On TextEdit & The Deaf

Chris Gonzales tells the story of how he helped the deaf — or so he thought:

Apparently, the teacher had decided to turn this outing into a strange assignment/experiment. The idea was for the group of kids to spend the entire day at the mall, going store-to-store and behaving as if they were deaf to see how employees treated them. After explaining all of this, the teacher told me that almost every single store they'd visited had treated them a bit terribly. As if they were annoyed that they had to deal with all these "deaf" kids and preferred to be finished with them as soon as possible.

The next part of her story made me feel awesome inside: She said that I was the only person they worked with all day that had treated them like real people, and actually tried to be as helpful as the situation allowed. They had all been impressed with my idea of using TextEdit to communicate, because nobody else in the mall had even bothered to grab a pen and some paper.

Full disclosure: I hadn't bothered at first to read to the end of Chris's article, because I was so impressed by him going out of his way to help these kids from the deaf school. As it turns out, the kids were hearing after all, but I'm nonetheless still impressed by Chris's actions.

I grew up with parents who were deaf, so Chris's story really hit home for me, even if the kids were just "playing" deaf. The TextEdit trick was ingenious, and I'm pretty sure even a true deaf person would've appreciated that.