My condition is genetic (mitochrondria) and although I can hear, my brain is unable to interpret what it picks up. I am profoundly deaf, and if not on a 1-to-1 basis, I miss most of what is said at company away days, conferences etc.
Recently I went to a deaf workshop with a signer. There was both a lipspeaker and an interpreter, but I couldn’t make out either! It was this which made me think about taking up sign language, but as said before, I rarely mix with people who know sign language.
I work for myself, but only have a small amount of work left, and I am debating whether to carry on looking for new clients, or seek employment.
I do not claim any benefits or receive any support of any kind, and am just wondering what is out there. Can I learn sign language, go to more lip reading classes, have an assistant through Access to Work, or a speech-to-text operator?
Any help will be greatly received as my contract with my largest client ends next month.
Hmm – a tough time for you. And yes, it is very competitive out there too. There are several practical things you can do, and plenty of people you can talk to.
I don’t know where you are up to with your hearing loss, but make sure you have been for an up-to-date hearing test (your GP will arrange this) and that you have the best hearing aids available (if they are appropriate for you). The same audiology department should be able to refer you to the nearest Hearing therapist whom you can discuss things with.
Do contact HearingLink, or at least look at their website (www.hearinglink.org). They are a mine of information and support. Could you also talk to your line manager and let them know how it is for you? Or would you prefer to do that later down the line? Sometimes managers can be very supportive if they understand what is happening. Good luck!