Teresa Garratty: What I meant by my ‘angry deaf people’ article

Posted on May 2, 2014



A few weeks ago, my article ‘Is it time for deaf people to be a little less angry’ caused a lot of controversy online, and some people thought I should have been clearer about what I meant, so to address this, I’ve written this blog.

First, I wanted to get a few things cleared up. A lot of people seemed to take offence, which I didn’t intend to cause.

The article was not aimed at Deaf activists and I didn’t mention areas like Access to Work, the Government, healthcare, equality or even religion (?!).

I also didn’t say “Don’t be angry, ever!” which some people seemed to think I did.

So, to clarify, what I meant was:

“Deaf people can get angry for the wrong reasons, at the wrong people and maybe it would be better if we were a bit more relaxed sometimes.”

When I wrote this, I was trying to highlight things that I have personally witnessed.

Things like, for instance, people getting angry at others for not signing correctly/at all, or not being the “right kind” of Deaf person, not having enough hearing loss, not being Deaf from birth, having a cochlear implant, giving their children cochlear implants, being “just” a CODA, communicating verbally, etc.

The list goes on and on, but I feel that these are all topics worthy of their own articles, which is why I didn’t go into further detail.

After my article came out, I was called names, and bullied online, and so I hope that by writing this, people have a better understanding of what I was trying to address.

I have absolutely no quarrel with anyone who disagreed with the article in a polite and reasonable tone, in fact I have the utmost respect for you.

The issue of dealing with people responding to us negatively is one that is bubbling under the surface for many of us, from all walks of life and that’s what I was trying to address in the article.

Teresa is a contributing editor to this site. She is also a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.

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