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which is worse blind or deaf?

I am wondering the biggest questions that most deaf people are asking, after inspected the famous person Helen Keller. what is your opinion about this, blind vs deaf?

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Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

Everyone uses facebook/msn/e-mail/text messages now. We don't have to talk to actual people anymore lol. Also listening to an audiobook takes so much longer then reading a book yourself, and movies have subtitles. Not being able to hear music would be devastating; but if I had to choose, I think sight has many more benefits then the ability to hear.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

The only possible answer to this question has to be a personal opinion. Mine comes closest to care4k9's.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

I am someone who is blessed with the gift of hearing and sight. One of my best friends is legally blind and very recently I dropped into visit her with my partner and she had some friends around - three blind and one not. Basically there were three able bodied people in the room outnumbered by four legally blind people ranging from 10% vision to totally blind. At some point the able bodied husband of one of the blind ladies brought up this very subject and said he felt blindness was a more severe disability than deafness. The reaction was fierce with all the blind people categorically stating that deafness was much worse. As I heard him be shot down in flames I felt I needed to jump in and give my honest opinion and I said I agreed with him 100% The conversation then got even more heated until one legally blind young lady left the room very angry and upset. This is a very emotive topic and it is easy to understand why.

This is MY perspective on the debate. If someone is blind from birth, their hearing is EVERYTHING to them. It's their way of communicating with the world. Sound is such a beautiful thing to them they couldn't imagine life without it. Naturally they therefore think deafness is a far worse disability. But if you were to communicate with a deaf person, their vision is everything and it's THEIR way of communicating with the world. As someone said earlier, this is very subjective.

That said, if you were to get a roomful of able bodied people and ask them to not necessarily CHOOSE a disability but ask which one they would think would be worse, I could guarantee the majority would say being blind is a more severe disability. It ultimately comes down to survival and independence and the list of what deaf people are able to do versus blind people is a much longer list. Personally I know everything I love to do requires my sight - driving a car, drawing, photography, playing tennis, golf, writing without difficulty, playing computer games, appreciating art or a beautiful landscape etc. I also find I spend most of my day in complete silence apart from the annoying sound of my computer buzzing in the background and the clicking of my keyboard as I type and I will be completely happy. The interuption of someone ringing me on the phone can actually be annoying sometimes as I love being in my own little world. This is something people blind from birth who never experienced the joy of perfect vision will never really understand and that's probably a good thing.

In regards to Helen Keller's perspective, she never really experienced either of the senses so really how could she judge? You really have to experience both then evaluate which you use more to decide which sense is more important to you and be more devastating to lose. Whatever your answer is, you aren't wrong - it's just your perspective. Just allow other people to have theirs.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

I see that this thread is a bit old, but felt that I needed to respond. I had been pondering the thought for sometime. At a deaf and hard of hearing and later deafened adult meeting, someone said that it was worse to be deaf than blind due to Helen keller's statement. I chimed in with my usual opinion and said, that is very subjective. There are many deaf who are proud to be deaf and wouldn't change that for the world. They are proud to be in the deaf culture. That it is an individual preferance. At another time in teh meeting a statement on "blindness" was made and I had to chime in again, don't make judgements on a disability you have not experience, because they were making them in such a way that it was obvious they have never expderienced blindness. Well, nto too many people were hapy with me at that meeting, the only deaf-blind person there. Ironic huh? I'm the only deaf-blind person in the meeting, but they didn't like my opinion or statements.

A week or so after that meeting I thought more on this topic, I realized that we don't get the choice of which disability we want. It is a useless question because no matter how much I would prefer to be something, else or want to choose, we don't have that choice. We have what we have. SOme days it is my vision that is such a hinderance and a handicapped, while other days it is my hearing that is the handicapp. having them together makes things a lot harder to function in the world.

I do nto think that deciding which one is worse is helpful for anyone, really.

