DEAFinitely Aware Answers



1.   _____ C         Deaf people’s intelligence is

A.      below the general population.

B.      above the general population.

C.      the same as the general population.

Deaf people have the same intellectual abilities as hearing people.  There are a great many Deaf scholars.  Helen Keller, who was both deaf AND blind, went on to pursue higher education and later lectured around the world!

2.   _____   A       The eyesight of deaf people is

A.      about the same as everyone else.

B.      much better better because the other senses make up for not being able to hear.

C.      not as good as the general population.

It is a common myth that people who lose one sense make up for it by gaining superior strength of another.  In actuality, what happens is that they learn to USE their other senses more acutely.  When you think about it, haven't you ever seen a Deaf person who also wears glasses?  This dispels the myth that his/ her eyesight is better just because he/she has lost the ability to hear.


3.  _____      A     Most deaf children have

A.      hearing parents.

B.      deaf parents.

C.      one parent hearing and the other one deaf.

 Another common misconception is that all Deafness is hereditary.  The simple fact is that hereditary deafness is not as common as most people think.  Also, the causes of deafness vary greatly from diseases the mother had during pregnancy to sustained high fevers causing nerve damage in the baby after birth.  The leading cause of hearing loss in young people today is LOUD MUSIC!

4.   _____    B      Sign language

A.      is universal and the same everywhere.

B.      differs from country to country.

C.      is similar to the English language.

 Each country has its own sign language.  The sign system is not based on the spoken language; it is based on the country only.  British Sign Language (BSL) is completely different from ASL.  We do not understand each other when we sign!

5.   _____  B        If you hear a deaf person’s keys fall to the floor, you should

A.     act deaf and pretend not to hear them fall.

B.     pick up the keys, tap the person on the shoulder and return the keys.

C.     keep the keys, find out where the person lives, and rob him/her later.

Common sense:  common courtesy.


6.  _____     B      If a deaf friend of yours makes noise dragging his/her feet, you should

                                           A.     do nothing about it since it’s none of your business.                              

tactfully explain to your friend that he/she is making an undesirable noise.                                           

laugh at it and believe that all deaf people drag their feet.

The operative word is "friend."  Deaf people often are unaware that something like clothing could possibly make an objectionable sound.  Since this is your friend, and the odds are that your friend does not wish to be offensive or annoying in any way, explain nicely about the noise so that he/she may correct the problem.

7.   _____     C     The term “deaf” means that a person

A.    can hear many but not all sounds.

B.    can hear no sound at all.

C.    cannot hear or understand most sounds.

Very few deaf people--even those who are profoundly deaf--are incapable of hearing any sound at all.  Most are able to hear SOMETHING though it may be something extremely loud, like a jackhammer.


                        8.   F            Hearing aids help all deaf people to hear better.

Hearing aids amplify EVERYTHING.  They do not focus on speech and conversation, so many people find them more of an annoyance than a help.  For example, hearing aids amplify the sound of the air conditioning that most of us take for granted as a low hum, but when you add a microphone that increases the volume to make a subtle hum ROAR in your ears, it is more annoying that helpful. 

Hearing aids only help with certain types of hearing loss.  There are also different types of hearing aids depending on the type of loss.  Not all hearing loss can be helped with the use of a hearing aid.

                        9.   F            The average amount of normal conversation a person can actually understand through lipreading is approximately 85%-90%.  The actual amount is approximately 30%.  Many words and letters either look the same on the mouth or cannot even be seen on the lips at all.  For example, how would you be able to tell the difference between the words "goat" and "coat?"  Did you know that "olive juice" and "I love you" look the same when reading lips?

                        10.  _____ F   ASL is the English language translated word for word into manual gestures.

ASL is not English at all.  It is its own language with its own syntax and grammar.


                        11.  _____ T   Some people have hearing aid dogs to help them.

The proper term is "guide dogs," but yes, this dogs work to assist those who cannot hear.  They answer the door; they alert when a car is coming while crossing the street; they signal when an alarm is sounding... etc.

                        12.  _____ F    Deaf children learn to read using the Braille system.

Braille is for BLIND people, not deaf.

                        13.  _____ F   All current television programs are closed-captioned (subtitled).

While MANY television programs are captioned, not ALL of them are available with the captioning technology.

                        14.  _____ F   Most parents of deaf children learn to use sign language.

This is a sad truth, but 92% of hearing parents who have deaf children NEVER learn sign language!

                        15.  _____  T  Deaf people use alarm clocks to get up in the morning.

Very true!  This is a regular alarm clock--just like one you would see one anyone else's night stand, but these have an attachment that either flashes a bright light or causes a vibration alarm.  The vibration addition is a small device that attaches to the alarm clock and under a pillow that vibrates when the alarm goes off.  There is a larger one that vibrates the entire mattress. 

                        16.  _____ F   All deaf people can read lips.

