I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus– the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.
Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people.
Children who hear acquire language without any particular effort; the words that fall from others’ lips they catch on the wing, as it were, delightedly, while the little deaf child must trap them by a slow and often painful process. But whatever the process, the result is wonderful. Gradually from naming an object we advance step by step until we have traversed the vast distance between our first stammered syllable and the sweep of thought in a line of Shakespeare.
Tomorrow, I’ll probably post more about this. My son has a bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment that he was born with. Right now, he’s having a really hard time in school because of it, even with aids. I am having a really hard time getting his primary teachers to understand what they are dealing with.