Deaf doesn’t equal dumb!

So you may think that because someone cannot hear what you’re saying, they do not understand you.  Trust me, they understand so much more than you can possibly imagine!

Someone who is hearing-impaired is probably lip reading your mouth. They are also interpreting your body language like no-one else on the planet can. Hearing-impaired people can spot a fake from a million miles away. Do not think you can fool a hearing-impaired person in anyway whatsoever.  I’m gullible, but the friend I’m with, who may not be able to hear what you are saying, is not!  Having one of your senses impaired, sometimes taken away completely, automatically results in your other senses being heightened.

Some of the best dancers, musicians and composers are hearing-impaired.  Think about it. Your body feels rhythm in the hollow cavities.  If you have rhythm, you are able to feel the music and if you are a natural dancer, your body will respond by moving gracefully. Many hearing people do not feel rhythm at all. So not hearing music, does not mean there is no musicality.

And artistic?  Find me a hearing-impaired person who cannot draw, usually amazingly, and I’ll eat my paintbrush. In a class of ten hearing-impaired pupils, you’d be hard pressed to find one who is not capable of producing a work of art!

Living without complete use of one of your senses, often gives you another gift – one of compassion for others.  Hearing – impaired people are usually the most loyal, down-to-earth, diligent, amazing friends you could ever have. As for being employees – you’d be on a winning streak if you were the employer!

And intelligence? Some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, are hearing-impaired. You’d better believe it. So let’s banish that awful phrase ‘deaf and dumb’ from our vocabulary forever. There is no such thing. Teaching and socializing with hearing-impaired people has taught me far more than I ever taught them. It taught me how to teach – really teach. It showed me that unless you present information clearly and carefully, pupils or students do not get it. But if you do find a way of reaching your pupils/ students they will reward you by never forgetting.

The most important thing I’ve learnt from my hearing-impaired pupils, students and friends, is the art of listening, really listening. So give that gift to the people around you this festive season. It’s worth so much more, than that expensive present under your Christmas tree!

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