Perception and Decisions

Tonight, I was forced to make a decision regarding my American Sign Language class. One requirement is that we must attend a deaf event in the area. I intended to attend an event through the UB ASL Club. However, all my friends had urged me to go to an even at the local mall where deaf people would be celebrating the annual deaf week.

This idea terrified me.

I know very little sign language. To be forced to communicate with people in their native language was a big concern of mine. In an endeavor to follow what I had learned from my previous research, I aimed to make a timely decisions, based on more than a yes or no answer.

I decided to put myself in the shoes of the deaf individuals. If I could better understand how they would feel about interacting with me, I could make a more confident decision of whether to go. Carmen Tang’s blog entitled “Tip #1 To Learn How to Adapt: Accept Multiple Perceptions” covers this concept well. She relates her personal experience of learning to take in opinions other than her own, even though that is hard to do in a me-first society.

By understanding the deaf event through deaf eyes, I was implementing Tang’s advice. She states that she always had opinions which were then tested by using questions to pull ideas out of other people. Comparing her own ideals to those around her, strengthened her confidence in her ability to problem solve (Tang, 2017, para. 2).

After thinking critically about my decision, I realized that deaf people would love for hearing people to attend. After all, growing and strengthening the deaf community is the goal. I also had hope that they would be understanding of my poor signing skills. Thankfully, the event was a smashing success; everyone was very kind and willing to repeat themselves for me.

I am glad I decided to branch out into a new community and attend an event few people had the privilege to say they attended. As Tang (2017) explained, thinking of issues in terms of other’s perspectives “only means that I have to observe and adapt to all these new opportunities and improve more professionally” (para. 3).

Figure 1. Perception Matters. (Manoji, 2017)


Manoji, V. (2017, January 15). Perception matters. [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Tang, C. (2017, September 22). Tip #1 to learn how to adapt: Accept multiple perceptions. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Like what you read? Give Jenna Behm a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.