Deaf Public Experience

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Having to be Deaf in public was an experience that I will not soon forget. In order to accomplish this project, a group of my friends and I went to the Crossgates mall. Since we were in a somewhat large group of four people we developed a system to see different aspects of what it would be like to be Deaf in a public place like this. For starters, we rotated who would be “Deaf” and who would be hearing in case something occurred that could compromise the process. Then, we went to many different stores under one of three scenarios. These scenarios included: signing to each other to see other people’s reactions, signing directly to the employees and having one of us pose as Deaf, and the other would try his or her best to interpret, to see how…show more content…
Prepped ahead of time with what I was looking for, I walked up to the store owner and signed to him that I was looking for a shirt with an eagle on it. He did not seem daunted by the fact that I asked in ASL and ushered me over to a rack of shirts. The shirt he first showed me had a snake on it, which is what he misunderstood the eagle sign as. After repeating the sign a few times, I could tell that he would never be able to understand what I was actually asking for. So, I wrote “eagle” on the notes on my phone and he showed me many different shirts with eagles on them. Though I ended up buying a shirt with a panda on it, the store owner never once got frustrated with having to deal with the communication gap. On the contrary, I think he was quite happy to try and help me find what I was looking for, and did not seem to mind my “Deafness” at all. My second experience was definitely a positive one. Our third scenario, one Deaf and one hearing, produced some mixed results. When I was the Deaf person in the scenario the employee immediately began talking directly to my hearing friend and ignored the fact that I was the one asking for

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