What kind of deaf person are YOU? Work out if your answers are mostly a, b, c, d. Your answers will help you find out…
1. When you can’t understand someone at a party do you:
b. Ask them to repeat what they have said, and say: “Sorry, please could you say that again – I’m deaf’”.
c. Say “that’s very interesting.”
d. Mutter that you have to go to the loo.
2. At the party, you are introduced to Fred. Fred has a thick glossy beard. He says something you can’t understand. Do you:
a. Smile weakly.
b. Nod your head to show interest (the ‘deaf nod’) but don’t bother asking him to repeat anything as you know you won’t understand.
c. Decide to be honest. Say “I have no idea if that was interesting or not because you have a beard.”
d. Say firmly that you have to go to the loo, it’s an emergency.
3. Later, you really have gone to the loo (don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you). But your cunning plan to escape Fred is foiled as he approaches you with a drink. Do you:
a. Smile through gritted teeth, take the drink from him and wish you could have a temper tantrum. It’s very annoying being grown up.
b. You speak for 10 minutes non stop about why live subtitles are usually rubbish, and carefully don’t give him the opportunity to interrupt.
c. Tell him he can only speak if he goes to the bathroom first and shaves off his beard. The blood drains from his face. You kindly explain that you don’t really have diarrhoea and that he need not worry about a noxious smell in the bathroom.
d. Decide to return to the loo, lock the door, turn off your hearing aids/CI so you can’t hear people banging on the door, keep your feet off the ground so you can’t feel them banging on the door, and write an article for Limping Chicken on your phone.
4. It’s now time to watch videos of your friend’s childhood and listen to people making sentimental speeches. Do you:
a.Move to the back so that people don’t realise you can’t follow? You hate the look of awkward pity on their faces.
b. Move to the front so that you can try to understand some of what’s happening and watch everyone carefully to try to ensure you laugh at the right time.
c. Stand near your friend’s mum as you know she’ll tell you the important bits, and chill out. You can always ask for full information later.
d. Decide to opt out, as it’s awful trying to pretend you can follow, and go to the loo in the avocado ensuite you spotted earlier, and write a second article for Limping Chicken.
5. The party is going with a swing. Music is playing loudly. Someone decides it’d be a good idea to turn off the overhead lights. There is one feeble lamp flickering in the corner. Do you:
a. Sidle towards the lamp as at least the light is better there.
b. Hover near the door but don’t quite have the nerve to turn on the overhead lights, as everyone would look at you.
c. Go to the kitchen. The drink is there anyway.
d. Decide to go home and use the loo there. You’ve stuck it out for 1 hour, and that is enough. Besides, Limping Chicken doesn’t need a third article, and you have other things you can play with at home.
What did you answer? The truth is revealed below.
If you answered:
mostly a’s. You are a repressed and well-brought up deafie.
mostly b’s. You are a moderately repressed and well-brought up deafie.
mostly c’s. You are a proactive deafie. You should carry a razor with you at all times to force beardies to become deaf friendly.
mostly d’s. You need to develop other interests in life – going to the loo is a narrow interest.
And, the moral of the quiz is, if you had been open minded and told Fred that you hadn’t understood him, you might have found out that Fred has a deaf sister, and would have switched to deaf friendly conversation if you had given him a chance.
He would have also told you what was happening in the videos and speeches and wouldn’t have batted an eyelid if you had asked him to turn on the lights so that you could carry on your interesting conversation.
Or you might have found out he was a plonker… in which case, please revert to possible solutions above.
By Joanna Wootten
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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