Author Topic: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?  (Read 3782 times)

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Calistoga

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 09:58:14 AM »
My mother has the same issue and always just makes it obvious she didn't hear what was said the first time by sort of shaking her head and saying "One more time please? I'm deaf in my left ear."

I don't think anyone will be bothered having to repeat themselves or speaking up if they know you can't hear well.

Sterling

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 01:52:15 PM »
I am completely deaf in my left ear.  Have been since since birth.  I have the same problems you have with back ground noise.  I am just always up front with people and try and seat myself in the best possible spot to hear and engage the most.  I also try to arrange things so that we can eat in smaller quieter places.  I have never had any one act put out by me asking to trade spots so I can take part in conversations or anything like that.
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cheyne

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 02:57:18 PM »
I have hearing loss in both ears, but my right is better than my left.  In crowded noisy areas I cup my right hand to my right ear and lean in to the person speaking while watching their lips (I don't get into their personal "bubble").  It's pretty obvious what I'm doing, but if anyone asks I just tell them that I can't hear well in noisy environments.

I have never had anyone get angry or upset at me when I do this.  Most people try and speak up and direct their voice towards me.

Winterlight

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2013, 04:18:48 PM »
Just ask! Put it simply and without drama and most reasonable people are going to be happy to accomodate, just like they work around Joe's peanut allergy and Sabrina's fear of heights.

Yes. People won't know you have a problem if you don't tell them, so tell them. It sounds like you've been expecting people to accommodate your hearing loss without you having to tell them you have hearing loss, but, as you say, it's an invisible disability, so you really need to let people  know.

And I could have just quoted your sig and saved time. g*
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Lynn2000

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2013, 04:48:16 PM »
I think being direct and up-front about it is the way to go. My dad's hearing isn't as good as it used to be and rather than say something about it, he just sits there and has no idea what anyone is saying, doesn't really respond, and then later gets mad because he has no idea what anyone is referring to. That's really frustrating.

You could also try something like, "Say that again to my good ear," which is more casual and kind of puts a positive spin on it.
~Lynn2000

Judah

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2013, 05:16:12 PM »
Just ask! Put it simply and without drama and most reasonable people are going to be happy to accomodate, just like they work around Joe's peanut allergy and Sabrina's fear of heights.

Yes. People won't know you have a problem if you don't tell them, so tell them. It sounds like you've been expecting people to accommodate your hearing loss without you having to tell them you have hearing loss, but, as you say, it's an invisible disability, so you really need to let people  know.

And I could have just quoted your sig and saved time. g*

Ha, since I block sigs I always forget I even have one, but it's so true.  :)
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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gmatoy

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2013, 07:54:45 PM »
My dad was deaf in one ear and blind in one eye. (Deaf because the bones in his ear fused together and blind because on a childhood accident.) He used to joke that everything else was ready to go out on strike at any moment!
Even as small children, we learned that if you wanted to have Daddy hear of see you, you needed to be on his good side. If you didn't want to eat the vegetables, sit on the blind side. ;D

hobish

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2013, 08:04:15 PM »
My brother has noticeable hearing loss in one ear. If someone he doesn't know is speaking to him in the wrong ear he will tell them (politely) that he cannot hear them. He is very social, so bars, restaurants, and large groups are a frequent thing for him. I have never heard of anyone getting mad over this.

It is hard to get the courage to speak up, but you need to tell people! If they object to raising their voice or talking into your good ear, they are the rude ones.

Sounds like my friend Kay, who i have mentioned many times here. She is almost 100% deaf in one ear. She told me back when we first met that she didn't like telling people because sometimes people would question it, but she took my "Really? I didn't know," as disbelief, so i don't know if she was just being sensitive. She is not generally a sensitive kind of girl, though. Now that i know it really isn't a big deal, though ... and it helped to know when some friends of mine from a different circle were commenting on her being so loud and obnoxious - which, don't get me wrong, she really is obnoxious and i love her for it - to say, "Hey, she wasn't just drunky and loud; she has hearing loss." For all i know they would have gone on thinking she was some kind of loud alcoholic or something.
I know that is just anecdotal, but i hope it helps.

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Ms_Cellany

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2013, 10:46:48 AM »
My dad was deaf in one ear and blind in one eye. (Deaf because the bones in his ear fused together and blind because on a childhood accident.) He used to joke that everything else was ready to go out on strike at any moment!
Even as small children, we learned that if you wanted to have Daddy hear of see you, you needed to be on his good side. If you didn't want to eat the vegetables, sit on the blind side. ;D

My grandmother was deaf in one ear. When she wanted to nap while we were being noisy, she'd lie on the good ear.
Using a chainsaw is as close as we come to having a lightsaber in this life.

Allyson

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2013, 08:56:51 PM »
Not deaf in one ear, but blind in one eye here,and I've had similar problems. People have thought I was ignoring them because they waved or approached on my bad side. Also, I have an extreme startle reflex when this happens. I try to warn people in a non-dramatic way, and have never had major issues...just one friend who likes to pretend he doesn't believe me for some reason.

twiggy

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Re: How to integrate a less-than-obvious disability?
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2013, 03:13:39 AM »
My FIL can't hear in one ear; he asks people to repeat in his 'good ear'. Also, whenever we go out, he makes sure he sits on an end with his good ear toward the group.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz