Saturday, 10 September 2016

Gillian Low: Deafness doesn't define me..

Gillian Low on deafness and getting employment needs met.  I don’t think of myself disabled, perhaps because I wasn’t classed as such until I was 32. My loss of hearing began at university when, one day, without warning, I couldn’t hear my lecturer. From then on I lived through 10 years of fluctuating hearing.

I’ll never forget standing in a travel agents in Sydney handing over the second half of a round-the-world ticket in exchange for a one-way ticket home to Glasgow. My hearing had dropped so badly that my once in a lifetime trip had come to an abrupt end. By 32 I was diagnosed as profoundly deaf, with no hope of ever regaining any natural hearing.

Tests to understand why I lost my hearing were inconclusive. Perhaps it was the result of my love of clubbing throughout my teenage years in Glasgow. Who knows? The cause didn’t really matter to me. I was determined not to let my disability define me. I refused to learn to sign but taught myself to lip read and carried on with life.....

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