The well-known and respectable film "hearing" critic, Roger Ebert of Chicago, IL, seems understood what we, deaf people were going thru everyday life. Ebert's knee got whacked by another film critic during the film screening. Ebert couldn't see the subtitles of the new foreign film to be reviewed. He got the cancer on his mouth area few years ago. The main part of his mouth area had been heavily removed due to cancerous region. Ebert had to tap on that hearing man's shoulder to move his shoulder blocked Ebert's view. Guess what?
Any of us, deaf people have the tendency of tapping on hearing people's shoulder or wave hands over their face to get their attention. We would get in legal troubles for so-called physical assault.
No questions about the difference of cultural and linguistic upbringings between deaf and hearing Americans how to get someone's attention. Deaf people usually tap on someone's shoulder or wave their hands in front of someone's face.
Many hearing Americans dislike this kind of manual communication approach by deaf people.
What we should do with hearing people's misunderstandings of us, deaf people to do the outreach to any hearing people?
In the past, I did gently tapped on one hearing lady to get her attention. She became squeamish and shouted to me "Don't touch me!" I tried to calm that lady, but she seems frantic all over the place.
Hearing Americans seems little paranoid about physical touchings on shoulder area, ex. tapping.
I hope that Roger Ebert will be more sympathetic toward deaf people and feel solidarity with us.
Robert L. Mason (RLM)