A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss by David G. Myers

By David G. Myers

How do humans do something about listening to loss? during this learn, David Myers, who has himself suffered slow listening to loss, explores the issues confronted via the tough of listening to at domestic and at paintings and offers details at the new know-how and surgeries to be had.

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Thomas Gilovich demonstrated a “spotlight effect” by having individual Cornell University students don Barry Manilow 48 Relationships T-shirts before entering a room with other students. Feeling self-conscious, the T-shirt–wearers guessed that nearly half of their peers would take note of the shirt as they walked in. In reality, only 23 percent did. I guess the moral is—whether you’re wearing the wrong clothes or a hearing aid—relax. Fewer people notice than we imagine. Interaction 7 JANUARY 1993 Our men’s basketball coach stopped me yesterday evening to tease me about my interaction with his daughter’s boyfriend from another college.

To people at the core of the deaf cul- 42 Relationships ture, “the term ‘hearing-impaired’ is offensive,” he said. 1 As some deaf parents rejoice when their child is born deaf, why don’t blind parents feel glad when their child is born blind? ) Part of me is pleased to hear further testimony to something I mentioned earlier—the remarkable human ability to adapt to new circumstances. And there is some evidence from studies of “compensation” (reported in the September 1992 issue of Psychological Bulletin) that people for whom one channel of sensation is closed off will partly compensate through a slight enhancement of their other sensory abilities.

They needn’t think of themselves as disabled people to acknowledge that they have a disability (a description of the impairment, not the person). This reasoning explains why the 1992 civil rights act was not called the Disabled Americans Act but the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even if untrained in sign language, late-deafened people, too, will naturally develop a language of gestures. Although Mother is unwilling to go to sign-language classes, she and Dad have developed a repertoire of hand signals through which they communicate without her magic slate.

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