For the hard of hearing kids and teenagers who communicate orally, this article might be of interest to you. Two weeks ago, I went to a retreat where I knew only a handful of people in attendance. Otherwise, everyone else was a stranger to me.
I was asked by at least two people that I ‘sounded’ different. Different. Yep. One of them even told me that I had an accent.
The ‘Deaf’ Accent methinks.
And you know what else happened after? They went on to say: “oh but you speak so well!”
Thanks… I guess?
Point is, in the moment I wasn’t sure if they were intentionally trying to point something out to me, or were they just being honest? Sure, the comment initially comes across as rude – as a teenager I would have been INCREDIBLY self conscious about such feedback. In fact, I messaged one of my high school classmates about this and she had to think long and hard about it (that tells you how long it’s been since I was a 13 year old!). Her answer: hmm. I don’t remember!!!
What feels like a situation where you’re completely vulnerable isn’t what stands out in other people’s minds for much longer than 30 seconds.
If you think you have a ‘Deaf’ accent, own it. If the French, the Italians, and the Japanese can have accents, so can we.
As a 33 year old who wished my younger self could hear these words of wisdom: do your best, and don’t fret over those who say that you sound different.
A few more online articles that I found really well written are listed below for extra support (and to let you know that there’s others who can commiserate with you!)
- So you think I have a deaf accent?
- 10 Things Deaf People Are Really Tired of People Saying to Them – Because No, I Don’t Know Your Deaf Cousin (This one made me laugh!!!)
- Rikki Poynter has a YouTube Channel, and this video got me thinking about how we actually sound to ourselves, and how we sound to others. Check out one of her videos, titled What my Voice Sounds like to me as a Deaf Person“
BOOM. Own that Deaf Accent my friend!