Abigail Heringer recently addressed a commonly asked question regarding sign language.
On The Bachelor Season 25, Abigail made history as the first deaf woman on the Bachelor.
Since appearing on The Bachelor and finding love with Noah Erb through Bachelor in Paradise, Abigail gained a large social media following.
Abigail often uses her platform to raise awareness about the deaf community.
Several inquirers have questioned why Abigail never learned sign language.
Abigail made a video to explain while also detailing the differences between the Deaf community with a capital D and the deaf community with a lower case d.
Abigail Heringer discusses cochlear implants and sign language
Abigail Heringer took to her Instagram to share her informational video and placed a comment she received at the top of the video.
The comment read, “I mean this [in] the best way possible: aren’t you able to communicate with and represent your community better if you learn sign language?”
Abigail explained how she never learned sign language because she got her cochlear implants when she was very young and learned to speak and communicate verbally through speech and therapy.
The Bachelor Nation star did try to learn sign language in high school; however, she had a bad experience as her teacher only spoke in sign language and appeared to resent cochlear implant use. Abigail stated that experience was the first time she witnessed hostility between the lower d and capital D Deaf community.
She proceeded to explain more about the two communities in the video as she stated she and her sister are not a part of the capital D Deaf community.
Abigail elaborated further in the caption of her post,
The caption read, “The single most asked question I get is, “how come you don’t know sign language?” Here’s why. My biggest goal is to be an advocate for the hearing loss community, but with that is recognizing that I represent the lower case d deaf community – one that relies on verbal communication, not sign language.”
Abigail continued, “I have nothing but the utmost respect for the capital D Deaf community and would love to learn sign language one day as a second language but hopefully this can give some insight into why I wouldn’t rely on it as much as one would think.”
Abigail Heringer says hearing loss is no longer ‘black and white’
Abigail pinpointed an irony in the questioning she often receives, writing, “One last tidbit that my sister pointed out that I though was an ironic but interesting point: most of the people that ask why I don’t know sign language are hearing individuals… which further shows WHY I am striving to advocate and educate on the topic of cochlear implants and verbal communication. Hearing loss is not the black and white landscape it used to be.”
Concluding her caption, Abigail wrote, “Cochlear implants have changed the scope of hearing loss so much but it’s also a relatively new concept as well so there’s so much to learn! I hope that this can shed some light and happy to try and answer any more questions ☺️??.”
Bachelor in Paradise premieres Tuesday, September 27, on ABC.