For deaf people, walking around every day must feel like being in a foreign country where almost no one knows your language. That’s a shame since one shouldn’t feel like an outsider in their own country.
That’s the case for many of them, walking in their own silent bubble where no one can talk to them. It makes even simple things like going out to eat something for lunch an ordeal. Unless one strikes it lucky like the man in this video.
A deaf man walked into a Taco Bell and started signing his order. The cashier was frustrated since he didn’t understand what the man wanted. The situation turned to mutual levels of aggravation before Caleb Francis, a teen working there who had taken sign language as an elective, came over and was able to get the order right.
Another customer caught the interaction and posted it, sending it viral. I’m hearing-impaired, and I hate it when people assume I sign though I can see how some hearing people might see it as an imposition when a deaf person walks up and starts signing.
There’s an enormous gap here, and people like Francis are few and far between. It’s good that he was there, but how many other teens are going to be taking sign language as an elective? I’m betting very few.
There are two schools of thought here. One is that sign language should be taught more. It’s admittedly a very differently structured language – their sentences are not as linear as ours. The other is that lip-reading should be taught more. This is a harder thing to do since people talk in many different ways. They have different cadences, and some people mumble, which makes it impossible to track what they are saying. Trust me, I know. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.
I wish that more people would learn sign language. It would help keep the deaf community from feeling isolated. Enjoy the clip below of this lovely young man helping this customer to get the meal he wanted.