My Words About Life Essay, Research Paper
March 18, 2001
I can’t hear you
Cars race by as you impatiently stand on the corner waiting for the crosswalk sign to turn green. A young man walks up and stands adjacent to you. He glances your direction and gives a friendly smile; being kind you do the same. After what seems like an eternity the little green person in the crosswalk sign begins to blink. As you begin to take your first step off of the curb you hear a frantic honking coming from across the street. Looking up you realize that a truck has just run a red light and is headed directly at you. You quickly react and leap back onto the safety of the curb, but in the same moment you realize that the young man next to you is still casually strolling through the crosswalk. You shout franticly to ward him of the oncoming danger but he seems oblivious to your cries. The speeding truck is now within fifteen feet of the crosswalk and still blaring his horn, but the man still does not notice the mortal danger he is in. He jumps back in terror as the truck comes into his view. At the last moment the driver of the speeding truck swerves and narrowly misses the man. You rush out into the crosswalk and bellow, “What’s wrong with you man! Are you deaf?” The frightened man nods his head and answers, “yes.”
Deafness is a disability that affects millions of people throughout the world. It has no bias towards race, age, sex or religion. This disability already impairs many people through out the world and one day it could affect even you.
A few people afflicted with deafness are born with it, the majority of individuals become deaf at some point in their life. Infections in the ear and sudden or constant loud noise are just a few causes of deafness. A gunshot or other loud sound could cause a person to instantly become deaf. Exposure to constant loud sounds such as music or machines can easily lead to deafness in later life.
There is often prejudice towards people with disabilities. People that are born deaf have never heard any sound including speech; therefore they themselves cannot learn the sounds that are required to produce speech. A deaf and mute person would encounter discrimination throughout their lives. It would be extremely difficult to communicate with other people or get a job. Because of this they would be thought of as stupid or helpless. The truth is that someone who is deaf is just as smart or smarter than the average person. They have the ability to read and learn new things just as well as a normal person.
The primary way of communication for the deaf is sign language. With the use of hand gestures deaf can communicate just as easily as using speech. Sign language helps break down the communication barrier between friends and family of a deaf person. Many considerations have been made in recent years to benefit the deaf. Most televisions come equipped with closed captioning. Deaf individuals are able to watch their favorite sitcom or keep track of the news with this new technology.
Although we have come a long way with technology for the disabled common sense would be the greatest advantage to avoid becoming deaf. Anytime you are around loud noise wear ear protection. Thousands of people would still have the ability to hear if they had used earplugs while working or listening to music.