152MC – Questionnaire Reply

A while ago I got Alison to fill in a questionnaire, as I thought that I didn’t have enough information from her story about her life. In this post I’ve included the questions and answers, which are listed as followed,

1. When did you get your first hearing aid? What did it feel like to be able to hear for the first time? What differences does it make to your life now? Can you imagine yourself without it? Do you ever take it off?

I cant live without an aid. Its make me alive. I never take it off, even in my sleep. I don’t feel like I’m me without it. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without a hearing aid. I am so privileged to have been given the opportunity to have a hearing aid as not many deaf people can afford it, or its not accessible to them.

2.. Was making friends difficult when you were younger? Is it difficult to make friends with hearing people now?

I had no problems making friends as my Mother involved me in clubs which were with the deaf and hearing children. I am glad that she did that because I wouldn’t be so confident speaking to hearing people now. As my parents were hearing, I got to know hearing adults when I was younger, so communication wasn’t a weakness for me.

3. Are you ashamed of being deaf? Do you feel embarrassed when strangers stare while you’re signing? Why?

As I was born deaf, I have always carried no shame at all. I can’t imagine not being deaf because I have no idea what its like. I hope it’s not as noisy as I’m thinking it would be. Whenever I receive stares from strangers at my signing, my instincts are either to ignore them or to offer a rudimentary lesson depending on each individual. I’m not too bothered about it though, because there are not many deaf people in my town, so its different to see someone talking with their hands. But it’s my way of life, and my language, I’m not ashamed of it at all.

4. Was it difficult having hearing parents while growing up? Does being deaf make your relationship with them stronger?

No, I had no difficulty living with my parents. I can’t really remember before I didn’t know how to sign but I’ve always known that my parents will always support me. As I learnt how to speak, my parents knew and understood how to handle me.

5. Does deafness stop you from doing anything you want to do in life?

I don’t see deafness as a barrier to any activity I wish to pursue. I have involved myself in activities that anyone can do. I belong to a deaf bowls club which has brought me to play around the world. I play for the England Deaf Bowls, which I have played against other deaf bowls teams around the world.

6. Are you happy being part of the deaf community and the opportunities it brings

I identified myself as a capital D when I was much younger, as I would attend deaf social events and activities. I became part of a deaf community which brought me a large circle of deaf friends. I was fortunate to attend a boarding college for two years. I enjoyed making friends which opened my eyes to the wider world. As I mentioned before, I below in a deaf bowls club which I am very fortunate of being part of.

I am very happy with the answers that Alison gave. The aim of this questionnaire was to highlight some key areas which wasn’t brought up in her story. She’s given me more information that I never knew about. Such as her hearing aid, and being part of a large deaf bowls club. I wanted to get to know a little bit more what it was like as a child, but she said she couldn’t really remember. Therefore, I need to find another direction to take. I made my questions relatively long, with extra notes tagged on, which was intentional. I wanted Alison to express more to me. However, I can’t force anything on her which she isn’t comfortable sharing.

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