Making my feelings known as a deaf person

There are all sorts of badges out there for deaf and hard of hearing people and I have worn a few different versions.

I feel now it’s time for a new badge and I have made my choice by ordering this one today, from a UK Etsy seller: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/648174911/if-i-cant-see-your-lips-i-cant-hear-you.

There are others that appeal to me from other sellers, like one badge saying, “I can’t lip-read through your mask.” But the one above, that I have ordered, will cover all scenarios and I am looking forward to wearing it.

Post share: “Deaf 11-year-old and his MP ask Boris Johnson for see-through face masks”

Good on this 11 year old boy.

https://www.charitytoday.co.uk/deaf-11-year-old-and-his-mp-ask-boris-johnson-for-see-through-face-masks/

But us deaf/Deaf and hard of hearing people should not have to do this. The Government should have had this in place already.

If masks have to be used, then public services should only be using clear masks. Otherwise clear visors.

 

A break through for us with hearing loss/deaf/Deaf

A break through for us that are deaf/Deaf/hearing loss, who rely on lipreading and visual facial expressions to communicate when travelling. But as they have said, the Government need to now raise this so everyone knows the difficulties we face.

See further here: https://actiononhearingloss.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/latest-press-releases/charity-celebrates-win-on-government-guidance-for-mandatory-face-coverings-on-public-transport-for-those-who-lip-read/?utm_campaign=1444795_Hear%20at%20Home%2013%20Support%2FService%20Update%20E-News&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Action%20on%20Hearing%20Loss%20formerly%20known%20as%20the%20Royal%20National%20Institute%20for%20Deaf%20People&utm_Link_Name=CTA%20button%20-%20lead%20story&dm_i=45UF,UYT7,3F5386,3SCDD,1

Not in a hurry…

I plucked up the courage not long ago and decided to shop in a supermarket that is cheaper for a majority of things and where I usually go quite a lot, with my anxiety levels improving.
I went in mainly for my fruit and vegetables.

I avoided this place for many reasons and as I expected, I was right.  A majority of the shoppers in there did not respect their 2 meter distance, while shopping! Only when I was at the till, was 2 meter followed by the general public.

I prepped some of the vegetables I bought, for the freezer.

Will I go in there again, knowing I was right on my suspicions?

I don’t want to, but budget-wise I am going to have to, if I would like to stick to my budget from this month. But if I can avoid, I will. I’m not in a hurry, even with my face covered, I will not go in and I will avoid, if I can.
I let the council know about this, so it was forwarded to the appropriate department.
I think the store needs to start putting on security at their door, given our current situation.
From reading about this store, it’s happening in other areas too, as well as at another retailer I have not and will not shop in, while it’s like this.
The council got back to me on Monday, to let me know they were dealing with my complaint and to inform me what they will be doing, which was to pay a visit and take a look then adivise where needed. Apparently they have had previous discussions with them.

I still don’t go in another supermarket since all the changes came in due to Coronavirus. This is because I know they have arrows on their floor for particular direction they want you to walk down, in their aisles. This for me visually and mentally is too much to contend with; observing the 2 meter distance, observing where others are that follow, or don’t, the anxiety I can still get at times, which is worse when others are not observing their distance, to predict their next move. And especially when I am only picking up a few bits, as I have not used it as my main shop for years. So as long as it remains like that, when another supermarket doesn’t do that and while I feel as I do, I will avoid the place.
There is no need for that. Two meter markings is enough, just like the other store does. You don’t need arrows on top. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ignored by some. Maybe one day, I will feel I can mentally do this and go in. But I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I’m in no hurry.
As I have a loyalty card with them, they will see I don’t shop there at the moment. I was in there often before, including their cafe where I’d go in just before work, for a cuppa. When things lift even further one day, I won’t be in any hurry to go there for shopping, or for the cafe, when they can open.
I still haven’t walked through my town centre, since lockdown came in. That’s why I have ordered some things from Holland and Barrett, as well as Boots that I needed, or wanted, as they are in the town centre. I have no intentions walking in the town centre anytime soon.
I have not walked through the park, or nature reserve either, since all this and its not something I plan doing anytime soon. I’m in no hurry.

