Tuesday

Are You "Voice-Off" Or "Voice-On"?

This (captioned) video made me realize how using my voice puts all the burden of communication on me because normal hearing people don't view me as deaf.  They forget I don't hear like they do, because I sound like a normal hearing person.  If you identify as deaf, but your speech is clear and easily understandable, are you "voice-off" in public or "voice-on"?  Have you changed your method of communication with people you've known or only with new people?  Or - like Dr. G here, do you think of speech as a gift to be used only with people you trust?  Please share your reasons for being "voice-off" or "voice-on."




13 comments:

Kym Bozarth said...

This is a really good video, I've seen it before and have watched several of his videos. I am voice off most of the time, voice on with family member who do not sign and I know very well.
But there may come a day when I am 100% VO. I am working on that actually. I'd like to read others opinions on this!

kmbjbb said...

I have been trying to go voice off, but am being met with such nonsense from family and other people in the area who all know I can speak. They don't understand why I want to go voice off and they think it will make life harder for me. I tell them that if I keep using my voice, then I am more likely to not use sign. Their comment to that was, well we don't know sign, so how does that help us? I just can't win at any cost it seems. Ah well.

that Deaf Girl said...

normally I am Voice off. I rarely speak in public, I speak at work because my job requires me to, I speak with my family who doesn't sign... but when I am not at work, or with family that doesn't sign, I do not speak what so ever.

photocrazy17 said...

I agree with both posters above.. I would love to be voice off, but the people around me are just giving me grief because they know I speak. I want to use all sign, but my family doesn't want to learn, so I am forced to either write or struggle to listen and lipread...

Jeffrey Swartz said...

The video is good but somewhat reluctant to comment at this time whether I agree with him or not. My first response is to be "voice-on", which doesn't change whether I am deaf or not. What defines me as deaf is my hearing loss not my signing or visual cues.

But let me think about this for a little longer.

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Love this post.

It reminds me when my brother married his wife whose family spoke Spanish. After they had their first child (and two kids thereafter), they agreed that they would only speak Spanish at home, as to expose their children to the Spanish language (they knew the kids would pick up English through the neighborhood, school, etc.) so that the kids would be able to communicate with half of his family. It worked for them.

So, I creatively "borrowed" their idea when I lived with them for a while. I asked if we could have a "Silent Dinner" every night - no voice at the dinner table by every member (and visiting guests, too!) The family had to use gestures, eye contacts and eventually, signs, to communicate with each other, not just me. It worked wonderfully. Just a little time frame every night, without our voice and the kids were fabulous in coming up with ideas in grabbing each other attention and communicating with each other, while learning signs.

SSnow said...

Love it. i prefer not to talk to much with people i don't know well at school unless i absaoute need somthing since i am so unsure of how i sound.

SamanthaC said...

As someone who is Australian so therefore doesn't understand ASL, can a lovely person please explain to me the gist of that video? :) I worked out some of it, but not all :) thanks.

Cindy Dixon said...

SamanthaC - Thanks for your comment, I just edited my post to reflect that there are captions for the video. Just click the CC button and select English - you may need to make the video fullscreen to see the captions.

Cindy Dixon said...

Kym - I really like Dr. G's videos - in fact, this one really clarified some issues for me. :)

Kym Bozarth said...

It doesn't seem fair does it? That we are STILL accommodating those who don't sign? That we are STILL doing things the hearing way? Lipreading? Ugh, I hate it. I'm bad at it. I like to think I'm good at it, but I am not. I know this is rude, but when a hearing person starts talking instead of watching their lips, I turn my head away and act bored...that's bad, not always but sometimes, because it is blah, blah, blah.

Anonymous said...

Hello!
I am a hearing student studying ASL and interpreting. First of all, I think that is blog is a great resource for hearing people who are new to the deaf community.

I think this post was particularly interesting. I have deaf teachers (past and present) who have explained to the class that they DO use speech in their daily lives, which often shocks some of students. They might ask "If you can talk, why wouldn't you?" Well, if it's an ASL class and the teacher is speaking English, how are we going to adapt to learning a visual language? My teachers have also explained that using speech may cause a hearing person to "forget" they are deaf and turn away when speaking. Of course there is also the reason of "Why should I speak, if you're not signing?"

When I was first exposed to the Deaf Culture, I quickly learned that it's best to keep an open mind and never make assumptions! Deaf people are not all the same, as well as social situations. An important thing to remember is "It depends on the person!"

Of course, I do NOT mean that I now have complete understanding of all things related to Deaf Culture! I still make mistakes, and break social rules, but I am becoming more aware. There is so much to learn, and it is a slow process!

Anyway, to sum it up... thanks for the great post and the interesting topic!

Erika

Anonymous said...

Hello!
I am a hearing student studying ASL and interpreting. First of all, I think that is blog is a great resource for hearing people who are new to the deaf community.

I think this post was particularly interesting. I have deaf teachers (past and present) who have explained to the class that they DO use speech in their daily lives, which often shocks some of students. They might ask "If you can talk, why wouldn't you?" Well, if it's an ASL class and the teacher is speaking English, how are we going to adapt to learning a visual language? My teachers have also explained that using speech may cause a hearing person to "forget" they are deaf and turn away when speaking. Of course there is also the reason of "Why should I speak, if you're not signing?"

When I was first exposed to the Deaf Culture, I quickly learned that it's best to keep an open mind and never make assumptions! Deaf people are not all the same, as well as social situations. An important thing to remember is "It depends on the person!"

Of course, I do NOT mean that I now have complete understanding of all things related to Deaf Culture! I still make mistakes, and break social rules, but I am becoming more aware. There is so much to learn, and it is a slow process!

Anyway, to sum it up... thanks for the great post and the interesting topic!

Erika