A fun Deaf norm that happens frequently in the Deaf Community.
Deaf Standard Time or DST as we call it, is a Deaf Culture norm regarding our use of time.
I’ll describe a few of them and give examples. Just remember that I’m using “Deaf” as a general label as every Deaf and Hard of Hearing person is different.
At events that will be using an interpreter, Deaf tend to want to arrive early to grab the best seats to see the interpreter clearly. Also, for those Deaf that depend on their residual hearing or lipreading instead of an interpreter, they may want to arrive early to get a good seat where they can see the speaker clearly as well as make sure they can get an assistive listening device (ALD) at these events.
Sadly, one aspect of wanting to show up early is the fear of losing the interpreter. This has happened to college students showing up late and the college’s disability support office revokes their interpreting services (It's an audist microgression if you ask me).
Others want to show up early to doctors’ offices to ensure their interpreter doesn’t leave because it’s a long hardship to book the interpreter in the first place. It takes about 2 weeks (sometimes more) to book an interpreter and many doctor's offices forget to do this or insist that the Deaf patient bring their own (which is against ADA law).
This usually happens at Deaf-centric events such as Conferences, Parties, Meetings, and get-togethers.
The main impression behind being late are they either were leaving another Deaf event which ran long (due to extended chatting), or they just “know” the event will start late anyways (again due to chatting, explained in the next section).
Deaf goodbyes are notoriously known to be pretty long.
In hearing culture, leaving is usually a quick goodbye to close friends, then a shout-out at the door to other partiers then they leave. Some exceptions to this quick goodbye may be if you’re with family and you live in the South.
In Deaf culture, it’s polite to say goodbye to everyone there, then that turns into mini conversations, reminders, and you can do the math how long that’d take.
Here’s an example of my time at a Deaf club:
“Whoa, it’s 10, I gotta go, long day tomorrow”
Says bye and hugs 5 people as I pass
Catches friend talking about a TV episode - “I saw THAT! What did you think of….”
10 minutes later says bye and moves again
Another friend waves me down “Don’t forget to email me” “When need it?” “Wednesday, no wrong sorry, Tuesday” “sure, need both meeting reports or just tonight’s?” “both” “okay, laters”
Says bye to 10 more people
Sees loud laughter, “what’s up?” Friend retells whole story.
15 minutes later start heading out again…..
By the time I’m at the door it’s 11pm.
Here’s a funny video of a Deaf group at a Bar - https://youtu.be/qU3YhdR8jzA
Length of Time Interacting
One major factor to Deaf people staying longer and chatting is the scarcity of seeing each other.
Deaf clubs used to be the only times Deaf could meet up and share what’s been happening in their lives. This staying longer and later, is the bane of many bars and restaurants. It’s also not uncommon to see a group of Deaf outside a closed business…..still chatting. The Deaf Club I used to be a part of usually headed to the nearest 24hr Coffee Shop to continue chatting.
With the onset of Videophones, social media and the like, Deaf clubs have dwindled immensely. But the need to connect with our community remains strong and any chance to chat will end up being a long and cherished one.
Posted On 5/24/2022, 3:41:02 PM