The biggest barriers people with disabilities encounter are other people
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Responding to Disability: A Question of Attitude

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This questionnaire is designed to stimulate thinking and dialogue. It is not intended to test knowledge of disability or attitudes toward people with disabilities. As people increasingly find themselves in situations involving people who are disabled they need to make quick decisions on how to respond. This questionnaire provides an opportunity to think about situations involving people with disabilities, to respond, and then to consider the various responses more carefully.

Q. You are in a restaurant and you notice two people who are deaf communicating silently in sign language. When a waitress goes to their table, one person gives his order out loud, but his voice is strange, hard to understand, and too loud for the quiet restaurant. The second person does not speak, but points to items on the menu. You conclude that:
a) the first person is only deaf while the second person is deaf-mute.
b) the first person has an intellectual disability as well as being deaf.
c) the first person has better speech than the second and speaks for both of them.
d) some people who are deaf like to use their voices, others can speak, but prefer to communicate silently.

d) some people who are deaf like to use their voices; others can speak, but may prefer to communicate silently.
People with deafness have voices; they are not mute. The loss of vocal production can occur in anyone, but it is a separate disability and is not automatically associated with deafness. Terms such as deaf-mute or deaf and dumb reflect the inaccurate thinking of an era when few people had opportunities to learn how to use their voices. People who are deaf have impaired hearing, but their impaired hearing has nothing to do with the quality of their intelligence, their vocal cords, or their eyesight.
Learning to use one's voice to speak effectively requires time, effort, and concentration, and is especially difficult for people who lost their hearing in infancy. Some people who are deaf choose to use their voices regularly. Others decide that this is not the best option for them and use American Sign Language to communicate. Not all deaf people who choose to use their voices will sound like hearing people when they talk. Hearing people monitor the volume, tone and expression of their speech by listening to their own voice when speaking. People who are deaf cannot do this and thus sometimes have voices that sound strange or unusual to others. Occasionally a person who is deaf's speech may sound similar to the speech of some people with intellectual disabilities or the speech of a person from a foreign country. However, it is not accurate to assume anything about a person's intelligence or abilities by the sound of that person's voice or by that person's decision not to use his or her voice. In this case, the person who is pointing to items on the menu is effectively "speaking" for himself, even though he is not using a voice to do so.