When I started working at my school, within a few months I learned that I was having great difficulty hearing at faculty meetings, particularly when the one, very soft spoken administrator would speak, or when teachers would respond.

1.  I asked: “Any chance you can print me a copy of what you will be speaking about at the meetings?” YEAH! Since I am blessed to work with really good folks that’s what we do. If I have any questions, I earmark the topics I didn’t quite fully hear or understand to discuss later.

2.  Also, as my hearing has gotten worse, teachers come into my classroom, ask a question, and my co-teacher will answer. I’ve told her I’d appreciate it if she wouldn’t allow others to do that. I also asked my administration to put a short sentence in one of our memos…”Ms Barb has asked us to let you know, if you need to talk with her directly, make sure you are looking her in the face, so she can lip read. Please be aware of, and respectful of, her hearing loss.”

3.  Try talking to someone at a summer pool party on a rainy day with about 40 people indoor. Oh man, it was LOUD! So, I found a friend, who has a more significant loss than mine and is in the same boat. We found a legal pad and “chatted” with each other by writing notes back and forth. We wrote out 4 pages worth of dialogue…until he said, “I’m tired of doing this!” I respected the need for a break. But don’t you know…we weren’t done chatting…out came the pens again!!  When you find something that works, stick with it!!

How have you learned to modify things so you can communicate better?


One thought on “Modifications

  1. Texting during dinner?
    Honestly, I never thought I’d do it but there I was in an Italian restaurant, with about 12 twelve friends for a birthday celebration. Of course, they pushed together several tables to accommodate all of us. I was glad to see one friend (Nancy) I hadn’t seen a quite some time. Once we hugged, I remembered two things: she gets sick very easily as she has a lung disease and I was sorting a yucky head cold. We agreed we’d have to sit far apart. (Although I would have loved to sit and catch up with her. Sad!) I deliberately sat all the way down at the opposite end of the table. Another friend (Val) was sitting with her. When I made an observation about our children, (Val’s and mine) I wanted to share it with her but I didn’t want to share my germs with Nancy.

    SO, yup, we communicated by text!!! (And that way I didn’t need to worry about struggling to hear in a noisy, crowded restaurant.

    I would have texted with Nancy but she doesn’t have a cell phone.

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