Deaf Gain and Benefits
It is known that Deaf/hard of hearing people have one less sense and encounter many hardships and challenges, but there are a lot of positive elements. It is true that hard of hearing people often struggle when conversing in loud environments, talking with people that have heavy accents, or especially interacting with masks on – read more about how COVID impacted the Deaf community. Regardless of these struggles, deaf people have a lot of benefits that hearing people do not get.
One of the benefits is hard of hearing people can easily miss information, so it is easy for them to miss out on the drama around them, and thus not get caught up in gossip or rumors. From personal experience, whenever I hung out with friends, I did not realize that I missed out on the drama there was happening around me.
Another benefit of being D/deaf is that D/deaf people are eligible for disability discounts such as free entrance into National Parks, discounted tickets, etc. National parks are popular touristy locations, but the entrance fee can be somewhat pricey, with daily entrance fees sometimes ranging between $30-35. Deaf people can get special passes that allows them to get in a vehicle and all its passengers in for free. National passes do not apply to State parks, but each state has their own disability passes that D/deaf people can apply for to receive. Speaking of national parks, my friends and I recently went on a trip to Yosemite in California on Labor Day weekend. There was a mixture of Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people. The hearing people knew very little to no sign. Despite the communication barrier, everyone still had a lot of fun. In fact, two hearing people mentioned that they learned a lot of sign just from conversing with other Deaf people. They were able to feel included in the group and understand the jokes.
Not only do Deaf/HOH people get free admission to national parks, but they can also get free admission into museums such as art museums, aquariums, and zoos, and some places have reduced tickets to attend interpreted or closed captioned plays.
Another benefit is that hard of hearing people have the ability to take off their cochlear implants or hearing aids to avoid loud noises, and to enjoy the quiet and tranquility. HOH people have shared that sometimes when they are in noisy or loud environments and do not want to hear, they just take off their cochlear implants or hearing aids. Also, Deaf/HOH people are able to sleep soundly at night because they do not hear noises such as airplanes, trains, cars, ambulances, or thunderstorms. There are other scenarios such as needing the quiet to study or work, taking off cochlear implants or hearing aids can give the person that quietness.
One benefit for cochlear implant users is that they have the ability to transmit sounds directly into their cochlear implants, such as when listening to music or when talking on the phone. Pretty cool, huh?
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