Why being Deaf shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid traveling

*You can either read this or watch the video for ASL version 🙂

1. We are not dumb; we’re just deaf.

It is no surprise that Deaf have been suppressed throughout the history based on the misconception that Deaf people are dumb. One day when we went out sighting in Thailand, we were appalled when we came across a mother who had her Deaf son in a wheelchair along with a sign that says, “My son is deaf and dumb. Please help.” Throughout the years, we, Deaf people, have come a long way to prove ourselves that we are not dumb, just Deaf. In fact, Deaf minds still function the same as Hearing’s. There are many Deaf people who are intelligent and successful. Do not believe in those ignorant stereotypes that are set up from Hearing’s perspectives.

2. We have super powers.

No, really, I am being serious. We are super heroes in our own way. Due to lacking a sense of hearing, our other senses become enhanced. Our heightened senses are vision, touch, smell and even taste. For example, some Deafs excel using their visions to read lips, analyze body languages and observe situations whether if we feel safe or not. It’s actually pretty amazing what our bodies can do to adapt to different environments. It’s rather a natural survival intuition that is gained from the moment we became Deaf. With these abilities, it is just enough to experience cultures in this beautiful world of ours.

3. Forming a connection within our Deaf communities

You would be amazed to know how small the Deaf world is. The Deaf community comes together as one, regardless of our differences in race, religion, culture and more. Therefore, Deaf tend to be friendly toward one another, even though how different our sign languages are. Despite of how our sign languages may be vastly different, we are able to form a connection. We share the same mutual feeling and understanding of our Deaf culture, no matter what part of the world we are from.

4.  We can spread awareness about Deaf Culture

Not a lot of countries in the world are aware of Deaf Culture or share the same views on Deaf people. For example, some countries (such as India) believe Deaf is considered as a handicap – whereas in America, it is considered a disability. When we were traveling in Asia, many eyes were on us – I understand they were experiencing culture shock. Some seemed sympathetic, and some also seemed to be avoiding because they were unsure how to interact with us. This is precisely why it is beneficial for others to be educated about Deaf Culture. We would be more than happy to spread awareness. Evidently, it is crucial to spread awareness if we want them to be exposed to Deaf Culture.

5. We learn to appreciate who we are and what we have

Believe it or not, traveling will change you. While traveling, you’ll be exposed to diverse cultures in many social-economical aspects. As you wander the street full of crowd, you may witness a poverty-stricken mother holding her unresponsive child on the street in the rain, begging for money. You may come across a lively old man who enthusiastically shares about his life.  Everyone has a story. Your perspectives will constantly evolve throughout your journey allowing you to become a better person. There will be the time when you come to realize that you will learn to appreciate who you are and what you have in your life; Therefore, we Deaf people, don’t often view being Deaf as misfortunate thing. There are a lot of others who are more misfortunate; we often learn to accept ourselves, being Deaf and all.

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