Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who appointed you to define what I need?

As you may know I'm on the waiting list for a service dog from Canine Companions for Independence. I thought I was just getting a service dog but I've discovered I've actually joined an entire pack of warm funny terribly earnest and responsible community of CCI people not unlike the dogs themselves I suppose. Anyway blogging and LJ intersects with this community and one of the CCI pack who has a hearing dog included in her LJ this link: Seek Geo asks: "Do deafies need hearing dogs?"

Never being afraid to share my opinion with those who want to read it. I share it here. I do not share it with Seek Geo since I don't think he was asking me but other deafies. I have minor auditory processing issues due to a scar in one ear drum but I think that still makes me a hearie since I can hear well enough not to need a hearing dog or any other hearing assistance device.

I am amused and puzzled and pained by the inherent contradictions in the Seek Geo movie/discussion.

First of all it was kind of Seek Geo to include captions or I wouldn't have been able to understand the movie at all. So on some level Seek Geo acknowledges there's a wide world out there that doesn't use his primary language.

Then I was really really mystified after Karen wrote how her hearing dog saved her life by alerting her to a forklift that was backing up into her and she couldn't hear (obviously) and couldn't see because her back was turned to it. Seek Geo wrote in response something like "Well it was just the one time." To me that speaks of a deep level of denial.

Seek Geo also pains me. I guess in some ways I used to take Seek Geo's attitude that I'm no different than anyone else. My wrists are trashed as a result of it and I have more needs now.

I am all for "I can do everything that an able-bodied person can... just in a different way." I can definitely understand dislike of the term disabled. I used to kinda hate it but now I've come to terms with "special needs". I have special needs whether it be a dog or drugs or more rest or equipment or whatever. That's just not going to change. Even if my jerking stops and my balance improves and my wrists get better. It will be due to my special needs being fulfilled.

I feel alienated from Seek Geo and not because he's deaf but because I feel he comes from the attitude of my parents' generation. "Don't talk about how your needs are different or special even if it means that if your needs aren't accommodated you can't fully participate in society or you may even endanger yourself. Disabled people are in wheelchairs or blind or mentally retarded. Otherwise you are not disabled. Almost getting killed by a forklift because you missed something. Well it's not because you have needs that weren't met. It's because you should have been more careful. You don't need a dog to alert you. You don't need anything except what I say you need. So stop whining like a baby and just take your lumps."


Seek Geo said...


I really enjoyed reading your post and wanted to say thank you for mentioning about my post regarding Do Deafies Need Hearing Dogs?

This question is for everyone in general. Anyway, I have to correct what you said, "one time." I did not state that, it was one of comment makers named Kevin M. if you can see comment #23.

And I agreed that it is one time incident which is very fortunate and it is rare. Not like it can happen every single day.

I stated that I am very grateful that her life was saved. So, the whole point is that I asked a question so we all can share our opinions.

There is no wrong or right, just agree to disagree but believe me, I have a few deaf friends who have hearing dogs and they are so adorable. For myself, I don't need one.

It is everyone's right of choice so it is all good.

Anyway, great post!


C.H.A. said...

I am excited FOR you about getting a CCI dog! May your wait be a short one :-) I can't wait to hear tales (or tails) about the two of you as a team once your teammate makes him or herself known! -Colby~

Thida said...

Thanks Seek Geo. I'm sorry I misatributed your comment.

And I'll be sure and share my stories here Colby :)