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Letters: Deaf reality

December 19, 2012

Re "A champion of cochlear implant," Obituary, Dec. 13

The Times closed its obituary on Dr. William F. House with his quote, "Deafness is such a horrible thing." Yet my life being deaf, like that of many others, has been normal and even extraordinary, richly rewarded with sign language and countless blessings.

I do acknowledge House's accomplishments. Still, this quotation, though eye-catching to the reader, is disrespectful to the deaf community and encourages parents of deaf children to feel more sorrow. It evokes isolation.

The Times should refrain from propagating an old-fashioned and negative view of being deaf and be culturally sensitive to the indigenous, unique communities in California. One small remark can create a resounding ripple of perspectives and actions, so choose the right one.

Erika Thompson

Riverside

The writer is vice president of the California Assn. of the Deaf's Riverside chapter.

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