Sunday, 15 July 2018
Commentator #1 (The way ahead?).
I often read about communication therapy and hearing 'counselling' the UK has none of this as I am aware, or if it is, it is not available or advertised at all in most areas. I do think once hearing loss is diagnosed then a course on managing that should be offered immediately and for free, far too many of us wait until it is too late to plan what will happen when ears fail to cut it any more. Whilst hearing aids, BAHA's, and CI's are a boon to use, none provide the hearing we had before, but still, we don't plan ahead for that. Facts suggest hearing degrades as we get older, not improves.
Few of us would be isolated and neglected as we get older if we had. It is why we should challenge lip-reading classes and sign classes as such, one relies on still having useful hearing and how to make the most of that, but, no plan when the aid fails, and the other opposes speech use because 'Deaf don't like it or rely on it', but, WE can be deaf too and speech is essential a way we desire to follow. The politics of deafness need to stop. Without effect speech recognition and use, lip-reading is pointless an exercise. I don't believe lip-reading works for most of us, and age can prevent us mastering any useful skill in most, the tuition system doesn't recognise the person, the after effect, or has an endgame either.
Some take the sign route and try to find a deaf club or something, most cannot do that either, if they get in, they can't relate to those already there. As most all want to HEAR, I suspect the only real route we want to take is to find that cure. But hoping isn't fostering research, only support will do that.
Commentator #2 (Speech).
Speech can be affected, after I lost most my hearing I was unaware of it until my parents pointed out my speech use had declined dramatically too, I took the hint and forced myself to speak everywhere and anywhere, I still talk too much lol, but I am told now I'm deaf apart from talking when someone else was because I wasn't aware they had started, my speech was as if I was still hearing. We tend to concentrate on the ears and not the speech we use, a need to respond as well as hear is essential, even if the speech sounds strange. The 'nod' won't cut it. Use speech or lose it.
My partner is deaf she has no rise or fall with her speech, it is monotone because she was deaf from birth, for some reason she adds 't's' at the end of her sentences if she attempts to speak... as it tends to be loud and she is aware if it, she stops talking. Deafness WILL cause speech loss unless you are mindful it will happen, that applies equally to adults or indeed deaf children. The issues seem to be with sign language usage, which deaf say does not need speech to function, a lot are buying into this for cultural reasons, unaware they are neglecting a vital aspect of communication that will lessen the dependency on others, and challenge the innate skills we have to lip-read, which we all do, deaf, HoH or hearing.. Simply because its easier to not attempt it. People inherently will always take the easy route to avoid stress.
We should be encouraging all forms of comms we are capable of in my view. To cease using a vital one for 'political-cultural' reasons seems bizarre to me. Not an assault on sign use, more a determination to use any and all means to follow, why wouldn't you? My speech usage has meant I have no need to use sign myself, I am fairly fluent as my partner relies on it, but manage OK without it too. Too much reliance fosters apathy and a false sense of inclusion. To not be able to freely move around and communicate without help is a great driver to cut through all the crap.
Saturday, 14 July 2018
People who keep inventing new terms or bias are offensive, but the disability definition is a medical one based on the undeniable fact other people don't have YOUR Issue, or you have developed an issue yourself.
In respect of the latter, loss defines disability probably more, than being born with an issue does, because those areas have always had that same experience, it's their 'norm'.
The issues arise as the two undeniable truisms clash on the way ahead. It is a battle that will continue until deafness stops being a clash of ideologies and reverts to a mutual respect and acceptance. People who lose hearing feel disabled by it, because they are. Calling it a culture won't get that issue addressed even if you find a different communication format that helps, despite various claims the format defines too.
The whole thing suggests disability is the completely correct 'term' to describe those who lose hearing, or go blind etc, as it ISN'T a norm, that norm has been removed. It's the plethora of half-terms like HI/HoH/Severely deaf, and deaf without an aid or CI etc that are meaningless and confusing so is deaf and Deaf.
What's in a name really? Nothing much except when it comes to being supported, then regardless if you have a culture or different language approach, and db variation, you still need help. Society has established that in order to identify the need and support, they have to call it something.
