Deaf Awareness Week: 'You don't look deaf...' (thought I'd put a pretty face on knowing how the image is all, and nobody would care if she signed or not anyway).
I know I don't look deaf, (Not even to other deaf at times), with a face like mine nobody would ask, or expect I was anyway, (The poor impression of a nodding dog tends to be a real giveaway as NOBODY relates to everything), and since none of deaf week relates to the majority of deaf people or the those with hearing loss at all mostly, I'm always glad when the charade finishes.
No I don't look deaf, so how can I tell people off who aren't aware I am? Do I carry a label on my back? a card to explain? a tattoo 'I am deaf'on my forehead? or maybe throw a few signs out so they get an idea? (Not that it helps if they don't know any but...). The fact 'gasp' I can speak OK just ends to get me accused of being a fake more than anything from the Deaf and from the Hearing.
Identifying the invisible has always been an issue by default, but so has the extreme reluctance of those with an issue you cannot see to self-identify either. All part of my right, my culture etc... Or hoping the will go away and cease stressing you out. A quick perusal of deaf week plugs threw up a lot of telling statistics e.g. 63% was about deaf language and culture. There was only 15% relating to alternative formats and options to that, the rest people plugging support and advice services for a nominal fee.
Supporting the deaf doesn't come cheap. Supporting the rest isn't an issue we can't sell that support.