Paying Attention Was Not Easy
When I was working in church years ago doing a side job the person in charge, often accused me of not listening. Especially on that day when a man name George came in with a set of tools. He gave some kind of speech for an hour standing across the room. I did my best to try to listen to George by watching him talk the whole hour. Unfortunately he had a beard and I couldn’t lip read half of what he said. So I didn’t understand any of the instructions. I got very bored watching him talk. George stepped backwards and tripped over a bucket of paint, which spilled all over the floor. One thing I did hear was him swearing, the F word. It was loud and clear. That’s all I heard.
After George was done talking, Chucky told me to go do what George taught us. I told him that I didn’t hear what he was telling me to do. That’s when Chucky flipped out . He said that I wasn’t paying attention and for me to stop playing games. Then I tried to tell him I wasn’t playing around, that I did my best to listen. He said that’s no excuse and walked away.
Boy, did he make me feel bad. He wasn’t very understanding when I tried to explain about my hearing problem. Well either he was having a bad day, or just wasn’t educated on this subject. So don’t assume that a deaf person is going to understand everything you say just because they are looking right at you when you talk. And please don’t get impatient with deaf people when they can’t figure out what you said, if they can’t lip read you at the time. People need to understand that deaf people can’t hear, and it’s not always easy to lip read others, especially from a distance. It’s hard I know for the deaf at times.
- Communicating with a D/deaf Child (earlylearninghq.org.uk)