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joangela (@joangela)

Rude or just can’t hear?

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Oct 1, 2019 | Replies (22)

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Although I tell people, including groups, that I have a new hearing problem (my "good" ear became bilateral w/Meniere's May 25), most people seemingly pay zero attention. At the beginning of a three-day retreat for river stewards, when each of us stood and introduced ourselves, I included the fact that I've lost much of the little hearing that I had and that I would try my best to follow conversations. Since it was in an outdoor setting with 30 or more people, it was often a challenge to figure out where I should be to have the best opportunity to hear and see what was being said. Discussions around the campfire were particularly challenging…impossible to speech read with a group sitting around a campfire. For the serious work sessions with a speaker/leader, I was almost always able to position myself directly across from him/her. A couple of times, I simply took a break and walked around to take a rest from listening. Still, not one single person made any attempt to speak directly to me during breaks, meals, etc. A very small percentage of people remember more than for a few minutes. I don't think it's that they don't care, telling them you can't hear just doesn't sink in.

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Replies to "Although I tell people, including groups, that I have a new hearing problem (my "good" ear..."

Perhaps you could use a speech to text app at a situation like the campfire meeting, and read later what was captured.

What Mayrjax said.

People really don't know what to do to help us unless we tell them.
I know my wife cares (most of the time) but she continues to speak from a different room or while running an appliance or there is other noise for years. As soon as I ask what she said she realizes what she did but didn't think of it at the time she spoke. It has only been 40 years so maybe she will eventually get it. When people have something to say it isn't their natural instinct to think of how a hearing impaired person will receive it. I have hard of hearing friends who have the same complaint about their spouses. This ain't nothin new!

So be your own good self advocate.

Everything you said is so true and @maryjax pointed out that an important part of your explanation should be a sort lesson on how to accommodate you. If I was in your position at a 3 day retreat, I would have worn my button that says “PLEASE
I can hear you better when you FACE ME” Please is larger type on one line and FACE ME is larger type on the 3rd line. I have another one in black and white that says “Please face me I lip Read” I don’t like to use that one because I
probably only lip read 30%. But the buttons are visible reminders. They can be purchased online at several sites and you can pick what words are more comfortable for you. Mine were given to me by a friend. Keep the button with you and use it when you feel comfortable doing so. I have mine clipped onto the strap of my bag lately but am generally not in the type of setting where it is necessary. I am trying it out at an outdoor event this weekend and will let you know how it goes.

Regards from FL Mary