An Odd Thought

An odd thought popped into my head while I was on my smoke break (don’t even asked me from whence it came). I almost put this in GQ but It just doesn’t seem to be that kind of animal.

Anyhoo, …
How might a blind person communicate with a deaf person (and vice versa) without the assistance of a third party?

Well, either the deaf person could read braille or the blind person could read sign language by hand, a la Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller (who was both blind and deaf).

Ok, let me narrow it down a little.

There is some two part emergency. A blind man is an expert in part A of the emergency. A deaf woman is an expert on part B of the emergency. They are thrust together to solve the emergency and for whatever reason, they are left alone to do it. They have never met each other before, and we’ll assume the deaf person doesn’t know braille and the blind person doesn’t ASL (American Sign Language). What now?

… could happen.

Wasn’t there a comedy movie about this? I’m sure I’ve seen the previews. Perhaps Richard Prior, or Gene Wilder?

“Wilder and Pryor are reteamed in this stupid comedy about a deaf man and a blind man who inadvertently become murder suspects and take it on the lam, hoping to catch the real killers. Five writers (including Wilder) are credited for this labored, foul-mouthed comedy; two such talented stars deserve better.”

Quick question: Does the deaf person speak and read lips? Or can the deaf person only communicate through sign language? If lip reading is an option, they can just talk to each other. As an electrician, I worked with two deaf people, and they both red lips so well I could speak at my normal pace (I have a tendency to talk faster than average). They also both spoke very clearly.

Well, I suppose everyone can read lips to some extent, and I’m sure deaf people are probably better at it than most. However, a great deal of deaf people do not speak clearly.

For the purpose of this arguement (which I’m beginning to regret) let’s say the deaf person cannot speak, hell let’s even say she doesn’t have a tongue ( … could happen).

Again I ask … what now?

If there are any other questions designed to make this problem easier, (e.g. are they psychic?) let’s assume the worst (under normal conditions - I’m not going to lop off any of our participants’ hands or anything).

Doesn’t have a tongue? Ewww. Is this deaf person a recent escapee from a Turkish prison?