Public swimming pools

Swimming pools are very noisy places because they are full of hard surfaces and water which reflect sound and make echoes. The following are what some deaf people have found helpful:

1. I take my hearing aid off as soon as I’ve paid for my ticket. I replace it as soon as I feel comfortable with it. (That’s often not until I get outside.)

2. Some people like to take their hearing aid off only when they’ve changed and are ready to go into the water. They leave their aids at the side of the pool in a waterproof bag. (Editors: Another idea might be to give them to the lifeguard to look after or tie the bag to his/her chair.)

3. I rely on lipreading.

4. Some people like to just swim and do not chat.

5. I still enjoy the baths despite the echoes and the screaming kids.

6. I explain to any companions that I cannot see or hear them as I cannot wear my glasses or my hearing aids.

7. I treated myself to a pair of prescription swimming goggles from my opticians. It’s great because now I can lipread in the swimming pool and I don’t crash into other swimmers because I can’t see or hear them.

8. Some people find it helpful to tell the lifeguards that they cannot hear. (The lifeguards sometimes shout or blow a whistle to signal the end of the session.)

9. I go swimming with a friend who knows I cannot hear without my hearing aids. We have a few signals for things like “time to get out” or “just popping to the loo” which make life easier than trying to lipread what she’s saying.