Hearing-Impaired people have a more challenging time following conversations. They can respond with a different speed and usually feel uncomfortable interrupting others. They are often isolated by their need for constant intervention and have difficulty in social situations.
One of the coldest aspects of being hearing-impaired is it makes it harder for you to fit in. If you can’t hear, it takes longer to understand what’s going on in conversations. You only sometimes have time to understand or answer a question fully. You’ll be lost if someone is speaking to you and interrupts themselves or changes the topic. It will take longer for you to understand what the person is saying. The more often this happens, the harder it is for you to follow along with the conversation.
Environmental sound awareness is integral to the hearing-impaired individual. Not only is it necessary to know how much sound a space will produce, but it is also essential to be aware of what a space contains — both people and objects. Knowing what the sound might resemble and what impression the environment will give to someone with a hearing impairment is crucial.
Impaired people have developed sensory adaptations to obtain information. Adapting to hearing loss begins with awareness and reaction to specific environmental sound signals, which may be auditory, tactile, or visual. These signals are developed through experience and can be general or particular to an individual.
Ways in which an individual can be affected by environmental sound awareness include:
An auditory cue is used to guide individuals through an environment. The brain relies on sound to direct the body’s movements through space. The individual must rely on other senses to map an area without hearing. Visual cues are important because they provide orientation and interpretation of space. Existing objects in a room can be helpful, but they quickly become irrelevant as people can see and understand their significance. Wood echoes and reverberation from the structure of the room can provide cues. Impaired people can communicate using these cues to inform others of their location.
Once an individual has learned how sound signals work in an environment, they can then determine how the environment will affect their hearing ability and what needs to be done daily to facilitate their hearing needs. Hardwood floors and wooden furnishings tend to produce more echo and reverberation. In a home with hardwood floors, the auditory environment is likely to be dominated by the reverberation of hardwood floors which hearing-impaired people can use to communicate with their immediate environment.
Hearing-impaired individuals can use the information they have acquired throughout life to increase their awareness of the environment. Their hearing impairment may be the catalyst that pushes them to pay more attention to their surroundings. This can be an essential asset in everyday living and social situations. If you are deaf or hearing impaired, the world may seem noisy and confusing. But the truth is, many things can make life easier for you. For starters, you can learn sign language. This will allow you to communicate with people who don’t know sign language and help them understand your needs.
Another excellent tip for hearing-impaired people is to purchase a cochlear implant and become an advocate for this technology. Cochlear implants are revolutionary devices that help people with severe hearing loss hear again. These devices have helped people regain much of their abilities, and they will also help you.
Many hearing-impaired people still lead rich and fulfilling lives. But there are a few things that, due to the nature of their disability, they should avoid.
Because the world is noisy, hearing-impaired people should avoid any activities that require them to talk loudly so that others can understand them. Speaking loudly makes them harder to understand because of the noise surrounding them; this also puts unnecessary strain on their ears.
Hearing-impaired people should avoid noisy situations where they must try to understand conversations over background noise. Food courts and entertainment areas are often filled with chatter, which makes it difficult for hearing-impaired people to understand what is said.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author of Created Hardwood