As a growing society of Deaf who have a cochlear implants I use oral language as my first language but also identify as Deaf because without my hearing aids or Cochlear Implants I am profoundly Deaf.
Where do I belong?
The world where I grew up is the hearing world.
I, in particular come from a hearing family, My brother and I are literally the only ones who are Deaf.
I learned to speak, I wore hearing aids to help me hear and went to mainstream school. Literally, every aspect of my life was in the hearing world.
I had no involvement within the Deaf Society until I became an adult, I was told I could no longer wear hearing aids when I suddenly had an allergic to the latex in the moulds.
Where do we fit in?
Luckily I am able to mix within both worlds and whilst I don’t slot in comfortably in either the hearing or deaf world, Thankfully being “in between” gives me the best of both worlds.
I still struggle, I can’t sign proficiently so it makes things a little bit awkward within the Deaf community as I don’t identify as Deaf.
In the hearing world I mishear things, I need to take things slower so that I can absorb what is being said, I suffer with concentration fatigue due to all of the background noise & crowd conversations.
“In-between ” is a growing society of deaf and hard of hearing people whilst we are Deaf we do live in a hearing world.