Communication problems now I’m deaf…

February 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Cochlear Implants | 1 Comment
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I’ve spent the last month or so investigating and experimenting with different methods of communication and found some better than others.  I’ve also realised how difficult the simplest problem becomes when you can’t just pick up the phone to sort it out.
Mobile phones – well,  text is great between friends and family but not ideal in a work situation.  I have contacted all the mobile phone companies to see if they provide typetalk phones and well, the response has been pretty rubbish.  Of all the companies only Vodafone actively offer a typetalk phone on their website but when I emailed them to find out more I was told to go to my nearest shop and enquire there.  So I did.  And guess what.  The staff new nothing about the phone and didn’t have one in store to try out!! Great.  No matter now as I have been advised that typetalk would not be useful for me when at work due to it being pretty slow.  I have given up on that route.
Email is pretty good and although I can use my current mobile to text and email it is not the best for emails so I am looking to upgrade it to a better email phone with a QWERTY keyboard to make life easier.  This still doesn’t help with dealing with new clients so I am actively making enquiries into having a support worker come in to be my ears a few hours a week and make and receive phone calls for me.  Unfortunately my deafness seems so profound that there is no gadget out there to enable me to use the phone Baring teeth
Video calls – amazing!!  My parents and sister live along way from me so I dont get to see them very often and now phones are out of the question we have just been exchanging texts and emails.  Not bad but not the same as a phone call.  I had this idea of the possibility of video calls.  My lip reading seems to have improved and I wondered whether I could talk to someone as long as I could see their face.  So i bought myself a webcam and got one for my parents for Xmas and downloaded Skype.  Well………it was better than I could have hoped for.  Because I could see my Mum and Dad while we talked I could read their lips and actually have a conversation with them. Happy days Party
Example of a recent problem due to not being able to make a phone call – my internet banking went down the other week and I needed a new security device sent to me.  I emailed the bank explaining my hearing loss and they sent me an email back asking me to phone them!!  IDIOTS!!  I emailed again explaining that I could not use the phone due to my deafness and they emailed back asking me to call them again!!!  DOUBLE IDIOTS!!  In the end I went into my bank and explained the situation but because my branch didn’t deal with internet banking I was told I needed to speak to someone over the phone as my details were private!!  IDIOTS!!  Long story short I found a helpful lady in the bank who knew someone high up in the IT section and she eventually sorted it for me…………with a 2 minute phone call!!!  This whole process took over 2 weeks to sort out!!!  Banks need to really up their game for the deaf!!  FUN FUN FUN Confused
During all my investigations I was advised by my Hearing Therapist to contact ‘Access to Work’ to see if they would be able to help me in the work place with my communication problems……………this is ongoing and I will discuss this in a seperate entry……….but so far its looking like it could be very useful to me…..fingers crossed Thinking

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  1. Graham – I think you and I need to meet up and talk! See WebCapTel on my blog – that’s what you need – hang in there for it arrive. It’s good that you’ve found Skype. With ATW, you need to badger them every day and be very clear on what you need as they are clueless, even worse than the banks. ATW staff don’t get any disability awareness training. The mind boggles.

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