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.