Saturday, 22 August 2020

Hearing loss awareness. What they don't tell you.

How To Pronounce Aware - Pronunciation Academy - YouTubeA BAME contributor (As if people have enough to manage without more bloody labels),  wrote about anger and stress having to cope with that, hearing loss, as well as COVID, and people getting angry because we need stuff repeated, which promoted some candid response. Race and colour is NOT the issue.

Deafness is the ultimate democrat it doesn't care what colour you are or what ethnicity you belong to. Ditto COVID. As regards to being left out, there are few answers to it, you cannot force inclusion so the onus is always going to be on you to adapt. The system (such as it is), can be made to adapt 'to a degree' but the public cannot. It requires a fair degree of cooperation from us and a thicker skin basically. 

The only way to making it clear to people what works for you is for YOU to tell them. It takes grit and it involves a lot of stress I have to say, you need to stay with that, and not just step back and let it leave you behind. They don't need us, but we do need them. What you mustn't do is get too angry about it, there are people who won't include you no matter what colour you are, or what disability you have, but you don't need them anyway. I found most will include if you go the right way about it. Awareness of what you need can only come from you. 

Prioritise! It took me 11 YEARS to establish my need and approach and stick with it, and it's easier today to make your point I think regardless of social media claiming differently and charities pouring out endless misery on our behalf, which I don't think helps and doesn't really educate us about coping. They are fond of telling everyone without hearing loss or deafness what they need to do, but not educate us in how we manage it ourselves.  

Most areas are just selling us a lifestyle, a language, or an amplifier.  Our hearing loss became a commodity to be sold.  I suspect wearing the T-Shirt is already big business.

You have to understand yourself pretty well, a lot of deaf people and HoH don't actually know how deaf they are or what works for them, maybe make choices that don't work for them either, then expect the e.g. the state to comply and the public, because the law says they must, in the real world that doesn't happen. 

Not understanding your issue leads to depression, poor mental health and trauma. That can negate your ability to follow as well. Various random communication 'classes' are chaos and really none to be recommended until we understand our own loss first.  

When we challenge discrimination we can forget we are deaf too and sometimes we have to choose which is the most important. For me communication not colour is. There are only so many battles you can fight at any one time and it all adds more stress.

A lot of annoyance in demanding others make themselves clear are issues arising from (A) Our stressed impatient response and (B) Not understanding the way we follow maybe doesn't really work for us. or (C) Our own panic. 'fight or flight' kicks in.  I'm not saying make excuses for not hearing, just accept you AREN'T following.  3m hearing aids are not even worn e.g. I had to plan every single outing and encounter initially, and find a system that worked pretty much regardless where I went or who I met.  There is always one way that will do that.  Technology today makes it so much easier than in my time when it simply wasn't an option, and I was the village idiot.  

AOHL and indeed other loss charities still publish our awareness as 'face me speak clearly..' or suggest we carry cards with us that don't really indicate how communication will work for us.  It actually suggests we can all lip-read really and again we can't all do that. Mask issues apart, joe public are poor speakers. I noticed very early on that when others see a hearing aid they assume you can hear, of course that is not always the case because of other factors that inhibit that, as said before, and assuming ourselves we can with an aid! We are usually the last to be aware it isn't the whole answer or making that assumption is creating more issues.

Ask people to repeat and they do that 2 or 3 times and you still can't follow suggests we are fooling ourselves mostly. Given that HA makers encourage us all to hide aids making them 'invisible' is pandering to our own insecurities and making things worse, it means people won't even see them and then suspect you are some sort of crazy person.  'Turn your bloody hearing on!' can be a typical response, when it already is.

If you have to resort to e.g. text then do it not get angry and more upset. Anger is a first and natural response to hearing loss, why me? etc then developing blame issues on others instead of addressing the source, which quite simply, is the fact our hearing is at the root of it, or rather the lack of it. So why blame others?

Do not blame those who already tried 3 times and you still don't get it. We have hearing loss and it goes with the territory. Our greatest asset (Well mine anyway), is my voice and I try to use it wisely. I don't make excuses for being deaf, just state please communicate this way, or I won't follow. Bluffing it out rarely works and just pisses other people off.

Imagine if you ask someone to do things a particular way, and they try to oblige and you still haven't a clue, then this logically suggests your approach isn't working.