Did you know it was Deaf Awareness Week last week? Recently I did an interview with Action on Hearing Loss about my book about a hearing dog ‘Echo Come Home.’ They wanted to know what it was like growing up with a hearing loss and I told them how I was often in trouble at school because I hadn’t heard what I was supposed to do – especially if the room was noisy. Lots of people talking at once is a bit of a nightmare still – which is why walking with the dogs by the river where the only background noise is the birds tweeting is my favourite thing to do. I can remember how amazed I was when I got my hearing aids and could hear all the different bird songs – so beautiful.
‘Echo Come Home’ is really close to my heart as I wear hearing aids in both ears. In the book Jake teaches the other children in his class how to finger-spell their names using British Sign Language. There’s a link to the alphabet here: http://www.british-sign.co.uk/fingerspelling-alphabet-charts/. Action on Hearing Loss also has tips on how to make it easier for someone with a hearing loss to communicate.
Our new puppy Freya is very ‘sound aware’ just like Echo in the book and comes running to find us when the phone rings. We’re also going to train her to take messages from one of us to the other as Eric worries I won’t hear him if I don’t have my hearing aids in and he’s shouting for me. Our older dog, Bella, knows to push my arm with her nose when she needs me and I don’t hear her – usually early in the morning because I’m still asleep!
This year’s Deaf Awareness Week was focussed on not letting anything stop you from doing what you want to do and called ‘I Definitely Can’. I hope nothing stops you from ever reaching your goals because anything’s possible 🙂
Aren’t the bluebells gorgeous at the moment!!!! 🙂