Hearing Loss Inclusion


Join Lipreading Mom in #StopHearingLossBullying

What is the Stop Hearing Loss Bullying Campaign and Video?

A group of 12 people, including Lipreading Mom, got together to brainstorm how to stop the troubling phenomenon of bullying among people who are deaf or have hearing loss. Each person answered the question: Why do I support Stop Hearing Loss Bullying? Then the participants submitted photos of themselves to Lipreading Mom. The photos included their faces, hearing aid or cochlear implant side profiles, and hands using sign language.

Here is the video…

Here are some stills from the video…

Melissa Wittenborn

Melissa Wittenborn

Jessica Vercelli

Jessica Vercelli

Chazz Griffith

Chazz Griffith

Tracy Downs

Tracy Downs

How You Can Help

1) Spread the word to all your contacts about the Official Stop Hearing Loss Bullying Page.

2) Watch and share the Stop Hearing Loss Bullying Video.

3) On Facebook, “like” and share the #Stophearinglossbullying page.

4) On Twitter, tweet the following message: “I support #StopHearingLossBullying. Join me at http://LipreadingMom.com!”

A Special Thanks to the Video Campaign Team

The Stop Hearing Loss Bullying video would not have been possible without Film Editor, David Greenberg, along with these film participants:

Stephanie Blystra
Tara Chevrestt
Tracy Downs
Chazz Griffith
Shanna Groves
Dave McAuliffe
Mary Smith
Senthil Srinivasan
Jessica Vercelli
Melissa Wittenborn

Readers—Let Me Know What You Think About the Video

Please watch and share your comments below. Lipreading Mom thanks you for supporting the campaign…Because hearing loss bullying ends with YOU and ME!

Help Lipreading Mom #StopHearingLossBullying

Help Lipreading Mom #StopHearingLossBullying

As a person with hearing loss, I have seen bullying first hand. I’ve been called ‘stupid,’ ‘mule-headed,’ and have been nicknamed ‘La-La-Land Shanna.’ I simply want to be known as Shanna. Help the more than 48 million people in the United States and worldwide with hearing loss and deafness by bringing awareness to the need to stop this kind of harassment and bullying. People who are deaf or hard of hearing need acceptance, not rejection, to thrive in school and the workplace.

Sign and Share the #StopHearingLossBullying Petition

Repeat this: “Hearing loss bullying ends…with ME.”


Read Lipreading Mom’s Series—Hearing Loss Bullying: A Troubling Phenomenon

Are You Bullied Because of Your Hearing Loss?

How Can *You* Stop Hearing Loss Bullying?

Bullying Doesn’t Stop This Show Me Your Ears Fan

Other Helpful Anti-Bullying Links:

StopBullying.gov: The U.S. Government’s Anti-Bullying Campaign

WillUStand.com: A 12-Year-Old Girl’s Anti-Bullying Campaign

The Power of Words | Stand Up Against Bullying | StopBullying.org

Pacers Peer Advocacy Unique Bullying Prevention Model for Students with Disabilities

‘Switched at Birth’ Star Katie Leclerc’s Anti-Bullying Campaign

Should We Care Beyond the School Yard? (Deaf in Prison blog)

Share Your Hearing Loss Bullying Stories

Do you have personal experience with this kind of bullying? Please comment below or send a confidential message to LipreadingMom(at)gmail(dot)com.


26 thoughts on “Hearing Loss Inclusion

  1. people who bully hearing loss people, or any other kind of health problem are just pure ignorant. someday the tables may be turned on them,or someone close to them, and then they’ll know how they made people feel, and how heartless they were.

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  13. I was born partially deaf and I have been bullied for it. People at my school would say mean jokes about me being deaf. Teachers were even mea,n because they didn’t try to understand my issues and just blew me over. I’ve been called stupid just because I cant hear what’s going on most of the time. I also have a speech impediment and on various occasions people would make fun of it and tease me for it. It hurt, but I’ve learned to move on and not let it affect me. People only say/do these things because for some reason it makes them feel more superior and better about them self.

  14. I was born profoundly deaf, recieved a cochlear implant around 2 years old, and went to deaf education school until I was six. My teachers were so surprised that I only took four years to learn to talk–the norm back then was for kids to be in deaf school till like, sixth grade! I mainstreamed into a hearing environment at a private Christian school for first grade and graduated from there in sixth grade. After that, I went to another private school for 7-12th grade. I wouldn’t trade the amazing education I recieved there for ANYTHING, but I would trade a few moments for happier memories.

