" post is back on the track--Layla is all pooped out from her walk so I can focus on our today's theme which is about myth busters about Deaf people! Oh, there are so many myths to bust. It is quite amazing how many misconceptions are out there about Deaf Culture. Let's get started.....

Myth #1: ALL DEAF PEOPLE CAN READ LIPS

As a hearing person, can you read lips? The chance would be a big fat no. Guess what? Same goes for Deaf people. It is amazing how many letters look alike on our lips; B looks like P, M looks like B, L and R are not even on your lips--they are accented by your tongue and we certainly can't read your tongue! Only less than 30% of spoken language is readable on your lips. Some of us have better ability to catch words on your lips. Some of us don't. Some lips are way too thin. Some lips are way too thick. Some lips are covered by mustaches. Some people mumble, lisp, and trip over their words. Some people exaggerate their lips. Your best bet? Just take out a piece of paper and pen.

Myth #2: DEAF PEOPLE KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE

Nope. Not all of us sign. Some of us became Deaf later in our lives so we rely on speaking instead of signing. Some of Deaf people are "oral" which means they are taught to just speak and rely on whatever hearing they have left. We all don't even sign the same. Just like how your voice tone is unique. Your voice is not like others, right? Some people have their own way of talking (accents, slang, speech pattern, word choices, attitude, etc). Same with us and our signing. We have choices how we want to sign (Purely ASL, mixed ASL and English sign, Homemade signs, and etc). 

Myth #3: YOU NEED AN INTERPRETER TO COMMUNICATE WITH A DEAF PERSON

Having an interpreter is ideal and often required, when a Deaf person asks for one,  in many situations such as doctor appointment, court appointment, or public activities such as plays, to name one. But an interpreter is not required to communicate with a Deaf person in social or causal situations (think of shopping in a mall and you recognize a Deaf person and wants to say hi). In this kind of sitatuations; when an interpeter isn't present  just ask Deaf person what he/she prefers (write, gesture, speak or having an interpreter). Communication is possible without an interpreter in causal situations. Don't let this obstacle intimidate you. 

Myth #4: DEAF PEOPLE ARE MUTE

Huh?! Where does this idea come from? I get how hearing folks can think this way especially if they meet a Deaf person who DOES NOT speak. While I do not speak....I certainly do use my voice to make noises or sounds. I scream. I laugh. I sigh loudly. I shrug with my voice (HMMPH). Just ask Stu or my friends and family.....they certainly can vouch that I am NOT mute. I have yet meet a Deaf person who is mute.......

Myth #5: HEARING AIDS CAN CURE DEAFNESS

Honestly? No. For a person who is profoundly Deaf; the best that hearing aids can do is provide environmental cues, and sounds that hearing people make. The sounds are not clear. The words are not understood. For me, hearing aid is more of a nuisance than helpful. For a person who has some hearing left (Hard of Hearing), they do find hearing aids helpful because they have hearing to begin with, and even so they may still not find their hearing device that "perfects" their hearing. 

Myth 6: DEAF PEOPLE ARE STUPID BECAUSE THEY CAN'T HEAR

This is very stereotypical to equate a person's intelligence with their hearing loss. Too many times, I have been told by many hearing people this, WOW, YOU ARE SO SMART!, YOU ARE SO GIFTED, YOU HAVE TWO DEGREES?, THAT IS GREAT HOW YOU ARE ABLE TO DO THIS EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE DEAF!, and frankly, I find this very insulting. Are you trying to tell me that it is miraculous that I am intelligent even though I am Deaf? Too many Deaf people are boggled down with faulty education system which affects their learning ability, and their English is not always the best. But does this mean they are stupid? Certainly not. Just because we can't hear doesn't mean we are stupid. 

Myth 7: DEAF PEOPLE CAN'T DRIVE

Have you checked out my post about crazy driving stories? Enough said


Myth 8: DEAF PEOPLE HAVE DEAF BABIES

Hmmm.......let me think......the answer is mostly no. Many Deaf people end up having hearing babies. In some cases; Deafness is genetic and it does show up in strongly Deaf families (generations and generations of Deaf families). This only shows up in a few Deaf families out of many. This is just 10% of Deaf people that go on to have Deaf children. Just because you see Deaf parents does not guarantee they will have Deaf children. Matter of fact; 90% of Deaf children are born to hearing parents. My parents are hearing. My siblings are hearing. I am the only Deaf one in my family. 

Myth 9: ASL INTERPRETERS ARE BABYSITTERS

American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are not babysitters. They are advocates, and translators for Deaf people. They hear information from a hearing person, translates it into ASL/sign language to the Deaf person, and translates ASL, for a Deaf person, into spoken language to the hearing person. ASL interpreters  are our ears and voices. Just because ASL interpreters are able to translate ASL into spoken language or vice versa doesn't mean they can interpret other languages such as Spanish, or French. You would be very surprised how many public services accidentally call ASL interpreters to interpret someone who can't speak English but speaks Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish or French. Hmm......ASL interpreters mean AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE interpreters.......

Myth 10: DEAF PEOPLE ARE LIMITED BY THEIR HEARING

While there are some obstacles that we do face, there is also many amazing accessible things and accommodations that we use to get through our lives.We have VP (videophone), emails, pagers (texting), closed captioning on our TV, we go to movie theaters with open captioning, we order food, we go out with our friends, we drive, we party, we hang out, we own pets, we pay rents, own cars, houses, we marry, we have children and many more. We can do anything but...hear.