I was five years old when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I had all my teddies lined up on the floor of our living room while to took the register (because that’s what being a teacher is, obviously!)
All the educational choices I made from that point on, got me to where I am now – a teacher. However, over the course of my 14 years as a teacher, I’ve gone from a mild, manageable hearing loss to a moderate/severe hearing loss with two hearing aids, and it has changed my whole experience of teaching.
What is deaf identity? There is much contention in society around deafness and deaf identity. Conflicting opinions around what level of hearing loss constitutes ‘deaf’, can cause confusion and upset. Too often we hear ‘You can speak, so you’re not really deaf’, or ‘You don’t sign, so you’re not really deaf’. How do we then …
‘How deaf are you? Can you write it down?’
This is what I was asked when trying to access emergency medical care at the local Accident and Emergency department of my local hospital, recently. That said, I only know what was asked of me thanks to my partner, who heard and repeated for me from behind a clear panel mask. Experiencing the beginning of an anxiety attack anyway, the isolation, inaccessibility and judgement of the situation only served to make me feel worse and I left, against medical advice.