Earlier today I was live-tweeting my Human Exceptionality reading. This week’s reading was about deaf/HOH culture. This is particularly interesting and intriguing to me as I am a member of the HOH community. I was diagnosed with profound (90+ decibel loss) hearing loss when I was 2 and have been wearing hearing aids in both ears since I was 3. I found many things in the reading that I did not particularly agree with and I found that Twitter was a great place for me to voice my opinions.
For example, I don’t agree with the guidelines/definitions of what qualifies someone as deaf. To me, being deaf means not hearing any sound at all. However, the official definition is a 70-90 decibel loss. According to this definition, I am deaf. I tweeted my opinion on this and how I don’t classify myself as being deaf, as you can see below:
One of my followers and a fellow Rowan University Writing Arts major, Jason Cantrell, quickly replied by saying:
This lead us to have a discussion about whether hearing is needed at all. I have noticed with my own hearing that I rely on my vision to replace what my ears can not hear. Even though those with hearing loss are less likely to know how to read or write beyond a fourth or fifth grade level, I have beaten the odds. I think that I am a writer and a literature aficionado because I can’t hear well. Words are very important to me…not just words, but the display of words, grammar, spelling, the message that is being portrayed. If the little bit of hearing I had were to vanish over night, I would still have words. I would still be able to communicate.
Earlier today, I Tweeted my excitement about meeting CG360 at Rowan’s career fair. I was disappointed to find out they couldn’t make it to the fair, but I got to talk with them anyway. They followed me on Twitter and tweeted an apology to me.
This probably worked in my favor a bit. The career fair was loud and I had trouble verbally communicating with vendors. Writing technology helps me to communicate effectively in ways that my hearing fails me. Writing is my replacement for hearing.
What is a disability anyway? If we don’t need hearing, is not having it really a disability? Or is it simply culture that is disabling us?