A world where you hear nothing, you see but you do not understand. A world where things just take place. This is the challenge faced by deaf persons. Even though some of them can hear thanks to cochlear implants the rest still have a hard time. One of the main difficulties is choosing treatment. The other challenge come is learning where deaf students cannot understand their teachers and friends.
Making Treatment Choices
Many deaf people feel one of their biggest difficulties is the hearing culture that treats them as though they are handicapped, people to be pitied or changed. According to the PBS documentary “Sound and Fury,” a fairly large percentage of deaf people—especially those deaf from birth—would opt out of the hearing world, no matter what current or future technologies were offered. Darby J. Leigh, a graduate student who was born deaf, states “losing deafness could be as terrifying a change as waking up with a different gender.”
Written English is based on the spoken word. Reading, writing and comprehension all require a higher language focus. Children who only learn to sign have trouble understanding teachers and peers. The Gallaudet Research Institute in Washington, D.C., tested a group of 926 deaf students, ages 17 to 18, in reading comprehension skills. The results of their tests were equivalent to those of the same tests given to hearing children in the fourth grade. The median literacy level of the deaf 17- to 18-year-olds was the same as hearing 8- to 9-year-olds in public schools. It’s important to note that these tests were based on comprehension skills of the English language and not I.Q.
Deaf people would like to live a normal life like everyone else unfortunately this a bit hard when they are on the road. They cannot hear the hootings and all the traffic sounds. They cannot even hear a warning siren. They totally rely on sight which limits their driving. They at times feel alone because they are surrounded with silence.
Driving gives everyone a sense of independence, but it may be even stronger for the deaf community. Deaf drivers must focus all of their attention when driving an automobile because they are not able to hear sirens and traffic noises. This means that the driver must rely on the sense of sight to warn them of dangers while on the road.
Even if the deaf person has a supportive family and friends, it is likely that they are the only deaf person in the family or group of friends. This can lead some deaf persons to feel alone in the world. Community programs for deaf people can help to overcome the loneliness.
Deaf persons also have challenges when applying for jobs. If a job post says it is open to all sorts of people yet the hiring manager does not have a sign language interpreter, the deaf applicant automatically looked out the hiring process. This is also part of discrimination.
The application process can prove challenging for deaf applicants. That’s why the South Carolina Hospitality Association recommends that hiring managers ask if the deaf applicant prefers having an interpreter present. If one more than person will meet the candidate, he should receive a written itinerary, so the session is easier to follow. Interviewers should also notify the receptionist, who can help the applicant relax, and complete his paperwork. Failure to follow these steps can mean an unproductive or unsuccessful interview.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for disabilities, unless it causes an undue hardship. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cited this language in suing Toys “R” Us, Inc., for requiring a deaf applicant, Shakirra Thomas, to provide her own interpreter at a group interview. Thomas’s mother stepped into that role, but the company refused to hire her. Such cases, according to the EEOC, show the discrimination that deaf applicants can experience.