I have seen these general BS remarks from time to time by Deaf people whenever they make generalizations about HH people's ability to talk equivocating as just as disturbing as listening to someone rake their nails over a chalkboard.
Listen here as an example. Please turn up your volume high, it's kind of hard to hear this "squawking".
Sorry, wrong one.
A bit of an exaggeration there. I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm trying to get at. But people sometimes describe "deaf voice" as "squawking" or "yowling" or even a "nuisance", or whatever words that may fancy them that are wrongly applied to people who do speak very well. Then there are instances where some do speak atrociously, admitedly so. But many have the desire to continue improving their voices and that shows guts and determination in using one of the many tools in their communication tool box. However, when one says “deaf voice” it’s in the category of having that monotonal voice with little or no intonation or inflectional qualities.
The problem is this. There seems to be a general labeling by many people in the Deaf community regarding how hard of hearing or deaf people talk. As always, hard of hearing people includes those with mild to moderate, or even moderate-severe hearing loss with decibels ranging from 20 to 85 db. We're talking about a population out of 30 million people with hearing loss in the United States. That’s a pretty big population to try and label people as having a "deaf voice" and they are "hard" to hear or even understand.
Watch Kathy Buckley’s video clip. She is deaf. She uses her voice and she does sign a little in her comedy standup she's well known for. Although she does have a very pronounced “deaf voice” but it is certainly not a “nuisance”. Her voice and words are clear and understandable. Even the audience can understand her and laughed at her jokes.
Brenda Bruggemann? Have you listened or seen the video clip of her May 12, 2006 graduation commencement speech at 45:15 into the video (and compare that to I. King Jordan throughout the video)? Her voice was incredibly crisp, clear and very understandable. Even both the interpreter and captioner heard every word clearly. If you listen very closely, you can tell she does have a bit of a “deaf voice” but her voice still contains the inflectional and intonational qualities even though she is deaf. But by all means her voice was extremely good and would even pass as a hearing person’s ..well….almost. But you get the idea.
Those are the limited examples of deaf people with hearing loss on the extreme end of the hearing loss scale of hard of hearing or deaf. Let's look at the other end of the hearing loss spectrum by those with better hearing.
Steve McQueen, a well known actor. He was hard of hearing. Ronald Reagan in his formative years during his presidency was hard of hearing. Leslie Nelson from the movie "The Naked Gun" is hard of hearing. And a whole host of people you can find in here - although not all of them are deaf or hard of hearing.
Now, I have friends, co-workers and such who do have mild to profound hearing loss. Many of them are HHs. And they all speak fine with a variety of accents and inflectional differences but certainly not a “deaf voice”. My deaf friends with much more severe hearing loss are a different story but I wouldn’t call their deaf voices a “nuisance” but they do have a “deaf voice” that’s monotonal with little or no inflectional qualities to it.
I do associate often with people at the other end of the hearing loss spectrum from mild to moderate and I can tell you unequivocally that they do not have this “deaf voice” but yet they are hard of hearing at the same time. If you’re basing your experience with a Deaf crowd, then you are not seeing the broad spectrum of people who are considered as “HH” and how they talk. Most of the hard of hearing population do not have this “deaf voice” until you move upward into the more serious hearing loss range.
These hard of hearing and deaf people who can talk shouldn't be ridiculed, disparaged, looked down upon or ignored should they prefer or have the oratory skills to speak well. Such as this one here:
Jordan has successfully accomplished his goal of temporarily hijacking the Deaf Culture Movement in the United States and he has held it hostage for the entire eighteen years of his administration at Gallaudet, continuing every year to put on his dog and pony show before Congress, and flaunting his deaf voice in order to play on the sympathy of Congressmen who are led to view deafness as an unfortunate medical condition, and are then misled into seeing deafness as being mainly a disability issue.
Amazing. Dog and pony show? Flaunting his deaf voice? What bias do these Deaf people really hold against those who prefer to use their voices?
It is indeed a sad state of affair when Deaf, deaf and hard of hearing people get attacked like that......over the issue of using their voice.