John Walker: Is your online profile written in Deaf Gain style? (BSL)

Posted on July 14, 2017


Deaf Gain is a positive term used to describe what is gained by deafness, as opposed to the common way of seeing deafness as meaning something (hearing) is lost. You can see more information about Deaf Gain here. In this article, John Walker argues that the idea of Deaf Gain could be built into our internet profiles. You can also watch this article in BSL signed by Helen Foulkes, below.

Apps are everywhere, and becoming parts of our everyday lives. More and more people will read our profile before they actually meet us in person. But writing profiles is a challenge for everyone – what can we possibly say about ourselves?

Watch this article in BSL signed by Helen Foulkes here:

With LinkedIn, Facebook, Tinder and Grindr all expecting you to create a profile about you, do you say you are deaf?

You might not mention it at all for fear of being judged or you might say something with ‘sorry I’m deaf’ in hope people will understand.

But what if a profile is written in Deaf Gain style? Deaf Gain is the opposite of ‘hearing loss’ and sees being deaf as an asset, a positive.

Let’s have fun with this by imagining how Deaf Gain could be incorporated into the following internet sites and other areas of life:

I can read your face like a book, because I have a special skill – called Deaf.

Angela . Sign name ‘angel’. Deaf and proud. We do world peace better than most people.

What makes a great manager? Someone who is a direct and clear communicator, has an eye for detail, and sees the bigger picture. All possible because I use the language of the eye, sign language.

If you have good hand to eye coordination, swipe right.

Deaf, gay and sign language user; so more physical, the better.

T-shirt slogan
I can see you before you see me.

Name badge
Jim Kent. My hero is Dot Miles (ask me)

Teacher profile
My teaching is unique. Others teach by ‘hearing is disbelieving’, I teach by ‘seeing is believing’.

NRCPD profile
Interpreter for the deaf NO
Support worker NO
Signer NO
Bloody good interpreter between two awesome languages in hopelessly difficult situations and still come up trumps YES

Single traveller. I can go anywhere because there is always a home for me.

Patient notes
Profoundly …. Deaf. Book an interpreter because you need one.

Artist profile
I paint peripherally. So open your eyes.

Actor profile
I am not a Deaf artist. My very being is Art.

Mary Heart. Died 25.02.17. Move towards the light and she is there.

If you can think of a few more or have a good Deaf Gain profile already … add them in the comments.

John Walker is a Teaching Fellow at University of Sussex and PhD student in Social Geography. Deaf, and sign language user by informed choice. He writes a blog on topics related to the Bourdieusian principle, by the title “Deaf Capital” . It is concerned with the ‘value’ that people place on the Deaf community or the cultural elements of deaf lives that can be askew or misconstrued. Follow him on twitter as @chereme

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

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