|"I'm listening" by Melvin Gaal|
There were a couple of things I really liked from the article. They are things that are immediately apparent when you are deaf, but difficult for people with normal hearing to grasp.
- The fact that it takes Barney a few moments to even realize anyone is speaking to him. I do this all the time. It is particularly bad working with the public who don't seem motivated to actually let you know you're the one they're addressing and not their cellphone, friend, handbag or the sign next to them.
- The way he yells to the cabdriver without realizing it, and worries about crossing roads but soon realizes it's not that big a deal.
- And finally: the way he realizes immediately that it's exhausting!
"After work, I have a business dinner with a PR at a busy Central London restaurant. With the loud chattering and clinking around me it is even harder to make out my companion's voice. By the end of the meal, which takes a long time as I have to stop eating to concentrate fully to hear, I am drained from focusing so hard."
I remember having to wear "drunk goggles" in school to simulate how normal activities become difficult when you're impaired. Wouldn't it be interesting for students and adults alike to try these plugs or even glasses that simulate levels of blindness? I'd try the blindness ones! (And probably freak out a lot.)