Hearing Link

Another One Bites the Dust

Haven’t been online for a while due to laptop having a severe infection and slowing to pace that was unusable. Killed the virus, only ran slower and locked up. So… this is the first thing I’ve typed on our new, sparkly, crispy clean laptop. Won’t last. I’m a pipe smoker who insists that, just as Mr Holmes found, a pipe helps me think, which in time gives a blistered finish to the keyboard and surround – ash dropping, you know.

In the past few weeks in my travels around the county I’ve met the Hearing Dogs charity at various public places. I drop what I can in the tin, buy another dog shaped pen and make sure I smile. Was a time when smiling was my best communication skill, but (and this isn’t a ‘well done me’ comment) I’ve found I can communicate with those manning the stand and holding tins.

The hearing folk, no problem, always had a chat with them. But, I used to feel anxious about getting messing it up for those with impaired hearing because I know how Sue struggles when someone get’s it a bit wrong. Met a chap yesterday who, in response to Sue telling him she is deaf, spoke so clearly passengers in the Jumbo Jet overhead looked down.

Thanks to Sue’s help and patience, as well as the help we received from Hearing Link, I found I was communicating at a tolerable (slow) pace with someone on the Hearing Dogs stand who is Deaf. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t chatting like old friends and I was straining somewhat to get things worked out before I signed (a bit), finger spelt and lip spoke, but we did converse and it wasn’t all down to the Deaf person’s skills.

I’m not saying what a good and caring person I am, far, far, from that. It’s just that having a family member with impaired hearing isn’t an end to ‘talking’, just make changes and don’t do obvious things like ask what she/he wants for dinner when you’re wearing the fridge like a hat. Can’t see – can’t tell what you are saying. Sue can’t hear but we still talk – converse if you prefer. Yup, I stroke her shoulder to let her know the alarm is going and often get a reaction similar to having dropped a hot iron on her skin (“I only brushed you gently!” reply “HUH!!!)

But we still laugh at stuff together. I can’t stress enough to anyone who has a family member with hearing impairment – it doesn’t change who they are, how your relationship is or how you can enjoy being together. It might mean a little effort learning some signs, finger spelling (so easy, even I got it) or just thinking before speaking. But do it together and ask someone with children how to include them – I’m too irresponsible to have offspring, but I expect Hearing Link will have some advice.

If it seems a lot of work then I suggest acquiring sinusitis. I’ve been unable to hear properly for 10 days, it’s a great way to learn about deafness.

YAY. First thing saved on a clean disc.

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