Silent Hands

Author: Sandra L. Brooks

Can you hear me?
Listen, not with your ears
But with your eyes.
To you they speak,
My silent hands.
Hear me tell my tale.
Hear me sing my song.
Learn my language,
My beautiful native language.
Hear my hands,
Hear my music and story.
Learn my language.
Speak to me with your hands.
Share my beautiful language.
Hear my silent hands.
We have a tale to tell,
A song to sing.
Open your eyes
And hear me speak

I Hear Your Hand

Author Unknown

Hey there, friend, you've got a hand
Help me see what you said to me
Don't hide your hand
My ears are closed I cannot hear
But we can share the world, don't fear
Just lend a hand
Lend a hand, and I can show you
How to sing words in the air
You can share my world of silence
There's so much I want to share
I'm reaching out to you
There's so much we can do
Before I knew I walked with you
Until the day you turned away
See what I say
The world that you are hearing now
Is the same world that I see
Reach out your hand
I hear your hand
Lend a hand and I can show you
How to sing words in the air
You can share my world of silence
There's so much I want to share
I'm reaching out to you
There's so much we can do
You call me Deaf but I can see
Birds singing, breezes in the trees and children laugh
My world is lonely without you
Just look at me and smile and clasp my hand in yours
Lend a hand and I can show you
How to sing words in the air
You can share my world of silence
There's so much I want to share
I'm reaching out to you
God can make dreams come true.

Myths About Deafness

Myth: If a person is deaf, then they cannot hear or speak at all.
Fact: Deaf people still have voices. There are varying degrees of speaking abilities, but many can speak quite well.
Myth: Lip-reading is as easy as listening.
Fact: At best around 30% of English speech is visible on the lips. Some words look exactly the same—for instance, the words "paddle" and "battle" or "maybe" and "baby". (Note: Not all Deaf people can lip-read.)
Myth: Deaf people have below average intelligence.
Fact: Deaf people have the same intelligence range as those who are hearing. The lack of hearing does not affect one's IQ. In fact, many Deaf people hold college degrees.
Myth: Hearing aids make speech sound clear and understandable.
Fact: Hearing aids do not correct one's hearing to near normal as do glasses.
Myth: Deaf employees are safety risks.
Fact: Numerous studies, such as the one done by DuPont, have shown deaf employees to have equal to better safety records
Myth: American Sign Language (ASL) is universal.
Fact: Sign language varies among countries and within countries, just as with spoken languages. ASL is used in the U.S. and Canada.
Myth: Deaf people are not suitable for most jobs.
Fact: Deaf people are very capable and suitable for a wide range of jobs. Deaf people can hold competitive positions in a wide range of professional and technical fields.
Myth: Deaf parents usually have deaf children.
Fact: 90% of deaf children have hearing parents.
Myth: The early use of ASL interferes with the deaf child's acquisition of good English language skills.
Fact: If that were true, then why do deaf children of deaf parents tend to have better English language skills?
Myth: Deaf people are well-suited for noisy work environments.
Fact: A deaf person's residual hearing can be damaged just the same way as anyone else.
Myth: Deaf people cannot use the telephone.
Fact: Deaf persons use a device called a TTY. Video phones are also used. If the deaf person needs to call a hearing person, they use a relay service, where an operator serves as a type of interpreter.
Myth: Deaf people lead totally different lives from other people.
Fact: Deaf people are set apart by only one thing. As I. King Jordan, President of Gallaudet University, has said, "Deaf people can do anything except hear."

Setting the record straight:

Deaf people can drive cars
Deaf people do not use Braille (unless perhaps they are also visually impaired)
Most deaf people have some hearing
Many deaf people also have some college education
Deaf people can hold competitive positions in a wide range of professional and technical fields
Deaf people are human beings (like you) with unique personalities and skills.

Beatitudes for Friends of the Deaf

Author unknown

BLESSED ARE THEY THAT SEEM TO KNOW
that lipreading is difficult and slow.

BLESED ARE THEY WHO SHAKE MY HAND
and write notes to help me understand.

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO KNOW I LONG
to hear voices, music and song

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO SEEM TO SEE
when I'm lost in a group of two or three.

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO TAKE TIME OUT
to explain what they are talking about.

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO HAVE A SMILE
that makes my life more worthwhile.

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO MAKE IT KNOWN
by faith in God's promises, I'll not walk alone.

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO UNDERSTAND
as I journey to that city "not made with hands".