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Deafness

  • The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than the problems of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus — the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.

    • Helen Keller,
    • letter to Dr. J. Kerr Love (1910), in Brian Grant, ed., The Quiet Ear ()
  • The inability to hear is a nuisance; the inability to communicate is the tragedy.

  • ... deafness is ... not just the disfigurement of words and it's not just broken ears. It's most often a barrier between person and person.

  • I need to know what is being said. Always. Anywhere. Not just a word now and then.

  • In the end, words, volumes of words, all signed, were the eloquent metaphor of my life. It was the language born of hands that was my beginning.

  • I do prefer 'stone deaf'; stones may be mute, but they are warm in the sun, they feel soothing in the palm. It is a piece of the earth, attached to God. I do not know what the pedants mean when they write 'profoundly deaf' to describe the person who has never heard a sound. Deaf is deaf and silence is forever.

  • Deafness has left me acutely aware of both the duplicity that language is capable of and the many expressions the body cannot hide.

    • Terry R. Galloway,
    • "I'm Listening As Hard As I Can," in Marsha Saxton and Florence Howe, eds., With Wings ()
  • How little we realize things till they come upon us personally. I believe I have been a perfect fiend of indifference, even intolerance, of deaf people, and now it's me. Well, I am determined to become the most Delightful Deaf Old Lady that ever existed and I am practicing to that end ...

    • Susan Hale,
    • letter (1907), in Caroline P. Atkinson, ed., Letters of Susan Hale ()
  • When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss ... and they called me slow!

    • Kathy Buckley,
    • with Lynette Padwa, If You Could Hear What I See ()