What's life with Deaf of Deaf family like?

Life of a Deaf family is very much the same as any all-hearing family. Just as a life of Spanish-speaking family, French-speaking family, Hindu-speaking family, and so on. Only the difference is language and culture.

A deaf child of hearing family often would be awed by the ease of full access in communication at dinner at a Deaf family's home. It's full of life, lively chats, laughs, and jokes. Talking about anything from politics to school.

family dinner

Deaf children of hearing parents enjoy being around Deaf of Deaf family, especially at dinner time.

Amy Cohen Efron shared her experience being around Deaf friends of Deaf family and she values the existence of DoD. And, I believe, Deaf children of hearing family are equally valued by Deaf of deaf family within Deaf community.

Some random anecdotes...

When my Deaf parents bought a lot in the 1990s, they requested the builder to modify the electrical system when building the house. Each room in the house has two electrical outlets next to each other, one white and one beige. One is a regular outlet like you have at your place. The other one is for doorbell and phone-ring. Just plug any lamp in the "Deaf outlet" and it flashes every time a doorbell or phone rings. Yes, that means light in every room flashes throughout the whole house! If you see one, you know it's a Deaf house.

In my teen years, I didn't want to wake up my Deaf father who would keep eye on me, even when I come home at late night. Looking back, I think he cared and wanted to make sure I was home safely.

Anyway, I didn't want to wake him up and he wanted to be sure I was home. The first few times, he knew I was home. How? One was the headlights of the car and another was when he peered through the window. Next, I asked my hearing date to stop his car on the opposite side of the apartment instead. Even, I asked him to turn off the headlights when we neared the residence.

In my young adult years, whenever I came home, my parents' bedroom window was on the same side as the garage. Every time I came home, I turned off the headlights before driving toward our house. Then again, my father might turn on strobe-light alarm if he wished to know I was home. Or off, if it didn't bother him or he rather had a good sleep. At least what I think. I probably never knew to this day whether he relied on vibration/sound of the garage door.

Once I got inside the house at late night (and the alarm system was off), I'd tiptop to the second floor. Before I turned on light in the bathroom, first I closed the door in the bathroom and put the rolled towel along the gap of the door to block off any escape of the light. (Are you laughing and thinking I'm exaggerated? Well, we have a huge plasticity of the visual and tactile regions that replace the sound region in our brains. The plasticity of the sound region is not unused! It's a scentific fact, mind ya!).

That's what visual, vibration (sound), and light are our sensory awareness of the environments.

More to come. Got a story? Email me.

Related posts: What life is like with Deaf family?, celebrating deaf mother father.