Hello my name is Sadie Taggart, and I am "hearing impaired."
Today I have been re-studying my old text books, trying to get all the practice I can get before I go to Gallaudet. I was skimming through my Deaf World book and ran across one of my favorite articles, Its entitled The Real Meaning of "Hearing Impaired." Written by Angela Straty in 1989.
This article is very much a satire it focus not on those who have hearing impairments, but those of us who are hearing individuals who have signing impairments. As I re-read this article I couldn't help but laugh. All the problems she points out, are problems that I have had or currently do have. There were a few impairments that she didn't mention how ever that I would like to diagnose myself with at this time.
The first of which is Digital Dyslexia. Digital dyslexia is when someone who is "hearing impaired" like myself can't seem remember the difference between the numbers 7 and 8, these numbers are easily confused because of how similar they look to each other.
Secondly I believe i have developed Finger Spelling Turrets or FST. As a new ASL student I was hard-of-finger spelling. To overcome this I began practicing my finger spelling. I would try my best to finger spell anything. The problem is that now it has become subconscious I find myself finger spelling all the time. I fingerspell what I'm thinking, what people are saying, what's on t.v, the radio etc. Its gotten to the point where I can't control it. Whats worse is that I'm never aware that I am doing it till someone informs me that my hand is "Twitching." Luckily for me my FST only comes out in nonsigning environments, so thankfully there isn't anyone around who can understand what I'm saying.
The last of my impairments is Gender Confusion . . . No I don't mean this in a psychological way at all. Though as a child I was always envious of boys and there ability to ride bikes with their shirts off and pee standing up. I have moved on from that now, some things in life simple aren't fair haha. No like I said this isn't a psychological matter but a matter of my inability to sign correctly. For those of you who sigh you know that the signs for mom and dad are very similar. They both have the same handshape and movement, however their location is different. I can't tell you how many times I have mouthed the word MOM while signing the word Dad. It happens often with other words for example the words brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend. You'll be having a conversation and you'll mean to say "Yes I have a boyfriend." but you'll sigh too low turning the sentence into "Yes I have a girlfriend." You're clueless to what you've done and now the person you're talking to thinks your a lesbian.
These disabilities are all very serious, so serious in fact that I might not even be considered "hearing impaired" instead I might be labels as Profoundly Hearing. Lets hope with study, practice, schooling, and lots of exposure to the deaf community I will be able to overcome my sighing impairments
(and by the way this was meant to be satirical as was Angela's original article. Hopefully no one takes offense. I was just making fun of myself.)