Many are skilled lipreaders, but based on the information in question 9, it is a highly specialize skill that takes an enormous amount of training and concentration.

                        17.  _____  F  All deaf people use sign language.

Many deaf people have been brought up using the oral method, meaning they only speak and read lips.  These people have likely never learned to sign.

                        18.  _____  F  If you don’t know ASL, you cannot communicate with a deaf person.

If you do not know how to sign, don't assume you cannot get your point across.  For the Deaf person who is able to read and write, writing notes back and forth is effective.  For those who are not as strong with reading comprehension, gestures and acting out, as in a good old fashioned game of charades can be enormously effective communication!

                        19.  _____   T Deaf people can learn to speak.

Just because a person cannot hear does not mean the speech mechanism has been damaged.  There is a great deal of training involved in learning how to speak when one cannot hear to produce the sounds or modulate tones, but through practice and speech therapy, Deaf people absolutely CAN learn to speak. 

                        20.  _____  F  Deaf people cannot function in the hearing world.

The only thing Deaf people cannot do is HEAR!  They are able bodied and able minded and can do anything and everything that a hearing person can do EXCEPT hear.

21.  _____  F  All deaf people are born deaf.

As stated earlier, the leading cause of deafness in young people today is LOUD MUSIC.  Other causes of deafness later in life vary greatly, but a few examples are side effects from certain antibiotics; head injuries; and sustained high fevers.

22.  _____  T Deaf people can use the telephone.

There are now several different ways a person with a hearing loss can use the telephone.  If the caller uses sign language, then using a special device much like a webcam, he/she is able to make a call using a sign language interpreter/operator.  The device is connected through the internet to the television or computer.  The person sits in front of the monitor, and an interpreter shows up on the screen.  The caller is then able to tell the interpreter (operator) the number he/she wishes to call, and then THROUGH ASL, he/she is able to communicate to the 3rd party. 

Cell phones are now equipped with a TTY (teletypwriter) relay service which connects a Deaf caller with a relay operator.  The Deaf caller TYPES everything he/she wants to say, and the relay operator (in the same way as the interpreter) conveys the information to the 3rd party.

                        23.  _____ F   Deaf people are not allowed to drive.

Statistically, Deaf drivers have been proven to be BETTER drivers than their hearing counterparts!  Deaf drivers are more visually alert and aware.

                        24.  _____ T   Some countries do not allow deaf people to marry.

Thankfully, the United States is NOT among them!

                        25.  _____ F   "Hearing-impaired” is the term most Deaf and hard-of-hearing people prefer.

Most Deaf and hard of hearing people prefer to be called "Deaf" or "hard of hearing."  The term "hearing-impaired" is considered by most to have negative connotations.

26.  _____ T   Many American Deaf students have a difficult time learning English.

Since ASL has its own grammatical system, English is literally a second language even to American-born Deaf.  It is extremely difficult to learn as a second language for people who can HEAR, but for those who cannot hear, there are subtleties of repetition and use which they miss.

27.  _____   When you are utilizing a sign language interpreter, you have the right to tell him/her what and what NOT to interpret.

BY LAW the interpreter is required to interpret any conversation or speech conducted within his/her range of hearing.  You do not have the right to restrict what he/she interprets. 

28.  _____  F  The interpreter is just another member of the group for which he/she is interpreting and may participate as anyone else might.

The interpreter is acting only as a facilitator of communication.  He or she may NOT participate as a member of the group.

29.  _____  T  The interpreter may not answer any questions relating to the client.

If you have questions about the client, ask the client directly, and the interpreter will interpret for you.  Do not say "Ask him..." or "Does she..."  Speak directly TO the individual, "Do YOU have any of the files we need for this presentation?"

30.  _____   T Private conversation, not related to the client but conducted in front of him/her, must be interpreted by the interpreter.

BY LAW the interpreter is required to interpret any conversation or speech conducted within his/her range of hearing.  If you have something you want to say to another individual, but the interpreter and his/her Deaf client are still in the room, don't assume, "Oh, the Deaf person can't hear, so this is still private conversation..."  If the interpreter can hear the conversation, he/she is required to sign it for the Deaf person.  The correct way to handle the situation is to wait until everyone leaves, or to move out of hearing range of the interpreter.

31.  _____  T  Many Deaf people cling to deafness as an identity rather than a disability.

This is called cultural deafness.  You will see people who think of their deafness as an identity referred to as Deaf rather than deaf.  These people tend to associate almost exclusively with other Deaf (they go to Deaf events like Deaf clubs, Deaf sporting events, Deaf conventions, Deaf group travel, and will likely marry other Deaf), and their primary language is ASL (in the United States).  Little d deaf is a group of people categorized by the simple inability to hear.  Members of this group often will not have ever learned sign language at all, and they very likely do not socialize with members of the Deaf community.