Saturday, May 16, 2009

NYC's Deaf Population Dwindling

Handful of Deaf New York City residents admitted to me that there are increasingly dwindling numbers of deaf people living in the Big Apple's 2009 than ever.

The unknown factors like the changing economy, the cost of living and job opporunity probably play the pivotal role in rapidly shrinking number of deaf NYC residents.

There used to be frequent social gatherings for deaf NYCers every week, not at this time.

Many deaf New York City residents felt that they were unfairly rejected for decent job postitons. More and more deaf NYCers end up working for the retail industry.

All related informations are based on secondary source, not the primary information.

ASLize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)


  1. I think this is happening all over the USA.

  2. Anonymous,

    Do you meant everywhere across the U.S.A. have dwindling deaf population?


  3. Yep. It's happening all over b/c of many reasons...

  4. To anon,

    Nonsense and double nonsense. There has been no change in the human genome related to deaf genes, and therefore no change in the deaf population due to any change in the human genome.

    Also, advances in medicine oftentimes mean that there will be MORE deaf people born, not less, because more lives are saved in precarious situations where people survive who do not hear.

  5. The younger generations are moving to where the jobs are and where they can afford to live.

    NYC is too expensive to start from the beginning.

    Look for new centers of high deaf population to form near places of low cost of living and high job availability.

  6. Anonymous: Nope, that's where you are wrong. Washington, DC is one of expensive towns in the country but there are large, ever increasing Deaf population over there.

    Why? Because of job opportunities that is being offered to Deaf people.

    I used to live in New York -- the only place that you can work is in government, non-profit and/or educational organization -- nothing else. Nobody will hire you in a corporation. That's what led to a dwindling number of Deaf people living in New York.

    Name the cities that dwindled its Deaf population based on what you claimed.


  7. Take a good look at the schools for the Deaf, Fanwood, Lexington, NYSD, PS 47, St. Joseph. They used to be training grounds for leaders. There used to be large number working in New York Times, Post, Herald and some printing establishments. Many are members of ITU (International Teletype Union) and were well paid. They were also leaders bringing in many young Deaf from those schools into the fold such as socials and sports. Union League used to have over 1,000 members and was opened 7 days a week! We had Westchester Silent Club, Staten Island, Hebrew Association of the Deaf, Merry-Go-Round, and so on! Eastern Athletic Association for the Deaf (EAAD) was the largest region in terms of membership (over 75 Deaf clubs, I think) during American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD) days. Thanks to dwindling job opportunities, economic changes, higher cost of living, mainstreaming programs and menial jobs, the Deaf would end up on dole or eventually move away from the city. Boy, I miss those days.

  8. That's what many deaf people felt about NYC getting more audistic, especially corporations as what Ridor suggested.

    Other commentators, there are many factors led to the real surprise of dwindling numbers of deaf NYC residents.

    No questions about the ole' glory day for deaf people back in the pre-80s - socially and finanically vibrant with real deaf leadership and networking system.

    Thank you, all for leaving the comments. Other deaf people and I
    surely learn something new from all of you. :)


  9. The UK has its dwindling deaf population too,I think there are fewer deaf but not a significant number lower, but they are less visible as a group than they once were,so you don't 'see' them as often.

    Advances in access and communications has lessened the need for such large groupings of the deaf that we used to have, that is for the good I would have thought, it shows deaf are emerging from their confinement to the deaf area and starting to take their place outside it.

    NY seems little different from London in that deaf are still unable to break through that corporate and employment ceiling. Even our deaf charities no longer employ the deaf !

  10. That would explain the limited number of accessible shows on Broadway... seems they are getting fewer and far in between...

  11. MM,

    Whoa about the UK charities' reclutance of hiring deaf Britons!

    What a shame about the entire world turn against us, deaf people in general.

    Do you think that is part of international conspiracy to weaken the deaf stronghold and get rid of us piece by piece?


  12. Katie,

    Not only the deaf New Yorkers being suffered. Many of us, deaf
    people in general, suffer from very limited availability of accessible shows in Broadway or live theatres in the Big Apple!

    THe Hands On website used to be
    excellent one, not longer now!


    1. I wondered about this issue too. It seems like deaf schools everywhere are closing, and even universities that normally had relatively big deaf populations are dwindling. I know one university see a drastic drop in the deaf population by 70%. I suspect that the emergence of cochlear implants has a lot to do with the dwindling deaf population (It is predicted that 90% of deaf babies born these days will get a cochlear implant).