As much as I would like to support restaurants and cafes I went in before Coronavirus. I am in no hurry to return. The only chance I may go to a cafe and only, would be just for a drink, but only if I am sitting outside with it.


© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Spreading further deaf awareness

I am spreading further deaf awareness. The link at the end of this post will take you to You Tube, where you will see an animation of a poem. This was written by Barbara, a supporter of Action on Hearing Loss, which is where I learnt about this poem through email newsletters I get. When you are on You Tube watching this short animation, you will be able to read more below about Barbara and her poem.

A poem by Barbara Rosemary Bell.

Raising the importance of not cutting off deaf and hard of hearing people

In my post How is everyone doing? I raised my concerns regarding what is my world going to be like now, due to more people wearing face masks due to the Coronavirus.
My world is not fully accessible to me now, as in people still only give a phone option, when my communication is email, or text. Like my doctors for example, I thought when first registering there, I was really impressed because I was able to show my communication preference. But what have they done in the past? Try to phone. There has been doctors that have not used what they have on their system, as in regards to communication preference.
Plus, if I ever need the doctor, I don’t have the option to text or email still. So it’s still all one sided when it comes to contacting them. It’s not good enough. With the Coronavirus, I don’t want to walk in to query something, when a simple email would have done it.

Some businesses and NHS medical professionals need to follow the example of my NHS audiologists I go to, as they are 100% accessible to me.

Going back to the face mask scenario, as I have mentioned in the comments of the above post link, how I have seen clear masks one time to be available. I have not looked since, so don’t know if they still are. These were disposable though. But medical professionals, like dentists for example don’t use them.

In an ideal world, I would like to see clear masks being used regularly. But this has never happened and never will.

Clear masks will help the deaf and hard if hearing to not feel excluded.

Thank you to Kaya, at https://lifestyleadventurebeauty.wordpress.com/, she thought of me and shared this link to a story about a student creating reusable, clear face masks. I thought this deserved a post of it’s own to raise awareness.

This student set up a Go Fund Me page (which is not accepting any more donations as this post airs) to cover costs in making and sending to anyone. It’s gone down very well as you will imagine.
These masks are very inclusive for those of us that need to lipread and see facial expressions to communicate effectively.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

How is everyone doing?

With restrictions still in place for some more weeks to come, our world isn’t going to change anytime soon. But I did not expect them to be lifted just yet. It would have been crazy to lift them at this point and our efforts would have been wasted. So it’s good to know this is staying in place, as hard as it will be for us.

Last Friday became a moment where I had a melt down, while at work. A couple of bloggers know this via comments.
It just got a bit much wth regarding my mum and getting my head round the nursing homes idea, and the restrictions in place that limit where I can go.
But what really made me melt, was seeing in last couple of days how some people are just not observing these restrictions. So it got me really frustrated and upset until I broke.
I have seen people hanging out in groups of three and here’s me, like a majority of us, playing by the rules. What the hell are these people playing at? I stay in, unless it’s work, or groceries. That’s the only time I am out, as well as picking up my prescription, which I need to do that tomorrow.
I don’t stay in for the likes of others to hang out in groups of three!

I know I am not alone in these feelings, because I have read other blog posts too where they feel exactly the same on this and frustrated by it.

I am so glad I am working, because going by how I am finding it more difficult now, regardless how much I challenge myself in finding good stuff to occupy me with, I think I would have been more of a mess had I not been working.

Also, when restrictions do eventually lift, things aren’t going to be the same and I am concerned with one thing that I have been reading, that the Government is thinking of doing. But they want to get full facts together first, before making a decision. That’s face masks. This was on my mind Friday too, so this broke me in addition to the frustration of those who think it is ok to go about in groups of three. If face masks are going to be enforced, then that is a barrier to me. How do I lipread someone with a mask?
The world is not accessible to me as it should be now at times, when it comes to communication. So my fear is how harder is my life going to get communication wise, if face masks are enforced.

