Myths about deafness
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Myths About Deafness. Myth. All Deaf people can read lips. Fact.

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Myths About Deafness

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Myths About Deafness


Myth

All Deaf people can read lips.


Fact

Some Deaf people are very skilled lip readers, but many are not. Only about 30% of spoken English is visible on the lips. This is because many speech sounds have identical mouth movements. For example: p and b look exactly alike on the lips.


Myth

All Deaf people are mute


Fact

Some Deaf speak very well and clearly; others choose not to use their voice if they think that they are difficult to understand or have problems gauging their pitch or volume. However, most Deaf people do have the physical ability to speak and therefore, they are not technically “mute”. 


Myth

People who are Deaf are

“Deaf and Dumb”


Fact

The inability to hear affects neither intelligence nor the physical ability to produce sounds.

Deafness does not make people "dumb" in the sense of being either stupid or mute. Deaf people, understandably, find this stereotype particularly offensive


Myth

All deaf people use sign language


Fact

Many Deaf people use Sign Language exclusively while others us a variety of educational sign systems. Still some who are “medically deaf” do not use sign language


Myth

Deaf people are less intelligent


Fact

Hearing ability is unrelated to intelligence. Lack of knowledge about deafness, however, has often limited educational and occupational opportunities for deaf people.


Myth

Deaf people can't use the phone


Fact

Special telecommunication aids (TTYs/TDDs) and videophones have been developed for deaf people


Myth

All deaf people use hearing aids


Fact

Many deaf people benefit considerably from hearing aids. Some may only be able to hear loud environmental sounds such as a fire alarm or a car horn. Still others may not benefit at all.


Myth

Deaf people lead totally different lives than other people


Fact

Most deaf individuals occupy their time just like hearing people. Of course, individual differences exist.


Myth

Deaf people cannot appreciate the arts because they can't hear music, movies, etc.


Fact

Throughout history, deaf individuals have participated in and contributed to the performing arts. Beethoven is one example.  Today there are deaf artists, dance troupes, and actors.  Captioning of movies and other audiovisual media is helpful for deaf citizens. As long as there is rhythm and visual image, deaf will be valued performers and patrons of the arts


Myth

Deafness is genetic.  All people who are Deaf will pass Deafness onto their children


Fact

There is a type of deafness that is genetic, and some deaf people do have deaf children, however 90% of all deaf people are born to Hearing parents and will also have Hearing children.  


Myth

Sign Language is bad for Deaf people because they will rely on it too much and it will make them unable to communicate with hearing people


Fact

Study after study has shown that keeping Sign Language away from Deaf people does nothing except keep alllanguage away from Deaf people, and it can have numerous negative effects on their ability to learn. 


Myth

Sign Language is universal.


Fact

Actually, there are at least 70 signed languages existing in the world at this time, that we know of, and all of them are incredibly distinct.  American Sign Language is used in the United States, parts of Canada,and has loose relations to French Sign Language.


Myth

Deaf people don’t want to be deaf, they are hoping for some miracle cure that will make them hear


Fact

Most Deaf people actually like being deaf. 


Myth

Deaf people can’t drive a car


Fact

Deaf people drive cars all the time.  In fact, some studies have shown that Deaf people are actually better drivers than Hearing people due to the fact that Deaf people have enhanced peripheral vision and are less distracted.


Myth

American Sign Language is spoken English conveyed through signs


Fact

Sign Language is not a manual code for the spoken language. Deaf people do not sign word-for-word to form grammatically correct sentences. Many students who Learn Signed English do not realize it is Signed English they are learning and not ASL


Myth

Deaf people are not sensitive to noise


Fact

Some types of hearing loss and use of hearing aids actually accentuatesensitivity to noise. Loud noises become garbled and uncomfortable.


Myth

All deaf people are part of Deaf Culture


Fact

Deaf Culture is an identity that must be embraced by the individual. Members of Deaf culture choose to view their lack of hearing as a different human experience, and not a disability


Myth

Sign language is just mime and gestures


Fact

A signed language is just like any spoken languages, there are words and uniqueexpressions as well as sentence structure and grammar.


Myth

Deaf and Hard of Hearing people prefer to be called Hearing Impaired


“Hearing impaired" is considered by many people to be politically incorrect, because the word impaired can sound derogatory and imply something is wrong with

a person. The more accepted term is

“Deaf.“

Fact


Myth

Deaf People Read Braille


Fact

No, only blind people read Braille.

deaf people can see but cannot hear.


Myth

It is easy to learn sign language


Fact

Some exceptionally language oriented people can learn it in 2-4 years. Others take at least 5-7 years. Fluency involving all the intricate nuances of the language takes a while. There is so many things that happen at the same time in ASL that to incorporate them all

flawlessly requires work.


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