Continuing along the same theme as my Crab Theory post. I'll be sharing my feelings on an old phenomenon that happens in the Deaf community plus one recent one that has popped up.
What is Deaf Identity?
I know the Deaf Identity involves more than just the three I showed, but it is the simple explanation. So, let's take a quick look:
American Sign Language is our shared language in the United States and in some parts of the world.
It is NOT "English on the hands" or "gesturing" as the misconception goes.
It is its own valid language with grammar, syntax and all the linguistic rules. Deaf people use ASL not just to communicate but also to tell stories, poetry, jokes, visual vernacular, and SO much more. In short, we cherish our ASL.
Culture is "defined as patterns, traits, products, attitudes, and intellectual / artistic activity associated with a population".
Some Deaf Culture aspects are:
Deaf pride is calling ourselves Deaf - Capital D, as opposed to deaf - Little D.
We do not see ourselves as "broken", "disabled", or "handicapped".
As Dr. Bill Vicars of LifePrint puts it "So we renounce the label of disability and shun patronizing attempts to categorize us as having a "challenge." Not because we don't have a challenge, (we do), but rather because it is psychologically much more comfortable to avoid thinking about it and focus on other things. We go about our lives engaged in the process of "living" and are then confronted by certain Hearing people feel the inexplicable, irrational need to "help" us come to terms with and/or "realize" or "admit" that we have a "problem.""
Now, let's go to the phenomenons happening:
"Not Deaf Enough"
This has been happening for generations, where one feels "too deaf for the hearing world, not deaf enough for the Deaf world". Where one may have been mainstreamed, grew up orally (speaking not signing), late-deafened, deaf but don't sign, have a cochlear implant or whatever reason the Deaf "elitists" feel. (My word choice). These "outsiders" are then rejected, black-listed, or even attacked.
My personal opinion? It's bullshit! Everyone with a strong hearing loss struggle to communicate and participate in the outside "hearing" world. We face the same rejection, oppression and patronizing attitudes from ignorant people. We all face been left out and isolation in a busy crowd at one time or another.
New Labeling - DDBDDHH
Recently there's a "trend" that's going around stating that the word "Deaf" is not inclusive enough and "we" should be calling ourselves DDBDDHH. Which stands for Deaf, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled, Hard of Hearing. Here's a captioned video explaining more:
First of all, that's a lot to memorize and fingerspell (and say). Look, I call myself DeafBlind because it's my identity as well as being a lot easier than saying "Deaf and legally blind", or to be more PC "I have a combined hearing loss and am visually challenged". Sheesh! Now you want me to say "I am DDBDDHH and have vision loss"? No. Just No.
Think the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) will now have to spend more on bigger business cards and letterheads to change it to National Association of the Deaf, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled, and Hard of Hearing.
Let's stick with Deaf.
Cherish Who YOU Are!
No matter where you are in your Deaf identity search - still "d"eaf, learning ASL, have a hearing aid or a C.I., or already deeply involved in the Deaf community - whatever, be PROUD of who you are!
Never apologize for who you are as a Deaf person and never apologize for where you are in life. You're responsible for yourself (and your family).
Ignore the naysayers and other crabs (remember crab theory?) and keep learning, keep evolving and stay happy and productive.
In the Deaf community, there's usually some form of "Crab Theory" happening.
First, let me explain what that is:
"The crab theory is based on the metaphor of what happens when you put several crabs together in a bucket. The crabs crawl over each other, trying to get out of the bucket, and in the process, none of them escape because they keep pulling each other back down."
Deaf "Crab Theory" Examples
The "crab theory" is used in the Deaf community to describe the tendency of some Deaf people to criticize or put down the successes or achievements of other Deaf people. It may take several different forms: malicious and negative gossip, grudges, social rejection, etc.
Let me list some examples:
How to Fight "Crab Theory"
First, before you can break it, the Deaf community needs to be aware of it. Often this habit is learned and internalized and is "normal" to do. Others just go with the flow and believe and agree with their friends.
