Deaf Awareness?

I didn't realise you were deaf!

Often people do not realise that I am deaf, my hearing aid is black and hidden in my long dark hair. Even when I have my hair tied up many people assume it is a hairclip or some kind of blue-tooth headset. Often when I tell people in public places that I am deaf, they do not believe me because I do not sound deaf. Speech quality provides no indication of the quality or volume of the sounds that a deaf person hears. Many deaf people learn to speak before they become deaf, or only become deaf after they acquire spoken language.

If I need to wait in a crowded room for an unknown person to call me through to an appointment I am unlikely to hear my name called out. I often ask the receptionist to ensure that I am alerted visually rather than struggling to listen in a crowd. Unfortunately the receptionist is often busy or there is no suitable system to inform the person who is 'calling my name' that I am deaf. I find ENT and audiology departments are especially bad for this.

Obnoxious disclosure

I have found handing over something graphical on paper provides a tangible reminder which can be attached to my notes, or file so that the person collecting the notes/file and calling me notices it and can ask the receptionist which person I am.

Blame the jobcentre

I started doing this after struggling at the jobcentre where staff called my name across a large room which I couldn't hear. I told them I had disclosed I was deaf and under the DDA (as it was then) they had to make adjustments. Staff kept telling me "We don't know you're deaf" cos they didn't go into my job seeker account until I showed up. I got tired of being shouted at for their failings, then I heard a deaf friend was sanctioned for not hearing her name even though she had been in the jobcentre all the time. I decided it was time for Obnoxious Disclosure by taping the following images to each side of the wallet which contained my signing in book.

Amazingly, there were times that despite this disclosure staff still called my name and got grumpy with me. But it was then easier to point at the book in their hand and say that I had no other way of making it so obvious and if they carried on being rude I would complain.

feel free to download and adapt those images for yourself.

Hospital disclosure leaflet

Hospital HOWTO for staff

I have finally got round to creating a customised for me Deaf Awareness HOWTO printout for taking to medical and healthcare appointments. I can give the HOWTO to staff who I deal with so they know about my communication needs.

page last modified Saturday, 27-Jan-2024 19:25:42 GMT


Deaf Awareness