Deafly Offensive

, , , , | Right | October 28, 2018

(I’m hard of hearing, and always have been. I usually have hearing aids, but since I can sign and read lips, I don’t always need them. An older Latino woman comes through my line.)

Customer: *something in a heavy accent and softly, while looking away from me*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’m hard of hearing and I didn’t catch what you said.”

Customer: *what I heard* “I… coffee… roll… please.” *keeps looking away while speaking quietly*

Me: “I’m really sorry, ma’am, but I can’t hear you.”

(I point to my ears to emphasis my hearing loss.)

Customer: “Oh, are you deaf?”

Me: *pause* “Yes.”

(She up and goes to a neighboring register to someone who speaks fluent Spanish. My friend later tells me:)

Friend: “You know that Spanish lady?”

Me: “Yeah?”

Friend: “She asked me if you were [disabled slur], and then mentioned how you couldn’t hear her. She said she was offended by it.”

Me: “But I told her I can’t hear!”

(Really. It’s not like deafness is based on race or language.)

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