Truth to be told, if I did have to choose, it would be deaf. I like to live in rural areas and be able to drive, see majestic mountains, see wildlife hike and see the sky and see how the clouds come rolling in, I like to see the lightining strike, teh rain come down. Yes, i woudl miss my hearing dearly, but my independence is much more when I can see to drive and get around. I also lke graphics, color, vivid images.

I am partially sighted and with a moderate to severe hearing loss. I still have a little of both. For which I'm so grateful that I'm not totally blind and totally deaf. That in itself is a blessing. I want to hang on to what I have.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

Born 1933 and raised by deaf grandparents, lived and shared my entire life with deaf relatives.

If I had to make a choice to be deaf or blind, I certainly would choose to be deaf. I have seen what the deaf community can do with their lives, the progress they have made over the past 70 years. I've seen the lifestyles of both deaf and blind. I have been an avid advocate for the deaf.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

Without even stopping to think for less than a second, I would rather be blind than deaf. Before I even read what Hellen Kellers answer was, I had the same exact thoughts. Hearing things still keeps me connected to this world. But without that, I think I would lose my mind. I would not care If I was blind. I would feel completely cut off from people, the world, and isolated in darkness without being able to hear, even if I could still see. It would be to me a metal and psychological darkness to scary for me to even want to think about. I have bad vision, but can still see and hear.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

I am Hard of Hearing and Blind. I have always been legally blind and Hard of hearing since the age of 13. I have recently lost all of my residual vision within the last several years...
I would have to say that it is hard to say as to weather I would rather be deaf or blind because I am both and there are positives and negatives to both, but being able to hear my parents voice and my boyfriends voice means a lot!! It's easier to function as a blind person as far as communication with people... But it is tough not being able to talk to my deaf friends through video phone anymore they have a hard time grasping taht I cant see anything anymore..
Both are tough at times, but depends which you prefer more being able to hear music and peoples voices or being able to see people and things...

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

I absolutely love singing and listening to music, so I would have to say BLIND.

Plus I'm already blind so it's not like I can change it :]

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

well I would have to say deafness but my wife would say blindness I am blind and she is hard of I gess it is hard to say if your blind you want to see in dtead of hearing if you are deaf you want to hear in stead of seeing so it it is hard to say on of the many unsolved things in the world


Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

i thing so, blindness more Better then the deafness; voices are my evrything.

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

As someone who is deaf-blind I would certainly say that blindness is worse. Being deaf does not have the same limitations as a blind person does (i.e. career or jobs).

But the truth is, deaf people would rather be deaf and blind persons would rather be blind. Espcially if they were born that way and would not part from it. Each have their own culture and distinct features.


Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

That is a very subjective question. The first blogger said that he feared deafness; but this is quite understandable, as he is already blind. If I had to guess, he may have Retinitis Pigmentosa which, in some cases, results in both.

As for myself, I'd say that blindness would have to be worse; and, as far as other handicaps go, quadriplegia (paralysis from the neck down) would have to run a close second.

Why would I say that? Because, like any other pollster, I too am subjective. In my OPINION, anything that would hinder me from reading and writing would be bad.

Suppose, however, I were forced to choose? If I HAD to have a handicap? Would I choose blindness, paralysis or deafness? My choice, of course, would be: NONE OF THE ABOVE! (duuh!) Nobody in his right mind would wish that on anybody.

BUT, if I were forced to pick one, it would have to be deafness. Why? Because this world is so full of annoying, infernal NOISE, that deafness might almost be a relief! All around me are co-workers who blast hideous "classic rock music" (i.e., guitars without chords, and percussion with no rhyme or reason). My hearing is down to about 90% and dropping anyway. If I don't get a quiet, work-at-home setup soon, I'll need a hearing aid in a few years.

Any questions? Write to I'm always open!

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

deaf defantly i am blind but am so glad i can here music and things like that i dont want to say to much as knowing me i will probably loose me hearing next

Re:which is worse blind or deaf?

Here is an expert answer to your question.


I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems
of deafness are deeper and more complex,
If not more important, than those of blindness.
Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it
means the loss of the most vital stimulus - the
sound of the voice that brings language, sets
thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual
company of man.

- Helen Keller

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