What do you know about the deaf

Deaf means mentally retarded?

Are deaf people intellectually disabled? Unfortunately, some people think that way. Where does this stereotype come from? Tomasz Smakowski explains.

Hi! Today we are dealing with another stereotype – quite controversial. Idiot, stupid, imbecile. Probably everyone has heard these terms, but few know their definition. They are usually used incorrectly. Some people with hearing perceive this to deaf people – which is absolutely hurtful and untrue.

Idiot, idiot, imbecile – what does that mean?

As an explanation, see the definition of these words:

  • Debilism – a disease that is a mild mental subnormality the most common to people with an IQ index in the range of 69 to 55 points.
  • Imbecility – an indicator disease to a medium mental disability, specifies people with IQ at the level of 54 to 35 points.
  • Idiocy – severe impairment, where the person’s IQ level is below 35 points. People called idiots stop at a constant level about a six years old child’s mind.

Deaf = stupid?

Deaf people are not retarded. What’s more – due to the lack or loss of one of the senses, they have much better developed others. Deaf often better than hearing people in many ways, such as – they are much more sensitive to movement. You wish you have a player in your team that follows the ball movement with such reflexes. Unlimited by imposed ways of thinking, or “the key of correct thinking”, they are exceptionally creative and their fantasy and imagination are not as limited as that of the average adult hearing person. So why do hearing people sometimes think deaf are retarded?

So why do hearing people sometimes think deaf are retarded?

It’s hard to answer “why?”. No research has been done on this subject, and no one will openly admit being biased. I have heard that the facial expressions and expressions of the deaf sometimes evoke various associations. In fact, deaf people have much more facial expressions. Hearing people do not pay much attention to this. Even without changing the expression of the face, through the timbre and pitch of the voice, the level of decibels, the speed of speech, a multitude of adjectives – they give each statement appropriate features. The human face can express over 10,000 types of expression, 3,000 of which are emotional signals. Take a look at the examples. See how the eyebrows, the corners of the mouth and the expression of the eyes are arranged.


Hearing people, of course, depending on the situation, are not as expressive as deaf. The reason is quite simple. Deaf people use a small number of adjectives, so they define the expression of their statements with facial expressions. Deaf people spend a lot of effort to make the statements appropriate.

Fortunately – which makes me very happy – this stereotype is appearing less and less, but I felt it was too important an issue not to mention it. Therefore, in the next films you can expect an episode about an outstanding and quite ordinary deaf with surprising hobbies and professions. That’s it for today. If you have questions – write! We will answer all of them. All the best and see you soon.

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