Saturday, February 2, 2013

Excuse Me..... I am hearing impaired not stupid!

Why is it that people tend to forget that there is a hearing impaired person in the room? I don't mean some one who is completely deaf but some one who even with hearing aids has limited hearing. You tell them and tell them that when there is a room full of people talking and there is back ground noise going on you can't hear what they are saying. When you ask them to repeat themselves they get irritated making you feel like you have done something wrong just because you asked them to repeat what they said.

My two sons are good at this. They seems to think that because I wear hearing aids that I have 100% hearing and I can hear every little sound. Nothing could be further from the truth! They talk in low to moderate voices, continue talking to me while they are walking away or turn their heads while they are talking so the sound it not coming straight at me. And when I ask them to repeat their selves they get irritated with me and either give me a mad look or look at me like I am stupid.

Hearing people do not realize what it is like for a hearing impaired person. We can't hear the tv at a normal volume level, we can not always hear a knock of the front door. Especially if we are next to the washer, dryer or dishwasher when they are running. We can not hear some one shut a door out side or a car or truck go by. We can not always hear a car pull out behind us in a parking lot and some times we walk in front of the cars because we did not hear them. I have almost been hit by a car 5 times in 12 years already just because I couldn't hear them behind me and they were not there the last time I looked.

People don't realize just how hard it is on a hearing impaired person. Because people tend to either get irritated with us because we ask them to repeat or slow down when they are talking so we can understand what is being said or face us and not walk away from us when talking to us that we must be dumb because we can not follow a conversation. Then they wonder why we withdrawal into ourselves or walk off and do something else. What is the sense of sitting there and trying to join in on a conversation when no one is willing to try to help us hear and understand what is being said.

I would love to see my sons spend a week having to live with my hearing impairment and maybe then they would understand how I feel and how hard it is to live the way I have to live. They would learn real quick that hearing aids to not give you back the hearing you had before.

So please, when you have a hearing impaired person in your group, slow down you talking, take turns saying something and look at the hearing impaired person so they can actually hear you to. And what ever you do, don't walk away when talking to them and don't look at them with irritation on your face or a look that says to them you think they are stupid. After all hearing impaired people are human to and we do have feelings, we do have minds, we do want to be a part of things.

Hearing impaired people are deaf to some extent but that does not mean they are stupid!