If you don’t, it could be bad.

I have “moderate to severe hearing loss”. I’ve made do. Mom got me a hearing aid when I was in sixth grade. I tried it for a month or two but I just couldn’t adjust to the new way everything was. Everything was too loud, the wrong things amplified.
 
But she didn’t balk when I didn’t want to wear them anymore. She asked me reasonable questions about it and encouraged me to try it for longer a few times but there was no forcing or guilt tripping.
 
This has left me at a slight disadvantage and fear in certain situations though.
 
Police depend on people responding in *one* particular way when they issue commands.
 
You have to
hear them
understand them
respond
in a certain amount of time.
 
If you don’t, it could be bad.
 
Being an white, English speaking male with glasses (nerd cred), I have a leg up socially in those situations. But when I see videos of young PoC who don’t respond precisely to the verbal commands end up dead ,it’s close to home because that *could* be me. Had I been raised in a different neighborhood and been a PoC it could very well have been me and I wouldn’t be writing here today.
 
What does this have to do with cochlear implants and deaf culture?
 
We’re each faced with different situations in life. I
I was born with severe hearing loss but you wouldn’t know it most of the time. I can fake it well. Oddly, I have perfect musical pitch and can play any instrument. – it’s just with conversations with more than two people that I just can’t do it. I hear probably a 1/3 of what people say and have to fill in the rest via context sometimes leading to amusing situations where I substitute the wrong words that I *thought* were said but weren’t.
 
But it’s gotten me good at thinking through context.
 
Had I been any deafer than this, I don’t know. I tried learning sign language (as I also tried learning braille and other things) but without the need or support, it’s been just a passing thing.
 
I think if I was in a community of people who used sign language, I’d learn it.

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