Well, here’s a turn up for the books; a blind person writing about Deaf Awareness Week! For those of you who know me either through our Sensory Awareness Training at Essex Cares or just through the multifarious blogs I have written over the years you will probably be waiting for the endless quips, jokes and double-entendres that just seem to leap from my head with no real effort at all! However consider for a moment those in our community who struggle to hear the content of a conversation, who only ever get the beginning, middle or end of the joke through no fault of their own and maybe only because the person talking has turned their back, changed their facial expression which distorts the lip shape or just doesn’t take the time to include those around us who are hard of hearing or deaf.
I have repeatedly listened to my colleague Anita during our Sensory Training sessions describing and such situations as these and can relate to the feelings of exclusion, frustration and embarrassment at not being able to just keep up with what is going on around you. The amount of concentration it takes, the desire to be included and accepted as well as wanting the same chances, opportunities, and information as everyone else is something shared by many of us in the sensory impaired population.
Please don’t think we want your pity, your admiration, or sympathy, the best thing you can give us is your time and attention and to make sure we also get the joke!
Please look out for any events in this year’s Deaf Awareness Week and then . . . carry on including us all for the rest of the year.