Profoundly deaf in both ears, Ed Rex has chronicled his solo travels in the last seven years, about his deafness and how his deafness influences his travelling experience. From the bad to the good and to the downright hilarious, he often tells his story to many peopledestroying stereotypes, discrimination and raising awareness of they can support deaf travellers in the UK and abroad.
I strained further to listen to the jokes that bounded aplenty at a Christmas party I recently attended.
‘Sorry, could you repeat that again?’
I grew more and more frustrated as the loud hubbub of the local bar resonated deeply through my hearing aids effectively blocking out the voices of my friends and acquaintances who stood close to me.
In the end, I gave up, only weakly smiling and nodding as everyone roared with laughter around me.
Suddenly, I knew the meaning of being alone in a crowded room.
Sighing, I put down my drink and went outside to get some fresh air to recompose myself. I’m not someone who upsets easily, but as a social butterfly, not being able to bond and effectively communicate with my loved ones at this special and festive time.
I’m not surprised. According to a report by Action on Hearing Loss’ SpeakEasy campaign, background noise is a major and growing problem for people both with and without hearing loss when they eat and drink in restaurants, cafes and pubs in the UK. So much so, that 77% people surveyed believe that venues have become noisier in the past five years. So what’s happening at the venues because of this problem? 79% of people have left an establishment early because it was too noisy and 91% said they’d never go back to a loud venue.
Exactly what I was feeling right now.
Blowing out a frustrated sigh, I was debating with myself whether to go back in just to save face or simply leave.
If only I knew what the venue was going to be like first before co-ordinating with the organiser to find a closer venue.
So, are you organising a party with your loved ones in future? Do you have someone who has deafness or hearing loss to invite? How about checking that a venue is simply accessible for their needs before placing your deposit down?
AccessAble will take the chance out of booking your Christmas party. With tens of thousands of venues across the UK, you’re pretty much spoilt for choice. Simply go on their website or download their app to find out which venue is accessible for a range of disabilities including deafness and hearing loss. You can even filter your searches by selecting the hearing loop or British Sign Language icons and you will be displayed with a choice of venues you will know that will be accessible for your loved one with deafness or hearing loss.
If a loved one did this for me, I know I would be deeply grateful. Not only I can join in to laugh with my friends and family, but I know that I will truly have an inclusive and wonderful.
To read more from Ed, visit his blog www.thedeaftraveller.com