I would be only willing to use a face mask, if say like on a bus, because you can’t have that 2 meter distance there. But everyone else will have to wear them too.
The other time would be in a medical setting, like a hospital.

Wearing a mask protects others. It doesn’t protect you. I have chosen not to wear one, for the simple reason that I do not want to increase my risk of infection, because of me touching my face, to adjust that mask, through the day. (I have asthma for those that don’t know.)

So my future fear, until it is made certain by the UK Government, is just how more difficult my life will become as a deaf person? because at any point through out the day I come across someone wearing a face mask, who wants to talk to me, I am going to look confused back, indicating to the removal of the mask, because I can’t hear, or bloody lipread, until they do.

How are you doing? 

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

How are deaf people managing communication-wise during the time of Coronavirus?

I am upset after my shop this morning, at my local supermarket. It all boiled down to me not hearing well as I thought I had and so due to that, I now feel the bad person.

After getting what I needed and knowing as I am paying by cash currently until next pay day and then I will use my card with knowing money comes out ok shopping here, I went my way to a self checkout till. But those were closed. Now as I don’t normally use these, I am not aware until after the event, that there were some more further up. I went to these self checkouts, because they were the ones I used first time last week. I asked a member of staff that I was paying by cash and pointed to the ones closed, what do I do. I thought from her response I got to use an end till to pay by cash. I didn’t hear her say there was another lot of self check out tills further down. I just heard till.

I struggle to hear in a supermarket before all this on a normal day because of my deafness and in addition my sensitivity to sound I still have, because of whatever is in the background noise overhead, the tills the people going about their shopping. It’s just noise to me.
I wish all supermarkets in general just stop the background noise full stop and not just make it quiet for a short time (I think an hour) once a week for autism. We don’t need music, or whatever it is in the shops overhead. It’s not like I am going to a disco, or whatever. I am trying to understand store workers who I don’t know, so not going to be able to lipread all the time and it’s tiring too. This all is increasing my anxiety.

But in addition, we are now all facing difficult times as we all have to make changes and I find hearing someone 2ft away, in noise, absolutely impossible to hear and I can’t lipread them due to different factors like for example to give a few:

  • Do they speak clearly
  • Are the lip patterns clear to me
  • Do I know them? Because it helps, if I do.

So I am looking at the rows as I walk down and all I can see are checkout tills. I am looking at the till in the distance with the basket sign, thinking as this is last till maybe she wants me here. But no one was on I could see, so I didn’t walk that far down. I went now to what I think was next last manned till, my anxiety already at its peak before I reach here and I load my items. Out comes my note. The cashier saying I can’t except cash. I could not pay by card because I have no cash in my account to account for this shop. Not until next pay day, with me still in my month where I am paying by cash still. I pointed out I was told to come further down, when I queried further up near closed self check outs and so I thought I had to come here. I said to him I was aware of using self check outs to pay by cash, which was why I queried further up at the closed ones I was paying by cash and so I would use them. But I wasn’t aware of there being some more further down and I did not hear that being mentioned. I did not see those self checkouts, otherwise I would have used them. He accepted my cash this time, but pointed out I can and will be refused next time.
Again I told him I was aware I had to pay cash at a self checkout and I was prepared to use them. But I did not see them and I was not aware of further self checkouts further down.

I did not hear about the part that there were futher self check out tills further down. I just heard tills.

I did not see those tills and I wasn’t aware of them until aftrr this event at the till.
I would have happily put my groceries back into the basket and gone to those tills than have that embarrassing conversation at the till, that made me look and feel I wasn’t complying, when all I wanted to do was a self checkout originally and get out of the shop as quick as possible, with my anxiety and not wanting to be around that many people right now in the world we are living in.

I totally respect the store colleagues that have no choice to be in this situation. But please. I am not the bad person I was made to feel.
I did not hear as I thought.
I did not see the other self check outs. Which if I had, I would have used, because I do comply with what you would like as a supermarket. This was loss of communication due to my deafness and the noise in store and having to now stand 2 meters apart from a person, that I did not hear that vital piece of information.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

What I use to help me as a deaf person

6th to the 12th May 2019 is Deaf Awareness Week.

