Coppell Observer: How to be a good hearing person


Kelly Wei

In America, 1 million people are deaf. Here are good ways to deal with a deaf person.

Claire Clements , Staff Writer

Coppell Observer is a humorous weekly column about life as a teenager. Please be warned that any and all sass is due to the writers’ similar situation as teenagers (even though we feel so much older). You, the reader, should not take any of these words seriously. Seriously. If this article makes you laugh, leave a comment.


Occasionally in your life, you might come across a deaf or hard-of-hearing person. It might be difficult to communicate and relate to them, and you may be clueless as to what to do. In order to be a good hearing friend to these people, here is what I (a deaf person) suggest you do:


Start yelling at them. This will not shock them or make them feel like a dog. They will definitely appreciate the fact that you, an incredibly knowledgeable hearing person, have assumed to know exactly how they hear and that their hearing only has something to do with volume, not clarity or speed of sound.  


Go straight to questioning them about their life story in relation to being deaf. Asking permission before you go on an in-depth investigation into someone’s life is for chumps. Also, make sure that your investigation only consists of the highest of quality questions, such as ‘Can you drive?’, ‘Can you date?’, ’How do you talk?’ and my personal favorite, ‘How do you even live?’ They will love these completely intelligent and valid questions.


As they are going through your investigation, make sure you make completely necessary and appropriate comments, such as ‘I don’t know how I could survive without hearing,’ or ‘I feel so bad for you’. This will definitely not make them feel bad and eventually lead to horrible self-esteem.


If they ask you to repeat something, you should blow them off and not repeat it. Instead, you should just say, ‘Never mind’ or ‘nothing’. Those are a deaf person’s favorite words. Anyway, who has the time to take two to three seconds out of their day to repeat something? This will not make them feel frustrated at all, and they will love it.


Assume that all deaf people are the same, and are all comfortable with words such as ‘hearing-impaired’ or ‘hearing-disabled’ and that they all know sign language, regardless of how they were brought up.


Speaking of sign language, there is only two ways to respond to anything involving sign language. One, you can respond with, ‘I know ASL!’ and start moving your hands randomly. This is a great way to demonstrate your immense respect for the language. Another way to demonstrate your respect is to ask them to teach signs to you. That is, only the signs for curse words. Again, they appreciate you truly showing interest in a beautiful language.


Make sure to always lend a helping hand, with everything. Deaf people always need help with the most basic of functions, such as eating, breathing, sleeping, reading and talking to other people. It is not like they have been deaf their whole lives or something.


Finally, if all else fails, just give up. Why bother trying to communicate with someone different from you when you have your good ol’ hearing buddies to hang out with?


Follow Claire on Twitter @cclements825