Stuff Hearing People Say to Deaf & HOH People

A YouTube video that has gone viral inspired me to write about the ignorant and funny comments some people make to deaf and hard of hearing people.

Instead of making a video, I will write out some of the things I have actually heard people say to deaf and hard of hearing people, including me. For the record, I don't think all people with typical hearing will make these comments. I can understand why some of the following comments were made. However, I can't help but laugh at some of them for being unbelievably silly and rude.

Stuff Hearing People Say to Deaf and Hard of Hearing People:
  • "Wow, I never would have known you are deaf!" 
  • "You don't look deaf."
  • "She was so beautiful, you would have not known she was deaf." 
  • "What's reading braille like?" 
  • "Can you have children?"
  • "You speak so well!" 
  • "You don't sound like a deaf person." 
  • "What? There's no need for captions. Here, I'll turn up the volume, I don't mind." (turns up volume on t.v. really loud, smiles and gives the thumbs up).
  • "Oh, never mind. I'll tell you later."
  • "Turn up your hearing aid!"
  • "Why don't deaf people just get cochlear implants?"
  • "Oh, I love sign language! "A. . . . .B. . . . .C. . ."
  • "Why don't you ever listen to me?" 
  • "I bet you are just pretending to be deaf, huh?"
  •  "What is your problem? You were hearing me fine just a second ago. Are you listening?" 
  • "Oh, he's probably not deaf. Selective hearing, right?" (laughs)
  • "GEEZ! I. . .SAID. . . WHAT. . .DO. . .YOU. . .WANT. . .TO. . .DO?!!!"  
  •  "Doesn't it make you sad that you won't hear your child say, "I love you."?
  •  "Can you read their lips and tell me what they are saying?" 
  • "Oh, how do you sign @#%^, *#$%, %@!*&, and !@@#$%& ? 
  •  "Can you hear me now?" (laughs)
  •  "You don't need an interpreter. We can understand what you are saying."
  • "Oh, you are deaf? Like Helen Keller! Cool!" 
  • "Gosh, you deaf people are so angry and militant!" 
  • (Whispers) "Look! He has a hearing aid, just like you!" (points)
  • "Didn't you hear? Oh- Eer, um. . .so sorry, um." (laughs nervously)
  • "Oh, you're deaf? Sorry." 



  1. Great list. And don't forget "Death? You're death?" (laughs as if they were the first person to tell the joke OR is completely serious)


  2. It is captioned....but not for kids to view....

  3. Seriously, what hearing ppl have said to our faces could fill volumes, lol.

    And so much of it is based on plain ignorance. That's the unfunny part.


  4. I would love to make this into a youtube video (with closed captioning of course). Do you mind if I take a couple of your ideas? I will of course give you credit at the end.

    1. Yes. Give me credit only for any direct quotes taken from here. Otherwise, I don't care. Glad to help inspire you in making a video. Thanks!

  5. Oh, I get the "Oh, never mind. I'll tell you later." frequently. That's so irritating, isn't it?! Am I THAT unimportant that they can't spend 2 seconds to repeat it for me? Why did they say it in the first place? ARRRGHH!!


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