Walker at M*U*S*H
Are you really deaf? Yes. Yes I am. I have a 115 decibel loss in my right ear, and a 110 decibel loss in my left. I was born hearing, but 5 weeks premature. Among the medicines that my doctor used while doing his best to save my life was one that has a reputation for being ear toxic and causing deafness in premature children. I gradually lost my hearing until Jr. High, when it stabilized at its current volume levels, but I continued to lose the ability to make a distinction between noises. I can't tell the difference between my name and "hey hey hey" (3 syllables).
Then how can you read? ... I'm deaf, not blind. (And yes, I *HAVE* gotten this question before. Not from MUSHers, but plenty of internet users and people offline. It's mind-boggling.)
How do you manage to fly? I fly in and out of Harvey Airfield, which does not have a tower, and is not in controlled airspace. I am restricted from flying into Seattle airspace or any other class A, B or C airspace without a copilot who can handle the radios. I am still investigating on whether or not I can simply use an interpreter without a piloting license, but until then, I'm satisfied just being able to fly where I already can =).
Did you go to a deaf school? I grew up attending regular schools, and most often I was the one and only deaf person at the school. I used a FM system (which is when the teacher wears a microphone, and I wear the receiver, so all I hear is the teacher) until Jr. High, at which point I used an FM system combined with an interpreter. This lasted until I graduated High School, then I merely used interpreters at my college, RIT.
Can you talk? Yes, and quite well at that. I've had over 50 different speech therapists. Rather than being stuck with a single speech therapist, my parents placed me into the Speech and Pathology program at the local universtity (NAU), so every semester I got 2-4 new speech therapists, and saw them 2 or 3 times a week. Spring, Summer and Winter.
Can you use the phone or radio? No. My ability to discern spoken words has gone right down the drain. If I can't see and lipread you, I can't understand you. This is why text is such an addictive medium for me to hang around in ;).