The Deaf Penalty



      1. And people think “deaf” means complete loss of hearing with a diagnosis and sign language. They seem incapable (blind? deaf?) to the idea that shades of incapacity exist. (“Shades of Incapacity” sounds like a metal band for nerds.)

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        1. Ha ha! I see what you did there in the parentheses. 😉 People think that just because I can speak fairly well and have a hearing aid that the level of my deafness isn’t that great, and they therefore get frustrated when I have to ask them to repeat themselves. “Can’t you turn your hearing aid up?” is a common refrain. Sigh. 😛

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  1. This is great. Your so funny Tony!

    I love how you touch on the notion (busting myths) of how if you were born without ever knowing sounds, then there would be no ‘missing’ them or such. I’ve always pondered this with blindness, and how looking (my favourite thing) and then all of a sudden becoming blinded would be really a hard circumstance to deal with. Yet, being born blind would be far easier. I think?

    I am glad you have the option to wear this hearing- aid and delight in the beauty of sound. Most probably at a volume, much nicer than the rest. The world is quite full of loud, disjointed noise pollution, perhaps your cochleas are more evolved than the rest of us.

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    1. I think you’re right, Jessie. It’s possibly a lot easier to adapt to being blind or deaf from birth because… well, that’s all you know. There’s nothing to compare those things to so what are you truly missing, yeah? But I would certainly miss all the things I can hear with the aid of my device. Listening to a bit of Kasabian right now actually, and it really delights my aural senses. Velociraptor!

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  2. My new friend is a 14 year old girl with unspecified bipolar disorder who has a cochlear implant. When she works herself up into a froth she disconnects her processor & sticks it on my file cabinet (it has magnets!). She also employs the “Cousin It” method – drapes her long brown hair in front of her face. But she’s a very affectionate sweet kid.

    How’ve you been? 🙂

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    1. I don’t think any of us like the sound of our own voice do we? But you could be right. I’d maybe like it more if I could hear it in stereo or surround sound or something like that. Thanks for sharing a link to my podcast on your site, Gordon. That was very cool of you! 🙂

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  3. ‘…extra century per section’ lol!! This was such a great post, I also enjoyed the podcast, it was very informative. Thank you for sharing all of that!!

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  4. Oh man that’s my life too…thanks for making a comic of it. Deafness is the only disability that allows people laugh at you so we might as well capitalize on it…havent listened to the podcast…find it hard to hear without seeing a face 😊

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    1. I like your response to this, Un. It’s honest. I think there is sadness here as well. Ernest cannot communicate as well as he would like because of his deafness. His struggle mirrors my own. 🙂

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  5. Dear Tony,

    I thought the trouble with your pronunciation was just a side effect of not speaking American English. 😉

    I kid. You know I’m a kidder.

    I’m not certain if I’m beginning to lose my hearing or if my daughter just messes with me by speaking as softly as she possibly can because she likes to see me get frustrated from saying, “WHAT???” over and over again.

    I’ll assume it’s the latter. Then again, I probably killed more than a few random brain cells at the 30 or so Grateful Dead shows I attended over 20 years ago.

    All My Love,


    1. Jennifer, it’s frustrating isn’t it! People that speak softly (whether on purpose or unintentionally) don’t realise the effect they can have on a hard of hearing person’s mental stability! Not that I’m saying you’re hard of hearing. You might be. You might not be. Or your daughter is developing a rather dark sense of humour there!

      One good thing about being deaf or hard of hearing is that you can pretend you really didn’t hear what you didn’t want to hear. It’s called “selective hearing”, I believe. Yes, even those with hearing aids get this. 😉


      1. Oh, I’ve probably had that all my life. I’m certain my daughter has inherited it, too. As to her having a dark sense of humor? I will tell you a short story.

        A couple of weeks ago the darling child was playing Spongebob. She has small stuffed versions of Spongebob, Mr. Krabs, Patrick, and Squidward. She said to me (I was playing the part of a tiny spotted dog), “Are you hungry, puppy?”
        “Oh, yes. Are you making dinner?”
        “Yes! Do you like crab?”
        “Well, I’ve never had it before. Usually people just give me dog food. But I would love to try it.”
        “Ok! I just cooked some…”

        And she brought me a plat with Mr. Krabs lying on it face up.

        I laughed *so* hard.


          1. Being a natural performer, she would do well at either. For the moment she says she wants to be a dog trainer. (She loves all the animals on the green earth and wants one of each for a pet.)


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