Deaf people will often experience some pretty awkward one liners from hearing people. Here's a list of 6 things you definitely shouldn't say to a deaf person.
1. "You're deaf? I'm sorry."
Deafness isn't a disease or an illness. There is nothing to be sorry about, they're not sorry, so you shouldn't be sorry either.
2. "I can use Sign Language too!" *makes up signs*
Firstly, not all deaf people know sign language. Deaf people communicate in many different ways. If you make up your own signs and try them out on someone who is deaf, you're basically talking gibberish and it can be quite rude!
3. "But you don't look deaf."
Deafness doesn't have a dress code! You can't tell a person is deaf by how they look.
4. "Wait, you can drive?"
There's nothing about deafness that stops a person from being able to drive. While laws vary across countries, most countries don't discriminate and they allow deaf people to drive just like any other person. Deaf people are also less likely to be distracted while driving from music and conversations, and they often have very good visual awareness and peripheral vision compared to hearing drivers.
5. "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!"
Yelling at a deaf person is not going to make communication any easier. Plus you'll probably look like a lunatic screaming at someone. Best to be patient and straightforward. Using a pen and paper or just typing out a message to show them on your mobile phone can help too!
6. "Why don't you have cochlear implants?"
Cochlear implants can perpetuate the idea that deafness needs to be “fixed” — and a lot of deaf people take issue with that. Remember that there is no single assistive device that will work for every deaf person, and many deaf people are happy without any device.