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CHAPTER 1: GENERAL INFORMATION

 

This page covers:

Section 20 - "Checking" (making sure that you know exactly what has been said)

Section 21 - Using badges and communication cards to let people know you have a hearing loss

Click on the links in the left hand column to see the other sections

Section 20 - "Checking" (making sure that you know exactly what has been said)

Many words look the same or rather similar to someone who is lipreading; for example, the words view and few. To deaf people many words can sound the same or similar; for example, to some deaf people the words view and few might sound the same.

This section covers checking – making sure you know exactly what’s been said.

1. Some people find that if they understand quite a bit of a sentence, but not all, it can be helpful to repeat the part they understood. People often then seem not to mind helping. For example, somebody has said, "I'm going to ......... tomorrow" and the person who’s not hear/lipread where they are going might say "Where did you say you were going tomorrow?"

2. Some people said that they try never to say "What?", "Pardon?", "Say it again", "What did you say?", or "I'm sorry I did not catch that" because then the speaker doesn’t know what the deaf person has not understood.

One person said, “I only make those sort of comments if I have no idea what the speaker has been saying. If I have the slightest idea, I use one of the following strategies.”

3. Numbers can cause a lot of difficulty because so many of them look (and/or sound) the same or similar to someone who is lipreading.  For example; six, eight, nine and ten may all look similar. 

It’s also true that numbers ending in –teen and –ty such as thirteen and thirty can look the same or similar.

One person said, “If it is a number/name, etc., I repeat back the number/name I think it is. For example if I am not sure whether it is 15 or 50 I do not say "Is it 15 or 50?", because they will usually only repeat what they said before or say "Yes!"  If I think it is 15, I say "Did you say 15?"

That is, I give them one number and then look for a clear "Yes" or a clear "No", or at least a shake/nod of the head, or an expression. Unfortunately I cannot always get a clear “Yes” or a clear “No”.  I use this method for any words I’m not sure of.”

4. I always carry paper and pencil. I write down what I think they said and show it back for them to agree or disagree with.

5. I give the speaker the pen and paper and ask them to write it down for me.  Most people seem happy to help.

6. I used to dread people writing things down - I felt so ashamed and embarrassed. It took me a long time to get used to it, but now I welcome it. I find it really helpful as I can relax and be sure of the facts.

7. I carry pen and notepad always, not just for checking but also to put any important information down in. Quite a few people mentioned the value of using a notebook rather than using scraps of paper because bits of paper can get lost so easily. Some people said that they used a diary rather than a notepad.

Some people use the very small pads and others prefer the shorthand or the A5 size.

8. Some people said that they found it helpful to ask for numbers to be repeated digitally: For example seventeen is one seven and thirty four is three four.   One person added, “Then to make sure and in case they cannot hear me, I repeat the numbers back digitally when I am checking. For example, "Did you say one seven?"

9. Some people ask for words and names to be repeated in letters: For example, Smith is
S   M    I    T     H.  Sometimes people find that after the first few letters they know what the name is.

10. Some speakers use one of the police, fire or military alphabets.

Some speakers use one of the alphabets used by the police or military. E.g. they might say S for Sierra, M for Mike, I for India and so on. We got the following two alphabets from the internet and these may be used by a speaker to you if you ask for a name or a word to be spelled out. They may use them face to face or on the telephone. Some people call these alphabets “Phonetic Alphabets”.

If the listening conditions are bad, then sometimes the rhythm of the words can help.

NATO and UK Police

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Police

A

Alpha

A

Adam

B

Bravo

B

Boy

C

Charlie

C

Charlie

D

Delta

D

David

E

Echo

E

Edward

F

Foxtrot

F

Frank

G

Golf

G

George

H

Hotel

H

Henry

I

India

I

Ida

J

Juliet

J

John

K

Kilo

K

King

L

Lima

L

Lincoln

M

Mike

M

Mary

N

November

 

N

Nora

O

Oscar

O

Ocean

P

Papa

P

Paul

Q

Quebec

Q

Queen

R

Romeo

R

Robert

S

Sierra

S

Sam

T

Tango

T

Tom

U

Uniform

U

Union

V

Victor

V

Victor

W

Whisky

W

William

X

X-ray

X

X-ray

Y

Yankee

Y

Young

Z

Zulu

Z

Zebra

However, you have a hearing loss you may benefit from seeing these lists as some of the words can be difficult to interpret when you first hear and/or lipread them - for example S for Sierra.

11. Some people use their own alphabets:

Not everybody knows the police and NATO alphabets. Some speakers just say whatever first comes into their mind. For example, they might say “S for Susan, M for Michael, etc. It can sometimes be very helpful when speakers do that. It does mean that speakers do not necessarily have to learn the police and NATO alphabets.

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Section 21 - Using badges and communication cards to let people know you have a hearing loss

Some deaf people find that it can be very helpful to let people know about their hearing loss.  Some people just tell the people they meet either as a matter of course or when they feel they need to, others uses badges or a Communication Card to do this. Some people find that the main advantage of the Communication Card is that it gives useful tips on how to communicate with deaf people.  Once people know what they need to do, they may be more helpful.

Other people do not like the people they meet knowing about their hearing loss.  Some people have said it makes them feel vulnerable. 

Some people say they only tell the people that they have a hearing loss if they feel comfortable with that person.  If they don’t feel comfortable, then they don’t tell them.

What some people said about letting people know about their hearing loss:

  • I feel that if people don’t know that I have a hearing problem then they can’t be expected to speak to me in a helpful way – they’re not mind-readers!  However, I am careful who I tell – if I don’t feel comfortable about a particular person knowing, I don’t tell them and just bluff my way through the conversation.
  • I tell people I meet straight away that I have a slight hearing problem.  I use my communication card which tells them what they need to do.
  • I only tell people I’m deaf if I have to and if I feel it is safe to do so.

It’s up to you whether or not you decide to tell people about your hearing loss. Below is some information on badges and the Communication Card and how to obtain them.

21.i. Badges

Hearing Concern Link sell several badges, some with the hearing symbol on, some which says things like “hard of hearing, please speak clearly”, “please bear with me I’m hard of hearing”, “Deaf”, or has a picture of the ear symbol, etc.

please speak clearly badgedeaf badgeear symbol badgebear with me badge

 This is what some people said about letting people know that they have a hearing loss:

1. I always wear a badge saying "deaf" under my lapel and I show it when I am stuck. I then tell them how to help me.

2. I only show my badge when I am in the bank, etc. This is to prevent the general public seeing that I am deaf and perhaps following me home.

3. I have several badges. I have one for each jacket/coat/cardigan so I am never without one.

4. I don't use the badge that says "Bear with me". Why should people bear with deaf people? We have rights.

The badges are available from Hearing Link

21.ii.  Communication Card (from Hearing Link)

Communication Card

Hearing Link’s Communication Card

The Communication Card gives simple tips for the speaker to make communication more easeful for the hearing impaired person.

The Communication Card can be obtained from Hearing Link.

 

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