Dr. Jaime Wilson, a Deaf Psychologist explains that a good way to stop crab theory is Mindfulness Therapy.
"Mindfulness therapy will encourage you to have the experience and understand your own feelings...You learn the technical skill of recognizing the feeling before your action".
So, breaking the crab theory mentality starts with you. You need to break the habit of "pulling others down" or stop joining and encouraging others to do it.
Now, I know it's hard for organizations and clubs to arrange workshops on teaching mindfulness, much less find a qualified therapist who can sign. Instead I suggest:
Help Others Out of the Bucket
For those who have crawled out of the bucket - became successful in your life, do turn around and give a helping hand to those in your Deaf community. Offer them employment, internships, education opportunities and more.
Now, do be careful because there'll be a greedy few who will bleed you dry - energy, time, and resources. Do help, but with boundaries.
Successful Deaf people have turned around and helped their Deaf community, here are a few examples:
Now I want to give encouragement to those feeling the pinch (heh). If you're reaching for a goal, have reached your goal or are just being harrassed by others in the Deaf community.
That quote is the absolute truth! If your "group" constantly belittles you, tells you "you can't" or make you feel bad about yourself in any way - are NOT your group! There's a difference between negative critique and helpful advice. Some may try to offer advice how to improve yourself, but if your mindset is negative you'll see that as criticism, so learn the difference and see where you really need to look.
If this gets too much, you may need to find a different social circle. I know this is very hard in a Deaf community, but you got to think about yourself first.
Keep progressing in your life, improve yourself, your situation, your job, your life goals. Any progress is good progress! Think of it this way, while you're progressing slowly - you're still going faster than all the Deaf gossipers still sitting at the table complaining. Hmm?
Here's one last encouraging video:
I'm rooting for ya!
No, not you political reporters - go back to your petty squabbles.
I'm talking about those reporters who write about people with disabilities. Yeah I called you dumb and ignorant. Hurts don't it?
Then maybe you should stop using such bullshit terms when writing about us, hmm? The words you use to describe people with disabilities are very patronizing and paint us in a negative light.
Let me give you a few examples:
Forget the stupid "clickbait" title. Here's some of the wording that's cringe-worthy:
I already shared my disdain about the viral post of the student helping the Deafblind man on the flight. It was great she helped, but the writing was blatantly patronizing and belittling of the Deafblind man.
Some other words I've seen used are:
When you're writing these words you're saying -
"glad it's not me"
"I wouldn't be able to do that"
"how can they live like that"
"Look at what we nice people did for them"
"Look at how special and different they are"
You get my point?
So, if you want to write about people with disabilities it's best to 1) interview them and show their story as they tell it, or 2) Learn the proper terminology - read blogs by people with disabilities, look at web pages of various agencies serving people with disabilities, or ASK that group!
Because all it comes down to is that people with disabilities are just like everyone else that do things just "a bit different".
So just stop putting us in a bad light and using us to make yourself feel better!
Now if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me. I'll be happy to help!
Remember in High School and College you were taught the APA writing style? To always have a title page, an abstract summary, the body with introduction, method, results, and discussion - yadayada.
Well, that won't work on the internet so toss all that out.
People get bored easily with large paragraphs and information. Here's a secret - Internet readers are scanners. They want to read quickly and scan the page for interesting tidbits.
So, I'm going to give you some easy pointers on how to write for the internet:
The Best Blog Writing Practices to Know
When writing your blog post keep these pointers in mind.
1. Have a Goal
Every blog post, whether its for a business or a personal blog, must start with a purpose.
This purpose should have your audience in mind and either answer a question they have or address a need of theirs.
2. Have a Catchy Title
I learned this a while ago. You need a catchy title to catch the interest of your readers, like I said, those readers are scanners.
Which one would you be more likely to read?
"My Annoying Day" - yeah, who gives a rat's ass?
"The Time I Blew Up at the Doctor's Office" - a little better, makes you more curious. But not good for search engines.
"Here's Why the Deaf Hate the Medical Community" - Much better for search engines and reader's interest.
