An article in today’s Independent features the story of a deaf teenager called Ellen Arthurs, who talks about her isolation and how she felt excluded when growing up.
In the article, Ellen says: “I think teenagers find it difficult to accept any difference…. It’s worst when I’m in a restaurant with people around the table. They have to keep repeating themselves and then just say, ‘Oh, I’ll tell you later,’ and it gets very frustrating. In those situations I feel like I don’t want to go – I just want to stay at home and be with my family.” Happily, things have now improved for Ellen.
The article links to the NDCS’s Look, Smile, Chat campaign, and lists Ellen’s tips for talking to people with hearing loss.
* Get my attention before you start talking, and then look at me as you speak.
* Don’t talk too quickly or too slowly. Speak clearly, just as you would to anyone else.
* Lip-reading helps so don’t exaggerate your mouth movements or talk too loudly.
* If it’s important, write it down or tell me when we’re somewhere quiet.
* There are other ways to communicate. Find me online or through my phone.
* Please be patient. It can be frustrating but we will all benefit if we can communicate well.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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