Today’s post is about the equipment I use to help me as a deaf person:

My Phonak SP hearing aids

Hearing aids will never give back my normal hearing, but they do assist. I would be worser off without my hearing aids, than hearing with them.
I still rely on lipreading, even though I am wearing them. So I do need to see your face clearly. No covering of your mouth as you talk, otherwise I will have to politely request you to move your hand away and for you to repeat what you just said. I shared a link here, about Communication Tips.

Flashing doorbell

My flashing doorbell is loud, but I have it set so it flashes too. (Pictured above.) It is portable, so when I used to live in a house, I would take it to every room in the house. Including my bedroom.
Now I live in a flat, it stays in one room, which is the living room mainly. But if I was in the kitchen for a while and the washer is on, then I would take it with me, to be sure I won’t miss anyone at the door. But I don’t take it to the bedroom now, as so my sleep is not disturbed.

Vibrating clock

My bedside clock (as pictured above) can be set with a loud ring, vibration, or a combination of the two. I just set mine on vibrating as so I don’t disturb neighbours with the decibels of this clock.
The vibrating bad goes under my pillow and you definitely won’t sleep in with this one. The vibrating clock I have is a Sonic Bomb, by Sonic Alert alarm clock.

If it’s not changed in my area, you could get a bedside vibrating clock from Social Services. But I am happy to continue buying my own clock.

Fire alert (pictured above)

I have to admit that since moving in my flat, I do not have this set up and I don’t plan to now, until in my new flat. I know this puts me at a huge risk, because I do not hear fire alarms, with, or without hearing aids. This is a risk I am taking, I know.
My fire alert is a Silent Alert SignWave Portable Receiver, which came with my smoke alarms. It’s a wireless signal and in the day my alerter is easily portable.
Should there ever be a fire in the day it would make a noise, as well as flash and the fire icon would flash to show it is a fire for the reason it is going off.
At night, it goes on a charger and I have a vibrating pad connected to this which would go under my mattress.
If it was to go off at night, it would flash and ring out as in the day, but also the pad would vibrate too. The vibrating pad is strong. Even under the mattress.

This same alerter can be connected to other things, but being an old unit, you can’t seem to get other things available widely.
One time, years ago when I had a landline phone, I had an attachment that was connected to my phone line and if the phone rang, my unit would alert me, by flashing and making a noise. Before even looking at the unit to see the phone display flashing, you would know, because the alert would be a different tone, of an old fashioned phone ringing.
I had this unit arranged by the Social Services, who contacted the department in the fire services to provide fire alarms and alerter. Social Services provided the device for my phone line and one time a door push, so it was a doorbell too. But the doorpush wasn’t great and so this is why I have my own set up.

Vibrating travel clock

When on holiday, I take my Sonic Alert vibrating travel clock with me, as pictured above. It can be set to alert, or vibrate, or combination of both. I don’t hear the ring, so I only use the vibrating option. The display folds down flat and it goes inside my pillowcase.
This is a very good vibrating clock, so there is no lying in with this one.
There is a light on this clock, if you require to see the time in the dark, but I always have my mobile phone near for that part.

As well as these, I use email like anyone else, the difference for me is, that this is my preferred communication over a phone, as I cannot understand well over the phone for a conversation. Not even my mum.

I also like to text and is equally my preferred communication, as email is.

When text, or email is not available to me, then face-to-face is another way to communicate with me. With the hearing I have left and the hearing aids I wear, I also lipread and I do use fingerspelling letters of the alphabet.
I did a post on Communication Tips earlier this week, that gives tips to help people like me, hear you. These tips work very well with me, so do refer back to that, so you can help keep someone like me involved in conversations.

That’s my last post as part of Deaf Awareness Week and this year. As it is the first time I have gave you more insight into my life and as part of Deaf Awareness Week, I hope you have learnt more about me and the topics in general, that I shared this week.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.