Our recent post about hearing impairment and the ADA drew the following email from a hearing-impaired lawyer:
“Only the hearing impaired and some doctors actually believe hearing impairment is a disability. Even lawyers almost unanimously think the hearing impaired are (1) cognitively impaired, (2) lying, (3) not trying hard enough, and (4) crazy.
Saying one needs accommodation almost uniformly makes people (1) contemptuous, and (2) angry. For some reason, virtually all hearing people seem to think that one is pretending that there is something wrong with their voices. They angrily tell one to listen harder, to get one’s hearing aid adjusted, or, perhaps best, to get one’s ears cleaned. Lawyers tell us we have to expect not to work if we’re going to act this way–or best, "rather than whine, all the hearing impaired lawyers should get together and give each other work."
Many of us were born this way. We hardly know what we’re not hearing even when we can hear sound drop out and we watch lips move silently at the other end of a conference table or across the court room or at the grocery store checkout.
You can imagine how well we network — and give each other work ….”