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My New Look, Thoughts on Lip-reading and deaf Identity

Posted Apr 16 2010 6:06pm

You probably noticed I have a new look. I have always wanted my own art on top, but was never satisfied with it.

Recently while uploading some of my old pics to a new computer I came across this photo that I had posted for a Photo Hunt technology theme,  and I  decided it represented this blog well.   It’s a picture of some of my hearing loss equipment– both old and new.   Over the years, I have collected so many ‘face me’ buttons at various hearing loss events, it seemed a no-brainer to include them in the photo.

Learning to say Please Face Me is one of the first coping skills you develop after losing your hearing. It’s important, which is why all the hearing loss orgs pass out these buttons.  I have mixed feelings about the whole “face me, lip reading” button thing.  Most people who lose their hearing later in life do pick up lip-reading to a certain extent, but I feel the buttons can be misleading to hearing who sometimes expect super human lip reading skills. Let’s face it, there is no way I can read your lips if you cover your mouth while speaking.

I have been thinking a lot about my deaf identity lately.  It seems to have come full circle.  I don’t see myself as deaf or hearing.  I am just me.  When I tell others about my hearing loss, I simply say I can’t hear well, or that I’m ‘practically’ deaf, which is true.  I don’t see the point in nitpicky labels that aren’t clearly defined, especially when I’m in a never-ending flux.  Moreover, because I have good low tones and profoundly deaf in the high tones where human speech falls, my ability to hear depends a lot on what I’m listening to and the environment I’m listening in.  I can be deaf one minute and hard-of-hearing the next.

What difference does it make?

Meanwhile, I have a lot to digest from my trip to New York and a visit with the lipid specialists.  Lifestyle changes are in order.  This is not a bad thing.

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