What is a Deaf Fail?

So it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have been preoccupied with lots of things lately, including my parents’ deaths, figuring out career stuff (I am currently in between jobs), volunteering on a few projects, helping my kids with school, life, etc.

One of my volunteer projects has been co-planning a retreat in 2019 for deaf folks like myself who rely on lipreading to understand what is being said. We grew up learning to listen and talk, rather than using sign. Some of us later learned sign language (I didn’t, although I did take one class in ASL long ago and soon realized there was no one to practice with, so my minimal signing skills all but disappeared).

My friend Robert, the other co-planner, and I decided to have a bit of fun making some videos for the retreat attendees. One video was about how we have known each other for 20 years and might end up killing each other trying to plan this retreat. Another video announced the date of the retreat, with some silly participation from our friends. Lots of expressive acting there. Robert and I plan on making a few more, just because it is So. Much. Fun.

When my family went on vacation this summer to the beach just south of Los Angeles,  my friend David came down to visit. David and I also go way back- we were pen pals in college. Like Robert, we have a few things in common: both of us are deaf and we have a wicked sense of humor.

David and I are always talking about all the embarrassing situations we find ourselves in because of our deafness. That’s the thing about hanging out with my deaf friends- they really get what it is like to be in my shoes. I knew David and I would have a blast making a video because we love to make fun of ourselves. We decided to film a few scenes where we sometimes encounter, ahem, misunderstandings, a.k.a. “deaf fails”. We enlisted the help of my kids to film, edit and caption the video. I honestly think I was an actress in a past life because I love doing this kind of thing! Hollywood, take notice!

Disclaimer: we made this video in less than an hour after much laughing and not enough rehearsing, so the quality is not the best. Enjoy!

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