Those who been deaf and severely hard of hearing all their lives, our English isn't the same, we get pick on all the time, some do have trouble understanding what we are talking about. Deaf culture is a different culture all together.

It is best to see help, advice from your local Deaf and Hard Of Hearing Society nearest to you to have a better understanding.

There is no interpreter that I know of that is in this site that can help interpret our language to yours, so it is best to seek advice from the local agency to help you interpret our language to yours, even our English to your English.

I have been deaf all my life, so my English isn't the same as anyone English, in fact it isn't the same English as a local area, even in my own area, so we get nic pick all the time on our English, it is part of discrimination which is call "Audism".

I just want to make it clear that we can have a better understanding of where we stand as I think it is very important to learn the different before there is a lot of misunderstanding, I do know that there are others in this site beside me that are deaf.

Tom L. Humphries came up with "Audsim" in 1975, He defined it as the attitude that people who hear and speak (or hear and speak proficiently) are superior to others. People who practise audism are called audists.

This is just to let you all know and have a better understanding where we stand with the hearing world! I call our world a "Slient world". You can also find more information on the net or your local deaf and hard of hearing agency nearest to you.
Deaf Culture

Deaf Culture - how does one define it? Where do we find Deaf Culture? Who decides that this is a culture? What constitutes Deaf Culture? These are questions we are commonly asked.

Deaf Culture is the heart of the Deaf community everywhere in the world. Language and culture are inseparable. They are intertwined and passed down through generations of Deaf people. The Deaf community is not based on geographic proximity like Chinatown or the Italian District for example. The Deaf community is comprised of culturally Deaf people in the core of the community who use a sign language (e.g. American Sign Language or Langue des Signes Quebecois) and appreciate their heritage, history, literature, and culture. The Deaf community is also comprised of other individuals who use the language and have an attitude that makes them an accepted part of the community though they may not be in the core of the community. It exists because of the need to get together, the need to relax and enjoy everything while being together. Deaf culture exists because Deaf people who are educated at residential Deaf schools develop their own Deaf network once they graduate, to keep in touch with everyone. Most of them go on to take on leadership positions in the Deaf community, organize Deaf sports, community events, etc. and become the core of the Deaf community. They ensure that their language and heritage are passed to other peers and to the next generation. They also form links with parents and siblings of Deaf children to strengthen and enlarge the community circle for Deaf children.

Language and culture are interrelated. Sign language1 is central to any Deaf person, child or adult for their intellectual, social, linguistic and emotional growth but to truly internalize the language, they must have the culture that is embedded in the language. Every linguistic and cultural group has its own way of seeing and expressing how they see and interpret the world and interact in it.

Culture consists of language, values, traditions, norms and identity (Padden, 1980). Deaf culture meets all five sociological criteria for defining a culture. Language refers to the native visual cultural language of Deaf people, with its own syntax (grammar or form), semantics (vocabulary or content) and pragmatics (social rules of use). It is highly valued by the Deaf community because it's visually accessible. Values in the Deaf community include the importance of clear communication for all both in terms of expression and comprehension. Deaf residential schools and Deaf clubs are important because of the natural social interaction they offer. Preserving American Sign Language (ASL) literature, heritage, Deaf literature and art are other examples of what we value. (ASL and LSQ [Langue Des Signes Quebecois] are both valued by Deaf Canadians). Only until recently has there been research about Deaf Art2. In 1989 a group of American Deaf artists created the term De'VIA meaning 'art with a Deaf view'. It is to entertain, share and educate in ways that express Deaf experience through their eyes. If we study Deaf art, we would notice emphasis on the hands and face, contrasting textures and strong intense colours (Small, 2000). Traditions include the stories kept alive through Deaf generations, Deaf experiences and expected participation in Deaf cultural events. Norms refer to rules of behaviour in the deaf community. All cultures have their own set of behaviours that are deemed acceptable. For Deaf people, it includes getting someone's attention appropriately, using direct eye contact and correct use of shoulder tapping. Norms of behavior often cause cross-cultural conflicts between Deaf and hearing people when the individuals are unaware of how their norms may be affecting their interactions and perceptions of each other's intents. Identity is one of the key components of the whole person. Accepting that one is Deaf and is proud of his/her culture and heritage and a contributing member of that society is key to being a member of the cultural group.

