Saturday, 10 June 2017

On the Doorstep

Image result for who's at the door ?I have a small notice on my front door. It says “Home owner deaf. Please ring doorbell” This seems enough to frighten off even the hardened political canvassers, who have come up to the door, read the note, then left. 

Does this mean, ten million of us, have not had the chance to meet the local MP. It would appear that the communication problem is not with deaf, but the hearing.... It makes me wonder who really needs support!

Firstly there are not 10m deaf people, there may or may not be 10m with hearing loss, but loss degree varies considerably from poor/none to enough with an aid, as does your communication ability.. Your post raises an endless issue re communication difficulties where the only answer is US, no-one else.  

Charity itself sells endless variations of alert systems to let you know who is at the door, phone etc, you and others may well stick a notice saying you are deaf to alert callers, or get a dog to alert you, but no-one tells you what to do when you open the door !

I know deaf who do the same as you, well aware some callers will do a runner on reading it, it acts as a deterrent as you say but a defence too in some cases, by deaf and HoH who simply lack the confidence to make the effort, it's easier to ignore.

You cannot expect any caller to your door is going to be aware of you, or your need.  They may well feel they are imposing on you by insisting you answer the door and communicate with them, or they are 'respecting' your privacy in good faith.  Of course there are others who feel it's not worth the effort too, they won't be any loss. 

The sole answer to awareness can come only from you, not AOHL, not the BDA, not from endless forums/seminars and courses, because those people are not the ones who are coming to knock on your door.  They aren't the people you are going to meet down the road or the shop.  I have deterred some callers openly by telling them go away, they HAD communication, they were signing Jehovah Witnesses, I actively deter them calling because they are a bloody nuisance, they tend to prey on deaf people who are isolated, so I isolate them, I don't care they can communicate..

Awareness of your need can only come from you, because only you know what that is.   Few if any deaf are illiterate, text is an easy way in to communications, everyone has a mobile phone e.g. and if you have pencil and paper to hand, or can use your voice, facilitating communication is quite possible.  In making hearing aware, we need to make deaf aware too, it is a two way street, but the arrogance of deaf is they feel they don't need to make effort everyone else has to.   But, if you don't make effort, why should anyone else ? It is not always advisable to tell the world you are deaf, this can suggest to the criminal fraternity you are easy game too.

I have a door bell too, but anyone who calls I make them aware of the best way to communicate easily to me right at the start. With few exceptions no caller at my door has much issue making their visit reason known to me.  The fact remains most with hearing lack CONFIDENCE not communication, bite the bullet and make it easier for others to make effort, never demand, that is a lost cause they won't come back !

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