ATR read a recent blog by a woman 'coming out' as having hearing loss and finding her hearing, mainstream 'peers' were less surprised or anti as she had always assumed. Of course, this means too many with hearing loss are still buying into the 'everyone is against us..' messages, certain activist groups of the deaf/HoH variety and their dubious charities keep pumping out on a relentless daily basis, with quite ridiculous and misleading non-statistics to back it up, because nobody has a real clue what the need is or if there is a national system to be created to support it.
Of course, everyone's view of how hearing loss affects them is different depending on the acquisiton point of it or personal ability to cope with this 'new' situation. Anger is the first basic response to hearing loss 'Why Me?' etc, well, they aren't alone as the UK had 10m others having the same relative worries. Where it differs is you have 10m trying to cope via own ways and failing rather miserably. 4 distinct areas appear to exist (Don't write in saying you are number 5 or 74, there aren't), that consist of the born deaf, the acquired deaf, the Hard of Hearing, and the deaf-blind.
None of these areas operate in unison, to each other or approaches their need that way either. There is the obligatory 'sop' to the 'Deaf & HoH' remit, but it is cynical to the point areas accept that remit or they won't get funds if they oppose it, of course, you could add 'Funding Kudos' to it all by adding 'Culture' or 'Language' or something the money is the real point and given that is in £B's, it is hotly lobbied for. The Hard Of Hearing were unable to get a handle on their Identity so settled for hearing, blaming it on ear wax, and adopting the cupped ear image of old people. Fact left for its holidays in 1960.
The 'Hard Of Hearing' are a vast but totally frustrating and complacent area whose attitude is they aren't suffering hearing loss really and they are still erstwhile hearing people just hanging about for the relevant technology to put them back in the swing of things. They aren't able to deal with the issue of that failing as they get older e.g. by then they have lost the means to campaign about it. They quite often believe lip-reading means you can fool all the people all the time also, but less than 2% are any good at it. Their other drive to hide whatever assistive device/Aid they use, which is passed off as some sort of fashion statement but is, in reality, a desperate attempt to hide the fact they are hearing far less then they make out, or feel if others know (They already DO!), they will get ridicule, they certainly will be, trying to fool people into believing what is apparent anyway to everyone else.
The blog I read stated some woman in a Yoga class had decided to tell her classmates what they already knew, it was only she who had assumed her contrived attempts to hide the fact of hearing loss hadn't fooled anyone at all, and they were being polite in not making a point of it. We know the 'Deaf' rely on highlighting discrimination everywhere regardless if proven or not. Today's media and laws put the onus on everyone else to justify. There is always fire whether there is smoke or not.
The 'Deaf' and their respective area are a blatant go-it-alone area intent only on promoting their own ways of communicating and own social approaches and campaigns, few if any are inclusive or accepting those who cannot or won't comply at all or suggest they could make more effort to diversify as well. They consist in part of hard-liners who want a stand-alone, and Greta Garbo approach to how they live their lives, even if it means expressing horror or derision at those who want hearing loss addressed, as they see it as undermining their ethos. So anything from a CI/HA, or speech is a discrimination approach or 'attack' as they see it. They have a pathological approach to labelling themselves and others and their terminology is out of control.
The deaf-blind have no connections of any real note to the born deaf or Hard of Hearing areas. The latter paying some sort of lip-service to the fact some can sign, and stating many blind speak or hear so are not like them. Only our furry friends seem to have any commonality, despite concerns the deaf are not really justifying an animal in deaf terms. Again doggy/pet lovers need not write in.
The final area (which ATR is alleged to be a member of), is the acquired deaf one, who float in and out of all the hearing loss, hearing, and deaf areas being allegiant to none in particular. Mostly the 'deafened' thing is rejected outright we don't approve of labels and 'deafened' suggestions something deliberate is involved. The acquired deaf are a very influential area having experiences (Apart from blindness), of most degrees of hearing loss from none to profound and total loss, so by definition have considerable experiences on approaches that can make inclusion work, mostly experiences gained the very hard way and without a supporting background of any kind, we aren't impressed with the Deaf or the HoH much, because of their disjointed approaches. The approach we already know do not work for most and have polarised access campaigning.
A number of us actually run a few born deaf areas using our hearing background and our deaf one via experience, to more easily pitch in to lobby for support need and equality, most, are still having a conflict with the sign using fraternity who appear to be opposing inclusion by default. We tend to work alongside HEARING people who run most deaf support areas and 85% of all their charities. There are people who accuse everyone else of discrimination but who set up own barriers to prevent it being carried on. Some too, will not include and will not provide access via communication formats that aren't strictly theirs, others could call that discrimination too, but they insist it is enablement and right. Some sort of 'terminological Warfare' seems extant w want no part of.
It would seem many approaches to unity are doomed to failure via a surge of rights demands that in essence just enable the same isolation they claim they want to be free of, most of that is driven by the signing activists approaches and the abject apathy of the majority with hearing loss who have given up pointing out to these people the error of that approach, whilst insisting a mobile phone or a bit of lip-reading answers all their questions.
Inclusion activists are pitched against each other as they vie for own systems, so basically inclusion and awareness is a dead duck.