It’s Deaf Awareness Week from the 6th to the 12th May 2019, here’s what I want you to do during this time, this is your challenge:
Every day, from the 6th to the 12th, tell one person about your hearing loss.
This could be a positive mention, “Even though I wear hearing aids I heard everything you just said perfectly”, or, “Thanks for repeating yourself, I heard you clearly”.
Or something more negative, “I’ve had a rough day, I couldn’t hear what the train announcer was saying and didn’t know which platform I should be on”.
The point is this: get into the habit of telling people about your hearing issues, just drop it into a conversation where you can, you don’t need to bore someone to death with it but just bring it up, get it into the open.
Well, of course, there are benefits for you: the more people around you who know about your hearing loss the easier our life becomes. But I’m thinking of the bigger picture and during Deaf Awareness Week I think it is your duty to tell the world about your hearing loss so that more people become aware of it, become more accepting of it, know how to deal with it and, eventually, it becomes a non-issue like sight problems and wearing glasses.
Let’s help all those people struggling to accept their hearing loss, the people hiding their hearing aids, those laughing when they didn’t hear and hoping for the best. Each and everyone one of us can do our little bit to make hearing loss an everyday issue that is widely accepted and understood. I think it’s up to us, the people with hearing loss, the hearing aid wearers, to show the world it’s totally fine, something we deal with while we go about our day and not something we shy away from or are embarrassed about.
Attitudes towards hearing aids have already shifted a lot in the last 20 years, sleeker/smaller/cooler aids have helped with that and manufacturers are also starting to market them as everyday accessories and not medical devices as such, all that helps. If we treat our own hearing problems as one-of-those-things, don’t show any embarrassment and don’t apologize for it we can make hearing aids as cool and accepted as glasses.
Try it, you’ll probably quickly notice your own attitude to your hearing loss changing, you’ll soon realize that people don’t judge you for not hearing and are perfectly understanding of it. You’ll ditch your own negative views about your hearing problems, so you’ll be more happy to tell people when you can’t hear, making your life easier.
It’s a win for you and a win for everyone else.