152MC – My Life In A Silent World by Alison Hare

“My Life in a Silent World”

I was born deaf and, with my parents’ support, I began to wear hearing aid and acquired speech slowly.

Unlike a pair of glasses that correct sight, hearing aid was only an aid to hear sound and it took me time
to make out simple words. A reasonable intelligible speech acquired not without supreme struggle.

I thought to myself “Am I deaf with a capital ‘D’ or a little ‘d’ ?” Soon I found out when I attended a first
school and began to mingle with deaf kids like a duck to water. A sight of expressive faces and moving
hands in sign language totally captivated me.

Not forgetting my parents’ desire not only to see my speech getting better and better slowly but to learn to
articulate and listen. This was an almighty feat to face and I believe in having buckets of self-confidence
to go with my growing-up years. In keeping the two-way “contract”, my parents spend loads of time to
answer my searching questions and provided me a ‘voice-over’ when I watched my favourite television
programmes before new technology subtitles ‘888’ was used. What about radio ? I didn’t and don’t follow
commentaries at all and I am completely clueless.

I enjoyed challenges with Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders and I found myself growing up a bit quicker by
mixing both worlds – silent and non-silent.

I added a feather in my cap when I passed a driving test. However, I found it comical when someone in
uniform asked me to get out of a hired car. This happened in Ireland during my vacation and the traffic
cop said no deaf drivers in Ireland were allowed to drive. I laughed and said that there was no problem
with the car hire firm when I mentioned my deafness.

As a mother with four kids, I raised them well but, however, all kids had been a bit reluctant to bring their
friends to my home. I wondered if it was because of my deafness with speech impediments or what?
Anyway, I have found my identity with a capital ‘D’ and love parties with flashing lights.