Hearing Times
by Viewtalk Current Affairs

The Hearing Times is a newspaper for the deaf and surrounding communities. Every month they cover topical issues such as education, healthcare, developments in science and technology, and regular features from deaf and hard of hearing communities. Deafax have been invited to do a monthly column and this will be regularly signed and spoken. If you have any comments please get in touch.

2 4 8

Big Society - signed

Comments: 0

We’ve all heard about the Government’s idea of a ‘Big Society’, a Britain where by ‘giving people and communities more power and responsibility we can achieve fairness and opportunity for all’. At the centre of the plan seems to be the involvement of charities, community groups and social enterprises. Talk of a Big Society can make people believe that the government is trying to ‘parcel out’ services that they should be responsible for. As I started to write this column I suddenly thought what exactly is ‘charity’? I know what a Charity is – I work for one – Deafax. The definition of a Charity is a not-for-profit organisation formed for charitable purposes, but what is ‘charity?’ Type ‘charity’ into any search engine and you get a list of Charities asking for support, but you also get a Wikipedia and dictionary definition too. Both sites give similar definitions ‘benevolent feelings/giving and caring towards those in need.’ Is that just giving financially to help others? No, it is more than that; it is a desire to change the world for others, to make it a better and fairer world. If the Government’s Big Society has charity as its underlying principle then I am all for it, I do want a world that is better and fairer. As part of Deafax I want a Britain that offers deaf and hearing people the same chances in life, I would love to see a Britain where deaf young people are thriving in schools and going on to achieve bigger and greater things. If that is what a Charity should be aiming for, then I am all for it. A quick search on ‘Charities Choice’ had 144 charities registered as deaf Charities; which, by our definition, are those desiring to make a difference to the 10 million lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the UK. It’s a big task, and any fundraisers reading this will know that funders are increasingly looking for partnership applications where groups can add value to each other’s work. If the Big Society is about involving more community groups, charities and social enterprises maybe we all need to start looking around and seeing what groups we could work with, whether they are other deaf Charities or different organisations who share the same charitable ethos we do – a desire for positive change.

Big Society - spoken

Comments: 0

Audiology - signed

Comments: 0

Would you rather go deaf or blind? A common enough question, and from a rough poll of 30 youngish people over two-thirds would rather go deaf... that is until you start telling them what they would miss and then they become less certain. I asked the same question to both my 90+ Grannies, one who is going deaf and one who is going blind and both replied the same thing; whilst they would miss or do miss their sight, the isolation caused by deafness was much worse. In fact my 94 year old Grandmother said of all her bodily functions that are slowly failing the loss of her hearing is the worst. Our hearing is something we regularly take for granted and are willing to dismiss at the drop of a hat, we regularly abuse it with loud music or noise forgetting that we only get one set of ears and once they are damaged it is too late. Tinnitus is on the rise in young people, due to lack of awareness. It is often caused by loud music at clubs, concerts and from head phones. It is a shame that music, something that gives such pleasure and relaxation, should be the cause. We all love music and the emotions it creates but deafness can seem to be a barrier to this. Or is it? It reminds me of a trip I made with some Deafax colleagues to see one of our Vice Presidents, Vladimir Ashkenazy, practising with the London Philharmonia Orchestra. My deaf colleague was allowed to go and sit in the middle of the brass section in front of the big drums, he took off his socks and shoes and settled in to feel the vibrations and whilst we watched, we saw him slowly start swaying in time with the performers. At the end when I asked him if he enjoyed it, he said he hadn’t realised it was so theatrical, all the facial expressions of the musicians and the body movements gave him an understanding of the mood of the piece of music taking him along with its changing feelings. It was this trip and the following discussions that helped us to create a Visual Music workshop with corresponding software, in which we tried to capture some of the performance of the music and display it visually. We have so far managed to do two modules, pitch and rhythm, and are seeking funding to continue the process. The best bit for me was delivering workshops in schools and seeing my deaf colleague working with deaf students and all of them enjoying learning about music, watching them experience the different feelings invoked by the performance and by the sounds.

Audiology - spoken

Comments: 0
First Previous 1 2 Next Last