And what’s with the way that we refer to deaf people by both their first name and their surname, even when their name has been mentioned (in full) earlier in the conversation? Statistically, deaf people are incredibly safe drivers, so maybe our amazing peripheral vision makes up for it all?
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This is why I know the life history of a number of deaf people who I have never met. I confess that I have done it on occasion (although it’s complicated somewhat by having to turn my hearing aids off before shutting my eyes), and every deaf person I know has done it. It’s almost as though it’s their responsibility to avoid our signing hands, rather than the other way round. I still remember a hearing pal happily taking a lift with a Deaf friend of mine, only to get out of the car with a ghostly, pale look on his face when we all arrived at our destination.
And why some of my friends know all about people they’ve never met, that I talk about like they’re the cast of the Harry Potter films. Closing our eyes when we don’t want to listen to a hearing person’s point of view Pity the poor hearing person, often a parent or sibling, who, mid-argument, is prevented from replying to our point with a point of their own. Most of us stopped doing it when we realised that not only were we being annoying, we also looked incredibly silly. He hadn’t experienced signing and driving before, and thought his days on this planet were moments from coming to an end.