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CHAPTER 7: MISCELLANEOUS

 

This page covers:

Section 10 - Banks, building societies and post-offices

Section 11 - Solicitors and courts

Section 12 - Rent Office

Section 13 - Department for Work and Pensions (Formerly DSS)  

Section 14 - Social Workers with Deaf People

Section 15 - Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs)  

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

 

Section 10 - Banks, building societies and post-offices

We can experience lots of problems in banks, building societies and post-offices. For example glass screens in places needing extra security and loud background noise.

10.a. The international Ear Symbol in banks and building societies, etc

(See Chapter 1, Section 24. "The Ear Symbol”)

http://accessit.nda.ie/images/dia_etsi_symbol.gif
1. I look for the counter with the Ear Symbol as I’ve found that people who’ve been trained can be very helpful.

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10.b. Explanations (banks and building societies, etc)

1. I tell people I am hard of hearing and ask if they could please speak clearly, louder and a little slower.

2. I explain that I am hard of hearing and can hear better if they look at me when they speak.

3. I explain that I am deaf and can lipread a little, and say “if you look at me I shall probably understand."

4. I find if I raise my voice then the assistant looks up and will keep facing me.

5. I find if I drop my voice the assistant cannot hear without watching me and I explain that is what it is like for me and ask for them to face me when they speak.

6. When explaining that I am hearing impaired I cup my hands because almost everybody knows what that means.

7. One multi-lingual person says "I am sorry I am French. Then people become more helpful and speak clearly and slowly.

8. I find that if I say I am lipreading they try harder to help.

9. I ask for things to be written down.

10. I get people onto my side by joking with them.

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10.c. Glass screens - Banks and building societies, etc

http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/stream/image/?image_id=13982951. I look for the window loop sign. If it doesn't appear to work I ask whether it is turned on.

 

2. If there is a glass window with a microphone which doesn't appear to be working I ask whether it is switched on.

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10.d. General - Banks and building societies, etc

1. It can be helpful to go through in your mind what is likely to happen before you go. If it is anything complicated make a list of questions to ask.

2. I find it helps to be assertive. If I cannot understand the cashier, I tactfully ask to see someone I can understand. After all they have my money.

3. If I need to talk to them and if they have to talk loudly I ask if we can use a private interview room.

4. Quite a few banks have a system of "personal bankers"; they sit separately and you can have a private interview.

5. With Girobank all business can be conducted by writing.

6. A lot of people said that they found using automatic cash machines could solve a lot of problems.

7. I use my Communication Card and hope that they follow the tips.

8. Ask for anything you do not understand to be written down.

9. Once you have found a helpful cashier at the bank always go to that one if possible.

10. If there is no window with a window loop I ask them to speak slowly and clearly.

11. Some banks and building societies are abolishing screens as they become more automated. I find this very helpful.


12. If the swivel part of the counter is moved inwards while
the ­cashier speaks it may make it easier to hear.

13. A lot of deaf people say they find Internet Banking very useful.

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Section 11 - Solicitors and courts

Remember you or the taxpayer is paying and so you can call the tune.

1. Explain that you are hearing impaired and tell them how they can help you.

2. Sit where you can see them and hear them as well as is possible.  You may have to ask them to move to a better position.

3. You could use an environmental aid to help you hear better.  For example:

A portable TV aid e.g. Crescendo, Crystal, Sonido, Pocket Talker, etc. Click here to learn more about TV listeners.

Radio options include: Genie, etc.  Click here to learn more about radio based options. 

Give them the microphone to clip on, or if there is more than one person you may find that the best solution is to attach the microphone to a pencil and point it at whoever is speaking.

4. If you need additional help because you cannot follow in any way ask for an interpreter  (Language Service Professional) such as a lipspeaker or speech-to-text reporter. They are free if you have Legal Aid. (In court it appears that everyone is entitled to an interpreter free of charge. Don't answer anything until the interpreter arrives.)

Further information about using interpreters in court can be found on the following webpages (click on the links to view the pages):

5. If a solicitor cannot be bothered to speak clearly enough I find another one.

6. If the solicitor has a helpful attitude I explain that I am deaf as I would be at such a disadvantage if I did not, but if they are unhelpful I find another.

7. When making appointments I always either write down what they say and ask them to check it or ask them to write it down for me and I read what they have written before putting it away in case I have not read their writing accurately. This is important not only for peace of mind but quite a lot of organisations now have a system of fines if we don't turn up for appointments.

8. See section 5 of this chapter - Doctors, clinics and waiting areas for comments about helpers.

9. As it is often a noisy crowded room read Chapter 4 "Crowded rooms" to see if there is anything relevant such as turning your aid down. 

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Section 12 - Rent Office

See also section 5.a. of this chapter for strategies to use in Reception areas.

1. I ask for a private interview room because I cannot hear through the grille and I want my business to remain private.

2. At my rent office you can press a bell for an interview if you cannot hear through the glass.

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Section 13 - Department for Work and Pensions (Formerly DSS)  

1. I ask for a private interview room because I cannot hear through the grille and I want my business to remain private. 

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Section 14 - Social workers with deaf people

1. In many areas they can help with the provision of free environmental aids. Even if they cannot provide them free they can often advise on which is the best one to get.

2. They can sometimes help with problems at home (eg communication and financial) and at work.

3. I found my social worker very helpful.  She gave me lots of advice on what sort of equipment might be helpful and encouraged me to join lipreading classes. 

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Section 15 - Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs)  

You can contact Disability Employment Advisors through your nearest Jobcentre or Jobcentre Plus Office.

1. If deaf people are working DEAs are often able to provide free environmental aids.

2. They are often able to provide helpful advice and information and support with any other difficulties at work caused by deafness or other disability.

3. Some DEAs can also help with job finding for deaf people.

4. DEA’s can put you in touch with Access to Work advisors.

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