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Chapter 5: Out of doors

This page covers:

Section A: Asking and being asked directions

Section B: Where to stand/walk when chatting

Section C: Explanations

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

 

Section A - Asking and being asked directions (Out of doors)

1. I try to avoid asking directions by always taking the appropriate map or using my Satellite Navigation system. 

2. If I see someone looking as if they want to ask me for directions I move out of their way before they ask me and pretend I haven't seen them.  There are always others they can ask.

3. I explain that I am hard of hearing and ask them to repeat.

4. I adjust my hearing aid in a very obvious way and explain that I am hard of hearing and ask them to repeat.  Sometimes people just shrug and walk away, but I don’t let it bother me any more, I have a laugh thinking they’d rather be lost than spend a few minutes longer on speaking to a deaf person.

5. I get them to spell the place names. If I still don’t understand, I get them to write it down.

6. One person said, “I carry a pencil and notebook and ask them to write it down.”

Another person said, “I always carry a pencil and paper with me as it comes in handy for those words or names I just can’t lipread or hear.”

7. If they frighten me, rather then explain I am hard of hearing I apologise and tell them that I do not know.

8. I tell strangers asking me for directions that "I'm a stranger here".

9. I ask them to show me the address.

10. I am always ready for a surprise. Once I couldn't catch the name and the person fingerspelt it for me.

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Section B - Where to stand/walk when chatting (Out of doors)

1. I ensure that my better ear is towards the speaker.

2. I like to practice lipreading from the side in my lipreading class because it’s not always possible to be facing the speaker if we’re walking together.

3. I walk slowly so that it is easier to turn and watch.

4. I stop and face the speaker if they are talking and I stop if I want to ask a question.

5. If it’s windy or there’s traffic noise and I want to converse I find a doorway or quiet spot. I cannot hear if there is too much background noise.

6. If I’m out with someone I know and we want to talk I suggest that we go home and talk in comfort.

7. I explain to people that I can’t watch where I’m going and lipread them at the same time and suggest we stop for a coffee and chat in a quiet café.

8. I walk on the inside of the pavement where I find it is quieter and it also means that if  I’m talking to someone I’m less likely to end up in the road because I was looking at them instead of where I was going.

9. I try not to spend a long time in conversation outside because of the noise. I just exchange a few pleasantries before making my excuses. If it's important, I suggest that we find a quiet spot.

10. If people speak clearly and communicate well I can enjoy conversation outside.  If I don’t understand we stop talking and chat.

11. One person said, “I walk towards the oncoming traffic so that I don't step into the traffic coming from behind.”

The following is taken from the Highway Code concerning Pedestrians (which can be seen by clicking on the following link: www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_070108 )

"If there is no pavement keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and

  • be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light

  • keep close to the side of the road

It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you.  Cross back after the bend."

12. When walking with a companion I seek out quieter routes so that we can talk.

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Section C - Explanations (Out of doors)

1. I explain why it is difficult to hear.

2. I tell people "I prefer not to chat in the street" and I explain why. Then I suggest we find a quiet café so we can chat in comfort.

3. I ask people to attract my attention before talking.

4. When I explain the difficulty I try not to moan. I try to spice it with humour.

5. If people are embarrassed because they cannot make themselves understood I try to make a joke as that releases the tension.

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