John Barrowman goes Deaf for a day

Posted by jennifer gibson on Monday, August 11, 2014

Recently, actor John Barrowman, tackled the task of going Deaf for a day to learn what's it like to live in a world of silence. He was shocked to discover just how challenging it proved to be which left him feeling utterly exhausted by the end of the day. 

I'm absolutely thrilled that he chose to give this a try, most people would wimp out at this opportunity for fear of being mocked or teased by their friends, peers or family members.  Even though their hearts may be in the right place, they often don't have the courage to give it a try.

For someone like John Barrowman, a famous actor from Torchwood and Dr. Who, this speaks volumes about his willingness to do it. I wish that more people were as open-minded as he was about trying to live with a disability. 

This is what he had to say:
"Until that experience I didn't realize how much I took my own hearing for granted, or the sorts of emotions and experiences Deaf people go through...I hadn't realized the huge impact it on everyday things we take for granted, such as buying a cup of coffee, and how it makes other people treat you differently."

Hopefully his story will open more eyes around the world and help others appreciate his eagerness to tackle such a difficult topic that most people are not aware of.  It's not until you lose the ability to hear that you truly comprehend the full scope of the disability. 

Yes, it is a disability since it has an enormous impact on our lives. No, I will not sugar coat it saying ridiculous things like "I'm more abled than disabled." That phrase is very misleading. Being Deaf is a part of my life, it's who I am. While it doesn't necessarily define me or prevent me from doing my work, it does affect my everyday life. It does make it extremely difficult to hear conversations at noisy events or on the streets in the city. It makes it almost impossible to hear the barista over the loud espresso machines. Loud restaurants are a nightmare for me. To watch movies, I have to use the closed captioning device. Even though I wear hearing aids, it does not replace what I lost, and it does not give me the same hearing as everyone else. I only hear a small snippet compared to normal hearing and it sounds very distorted and muffled as if I'm wearing pillows over my ears. Unlike John Barrowman, I won't get my hearing back the next day. It's gone and that's a reality I have to accept. 

Thank you John Barrowman for doing this and sharing your insight with the rest of the world.  I sincerely hope that it raises the awareness of what's like to be Hard of Hearing and Deaf.

You can read more about his experience here:
Deaf for a day, by JOHN BARROWMAN

Tags: john barrowman  torchwood  dr who   
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