Communication is not a barrier for Deaf people when interacting in the Deaf community because they do not have to depend on an interpreter. This permits great opportunities for social skills, leadership and self-worth to flourish. It is all about Deaf children mingling together, playing sports and studying and learning together. When interacting in the Deaf community where Deaf culture is the norm, Deaf people are truly in an inclusive environment. At times people believe they can foster culture if they place Deaf children in a mainstream setting by including several Deaf children or periodically taking them to Deaf events like Mayfest (the annual gathering of Deaf people in Ontario). While it is good to make these experiences part of the child's life it is not possible to truly immerse the child in Deaf culture if one is mainstreamed. This is because Deaf culture is not taught either explicitly or implicitly through periodic experiences. Deaf culture is lived on a daily basis - like breathing.
I depend on lipreading to get by on every day communication, those who have facial hair, mumblers or accents from a different culture or country are the ones that I have great difficulties with, or cover their mouth with their hand(s). Tennitis is also my worst enemy too, Yes deaf and hard of hearing has them too. I know A.S.L. (American Sign Language), I also know S.E.E. (Signing Exact English) and Home Signing.

There are support and services to help you with your Tennitis from your local Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

I put together how to do numbers in American Sign Language, starting with number one (1) to number ten (10).
As you notice number 10 you will see only the thumb up and a few lines beside it, that means you shake it lightly.
What is a TTY?

TTY stands for Text Telephone. It is also sometimes called a TDD, or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf. TTY is the more widely accepted term, however, as TTYs are used by many people, not just people who are deaf.

A TTY is a special device that lets people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking and listening. A TTY is required at both ends of the conversation in order to communicate.

To use a TTY, you set a telephone handset onto special acoustic cups built into the TTY (some TTY models can be plugged directly into a telephone line). Then, type the message you want to send on the TTY's keyboard. As you type, the message is sent over the phone line, just like your voice would be sent over the phone line if you talked. You can read the other person's response on the TTY's text display.
If you don't have a TTY, you can still call a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired by using the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). With TRS, a special operator types whatever you say so that the person you are calling can read your words on his or her TTY display. He or she will type back a response, which the TRS operator will read aloud for you to hear over the phone. Toll free TRS services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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Those who been deaf or hard of hearing before they are able to learn to speak do sound like they are drunk, but that is because they were not able to learn to talk before the hearing went on them, in fact some are born that way. So before anyone start judging on how deaf and hard of hear talk, you should go and seek counseling from your local deaf and hard of hearing society and they can better help you out as how our culture works... Again this judging us like that is part of Audism.

The issue
Audism occurs in all levels of government and society in the form of direct, indirect, and/or systemic discrimination and discriminatory behaviour or prejudice against Deaf people.

CAD's position
Audism is as unacceptable as sexism, racism, ageism, and other forms of bigotry.

Many Deaf Canadians experience prejudice and discrimination because of their differences from the non-Deaf majority. Much of this discrimination arises from ignorance or thoughtlessness. Much of it is institutional, systemic, and/or attitudinal. None of it is acceptable.

Audism can be seen in two general aspects. One is the assumption or belief that people who are deaf must be encouraged (or even forced) to become as much like non-deaf people as possible. The other is to assume control over deaf people, to disempower them, by making decisions about their language(s), their education, the services they will need, and so on, with limited or no input by the D/deaf person and the Deaf community.

The assumption that D/deaf people must become like non-Deaf people involves a repudiation of Sign language and the Deaf culture, a fixation upon “overcoming” the deafness, zealous promotion of “hearing” and speaking, and a pathological attitude towards deafness. It also implicitly includes the belief that a person who cannot hear is ipso facto inferior to those who can.

