May 162015
 

I’m very grateful to have been invited to speak at a meeting of the London Consortium of Occupational Health Practitioners last week. This is a group of OH practitioners most of whom work in the NHS. So I was delighted to be able to talk about some of the challenges, strategies and technology we d/Deaf and hard of hearing health professionals and students come across. Perfect timing too as it coincided with Deaf Awareness Week. As ever, my difficulty was in deciding what to leave out but I do hope I gave an overview and links to resources to find out more.

And thanks for allowing me to attend the whole day. The speakers were excellent so I enjoyed learning about a variety of conditions and occupational health issues.

I mentioned in my talk that one challenge I experience is knowing when to say I can’t hear something and when to let it go, not wanting to disrupt a flow of conversation or to be a nuisance. It feels as though I swing from one to the other: silent but frustrated at missing things or interrupting and trying to get things set up so I can hear. Or maybe I just don’t notice the times the balance is right and things go smoothly for all.

This time it didn’t go smoothly and I feel I let my loop woes became far too intrusive. The room didn’t have a loop and the organisers kindly arranged to have a temporary loop. And to start with it worked brilliantly. Only to hit problems, we think due to loose connections from chairs being moved onto the cable. (Not LCOHP fault, I hasten to say.) I swapped to asking speakers to wear my fmGenie radio mike/transmitter which would have been fine, if the out of order loop wasn’t still transmitting crackles. Even when we thought we’d turned it off. Most odd. And it made it difficult for me to hear questions from the group. So my apologies for causing disruption and many thanks for everyone’s patience.

LCOHP members can download the presentation and notes here.

And I’ve also uploaded the Communication strategies 1 in 6 cartoon I referred to. It’s useful for everyone, including deaf and hard of hearing people ourselves. What anyone can do to help a deaf or hard of hearing person hear them. What deaf/HoH can do to help us hear you. And what we can do together!

It’s slightly adapted from a handout my hearing therapist gave me. She didn’t know where it came from originally so I’ve no-one to acknowledge as the source. If anyone knows the author, please let me know so I can check permission and acknowledge. Thanks.

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