Personally, it was very emotional for me watching this as I imagine it was for many people who are Deaf or have a hearing loss.
Having lost my hearing completely overnight (around the same age as Joe originally lost some of his) for many years I too went through the emotions he experienced – anger, fear, ‘why me’ etc.
Whereas ‘before’ I was a people person, happy-go-lucky I then became extremely isolated living in a remote area of Somerset. I didn’t have the same support as Joe had. This was almost 40 years ago! BSL empowered me to change my identity, my career and essentially turn around my life.
Now Joe is on his hearing loss journey, he is beginning to accept his ‘deafness’ and, with his family, learning to communicate through a different medium.
Much of what I went through encouraged me to eventually set up Deafinate Matters CIC to ensure others have support and to enable communication barriers to be broken down. To
bring something positive from something that was deeply traumatic.
It was a fantastic program. Hopefully, many people watched it and it raised awareness and understanding.
Tracey also shares her story, reflecting on her BSL journey….
My name is Tracey and I’m 58 years old. My daughter Morgan is 25 and went deaf last March.
It was so quick. one day she could hear the next day she couldn’t. She is amazing and has handled it way better than I would have. She said she would like to learn BSL and would I do it with her. I said I’m too old to learn new things now. But we looked up some classes and there was nothing where we live. I then went online and found a training provider
The training provider set us up with a zoom meeting. As my daughter is really quite shy and doesn’t really get on with new people, I wasn’t sure how this would go. The teacher,
was amazing, she knew what Morgan was going through and how she was feeling. She also explained that even thought she was good at lip reading it was so tiring . We set up a
time for our first lesson and we have never looked back I found it hard at times and got angry with myself for making silly mistakes but the teacher had the patience of a saint and helped me through. Morgan picked things up so quickly that she could help me. Shopping now is spent just using BSL
Even though Morgan is on the cochlea implant waiting list she will still need BSL for the times she takes her cochlea off. If you are thinking of learning BSL go for it. Find someone to learn with to practice with. It’s a special language that you can share with others. I am hard of hearing too and wear hearing aids, BSL is perfect – no more shouting so I can hear. If my hearing deteriorates more I feel more confident now that I would be able to communicate with people. I feel now that I can help Morgan and we can communicate without the stress of lip-reading. As a mother you do anything you can to help your children
BSL has changed our lives. Thanks to our teacher