Author Topic: Deaf drivers  (Read 332 times)

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Offline Tāf

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Deaf drivers
« on: January 08, 2019, 18:31:57 PM »
I was sat behind a car at a left-filter traffic light.

The lights turned green, but the vehicle didn't move. The drivers behind me started honking their horns.

No movement.

The lights went red.

The lights turned green again, but the vehicle still didn't move. The drivers behind started honking their horns.

So I flashed my headlights.

The driver looked up, then forward, saw the green arrow and drove off.

But immediately around the corner, he slammed on his brakes, got out and marched over to me.

"Why did you flash me you ****** ***** ***** ?"

"All the drivers behind me were honking their horns at you 'cos you didn't move".

"Well I wouldn't have have heard them because my hearing aid was off!"

And off he went...

I came home and read up about deaf drivers in the UK. It's fully legal, and only bus and truck drivers have to let the licensing agency know that they are deaf.

I didn't know that!!!!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 18:33:14 PM by Tāf »

Offline Tāf

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Re: Deaf drivers
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 18:55:53 PM »
Long, but worth a read.

Is deafness a disability?

by Rebecca Atkinson

2nd April 2008

"I'm not disabled, I'm Deaf" is an argument frequently seen dancing from the hands of the sign language using Deaf community. But what do they really mean when they say that they're not disabled? And is a move to distance deafness from disability just a slight on other disabled people, when really we all stand under the same umbrella?
Two deaf women in a café, communicating using BSL
When Deaf activist Tomato Lichy appeared on Radio 4's Today programme on 10 March, 2008 to discuss his opposition to a government ban on the right to select deaf embryos over hearing ones during IVF, his comment that he "[didn't] view deafness as a disability" was met with resistance from presenter John Humphrys, who in turn described deafness as "a pretty serious disability".

The idea that deafness is separate from disability is a controversial one and causes heated debate. Some say that being a sign language using Deaf person is not a disability, but instead means membership to a linguistic and cultural minority. Others, however, view deafness in all forms as a life limiting and disabling condition. So who is right here? In my view, neither.

The mainstream idea of what deafness is like is full of misconceptions. It is largely formed through imagination, rather than direct experience. The majority of hearing people don't base their perception of deafness on what Deaf people tell them it's like, but on the idea of how they would react if they lost their hearing and suddenly couldn't communicate with the world or listen to the music and birdsong they've come to hold dear. Would they suddenly feel like part of a linguistic minority? No. Would they feel severely disadvantaged as they adjusted to their new life? Yes, probably. The experience of being a hearing person and then going deaf is very different from the experience of those who belong to the Deaf community - most of whom have never had hearing and may come from large families with generations of deafness.

But if there are misconceptions in the mainstream idea of deafness, it appears that there is also confusion in the Deaf community over what the term 'disabled' really means. After all, many deaf people are happy to claim Disability Living Allowance, a Disabled Person's Railcard and a Freedom Pass at the same time as claiming they are not disabled.

For me, as a partially deaf person, I believe that the physical state of being deaf is not a disability, because if everyone in the world was deaf we would have constructed a society with no need for sound. There would be no important tannoy announcements, no music to 'miss out on', and no-one would care what a bird song sounded like. Just like if everyone in the world was totally blind, we would have constructed a society in which vision was not needed. I stand by the idea that the sign language using Deaf community are a linguistic and cultural minority - and yes, if everyone learnt to sign and all aural information was made available in text, they would not be disabled or experience any disadvantages in their daily lives.
Deaf people communicating using British Sign Language
But here's the sticking point: whilst Deaf people remain a minority within a hearing majority, they/we are in some way disabled. This is in the purely 'social model' sense of disability, of course. In other words, it's not the impairment itself which causes the disability, but the fact that our society does not meet the needs of that impairment.

Yet the social model is very idealistic. There will never come a day when the whole country is competent in BSL - not unless the majority of the population have a hearing loss.

I see myself and describe myself as a disabled person because no matter what 'reasonable adjustments' are made under the terms of the social model of disability, there is still something that cannot be changed - the fact that my ears (and my eyes too, actually) don't work the same as most people. Granted, if everyone had the same impairment as me then I would not be disabled, because the world would be constructed exactly to my essential requirements. However, because I am in a minority, it's not. And that is what renders me disabled.

So any claim that "I'm not disabled, I'm Deaf" should be made with care, not least because in saying so you appear to take the stance that disability is such an abhorrent state that you wish to disassociate yourself from it. To me, though, the term 'disability' should not be synonymous with low status, failure and undesirability, but instead signify pride and solidarity. Disability should be part of the spectrum of human life, upon which we all, deaf included, stand. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/features/is_deafness_a_disability.shtml

Offline Tāf

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Re: Deaf drivers
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 18:56:23 PM »
"From 7 April 2014 you can only take a driving test in English, Welsh or British Sign Language".