The deaf are not disabled—they just speak a different language.
Hearing protection is often not used, because it is uncomfortable, appears unnecessary, looks silly, or dulls the sense of hearing.
Once hearing is damaged, it can almost never be repaired.
Depending on their jobs, service members may be exposed to the constant noise of machinery, engines, airplanes, or to sudden loud sounds such as artillery and mortar fire, or the explosion of a roadside bomb. For some unknown reason, not every soldier exposed to the same level of
noise will experience a problem. Even those who do not deploy often are
exposed to constant or concussive noises in their work or training that
can cause hearing loss or tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. As they
grow older, their normal, age-related hearing loss will compound the
problem. Veterans can receive disability compensation for this. (VA Army audiologists, "Many veterans cope with damage to ears," by Martha Quillin, McClatachy-Tribune, January 20, 2013)
Only 11% of parents who have deaf children actually learn to sign—so their children have no one to talk to.
At least a fourth of soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan show some hearing loss.
What You Can Do
Look directly at people who are deaf or hearing impaired. They probably read lips well.
Learn to finger spell.
Take an ASL class from one of our local colleges (EWU or SFCC).
Protect your ears. Protect
yourself and others from a preventable, permanent hearing loss. Young
people who listen to music at high volumes damage their hearing. An
estimated 5.2 million U.S. children, age 6-19, have hearing loss in one
or both ears because of noise. (2001 Pediatrics Journal)
The most common cause of hearing loss
in the U.S. is noise exposure, especially repeated, prolonged
exposure. Read more about noise and other issues related to your
hearing at the resource websites listed.
ASL (American Sign Language) Class The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (chapel) 14111 E. 16th Avenue Veradale, WA 99037 (509) 263-7479 (text only) email: firstname.lastname@example.org This FREE class is held each Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. (except holidays that occur on Thursday). Tina Burns is a non-certified volunteer who teaches sign language, because it has been her language for 34 years.
Spokane Falls Community College ASL Interpreting course 3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr. Spokane, WA 99224-5288 (509) 533-3500 The Interpreter Training Program offers an associate degree or certificate option for ASL interpreting. Courses are offered on campus and online. http://spokanefalls.edu/