Hey, special deaf and normal individuals.
I hope you will enjoy this short and concise information on 'deaf awareness' to those who are interested and would want to find ways to communicate with deaf people.
First of all, let's start with me. I was born with severe to profound hearing loss. My parents absolutely had no clue about my hearing loss, lol!
When I was six weeks old, I was introduced to traditional hearing aids, which were infuriating for me to keep on. The moulds were made out of glass material. Now you can pretty imagine a 'solid' inside in your ear!
However, due to my parents' perseverance skills, I kept them on for five years (until I was five years old). Gotta give credit to them for where I am now. ;)
In 2008, my parents brought me over to Great Britain hoping that I would have an improved environment to support my hearing loss. Not going to lie, it was hard. Making the transition from Hindi (home language) to English. Damn, I miss those days where I made fool out of my teachers. Lemme illustrate the scene where my teachers looked like a complete fool in front of the whole class.
But, the teachers were pretty nice. Extremely nice, in fact, I would also credit most of them for making an effort to constantly force me to improve.
'Be the best you can!'
That's actually a good quote, I'm gonna get it copyrighted.
Actually, WHY NOT DO IT NOW. I know that SOME of you will get it copyrighted once you read this.
'Be the best you can!' © (Boom!)
I am now 15, about to be 16. And then 17 next year, then 18 in two years. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. That's going to be boring. I do NOT want to get OLD.
I decided to take up drumming and guitar. Both of them which are electric. I achieved distinction in all grades of guitar, the highest is 93 percent. Impressive for a deaf guy. HEH, I can still always do better. ;)
However, sad news. Do NOT get depressed. But, you will actually become glad after hearing this sad news.
Two years ago, in 2017, my hearing levels dropped. This affected my hearing performance in my grade three exam, where I got a merit.
I was asked to take up cochlear implant which is an invasive surgery...actually, damn it.
Let me spice things up, I will help you improve your choice of words. Guys, here we go. The definition of a cochlear implant from Wikipedia (the most difficult shit website not suitable for young people):
"A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted neuroprosthetic device that provides a sense of sound to a person with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss."
I denied it. But then, after intensive planning, I decided to take it up followed by a series of tests to demonstrate that I was a 'suitable candidate' for a cochlear implant.
Just google what a cochlear implant looks like. 'Cool cochlear implant designs.'
I'll take that as a welcome.
So, I took a cochlear implant in June 2018. It was a six-hour long journey from Antarctica to the Arctic. Joking, the operation took six hours long. The otolaryngologists were incredibly AWESOME, what a cool guy.
I rested at home for three weeks due to the fact that I was not ready to go to school and learn while feeling dizzy. I also had to take pain medications to reduce the side effects of the area where the cochlear implant was inserted.
My implant was activated on July 27th, enabling me to hear high-pitched sounds.
Everything...was different. My mum's voice was different. The audiologists manly voice transformed into high-pitched sounds like the sound of birds chirping. I found that hilarious, HAHAHA!
It was a once-in-lifetime experience, to hear different sounds on two different human hearing levels.
Shortly after the activation, I was able to learn a few sounds. In order to make my brain learn, I had to repeat the same sounds.
In addition, everything was loud for my brain to endure. So, I had to change my attitude towards my teachers, staff, and even one of the respected ladies. To anyone who knows me from my high school and is reading this, I apologise for my naughty attitude towards you all.
From there, I have managed to learn every single sound that my brain was particularly pissed with.
Here I am, on 28/01/19, learning and managing life with my new set of internal weapons.
I now am ready to embark on my new journey with a new identity. (Well, nothing has pretty much changed apart from the implant.)
Okay guys, ENOUGH about me, hehe.
I will now add important tips when communicating with deaf people, or even myself if you meet me. Just do not be a creepy stalker. :)
- Find out how they communicate.
- Get their attention.
- Face them when you’re talking.
- Speak clearly and naturally.
- Watch your mouth.
- Use visual cues, where possible.
- Make it clear what the topic of conversation is.
- Stand with your face to the light.
- Speak to one person at a time.
- Never give up or say “I’ll tell you later.”
Thanks for reading this, if you have made it till here. Be positive guys! Have a good journey!
Here's a brief explanation of how things were during my early puberty days. ;)