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Chronicles of Deafness / Hearing aids / Hearing Impairment

Other people’s curiosity about our DEAFNESS

Other people’s curiosity about our deafness will accompany us for the rest of our lives. The sooner we get used to the stares and don’t mind them, the easier it will be. A new pair of hearing aids has the power to attract a legion of onlookers. A
cochlear implant
even more so. Curious people of all kinds. 🙂

Types of curious people

Those dying of shame

There are those who are too embarrassed to ask “What’s that?” and just stare at us with a look that’s more like a bright question mark. In this case, we even feel sorry for the person and explain what it’s all about. After all, she had the courtesy not to invade our privacy.

The politely invasive

There are those who are politely invasive. They immediately start asking what it is because they can’t wait to satisfy their curiosity. As long as they limit themselves to one or two questions, okay. What’s more, they go beyond common sense, like putting their hands in our ears without asking permission.

Technological pain in the ass

There are the technological nags. Even if they hear perfectly and have no cases of deafness in their family or circle of friends – and even if they’ve never seen a hearing aid in their lives – they think they’re experts on the subject. They don’t even ask. They say so! Do you know what a hearing aid is, what it’s for, what it does, what it doesn’t do, how much it costs, which model is best, how it should be used? They deserve a trophy for boredom and weirdness.

The clueless curiosity seekers

There are those who are completely clueless. The last time I came across one of these, I heard that the little creature commented:“I looked inside her ears and I didn’t see anything wrong!”. They are beings who supposedly obtained degrees in medicine and speech therapy from the Brazilian Universal Institute (is there any other explanation?). They’re the classic nasty people.

Consequences of mindless curiosity

It’s because of people like this that many deaf people close themselves off and refuse to use something that can improve their quality of life. For fear of those laser-beam stares, for fear of judgment, for fear of being treated differently. In fact, it’s called…
CAPACITISM
.

Sound silly? And it’s so silly! But it happens and it will continue to happen. As a child, I witnessed many scenes of a girl being the victim of
bullying
and extremely mean comments and comments because of her obvious hearing aids. Back then, I listened much better than I do today. And yet it terrified me.

I didn’t even know about my hearing loss and I still couldn’t understand how people (adults and children) could be so mean about a problem that wasn’t even a character flaw. Twenty years later, things are still the same! How is that possible?

I think what’s missing is for parents of children without disabilities to teach their children to be HUMAN. To teach these children not to look on in fear, not to judge without trying to learn first, not to point fingers. On the contrary, teach them how to make friends, reach out, offer help and treat naturally what doesn’t need to be treated with such strangeness.

In this way, they will become the kind of adults that are needed in the world today. If you think about it, none of us is free from experiencing something serious (like having a disability) in life. Think about it!

This post was written in 2010, when I was still using hearing aids and had just come out of the deafness closet. Eleven years later, it’s still relevant.

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group of deaf people who hear hearing impairment deafness

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The mistakes you CANNOT make when buying HEARING AID

I’ve been through the saga of buying hearing aids several times. I was once persuaded to go into debt to buy a “discreet and invisible” hearing aid that didn’t even cover my deafness. I’ve already been scammed when I took a hearing aid for repair to the store where I bought it: the audiologist said it was no longer suitable for me without even checking it or doing a new
audiometry
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About Author

Paula Pfeifer é uma surda que ouve com dois implantes cocleares. Ela é autora dos livros Crônicas da Surdez, Novas Crônicas da Surdez e Saia do Armário da Surdez e lidera a maior comunidade digital do Brasil de pessoas com perda auditiva que são usuárias de próteses auditivas.

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