There are some disabilities which are invisible, meaning you can’t tell the person has the disability just by looking at them.
Hearing impairment is an invisible disability and that can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings.
- If someone greets you and you don’t respond, they usually assume you are rude. They may never consider you are hearing impaired.
- Failure at school or difficulties following directions may be viewed as an intellectual problem, if the hearing disability is not addressed properly.
Family and friends will shrug off my failure to respond, my problems with understanding, and even answers that make no sense. They know about my hearing disability and they understand how it causes problems in my daily life.
Strangers or even people that don’t know me very well, may assume I am rude or stupid. They may allow their assumptions to stop them from getting to know me, which I think is sad.