When you think of Spain what comes to mind? Is it tapas and sangria, sunnier climes and gorgeous beaches or perhaps it is bright bold fashion and flamenco dancers? Whatever it is, this mini Look book is guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood.
With UK temperatures soaring to a sizzling 34 Celsius recently, I have been inspired to make a few colourful purchases from Next and Monsoon. This is the first year that I have actually bought something from Monsoon and I just love this gorgeous maxi dress as the eye-catching colours have me feeling all summery.
With Deaf Awareness Week upon us from May 15th to May 21st 2017, I thought I would share some tips on how best to communicate with both deaf or hard of hearing individuals. I was personally diagnosed with a hearing loss around the age of 5 when I had my pre – school checks. After being born with perfectly normal hearing, I lost a degree of hearing which affects my ability to hear high pitch sounds, such as female voices due to suffering with several ear, nose and throat infections throughout my childhood. Despite being diagnosed late, I was fitted with two hearing aids and attended a mainstream school. I also managed to reach my full potential thanks to my family and wonderful teachers and ended up graduating with a 2:1 in Business Studies and Hospitality management.
Despite 26+ years of living in a quieter world where words are often distorted, I still haven’t quite nailed the ability to lip -read like a pro and whilst you may think that blogger social events don’t phase me in the slightest, the truth is everyday is a challenge and I am constantly learning what work’s for me. I may be able to hear on the phone now thanks to my awesome phonak hearing aids with built in Bluetooth that enhance speech and I may even have a wonderful support network and most eating establishments always accommodate my need for a booth in a nosier environment. But being hard of hearing still presents many challenges for me on a daily basis. I am petrified of public transport in case I don’t hear announcements and the thought of having to ask for help worries me in case I don’t hear said person or understand their accent – Accents are a whole other ball game believe me.
Funnily enough I usually can cope if I am thrown into these situations and have even been told by my close friends that I am great at working a room at a large party. But there are some things that you can do to make my life so much easier and you can also adopt some of these methods when dealing with other deaf or hard of hearing individuals.
Remember just like you all hard of hearing and deaf people are different
If in doubt don’t be afraid to ask
Feel free to talk to me about my hearing – but don’t make it the topic of conversation for the whole event.
Don’t cover your mouth
Face me when talking
Don’t speak with your mouth full – Why people do this is beyond me regardless of one’s hearing ability
Be prepared to repeat yourself or rephrase if necessary
Write things down or use body language to communicate a particular point
Do not say “don’t worry” or “it’s not important”.
Do not say “you need to listen more”
Be aware that I might not hear you with my back to you, at a distance or in a loud restaurant.
Treat me the same as everyone else
Don’t pity me
Speak up if necessary
Please don’t assume that I know sign language – I only know the alphabet for the record
Above all – Be patient.
Don’t be afraid to laugh or joke. I am always messing around after all – If you can’t laugh at yourself then who can?
Now of course, the best way to create awareness is to talk about various issues. If you have any questions surrounding hearing – loss then please feel free to either ask me on here or send me a private message and I will get back to you as soon as I can. If you would like more information on hearing issues then do make sure you check out the UK’s top charity for those with hearing loss – Action on Hearing Loss
Superb food and brilliant customer service from the staff at your local ‘Ask’ Italian restaurant. Now when it comes to food you really can’t beat Italian cuisine, but with the world around us becoming increasingly stressful, we are constantly seeking new ways to escape our everyday stresses.
Moreover, recent statistics seem to suggest that rising noise levels in your local pub/restaurant are making it harder for us to interact with our loved ones and of course, social media can add a whole other layer to our increasingly lonely and isolated world.
But what if you are hard of hearing? What if you already struggle to hear and already feel isolated? What do you do then?
As someone who has struggled with hearing loss since the age of approximately 18 months after losing some hearing due to numerous ear infections and a hearing aid user, I am pleased to say that my last few visits to ‘Ask’ have been both relaxed and enjoyable. After informing the waiter/waitress that I was hard of hearing they immediately asked what they could do to make my experience more enjoyable and accommodated my request to be sat away from the noisy area with other customers sat in front of me to help reduce background noise. Their friendly service immediately put me at ease and made the whole dinning experience one to remember for all the right reasons.
Unfortunately, today’s highly saturated market place means that those who are operating predominantly in the catering business are constantly having to reinvent themselves and ensure that their brand is one that a consumer can differentiate from their competitors. This can result in numerous outlets that are designed to be aesthetically pleasing as oppose to a peaceful haven where one can connect and switch off from the days stresses.
Couple this with my recent findings from a Twitter Poll and it does appear that the majority of the population would be less inclined to return to an establishment with excessive noise levels. 68% out of 40 people stated that they wouldn’t return to a pub or restaurant with excessive noise levels.
Do you often struggle to socialise and interact with friends, family or colleagues in your local restaurant/pub? I would love to hear all about your own personal experiences.
For more information on how you can take action and help to address these issues, check out the latest Speak Easy campaign.