With Valentine’s Day coming up tomorrow, our colleague Louise has posted some great advice on social media about how we can make this a ‘Deaf Friendly’ day! So here are Louise’s top tips for how you can show some love to someone you care about who is living with hearing loss…
If you’re dating someone who has a hearing loss or you want to take someone who is deaf out for valentines, it is easy to be ‘Deaf Aware’ and overcome communication barriers to make it a good date!
As a Deaf person, I rely on lipreading to understand what the other person is saying. So always try to avoid covering your mouth or turning away when talking to us!
Stay calm and don’t feel embarrassed if you have to repeat something more than once. Perhaps try and reword your sentence slightly and see if that helps? My friends and I have a system… if I don’t catch what they are saying after repeating 3 times, they will write it out on their phones for me to read!
Make sure the date is accessible for us. For example, it wouldn’t be ideal if you chose a dimly lit restaurant, where it would be harder to lipread you. If you choose the cinema, make sure the film is subtitled! If you’re not sure where to take us please just ask!
Learn some sign language:
Nothing impresses me more than if my date interested in learning a bit of sign language. It makes me feel like they are going to stick around and genuinely want to make things easier for me. Maybe learn how to sign ‘I love you’ which is super romantic!
Be open minded:
Just be yourselves and ask us questions about our hearing loss/hearing devices and we’d be happy to talk about it and educate you! I love open minded people who are unfazed about my hearing loss and love ME!
So the four important things we’d like for Valentine’s Day are: Effort, patience, loyalty and your time.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Louise Goldsmith is Deafblind UK’s Outreach Officer for East Anglia.
Follow her online here: