The most troublesome thing about deafness is the misconceptions many people have about it. Many are born with hearing disability, whereas some lose their ability to hear over a period of time. Some of the hearing disabilities do not completely deafen the patient. In such cases, affected people find it hard to hear things as well as hearing people do.
Major myths about deafness:
All deaf people pass their deafness to their children: This is one of the biggest fallacies about patients who face hearing disorders. It is said that deafness is a genetic disease and it can be passed through generations.
Truth-It is not necessary for deaf parents to have deaf children. Deaf kids are born to hearing parents; similarly, deaf people have hearing children.
Deaf people cannot communicate without sign language: One common belief about deafness states that deaf people are dependent only on sign language for communicating.
Truth-People with hearing disorders have developed various methodologies for communicating other than sign language.
Deaf people cannot drive vehicles or play like normal people: People often assume deaf individuals are poor drivers or unable play games and perform duties as normally.
Truth-Deaf people have developed excellent driving skills and sporting skills because of their enlarged peripheral vision.
Hearing loss is a rare issue: Not only people who are not deaf, but those who have hearing disorders have developed this belief that very few people encounter deafness disorder.
Truth-Hearing loss is one of the most common disorders. As per the United Nations World Health Organization’s research conducted in February 2013, more than 360 million people have a hearing loss disability.
Deaf people cannot lead a normal lifestyle: This is one of the most popular myths about hearing disability and people dealing with it.
Truth- Deaf people lead normal lives just like anyone else. They go to work, make friends, drive vehicles, play games, marry and have children, go to supermarkets, manage their household and so on.
All deaf people are unable to speak: Most people share this common belief about deaf people. They consider deaf people mute too.
Truth-Not all deaf people are necessarily dumb. There are many of them who possess the physical capacity to generate sound similar to any other normal human being. However, the gauging of pitch and volume of voice is very difficult for people suffering with hearing loss disorders.
All deaf people can read lips: It is considered a common belief that everyone who is unable to hear manages to understand the conversation via lip reading.
Truth-The fact is that only 30% of spoken English is readable on lips. Hence, lip reading can never help in understanding the entire conversation. However, specially trained deaf people can attempt to converse via lip reading.
Deaf people do everything normally, in fact often even better than people who are not deaf. They are great to socialize with and according to a UN study, deaf people are brilliant friends and 73% of them have an amazing sense of humor. Deaf people, because of their disability, have a gift of ‘reading the room’; they are good at scanning spaces and deciding where to go after studying the body language and non-verbal signals of the people present there.