The A**hole is Strong With This One

Screenshot 2015-03-05 at 6.25.12 PM

As someone who has had a severe hearing loss from birth, I often have to ask people to speak up. As long as I’m aware that someone is speaking to me (making eye contact) so I can focus and there isn’t much background noise, it usually isn’t a problem.

Unfortunately, background noise is hard to escape. And hearing aids still do little to help with that. So I have to ask people to repeat themselves more often than I’d like.

That doesn’t sound like such a difficult request, does it? It’s not like I wait for someone to finish delivering a long speech before I let them know I need them to speak a little louder, so it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

Well, it often is.

Thinking back to when I was in school, I can’t begin to tell you the number of eye rolls, scoffs, and rude comments I’ve gotten because of my hearing. More people than not will repeat what they’ve said in the same tone (or even lower, frustrated), and it’s pretty common for people to just tell me “never mind”–other students, teachers, family members.

That bothers me. A lot.

Add to that the fact that some people associate being hard of hearing with being stupid. I have my moments, but I’m not an idiot, typically. Far from it, always at the top of my class, even though I would rarely speak up because I was afraid of mishearing something, responding inappropriately, and being laughed at (experience). I’m sure that my hearing has a lot to do with my social anxiety.

So, that said, imagine my reaction when I saw this today:

Screenshot 2015-03-05 at 1.25.39 PM

That flew all over me.

The worker couldn’t make such a simple accommodation, but could take the time to write out that rude response?

There just aren’t words. Not nice ones, anyway.

Some of these guidelines for law enforcement officers communicating with people with a hearing loss from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Americans with Disabilities Act resource page should be reviewed with the postal worker. They’re good tips for anyone, really.

• Speech supplemented by gestures and visual aids can be used in some cases.

• A pad and pencil, a word processor, or a typewriter can be used to exchange written notes.

• A teletypewriter (TTY, also known as a TDD) can be used to exchange written messages over the telephone.

• An assistive listening system or device to amplify sound can be used when speaking with a person who is hard of hearing.

• A sign language interpreter can be used when speaking with a person who knows sign language.

• An oral interpreter can be used when speaking with a person who has been trained to speech read (read lips). Note: Do not assume that speech reading will be effective in most situations. On average, only about one third of spoken words can be understood by speech reading.


18 thoughts on “The A**hole is Strong With This One

  1. Wow, this is horrible. My partner is deaf in his right ear, and whilst I can’t say I understand. I do know how hard it is for him, especially when he is in a busy place. Trying to understand people is hard for him. Especially when he can’t read their lips.

    …Although, I was slightly annoyed when he drunkenly told me he deliberately sleeps with his right side next to me so I couldn’t wake him up by talking in the night. Haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anxious Mom says:

      That’s funny! Considering how loud my husband snores, I’ve considered myself *slightly* lucking that I’m half deaf or so in each ear. Also comes in handy for him hearing the baby 😉


  2. marielli88 says:

    Omg how rude and disgusting he needs to have better ASL skills or he needs to go F himself how could u ever be so mean to someonethat just needs alittle more help. I would love to see him in person and tell him fuck off in sign language or kicl him in the balls.


  3. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    My son has genetic hearing loss and, as a result, has worn hearing aids since early elementary school. He is a smart, engaging and active young man. It is a shame that there are so many people out there that, due to their own ignorance, will never get to know how wonderful my son and others like him are.

    I hope you don’t mind, but here is a link to a post I wrote about what he has had to deal with:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I worked customer service, I had one customer that I had to write things down for and he did it back to me. I did not mind doing it and I always tried to make him feel that he could. Post office workers are rude anyways. Hopefully this will go viral and they will have to answer for their actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anxious Mom says:

      That’s what I’m hoping too. Will be interesting to see if people on social media care enough for this to be picked up the way other things are.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That government worker broke Federal Law. The American’s with Disabilities Act specifically mandates that all government agencies and their representatives provide reasonable accommodations when requested. If your friend clearly stated why the agent needed to communicate to her in writing then this person not only broke the law, she provided a written
    copy of verbal abuse.

    She can and should be fired because we get the government we tolerate.

    Remember, if she’s working for the post office she is a public servant.

    Liked by 1 person

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