Revealed: How a Deaf American woman countered a fellow passenger’s assumptions while on an airplane flight

Posted on October 14, 2015

A Deaf American woman’s response to a fellow passenger’s assumptions about her deafness has gone viral on Facebook.

Dawn Elaine was asked why she wasn’t speaking and was told to use her voice by the passenger, as they communicated in written notes.

He then told her she should get a cochlear implant.

Here’s her account of what happened and how she replied, which she uploaded on Facebook:

I’m here at Minneapolis Airport, a 3-hours layover.

I’ve a story to share.

On the flight from Dulles, a guy was sitting next to me. A casual wearing guy. He’s an Asian. We minded our business as I was engrossed into a “Yes Please” book by Amy Phoeler.

An excellent book, by the way.

When a stewardess came by for drinks, I mouthed ‘Sprite, no ice, please.’

The casual wearing guy ordered orange juice.

Then, he wrote something on a napkin. The note was then placed on my lap (it was strange, nevertheless).

The dialogue began:

Him: Hi, why aren’t you speaking? Use your voice.
Me: I’m deaf.
Him: Get a chochlear implant. Sad not able to hear.
Me: I’m fine with it. I’m good, thank you. (I was annoyed)
Him: You are deaf. Need cholear implant. Important. My deaf cousin have Colchester implant.

Okay. I was extremely annoyed.

Me: Do you work at a nail salon?
Him: (puzzled look) No, why do you say that?
Me: Well, not all deaf people have or get CI. So, not all Asians work at nail salons.

*silence* Then, he closed his eyes for the rest of flight.

You can see the notes below:




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