At work this past week I had a pretty unfortunate experience. A customer at work refused my help because I am deaf*.
I ended up switching places with a coworker who was doing something in the back because I was kind of upset. It upset me that this random person was calling my job skills into question and refusing to allow me to help him, even though I could easily have done so if he was only willing to speak in a normal tone of voice (he insisted on mumbling because he is "soft-spoken.") It also upset me that one of the few times I chose to advocate for myself ended so badly.
Luckily I did not have to deal with this person again that day. Later that afternoon three Deaf people came in and I was able to help them, which made me happy. Though my ASL is rusty, I was able to assist the three of them, and they were willing to be patient and help me out a little... something this previous individual was not willing to do.
Unfortunately I do not think there is much I can learn from this. It can't stop me from telling people I am deaf because I'm not going to stop advocating for myself. It only serves to wear me out on the world a little bit.
However, as I wrote elsewhere, "What I have to remember is that nothing about myself has changed from this interaction. I am good at what I do. While I can continue being the best person I am, this person has to deal with their apparent emotional difficulties and difficulty dealing with other people every day of their life. It is their problem, not mine."
* Correction: originally said hearing impaired. Old habits die hard.