3. Have a Relevant Image
If you regularly read my posts you know I usually have an image relevant to my topic.
This helps not only with catching reader's eyes, but with sharing on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram prefer an image with any shared post, otherwise people only see a blank screen - boring.
Three great tips for using images are:
4. Use Links
Use links in your post. Use either your own related blog posts or external sites for references and "proof" for your statements.
The best way to include a link is to just hide it in the middle of a relevant sentence.
For example, "I am a Deafblind Mom." It's best not to use something like "More reading can be found here." (Even though I'm guilty of this sometimes).
5. A Good Layout
Like I mentioned, internet readers are scanners, they scan the page for points of interest. So we need to layout our post for the optimal reading experience.
How to have a good blog layout:
6. Share, Share, Share
After your post goes live - share it on all your social media links. Create accounts just for your blog (separate from your personal account). I have a Facebook Page and a Twitter account for this website.
Another thing to do is to join blog sharing sites related to your blog theme. Bloglovin', BlogHer (for moms), and I'm on Deafread for deaf related blogs.
For more resources for free "learn to blog" classes, check out these:
Continuing with the freelance writing theme of the last two posts, I want to show you how to write blogs and articles quickly.
10 Tips on Writing Faster
Between having several freelance clients, this blog, and my family commitments and soon a busy upcoming SignOn fall schedule - it can get overwhelming.
There's been days where I'm pretty much glued to my office chair typing away and doing internet research.
I had to come up with a better and faster way to write. I found 10 tips:
1. Keep a Notebook
Keep a notebook handy with you and anytime an idea strikes, or an article you come across is a good future reference.
After a while you will have a long list of ideas for future writings.
One great website and browser extension is called Pocket. Anytime you're on a website of interest and you want to save it, click the Pocket extension it will save it for you to read later.
2. Write an Outline
I start my articles with a few beginning sentences and then I make an outline of the points I want to cover, usually these are written as headings.
For example, if I'm writing about survey apps, I'll jot down the ones I know (or have) and then a quick online search for a list of more and jot those down too.
3. Internet Research
If you have notes or saved articles, now you can go back and use these in your writing.
A simple Google search on your Title will create a list of similar articles. I sometimes copy the link and post them at the top of my article to refer back to later.
Copy quotes, research sources, and other ideas that crop up from these searches.
Now that I have some reading sources and ideas, I start typing away. Don't worry about "how good is it" yet. Just write.
After you've written, and either are done with the article, or are stuck for more ideas. Go back and start editing and improving your writing.
If you're not good with this part, download Grammarly which will help you with any spelling and grammar editing.
Another favorite editing site is called Hemingway which will help with sentence structure and more.
6. Know your Audience
One great tip for writing anything is to know who you're writing for. Once you have an idea who will be reading your article, you can then change your tone, your terminology and writing style.
It's best to stick with articles and niches that fit you instead of trying to change for them. Writing on topics you have no interest or knowledge of makes writing harder, longer to write and your unfamiliarity will show up in your writing.
One great tip for writing is to write as if you're having a conversation with someone reading your article. This helps the flow of the writing as well as for clarity.
7. Typing Speed
This sounds like a no-brainer, but a fast typing speed will help you write faster.
My tested typing speed is about 47-50 wpm, but that's following a script. If I'm writing from my own thoughts, I actually type faster.
Want to know your own typing speed? Take this free test.
8. Establish a Writing Space
Set up a writing space that's relatively free of interruptions and make it yours. Set up a space for your computer or laptop, room for writing or jot pads and a coaster for your favorite drink (mine's coffee). Decorate the surroundings with your favorite things, inspiration printouts, or a small plant. Whatever you fancy.
9. Limit Distractions
This is one area I still struggle with. Even though I have my office in the guest bedroom and I can close the door if I choose to. I still get distracted by my own mind wandering away, or by a good song playing on Pandora, or right now - a 2 month old kitten chewing on my foot.
To limit distractions you could:
10. Do it for YOU
You really need to enjoy writing and want to do it. If you're in it just for the money, you will start to hate doing it and avoid it, procrastinate, or even burn out faster.
