Deaf Awareness Week
Welcome to Deaf Awareness Week UK (6-12th May) and allow me to take you on a journey through my experiences of living with deafness. I am totally deaf on one side and have some hearing in the other ear, boosted by modern hearing technology. I have been a hearing aid wearer for nearly 20 years but even now my deafness still catches me out.
Day 5: Deaf Support
Deaf Awareness Week always reminds me about where I fit in the Deaf/ Hearing world. I am not deaf enough to be part of the Deaf community and although I have some BSL signing ability I still communicate by speech rather than by signing. I can hear with the help of a powerful hearing aid but I still find it challenging. It’s a ‘ halfway house’ existence that many people will be familiar with.
Although I have the support of many dear friends, colleagues and family, over the years I have found several accessories and technologies to help me, as follows:
Digital hearing aid with Bluetooth
Connectivity is important to the life I lead and being able to stream telephone calls and TV programmes directly to my hearing aid is a real advantage. I rarely miss a call now and can control the volume of the TV via my phone allowing everyone else to have the volume that is comfortable to them.
Shake awake alarm clock
This sits under my pillow and vibrates to wake me up. I take it everywhere with me.
Smart doorbell system
We have installed a ‘Ring’ system which alerts me of any activity at the house so I can answer callers more easily, and can even speak to them when I am away from the house.
Flashing light for Doorbell
In the past I found a flashing light box for the doorbell works well and we had several around the house. I was missing too many callers and deliveries beforehand and this system proved very effective.
One of the best gadgets of all! He is not a trained Hearing Dog but there is something very reassuring about having a dog, with acutely sharp hearing, by my side. He will notice if anything is amiss at home and is a reason to get out and about every day.
Deafness has been my life for 20 years and I have always been determined not to let it restrict what I do, ( tennis, walking, surfing, cinema, theatre, ParkFit, yoga).
I have the professional support I need from my Audiologists at Aston Hearing and I know I can rely on them to keep me hearing as long as possible.
Hearing loss needs to be effectively managed as it can change over time or due to your health and lifestyle. An Audiologist can help by offering advice and support throughout your hearing journey and can keep you informed of the latest developments in hearing technology as appropriate.