Not Radio Silence

“Will this room be ok, or is there too much background noise?”
I was talking to Helen from Radio Leicester, who had come to interview me for World Hearing Day.
I didn’t ask the question because I know nothing about how much background noise is workable while recording (although I don’t).
I asked it because I didn’t know how much background noise – if any – there was.
Helen began the interview by reading this excerpt from Still Emily:
‘Finally, I truly appreciated my hearing. All my life I had accepted hearing as just a part of who I was. But part of me had been taken from me. Appreciation came too late. My hearing had gone. Forever.’
If you are able to, you can listen to the whole (short) interview here: World Hearing Day Interview

My hearing has gone, but I believe World Hearing Day is a day to be celebrated.
Hearing is such a wonderful thing, yet so often taken for granted.
What can you hear right now?
Notice it and, as you do, celebrate World Hearing Day.
Be thankful that you can hear it at all (even if it’s not a nice noise!)

As I wrote in Still Emily, I didn’t appreciate my hearing.
Nor, as a hearing person, would I have known how best to communicate with a deaf person.
I’ve been both sides of the deaf/hearing coin.
One of the first deaf people I ever met is myself.
Perhaps you’ve met deaf people, or perhaps you have yet to meet a deaf person.
I asked Helen how she’d felt prior to our meeting?
“Nervous. Because of communication.”
Helen is not alone, I know.
Here’s a ‘tips for communication’ blog I wrote a while ago: Start with a Smile

Another quote from Still Emily:
‘I see love when a child, unprompted, tells the rest of the group, “You need to look at Emily when you talk. Her ears don’t work and so she needs to see your lips.”’
That child wasn’t born knowing how to communicate with me. They learned.

The child realised that ‘my ears don’t work’ and found out what they could do to help.

Pay attention to things you can hear, as you celebrate your hearing this World Hearing Day.
Notice the sounds.
Let’s remember to pay attention to each other, too.
Notice people we meet.
And be kind.
‘Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.’
Mark Twain

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