You need to enjoy the niche you're writing in, enjoy learning new things, and not do it for the pay or the accolades.
Write for your enjoyment and learning and the rest will follow.
Written by Melisa Marzett
Creativity and inspiration go hand in hand. Many people understand the dependence: inspiration has appeared, the creative process is being launched. However, more often it is the other way around: in the creative process, a creative impulse inspiration is born, which brings you a new creative path and gives birth to creative success.
Why are we looking for inspiration?
Inspiration is a special state of mind and body that gives new experiences. Perhaps that's why there are "hunters" for inspiration.
Wikipedia describes inspiration as a state of the highest ascent, when the cognitive and emotional spheres of a person are connected and directed towards the solution of a creative task. A person in a state of creative inspiration seems to carry a "flow", he does not understand everything in his actions, he can not always tell how much time passed (hour, day). Often, with the long stay in a state of creative inspiration, there is also the emergence of insights.
For many people, including me, inspiration is a resource state in which one wants to stay as long as possible. However, life is cyclical, and inspiration has the ability to leave us and to go on vacation for a while. If you could download inspiration for every day, or buy, then what is the price of inspiration would be? However, you can only tune into it and create conditions.
13 Ways to Get Inspired
1. To create your own life, to approach the solution of your problems creatively. Not later, not someday, but right now, today! I like to wake up early in the morning, because at this time my mind is still asleep and I can take advantage of this and give myself to the creative flow.
2. Do something new in your life. Allow yourself to be a child. For example, buy colored paints and paper. Write. Sing. Dance. Do not rate your paintings, artwork and movements of your adult body. Watch the children. When the evaluation of others is not yet important for them, they paint for themselves, sing for themselves, move for themselves. They are passionate about the process. They enjoy and rejoice. This is the state of consciousness that gives creativity. Creativity is a very multifaceted process. By arranging a "creative childhood" for yourself, you will be surprised to find new non-standard solutions for your work, your favorite business, new solutions for home improvement, ideas for creative life in general. Note that it depends only on you. You do not need to study specifically for this purpose (unless you want to become a professional artist, singer or dancer). All you need for this is: your desire, time and space.
3. Relax. Do not join the race to catch everything. You will be in time. The quality of your self-awareness is important, which will eventually become the quantitative result of your activity. It is important to feel good both with the soul and body. Full sleep, nutrition, fresh air, physical training - a pledge of mental resistance to stress and depression.
4. Do not try to live, but live. In life, there are no drafts like in school.
5. Inspiration comes to us with breathing. So straighten your shoulders, open your chest and breathe deeply.
6. Carry out an audit of the responsibilities and obligations that you carry on your back. Everything that is not yours should be remove from your life. Let your wings retake again.
7. Give yourself the right, permission to make the mistakes. The fear of making a mistake "freezes" any endeavors, binds the body and does not allow the creative flow to pass through you. Transfer your mistakes into life experience, on which you will rely further.
8. Watch movies, read books, visit interesting exhibitions.
9. Create yourself a creative space in which you are comfortable.
10. Communicate with interesting and inspiring people.
11. Take action. Creativity is the movement of energy through your consciousness, hands, body. Through your whole being. Do not let this power stagnate inside your vessel. It is not a wine that requires aging.
12. Always keep a notebook and pen near, in order to have time to write down your discoveries and ideas for implementation.
13. Do your favorite things, it will give you strength and energy, in the flow of which you will receive your ideas and inspiration for their implementation.
There is nothing more important for creativity than faith in yourself. The thoughts like: "I'm not a creative person," "I can not" and "it's not necessary for anyone", should be thrown away from your head forever. In the end, you need at least any result, positive or negative, better than doing nothing. Is not it? Of course it is! You should enjoy every moment of life and be creative. Thanks to this, the inspiration will find you!
About the author: Melisa Marzett is a perfect writer, talented woman with a wonderful taste. Enjoy the beauty of written word by reading her posts for livecustomwriting.com and get inspired!