Confession time: until I was around 25, I didn’t have a clue how to read an audiogram. If you asked me as a child, how deaf I was, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you. Ask me to retube my hearing aid, and I probably would have gone running to Mummy.
Why? Because nobody ever really explained it to me. I’ve blogged before about my unhappy experiences at the audiology clinic as a child. Audiology services fitted me up with a hearing aid as a child and then pretty much left me to it. Rarely was I asked for my opinion or views. Rarely did a trip to the clinic go without my audiologist trying to talk to me when he had just taken my hearing aid off. Worse of all, the hearing tests used to give me terrible tinnutis, and the audiologist had the nerve to tell me off when I incorrectly pressed the buzzer during the hearing test because my ears were beeping and ringing all over the place.
For these reasons, I’m really excited about the National Deaf Children’s Society Over to You project. It’s looking to improve deaf young people’s experiences of audiology services through a project in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham, my old hood in London. I think it’s a really important job and it’s great that audiologists in this area have stepped up to the challenge, to make their services youth-friendly and to work to empower deaf children and young people.
Luckily, I now have a great audiology clinic. What makes them special is that they take the time to explain things to me and to ask me questions and get my views. Best of all, they NEVER try and talk to me when I haven’t got my hearing aid on!
Watch this space for more info about the Over to You project. In the meantime, if you want to share your good/bad audiology experiences, drop a line below!