I admit I had trouble coming up with something to focus on for Deaf Awareness Week.
I knew social media would be flooded with a multitude of different posts, vlogs, videos, and so on....all celebrating, educating, sharing, and more.
I didn't want to sound like a broken record, or get get skipped over because people "saw it already".
So, what do I do?
Discuss one major hangup between the Deaf and the "Hearing" or General Public:
Stop Pigeonholing the Deaf
Yep, stop pigeonholing those who are Deaf.
Stop assuming that "you've met one deaf person, you've met them all". We are as wide and varied as any other community with only one common link - we're Deaf. (And even that isn't common - there's s spectrum of hearing loss too).
I've heard so many stories among the Deaf community of different incidents that happened:
Those in the Deaf community come from different backgrounds, other cultures, different schooling, different experiences, have different talents, different jobs, and so on.
So, next time you meet a deaf person, it's just someone with hearing loss - first simply find out what communication method they'd like "how can we communicate better?" Text, pen & paper, lipreading, ASL interpreter, and so on. They'll be glad to tell you. Then just go about how you would treat anyone else!
Now Switching the Tables
Now I'm going to switch things up and address the Deaf community.
Stop pigeonholing the Hearing community!
Lately, I've seen a rash of posts and videos going around ranting about hearing people's audism against the Deaf community. Yes, sadly it happens frequently, but I'm not addressing that here. I've seen different wordings that are pigeonholing the hearing community. Such as:
See? "You hearies", "you as a hearing group"....you are also pigeonholing the general public that can hear.
Yes, there has been negative incidents on both sides but it's unfair to those who are innocent bystanders.
So, stop pigeonholing everyone and treat everyone as a first-timer into your world.