You see someone signing and you squeal to yourself "it's a Deaf person! oh my gosh!" My answer to you is yes, yes it is. What does that matter?
Don't get me wrong! They're Deaf, that's pretty sweet. But it frightens me when I hear people say things like this: "oh they're Deaf, I'm gonna go say something to them," or "I learned the alphabet when I was a kid, I should go tell them my name."
Deaf people are very social, but do you want people to come up to you and say, "hey! I speak English too! Let's talk for no good reason!" If you actually know ASL, then you probably have a little more leeway.
I started learning ASL at a young age and have been involved in the Deaf community since then (I'm getting old so that's a long time). I am an ASL interpreter, instructor, and TypeWell transcriber. These are things I've seen hearing people do and Deaf people make fun of and complain about.
Tweet: 13 things to never say to a Deaf person
Never Do or Say These Things
1. Don't shout. They can't hear, right? So why would you speaking louder make them suddenly be able to hear?
2. Don't over-enunciate or speak slower. "Helllloooo, mmyyyy naaaaammme iiiiisssss Iiiiidiiioooot." Nice to meet you idiot.
3. Don't talk to the interpreter or hearing person that may be with them. "What's your friend's name?" My reply, "how about you ask them yourself?" "Tell them my name is Rude-Face." Consider it done.
4. Say I know sign language and then flip them off. That's lame.
5. Say I know sign language and then flap your arms around like a fool. That's hilarious. Do that so they can laugh at you. Not with you. At you.
6. Don't ask them how they get through life with their disability. They're not disabled. Just ask them.
7. Know you'll be around a Deaf person? Don't keep the lights low or have flickering lights. It'd be like you trying to have a conversation with either sound cancelling headphones on or in a mega loud bar/club.
8. Learning ASL? Awesome! Don't have crazy designs or bright nail polish on. It's super distracting. Like talking to someone with food in their mouth, or a booger hanging out of their nose.
9. Also, don't have a busy pattern on your shirt. Ouchie on the eyes.
Just a hint - they are being sarcastic. These are the CODA Brothers. CODA= Child of a Deaf Adult.
10. Don't talk to them like they're unintelligent. They speak a different language that's the only difference in their mental ability. Do you assume someone from Spain or Japan is unintelligent just because they speak a different language? No, you don't. At least you shouldn't.
11. Don't cover your mouth and then ask if they can hear you. Are you 5? Apologies to 5-year-olds.
12. Don't ask them to read someone's lips for you. What are they saying? Tell me, tell me!! You could totally eavesdrop on people!
13. If you know ASL don't just butt in on their conversation. "Oh yeah, you should really dump him, he's a jerk!" Creepy!