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This Video Shows How Differently Deaf People Experience The World

"Can you read my lips?"

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In this video by Little Moving Pictures, Rachel Kolb articulates what it feels like to experience the world without the ability to hear.

View this video on YouTube

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The video was inspired by Kolb's essay "Seeing at the Speed of Sound."

The video starts off with closed-captioning over people clearly speaking. Then, the captioning begins to blur, and the voices turn into murmurs, which symbolizes how difficult it can be to translate what a person is saying solely by looking at their lips.

"Can you read my lips?"

Rachel goes on to say that although she is deaf, her world is "a hearing one."

The word "lip-reading" implies that you read lips just like you would read a book...

...when, in reality, the differences in the way people speak make it much more difficult than that.

And conversations don't take place in a controlled environment, either. You can be surrounded by other people, or they might not be standing straight-on, or in a well-lit space; there are thousands of factors that can come between communication.

Rachel describes it like "trying to put together a puzzle without all the pieces."

And then there's sign language — a language that Deaf people can use to be animated in a unique way. But unfortunately, it is a skill not everyone knows.

"Communication is never a given."

However, when communication does work, and when lip-reading works...

...well, there's nothing more beautiful than that human connection.

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