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Myth-busting: Daft things people believe about deaf people

Help your friends be more deaf aware by sharing these myth-busters with them.

You could also give them our Talking to Your Deaf Friends Postcard and Talking to Your Deaf Friends Poster, and ask them to check out our Look, smile, chat campaign.

All deaf people can lip-read

Not all deaf people can lip-read.

Lip-reading is HARD WORK. It takes a lot of effort and concentration and can be really tiring.

Not all lip patterns are recognisable. Try looking in a mirror and saying ‘pat’, ‘bat’, ‘mat’ without using your voice – can you tell the difference? This means even people who are good at lip-reading can only understand about 30% of what’s being said – the rest is guesswork.

Deaf people can’t enjoy music

Lots of deaf people LOVE music.

Some deaf people can hear music, others might not be able to hear music very well but enjoy the vibrations.

There’s lots of technology that can help deaf people enjoy music – find out more at How deaf children can enjoy music.

Sign language is the same everywhere

Just as there are thousands of different spoken languages around the world, there are hundreds of different sign languages.

Even English-speaking countries have their own sign languages (the USA has American Sign Language(ASL) and Australia has Australian Sign Language (Auslan).

Deaf people can’t use the phone

Lots of deaf people can use the phone.

Some deaf people can hear well enough to use standard phones, others use technology like amplified (really loud) phones.

And even if a deaf person can’t hear on the phone they can text, FaceTime, Skype and use services like text relay.

Find out more at Deaf children and using the phone.

Deaf people can hear everything with their hearing aids or cochlear implants

This is NOT TRUE. It can be really frustrating when people assume deaf people can hear OK if they’re wearing their technology.

Hearing aids can help focus sounds and make them louder, and cochlear implants carry sound directly to the brain. But this doesn’t mean a deaf person hears in the same way, or as well as a hearing person.

Talking to Your Deaf Friends Postcard

Talking to Your Deaf Friends Poster


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National Deaf Children's Society

Registered Charity: England and Wales (1016532) and Scotland (SC040779)

Helpline: 0808 800 8880

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