Deaf Person Speaks Too Well

I’ve talked to many people over the years about my speech. They tell me that it would be impossible to not have a deaf accent no matter how much speech therapy I get. Then I came across this from Dear Abby.
DEAR ABBY: I am a deaf woman who was raised by a woman who made sure I had speech therapy most of my life. Because of it, my speech is quite good, and people often forget that I am deaf or don’t believe me.
I was pulled over by a cop, and when I told him I was deaf and needed to read his lips, he didn’t believe me. Friends and co-workers have even told me, “With speech like yours, you can’t be THAT deaf!” It is frustrating and sometimes hurtful.
The truth is I cannot hear, and I need people to look at me so I can read their lips. Any suggestions on how to kindly remind people — including law enforcement officers — that I really am deaf? — READ MY LIPS IN D.C.
DEAR READ MY LIPS: You should request from your physician a card explaining your hearing disability, and carry it in your wallet in case you are stopped again by law enforcement. You can also use it if there are any more misunderstandings in the workplace.
Anyone know of other profoundly deaf people who speak this well?


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  1. I get that quite often…

  2. I get that quite often too. Unfortunately. There were times where I really needed to be taken seriously. 🙂

    • Meryl on May 7, 2008 at 4:58 pm
    • Reply

    Abbie and Candy, what happens? How has it been a problem? How do you handle it?

  3. This happens to me so often that I sometimes refuse to speak in order to minimize confusion.

    • Meryl on May 11, 2008 at 10:30 am
    • Reply

    Response from a friend:
    I might be questioned whether i really need an interpreter for certain situation because I speak so well, they think I would do well without one.
    Another instance would be my boss forgetting that I’m hard of hearing because I speak so well that she would talk without looking at me. I’ve caught her off guard many times and she would apologize and say, “oh, I’m sorry, I keep forgetting”
    Once, an officer thought I was lying until he saw my drivers license and realized that I do have a hearing loss.

  4. 1. They sit there and stare at me and say “I would have never known!”
    2. “Now that you mention it I hear it!”
    Sometimes it bothers me but I try to put a funny spin on it to get over that awkward moment…

  5. Me, Im not profoundly deaf but Im whats known as severely deaf, I have 15% hearing left in in my left ear and thats all and I apparently speak normally but I have a nasaly voice other than that I speak as a hearing person would and Like that person people always forget with me or dont believe me.

  6. *wave hands* I do! I absolutely hate it when people judge me based on how well I speak. Hearing people think that I don’t need to look at their lips, or think I don’t need an interpreter. Deaf people think that I’m too “hearing” to be called deaf solely based on the fact that I speak very well. It took YEARS of speech training to speak this well. I am profoundly deaf, so therefore I’m deaf.
    No matter how you look at it, people judge too quickly.

    • Cindy on May 27, 2008 at 11:29 am
    • Reply

    Yes, I did meet some certain people who’re stunned to find out about my hearing loss. In terms of sound level, I’m profoundly deaf. Fortunately, all of them took it very well.

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