Have I mentioned that I’m getting a bit hard of hearing since I’ve been helping in music lessons? Or it could just be that I’ve realised it because when pupils speak to me and there’s music going on, I can’t always make out what they’re saying. I’ve always been quite careful of my hearing and don’t tend to go to loud concerts and the like very much and I live in a relatively quiet place, but I suppose that life takes its toll. The Sage has pretty good hearing however, if he uses it.
I went to a meeting at the school the other day – oh, it’s only Tuesday – it must have been yesterday then. It was about disabilities and ensuring equality, lack of discrimination and access in the school – it’s an interesting subject. Our high school was built on a sloping site and there are steps all over the place. A member of staff with a disability (which I was unaware of) has taken on the project and I’ll be involved too as I’m one of those people who volunteers.
As an aside, I can’t help wondering when that happened. In my younger days I was the sort of person who hid behind a taller person, who was anyone else, when a volunteer was needed.
Anyway, I’ll no doubt get to know more about the definition of it – for a start, someone who wears glasses will not, just for that, be counted as having a disability but someone who wears a hearing aid probably will. I suppose that glasses correct a sight problem while a hearing aid helps but doesn’t correct deafness? I suppose also that, in a school, a child who wears glasses is hardly unusual, but one who can’t hear properly is.
At the village school they’ve done after-school classes in sign language, I’ve been told. I think that it is supposed to help with language development for visual learners, as well as being a generally Good Thing. I’d be absolutely useless at it I’m afraid. If I go deaf, I’ll have to live in a little world of my own because, while I might learn to use sign language, I’d never be able to read it. That is, I probably could read it in a book but not understand the actual hand signals. When Ro was at the village school, there were two children there with profoundly deaf parents, although the children weren’t. It was dreadfully embarrassing trying to hold a conversation with the mother as I had no idea what she meant. She’d patiently use gestures several times until I caught on, then my face lit up with recognition and I enthusiastically replied, only to be bemused again the next minute.
On the other hand, I’m absolutely not an auditory learner either. I can remember what someone tells me, one-to-one, but I completely switch off from an information talk unless I have it written down in front of me too. If I do, not only will I remember it but I’ll remember where on a page a particular sentence is. I’ve got better over the years at listening, but only because I try really hard.
I must do some more work. See you tomorrow.