We are the Hard of Hearing and We are Two Societies

In 1986 a deaf lady rose above to become an actress and it was probably her most famous role among the deaf and hearing societies. Marlee Matlin, who now is the most known deaf person in the world was the main actress for the movie called “Children of a Lessor God.” She has done movies that involve her doing roles that she never really wanted to do, but heck she got to make money. She can talk much better than most deaf people can and she has been trained to understand hearing people very well.  Her and I, are both alike in some ways. I can speak fairly well and I can hear a bit, but I read lips very well. I like to be noticed as a deaf person, but everyone thinks I am not deaf because I can talk. But this is all wrong and I am here to tell you right now, that not all deaf are capable of doing what other deaf can do.

When I started going to a deaf school I could talk very well and I met a few deaf who could talk well and some better than me. I met  those who couldn’t talk at at all and or were very slow in their talking abilities. In the hearing society you have those who can’t talk at all, but they can hear very well; therefore, they are hearing. Just because I can talk-don’t mean I am not deaf, but the truth is that it is more likely that I am in the middle. To some it’s a gift and to others its a curse; however, we are known as the Hard of hearing.

Just because we have a name for ourselves (deaf,) don’t mean we are all the same. The hearing have their name as well, but that don’t make them all the same. I am deaf, I speak, and I hear a little, but my future wife cannot. I am still among the deaf society, but I can mix into them a little better than the rest of you. I guess it a gift on my side. I am two societies and so is Marlee Matlin. She is no better than the rest of us and she knows best of all, but she is just more well known than the rest of us. If you sat the two us down then I bet you we could lead a conversation that no body would understand but those who are hard of hearing.

I like Marlee Matlin and I admire her, but I am one of those few who understand that she had to talk in order to pursue her dream. I understand because its what we go through. We are the few who can mix into both, but if we don’t do both then we are not who we are. We are deaf people who know how to talk and will be here when those who can’t need us to voice out what it is we want as a deaf society. Will be here to mix and understand both cultures better than they understand one another.

By David Strait


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