    Private school, public school, homeschool, whatever–bullying is going to happen (unless we stop it). I remember knowing right away that I was different. My little six-year old self was very observant and saw that no one else had funny things on their ears, and that I sounded a little different than other kids. I didn’t care, though. I liked school and learning addition and subtraction and drawing ballerinas in art class (I was your typical seven-year-old girl).

    By fourth grade, I KNEW for sure I was different. People had made fun of me before, but I shrugged it off pretty easily. My math learning disability was coming to light by that point, so I was already struggling academically and the fact that people would imitate my voice back to me didn’t help at all. Fifth and sixth grade were probably the hardest years bullying-wise. That is the time when girls are starting to change, so it’s a hard time anyway. Bullying on top of all the weird changes is extremely harmful and unhelpful and can lead to issues later in life.

    In middle school, I remember being made fun of and also being referred to as “the deaf girl” when I was RIGHT THERE to hear it. I wanted to punch the person who said that, but I didn’t react at all. As I got into high school, being bullied for my deafness wasn’t as much of an issue but being bullied for my learning disability was. It made me so mad because most of the bullying happened in my special ed class (ironic, right?) and there were days when I just wanted to stand up and holler that we ALL had learning disabilities so why the heck would we bully each other about it?!

    So, speak up. You may get made fun of it in the moment, but your standing up for yourself and other kids speaks volumes and shows strength and dignity. I wish I had spoken up for myself in high school, even in middle school too.

    Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of friends all the way from 1st-12th grade, but the bullying memories put a dim on those happy memories.

    Now that I am a college sophomore, I can happily say that I no longer get made fun of for being deaf, because we are FINALLY beyond that childish behavior, but I wish the bullying had never happened in the first place.

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  17. My son started middle school this year and I was much more nervous than he was. He is in mainstream schools and the kids at his elementary school were used to his hearing aids and the FM system. The thought of kids who didn’t know him, older kids, etc. scared me terribly for him. We have always talked to him about bullying from the perspective of what to do if he sees somebody being bullied and, of course, how to deal with it if he is bullied but going to middle school meant this was going to likely become a reality rather than a theory. Sure enough, not long after the school year started there was a kid that began “picking” on Nick. The kid called my son names a few times, bothered him at his locker and even threatened to take his HAs. As a mother, I was ready to go cause a scene at school or at the kids house…whatever it took! Nick assured me he was o.k. and he didn’t want me to go to his school like he was a baby. We went a few more weeks and the teasing didn’t escalate much and Nick told me every day that he was fine because he only had one class with the kid so they didn’t see each other much except at their lockers (which are close together.) Then the teasing did start to escalate a bit and the kid even physically threatened Nick, though he didn’t act on it, One day in gym, this kid began calling Nick “deaf and dumb.” He then tried to get another kid to join in on the bullying and asked this other boy “do you think he’s stupid because he can’t hear?” This ‘new’ kid (who has been in school with Nick since kindergarten) replied “no, I think you are stupid because you think wearing hearing aids makes someone dumb.” Again, the kid backed off for a couple of days and then redoubled his efforts, this time at their lockers. He began calling Nick names again and said he was going to smash the hearing aids and, at least, acting like he was going to grab them. A girl, who my son doesn’t really know but whose locker was nearby, grabbed the bully and threw him up against the wall and threatened him and said “this is exactly why you don’t have any friends.” I’m glad we have taught my son how to deal with bullies and I am glad that he is a strong and confident enough boy to handle the teasing. But, I am also glad that there are kids who are willing to do the right thing! Here we are at the beginning of the second semester and my son has not been bullied anymore since mid October. I know that he may have to deal with it again but I am less scared for him.

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  19. Hi. My name is Cindy. I am so glad I came across this page. I was a victim, too.. I just launched for the first time a book called ” The Silver Linings Storybook”. I am a co-author and I wrote about my struggles and the cruelness of being a deaf girl/woman in a hearing world. I invite you to read the book. It took me 38 years to break my silence and I successfully did it. I invite you to read my chapter [chapter 1]:

  20. Hi. My name is Cindy Suarez, I am deaf, born and raised in NYC and currently living in Puerto Rico. I am soooooo happy I came across this site. I have no idea how I end up here as i was not looking for “Deaf bullied” or related keywords. I have so many stories to share with you all. You see, I was a victim of bullying many times in life because of my deafness. I just broke silence for the first time of my life and launched my first chapter/book as co-author of the “Silver Linings Storybook”. My first chapter is on the first chapter of the book and I invite you all to read it. My dream is to be able to inspire you all with my story and feel empowered. This is the book: http://www.amazon.com/Silver-Linings-Storybook-Successful-Professional/dp/1773160001/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464146778&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=silver+liningstorybook

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