The second aspect of audism -- i.e., the seizing of control over deaf people -- has been summed up by Dr. Harlan Lane with the simple statement, “Hearing people have enormous control over the lives of Deaf people.” For example, non-Deaf people make the decisions about the language choice, educational options, service provision, employment, and other aspects of a deaf person’s daily life. Non-Deaf people at television stations, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and creative production companies decide whether or not D/deaf people will be allowed access to television and movie/DVD programming through the provision of captioning. Non-Deaf people authorize building codes, architectural standards, and safety rules that decide whether visual alarms and “Deaf-friendly” building structural standards will be provided to Deaf people. Deaf people are not allowed the same power to make or influence decisions concerning their own lives that non-Deaf people routinely enjoy.

It is important to add that people who are themselves D/deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing may exhibit audist tendencies, too. They may have internalized the audist assumptions that bombard them every day of their lives. People who have been made to feel inferior because of their deafness may find the only way they can feel good about themselves is to turn around and oppress or disparage other D/deaf people.

Barriers exist in the expectations and behaviours of employers, educators and service providers. The fact is that deafness is not a disease, a disorder, or a health impairment, nor is it a threat to the health and safety of others.

Deaf employees generally have better punctuality and attendance records in the workplace than their non-Deaf counterparts. Their workplace safety record is no worse than that of non-Deaf employees, particularly where simple precautions or accommodations are implemented. For example, visual emergency alarms benefit everyone, not just Deaf people, and are rarely if ever a significant unrecoverable cost. Yet many employers continue to assume workplace safety will be compromised by Deaf employees, or that deafness somehow leads to high absenteeism and tardiness, and that accommodation is too expensive.

Canada does not lack services or educational programs for Deaf people; the problem is that these programs and agencies are dominated by non-Deaf people, some of whom may impose their own non-Deaf behaviours and expectations upon their Deaf clientele and co-workers. The sincerity or “good intentions” of non-Deaf service providers and educators is not in question; many have proven they can work with Deaf personnel on a basis of mutual respect and cooperation. The real issue is why services for Deaf people are not provided by -- controlled by -- Deaf people and Deaf organizations themselves.

Many non-Deaf people look at the occasionally weak writing skills of Deaf people and assume they are illiterate or unintelligent because of their deafness. The truth is that for many Deaf people, written/spoken language is a second language, and they may not even have been provided with a sufficiently strong grounding in their first language, which is visual. Prejudice and discrimination against visual languages such as ASL and LSQ -- one of the clearest forms of audism -- have profound effects upon all language acquisition.

We are often told that “Deaf people must become skilled in English/French (not Sign language) because when they grow up they will have to function in the hearing society and need English/French to find jobs, find happiness and have a full and useful life.” By that measure, blind people must learn to see, because when they grow up they will have to function in the “seeing society”. Wheelchair users will have to learn to walk because they will grow up in the walking society. Developmentally-disabled people will have to learn to “smarten up” because they will grow up into the non-developmentally-disabled society. And girls will have to become men because they will grow up to take their place in a patriarchal society!

If Sign language is so evil that it must not be taught to deaf people, then why do the same schools that refuse to teach it to the Deaf have no troubling thoughts about teaching it to non-Deaf high school and adult students? Why do medical professionals and early childhood educators campaign against teaching Sign to deaf children, yet enthusiastically support teaching it to non-deaf children because it has been proven to accelerate brain development and to overcome other kinds of communication disabilities such as autism? Why do bilingualism (English-French) advocates push vigourously for non-Deaf infant second-language training, at the same time the audist establishment pushes vigourously for teaching Deaf infants only non-Sign language? The answer to all these questions is simply: audism.

The Canadian Association of the Deaf calls upon all levels of government, service agencies, Deaf education programs, professionals serving the Deaf community, the media, and organizations of the Deaf across Canada to work together to eliminate audism through education, training, and policy development aimed at eliminating defamatory beliefs, false assumptions, and dehumanizing stereotypes about Deaf people.


