We had the greatest idea. Our imaginations ran wild. We’d have tee shirts, buttons, flags with our logo. Logo. What could we use as an identifying reminder of our idea?
The above ideas began after a birthday dinner in which the family sat in an upscale restaurant (for our area it was “upscale”.). The members turned to me and said, “Did you hear our conversations?” I replied “No, but I got the gist of it.”
Son 2 said he knew then how difficult it was for me to hear (a) between walls (b ) in a crowded place (c) around corners (d) and everywhere in which no one was facing me. So began the process of helping me enjoy family get-togethers in the future with ideas flying left and right.
After figuring out what the logo would be, Son 2 went online, “Just to be sure there’s not one already.” There was - - not just one but variations of the standard logo for impaired hearing. We were disappointed but happy. Disappointed we didn’t think of printing tees, buttons and signs, and whatever forty years ago when my hearing problem was in its infancy; disappointed that we hadn’t learned the symbol wasn’t used more often in public; disappointed that I had lost so much enjoyment in the myriad of table conversations.We found a company that printed anything you want on tees and buttons. I ordered several buttons with nifty statements. From the logo alone to a few words. Each button makes clear the message I need to convey when the cashier babbles incoherently (I think) “Thatistwentythirtytwo.” Maybe she’ll read on my lapel “Speak a little louder and more clearly,” instead of apologizing when I ask for a repeat – twice – she’ll understand.
I wear a different one every time I leave the house. You know what? No one sees or comments on the button. I have to announce in a group why I'm wearing it. Do you think voices increase in volume because I'm there? Absolutely not!
When you know of someone with hearing difficulties, touch him/her on the arm and speak while you look directly into the eyes. Then see a smile develop.