A big thank you to Liam O’Dell for confronting, indeed challenging, the need for deaf people to feel obliged to apologise for their disability (I’m done saying sorry for being deaf – I want to change how society treats people like me, 25 November). In my case, apology has given way to abject submission. I no longer go to restaurants and pubs, and try to avoid big social events. I have become tired of being among groups of people where I have no idea what is being said, yet giving the opposite impression by nodding my head in approval or, worse still, laughing in unison. In these situations, my usual trick in the past has been to zone in on an unfortunate individual sitting next to me and boring them senseless with conversation of my choosing.
The biggest impact is the loss of confidence. I dread the prospect of having to communicate meaningfully with someone wearing a face mask or sitting behind a glass screen. This scenario usually concludes with the unedifying image of me contorting myself to speak through the aperture at the base of the screen. Telephone conversations with strangers are nightmarish, with many of them ending prematurely. I could go on, but this article has sparked a spirit of resistance to my compliance.
Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/dec/05/the-daily-struggles-that-people-with-deafness-face-in-our-society