Thursday, March 5, 2009

Please Don't Shout At Me!

Sometimes I get so tired of people shouting at me! No, not because I did something wrong or inappropriate, not because they were frustrated with me, not because I was not listening to them. None of the above!

They keep shouting at me because they feel that I am unable to hear. For some strange reason, much of the rest of the world has this odd notion that persons who are blind or visually impaired are also deaf or hard of hearing, and it is not just one type of person, a particular race or culture, or a particular profession of person. I and many of my blind and visually-impaired friends can tell you that at the supermarket they do it. At the pharmacy, in the doctor's office, at the bank, on the sidewalk, or lining up to wait for a vacant bathroom people do it. So many times I have come home with my ear drums practically hanging out of my ears because someone shouted at me in their attempt to have a normal conversation with me.

I have had days of returning home with ringing ears after someone shouted at the top of their voice at me while I was walking on the sidewalk. They did so because they were trying to give me directions. Or I have had to endure headaches after someone tried to help me out at the supermarket. I have also had to deal with roaring frustration on several occasions after someone shouted at me while answering my question. The thing to remember is this: Blind and visually -mpaired persons are afflicted with the inability to see. However, they can hear; they are not deaf. There is absolutely no reason for you to shout at them in order to be heard. Just speak to them in a normal tone. The same tone that you would use for anyone else except for someone who is hard of hearing.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your accessibility and special needs consultant wishing you a terrific day and reminding you to go out there and tell others that blind persons can hear as well as you can. They just do not see as well as you.

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