Deaf People Listen Better

Baylee C. Ridings

You say you’re sorry that I’m Deaf. 

It’s rude somehow, I must confess. 

Our world is made for people like you, 

All things designed with sound, it’s true. 

You don’t realize how hard I work catering to your world. 


I read your lips, 

I write things out, 

I get told that captions aren’t allowed, 

I request interpreters at events. 

Accommodations should be easy, yet they’re almost always skipped.  


Sign language is trendy, but you don’t have time to try, 

Captions are distracting for your hearing eyes, 

Interpreters stand in the way, 

There’s no room for them on the stage. 


You romanticize us on your own terms. 


You teach your babies how to sign,  

But just until they speak. 

I’m not here for your convenience, 

I won’t show you dirty signs to use when you drink. 


As you pick and choose your favorite parts of us, I hope that you realize,  

You’re hurting Deaf people with your selfish lists; 

You’re creating a divide that shouldn’t exist.  

Contributor's Note

Baylee C. Ridings is a senior studying Secondary English Education. Baylee is hard of hearing, so she is passionate about spreading ideas of advocacy and accessibility to the world. She is currently an ASL teacher at SWIC in Belleville, Illinois, and in the future, she hopes to continue to inspire students.