Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Covid, the NEW deaf 'Norm'?

For those of us desperately hoping as we get vaccinated to buggery, and don our clear masks in the forlorn hope that will work for us, they will revert to ye olde deaf clubs and systems of 2019, they may well be in for a rude shock and awakening.  Covid says no.

For deaf to socialise they need their clubs open, but many lack the means to ensure covid rules are followed, socially distance, manage their food and cleaning etc, while deaf will discard their masks as we know.  Those who use subsidised facilities will have to prove they can manage their memberships properly and ensure safety.  The 'Gypsy' and nomadic nature of deaf who travel from one area to another to visit other deaf in different clubs may well be restricted from so doing.   Those that don't pay insurances to protect their club members may well get a rude awakening and be refused a room or building to use. Nominated deaf people will have to be noted to ensure guidelines are followed properly.  Those that cannot supply that management may again be refused a room.

Those that rely on subsidised or socially supported (Local authority/Social Service/Church e.g.),  clubs may find they need to show 'passports' of members too or be refused, systems won't take overall responsibility.   Limits on members using a club may take place also if social distancing is still a norm, clubs have to be physically assessed to ascertain if they can do that.  Kitchens managed etc.  

A lot of deaf clubs are run rather crudely to be honest and via a loose hierarchy of sorts, this won't manage covid, and a lot is voluntary, older deaf are already using same areas other disabled and vulnerable elderly are also and the rules there are quite strict already.  Albeit some clubs with elderly in it often don't have them attending with actual support, they are delivered to the clubs and picked up after, and it is left for members to assist each other.  That may have to change to the detriment of some being able to attend at all.

I suspect a number of their clubs will not reopen in the future at all. The smaller clubs won't.  Young deaf will be hoping the pubs can provide, the elderly may lose many of their options.  Zoom is not what they want or use, and isn't a replacement for actual people.  We noted during this pandemic how many actually were not online at all.

That apart, this seems an ideal time for those who exist on the sidelines to come in out of the cold, a lot of deaf and HoH support and inclusion has emerged during covid by default, best capitalise on that? not revert to the old systems? or revert to hoping the same old system deaf of standing under the lamplight, used before can still work?  Dunno about that they turned street lighting off here ages ago!

What plans are deaf making to reopen their clubs?

Hard of Hearing: Sort yourselves out!

Social media with the same tired old arguments of annoyances with hearing mainstream failing to adopt any patience with us all.  Ergo, 'Are you deaf, daft of what?' at least we get to choose! Today, When "Never Mind" Is an Insult, i.e. when people stop explaining to you what they are saying in frustration... because you still don't get it.

We have hearing aids that still won't work in many situations effectively, CI's, and speech to text technology e.g. that while improving, is still a bit of a lottery, lip-reading which 85% of us are totally useless at using, or assuming we are more adept than we actually are. Deaf are most suss at that especially the sign-using areas. but hard of hearing make demands that still don't help also, and sign language that requires either support to work or the entire mainstream to learn first. 

One day we will address hearing loss and deafness properly and get ourselves sorted out so stress isn't a daily norm and cross to bear.  Or is that too logical?   What we like to use isn't necessarily what is actually working for us. We need to dump and/or approaches to communication and get real.  Perhaps bury the myth sign or lip-reading works on their own or that it works in mainstream either, history shows not.  Millions with hearing loss are living proof we have no idea what we want, only we want it!