I didn't realise you were deaf!
Often people do not realise that I am deaf, my hearing aid is black and hidden in my long dark hair. Even when I have my hair tied up many people assume it is a hairclip or some kind of blue-tooth headset. Often when I tell people in public places that I am deaf, they do not believe me because I do not sound deaf. Speech quality provides no indication of the quality or volume of the sounds that a deaf person hears. Many deaf people learn to speak before they become deaf, or only become deaf after they acquire spoken language.
If I need to wait in a crowded room for an unknown person to call me through to an appointment I am unlikely to hear my name called out. I often ask the receptionist to ensure that I am alerted visually rather than struggling to listen in a crowd. Unfortunately the receptionist is often busy or there is no suitable system to inform the person who is 'calling my name' that I am deaf. I find ENT and audiology departments are especially bad for this.
I have found handing over something graphical on paper provides a tangible reminder which can be attached to my notes, or file so that the person collecting the notes/file and calling me notices it and can ask the receptionist which person I am.
Blame the jobcentreI started doing this after struggling at the jobcentre where staff called my name across a large room which I couldn't hear. I told them I had disclosed I was deaf and under the DDA (as it was then) they had to make adjustments. Staff kept telling me "We don't know you're deaf" cos they didn't go into my job seeker account until I showed up. I got tired of being shouted at for their failings, then I heard a deaf friend was sanctioned for not hearing her name even though she had been in the jobcentre all the time. I decided it was time for Obnoxious Disclosure by taping the following images to each side of the wallet which contained my signing in book.
Amazingly, there were times that despite this disclosure staff still called my name and got grumpy with me. But it was then easier to point at the book in their hand and say that I had no other way of making it so obvious and if they carried on being rude I would complain.
feel free to download and adapt those images for yourself.
Hospital disclosure leaflet
Hospital HOWTO for staff
I have finally got round to creating a customised for me Deaf Awareness HOWTO printout for taking to medical and healthcare appointments. I can give the HOWTO to staff who I deal with so they know about my communication needs.
Deaf Awareness Resources and Products
There are several organisations in the UK which have webpages, downloadable content, or printed content about deaf awareness and communication tips for use with hoh or deaf people.
Telecommunications for the deaf
The UK's text relay service previously known as a confusing mishmash of TextDirect and TypeTalk (I can't tell which was the provider and which was the service despite having it explained too many times) has been renamed TextRelay. See their website for more information.
Assistance Dogs for deaf people
Hearing dogs for the deaf are assistance dogs trained to alert deaf people to sounds around them. Like any other assistance dogs they should be permitted into places like supermarkets, restaurants and taxis with their owners.
A good friend of mine got one recently and she says he improved her confidence greatly both in and out of her house. http://www.thedeafblog.co.uk/2007/09/lyn_kolsteren_a_baha_user_sinc_1.html.
page last modified Sunday, 22-Apr-2018 12:39:32 BST