Same AND different!

Deaf people may tell you that deaf people can do everything that hearing people can, except hear. Or sometimes: except play the violin. Yes, that is true, just check out the professions of the deaf entrepreneurs on this website. 

On other occasions, deaf people will tell you that they are different from hearing people. They are visual people; Deaf culture is different; sign language is different, the Deaf community is different. As a result, they may prefer deaf teachers, deaf colleagues, deaf role models. Because only deaf people know what it is like to be deaf.

Both statements are true, there is no contradiction. When hearing people are in a foreign country, especially in a country with an inaccessible language, they are often happy when they meet countrymen; if they can choose colleagues or teachers abroad, many will prefer people who share their background, language. 

Don't be upset if a deaf person tells you that he or she would prefer a deaf teacher. Just change perspective. Imagine you find yourself in a group of sign language users, with a teacher who only uses sign language. If given a choice, wouldn't YOU sometimes long for hearing classmates, a hearing teacher?

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