So long as that need is met, they can call it whatever they like, BUT, the bias of those who have no loss, and those that do is messing it all up, because both need support but in different ways, where the system fails is lumping us together, but, established groups of either sector do the same to get their needs met. Culture isn't a need, its a dream/preference, but support IS. All the arguments I read are one area demanding the other butts out because of need conflict.
The 'mainstream' of disabled have lost interest and past caring what the deaf or near deaf whatever do, some are annoyed their chosen term of Disabled to describe themselves is being trashed by deaf cultists and being portrayed as negative when deaf claim higher 'disability welfare and support' than most any other grouping. Some suggest the 'Deaf' put up or shut up about it.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 3, the Bridgend & District Hearing Impaired Group, with members past and present and representatives from the audiology department at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, and Action on Hearing Loss, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the group’s formation in 1993.
Following a 2pm arrival, each guest was presented with a rose buttonhole and seated in the Eliot Suite of the Coed y Mwstwr Hotel, Coychurch. The group secretary, Helen Embling, in her welcoming speech, spoke of the founder, the late Mrs Doreen Gunning, who herself became deaf during her teens, and in later life became one of the first people in Wales to have a cochlear implant, which gave her some degree of hearing.
Doreen spent her life championing the cause of the deaf, realising herself how isolating this disability can be and the effect it has on people’s lives and confidence.
Among the many awards Doreen received during her lifetime for her voluntary work on behalf of the hearing impaired, none was more deserved or appreciated than the honour of the MBE, two years before Doreen’s untimely death in April 2012. Our guests heard congratulatory letters from HRH Prince Charles and Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, who both acknowledged the difference the group has made and continues to make to the lives of the hearing impaired.
Two of the original founder members, Bette Wilson (current chairperson) and Derek Lyddon, who are still active within the group, were particularly acknowledged for their support and loyalty over the years. Also with us were Joan Kinsbrook (98 years young) and Alan Lee, a former group treasurer, both of whom are loyal group members of over 20 three years. The Bridgend Hearing Impaired Support Group is a self-funding voluntary group, meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at The Evergreen Hall, Bridgend at 2pm.
In recent months, members have enjoyed speakers from ‘Blood Bikers’, Bridgend Guide Dog Association and the Bridgend Ukulele Band, as well as visits from representatives of Action on Hearing Loss, to keep members abreast of developments in technological help for the deaf.
A regular visitor to the group is Charlotte O’Connor, senior audiologist at the Princess of Wales Hospital, who advises us of updates from the audiology department. A regular and immensely popular part of our monthly meetings are the LIFT exercise and Tai Chi sessions presented by our qualified instructor Geoff Cheetham. Geoff gives of his time at a number of venues around the borough voluntarily, and has become a firm favourite with members – we were delighted he was also able to attend our Coed y Mwstwr celebration.
Bridgend HI group members enjoy regular trips to such places of interest as Llancaiach Fawr Manor, The Palace of Music, Porth, and Clevedon, Bristol: as well as a Christmas lunch, a New Year Party and always coffee and cake or biscuits at monthly meetings.
Jonathan Joseph (Jay), a principal clinical scientist at POW Hospital audiology department, spoke of the importance of the HI group to its members, in providing information, fellowship and social enjoyment, breaking down the barriers of the isolation and loneliness that often accompanies hearing impairment. Jay assured everyone that ‘the audiology service is on hand to support you all and if you ever need any help, you know where we are.’
Further speeches were made by founder members Bette Wilson and Derek Lyddon, thanking Helen for her part in continuing the work of Doreen Gunning. Helen was presented with a beautiful floral arrangement as a mark of members’ esteem. The excellent afternoon tea provided by the Coed y Mwstwr was greatly enjoyed by everyone, and a number of guests also left the hotel with a raffle prize – kindly sponsored by local businesses.
If you are interested in joining the Bridgend Hearing Impaired Support Group, please come along to the Evergreen Hall for our next meeting on Tuesday, August 7 at 2pm. You are assured of a very warm welcome.