The Canadian Association of the Deaf
303 - 251 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1X3
(613)565-2882 Voice/TTY
(613)565-1207 Fax
Deaf Culture - Audism
I'm Better Than You
From Jamie Berke, former Guide
Updated July 09, 2011 Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

.See More About:audism discrimination against deaf people

In the deaf culture, calling someone an audist is akin to calling someone a racist.

What is audism? A simple definition would be that it is a negative or oppressive attitude towards deaf people by either deaf or hearing people and organizations, and a failure to accomodate them. People who have audist attutides are considered to be audists. For example, the refusal or failure to use sign language in the presence of a sign language-dependent person is considered audism.

According to an article in Capital D Magazine (vol. 1, issue 1) (now apparently defunct), Tom Humphries invented the word "audism" in 1975 to mean an attitude that people who hear and speak, or have good English are superior. This applies whether the person who hears and speaks is deaf or hearing. I remember that when I was in my early teens, I liked a deaf girl who was strong ASL, but someone else (hearing) put down the girl because she was strong ASL and weak in English.

Audism in Deaf Culture

Audism has been the subject of plays, including the "Audism Monologues" produced by LightKitchen. In the Audism Monologues, true stories are told of deaf people experiencing oppression. At the second national professional development conference of the American Sign Language Teachers Association, Elizabeth Lucey presented "Oppress-Me-Finish: Combating Audism in the ASL Classroom." In addition, at the Deaf Way II (2002) Genie Gertz presented "Dyconscious Audism: The Conceptual Incarceration of Deaf People in a Hegemonically Hearing-Oriented Culture."

Additional Resources on Audism
•Gallaudet University library offers a detailed fact sheet on audism.
•The Buff and Blue student newsmagazine of Gallaudet University had an editorial, "Does Audism Exist on Campus?" in its November 11, 2002 issue. This article examined the question of whether audism existed at Gallaudet University itself, based on the experiences of a deaf student, Brendan Stern. Mr. Stern wrote a web essay on audism, "Autism, Anchovies, and Audism," in which he cites more examples of alleged audism at Gallaudet University and complains about Gallaudet's communication policy, which he says does not make signing mandatory at all times.
•Harlan Lane's book, the Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community, is primarily about audism.
Are you trying to compete with me for longest forum post? I think you just won. :lol:

Excellent post(s) and very informative. As you already know, I dated a girl long ago who was totally deaf from birth. She taught me ASL so we could communicate with each other better. I still practice it to this day and have used it in situations where there was a person trying to buy or explain something to someone who was deaf.

Imagine never having heard a spoken word or sentence. You don't even hear your own voice inside your head when speaking. Now think about why deaf people sound so odd when they speak... even, as ignorant people will sometimes remark, retarded. As infants we heard words, tonal inflections, sentence structure and other elements of speech. Even regional "accents" were assimilated. A person who is deaf never learned these things and often has to piece together their words and phrases as they interpret them. To a "normal" person hearing these or reading these it can seem like bad grammar or even a lack of education about speaking/writing properly.

This also is reflected when a person who is deaf writes. They write as they know how from living in a silent world, as you said earlier. If you look at some of Helen Keller's early writings she wrote the same way as you.

I guessed long ago that you were deaf when I read your posts. And I didn't have an issue "interpreting" them. But it saddens me to know that some of the lesser educated people here complained about your " grammar"... if only they could spend an hour in your silent existance.

Keep being yourself, star. You are a very intelligent woman with a lot to share and I, for one, am humbled to be your friend. :D

DaddyFish, don't let it sadden you, I am so use to it, since the day I lost my hearing (as a toddler). If people in this site take time to think what they are saying and why they are saying it, then they are in a Judgmental mood, so on this note, if they judge me, then they will also be judge, but not by me.

I was so young when I lost my hearing, I don't remember hearing anything. So as I grew up I had to learn to talk, which I hate because I could never sound out the words right, in fact I will say another word for instance, I can't say insect, so I would say bugs lol