Things You Should Never Say to a Deaf Person

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Communicating with someone who has hearing loss can be difficult. The key is to speak clearly so that the individual can lip-read you. While it may be tempting to shout, this rarely makes a difference; it is all about being clear and talking at a slightly slower pace so that it is easy for the other person to follow your lips if they cannot actually hear you. Aside from this, you will obviously want to make sure that you do not offend the person with hearing difficulties. Of course, you would never intend to hurt their feelings, but it can be hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the things that you should never say to a deaf person or someone with any hearing problems…

Don’t speak to them like they are unintelligent – We have all been there. You are conversing with someone who comes from another country, and you start talking to him or her like they are from Mars, or like he or she is a young child that has only started to speak. People often have a tendency to do this when they are speaking to someone with hearing problems too. Yes, it is a good idea to speak slightly slower so that you make it easier for the other person to lip-read you. However, try to avoid speaking to them like they are stupid. You probably don’t realise you are doing it, but there is a difference between talking slow and dumbing things down.

What’s your friend’s name? – Talking about someone with hearing loss in front of him or her is incredibly rude. Just because they may not be able to hear you does not mean that they won’t feel uncomfortable, even if what you are saying is completely innocent and harmless. Rather than asking someone else about his or her friend, ask the person. If you then struggle to converse with one and other, you can always ask the interpreter, but make sure you try first.

HI, HOW ARE YOU TODAY? – Okay, so you can actually ask that question, but the point is that you shouldn’t shout! You do realise that speaking louder does not make a difference! For most people with hearing problems, it’s not the volume that is the issue. Speak clear and pronounce your words properly, and this will make a much bigger difference.

Never mind, I will tell you later – Don’t give up. Yes, it can be frustrating for both of you, but giving up on the conversation is the worst thing you can do. The other person will really appreciate it if you keep going and tell them what you were going to say.

Have you tried a hearing aid? – Yes, you are trying to be helpful. But if a hearing aid was going to make a difference, don’t you think your friend or loved one would have tried this already? It may be that the person already has a hearing aid, and so you decide to question whether it is working effectively. Again, this is something you should not do. You can learn more about hearing aids and their effectiveness here. While hearing aids can be extremely beneficial for some people, for others they aren’t helpful at all, and then for some people they can help in certain situations but not all. It all depends on the degree of hearing loss, the environment, and a number of other issues. Think about it; if you had a disability or an illness of any sort, and someone asked you an obvious question that implied you hadn’t made any effort to help yourself, you would be pretty irritated, right?

Turn your hearing aid up – This goes back to the volume thing; making something louder is not a cure for hearing loss. Not only this, but this impatient attitude can make a deaf person feel incredibly uncomfortable.

So there you have it: some of the things that you should never say to someone with hearing problems. Don’t worry if you have said any of the above phrases or sentences before, or even if you accidentally say them in the future. After all, this is a learning curve for you as well as the person who has hearing problems. Simply apologise and move forward. And, never give up on a conversation! Don’t assume that the other person is frustrated because they cannot understand you, and so it would be better for you to give up altogether. In fact, this is likely to cause more upset, as the person will be disappointed that you cannot communicate with one and other.

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Getting Back On The Road After A Car Accident

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Getting back into your car after suffering from a road accident isn’t easy. While you may not have suffered the physical traumas, there are still the psychological effects that are prevalent after an accident takes place. The thought of getting back behind the wheel again may give you untold amounts of anxiety, and despite the assistance of an auto accident lawyer, no amount of compensation is going to make your life easier when it comes to dealing with your feelings. Still, you can’t avoid it forever, and there are ways to make getting behind wheel possible again. Consider the following for example.

Talk to somebody

You shouldn’t keep your fears to yourself, so talk to anybody who is willing to listen. Friends and family are a start, and the more you get your frightened thoughts out into the open, the less burden you will be carrying around on your shoulders. While those closest to you may not understand exactly how you feel, they should at least be sympathetic to your feelings. Consider trauma counselling too. Usually done through CBT, the counsellor will talk through your traumatic experience with you, help you to manage your fears, and give you tools to eventually overcome them.

Consider a driving course

This is especially useful if you were in any way responsible for the accident, or if you panicked in the face of a dangerous road user. By taking a defensive or advanced driving course, you will sharpen up your skills to help you manage most situations, and regain your sense of confidence in getting back behind the wheel.

Equip your car

Modern cars are fitted with a range of safety features, and these are designed to protect you and your car when out on the road. From driving assist features to airbags, you will at least have added peace of mind, even if you never have to make use of them. You don’t need to swap your car for the latest high-end vehicle with all the safety bells and whistles attached, as mid-level cars have certain features as standard, and you can get your existing car modified with anything you feel necessary to improve your state of mind.

Go for a short drive

As with any trauma, you need to pace yourself when dealing with it. In this case, you should get back on the road in stages. This means going for short, undemanding drives, perhaps with another driver sitting with you to give you peace of mind if your nerves get the better of you. After a while, take short car journeys alone, even if it’s only to the shops or the commute to work. You should also visit the crash site. Avoiding it forever may be problematic, and as any counsellor will tell you, visiting the cause of your trauma is your first step to overcoming your anxiety, no matter how difficult it may be. After taking these small steps (although they will be huge in your mind), you will be able to drive for longer distances again, including your annual summer road trip.

Finally

We hope you never get involved in an accident, but if you do, the steps above should help you to get back out onto the road. Let us know if you have any tips based on your personal experience.

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My Car, My Rules: A Driver’s Role In Safety

Even when you have no one in the car with you, driving is a significant responsibility. And, that responsibility only increases when you have passengers. Many drivers fail to consider that it’s down to them to keep their passengers safe. Surely everyone should look after themselves, right? In an ideal world, perhaps, but that’s not the way it works when you’re behind the wheel. As the owner and driver of a car, it’s actually down to you to ensure everyone’s safety. And, this becomes especially crucial when you have to rescue kids. Children aren’t always able to see what’s best for them. They may wriggle, fidget, and even unbuckle their seatbelts. And, some adults are guilty of these crimes too.

As such, it’s crucial you consider the following before driving anywhere.

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Is your vehicle safe?

Before passengers even come into the equation you need to ensure your vehicle itself is safe. Not taking care here means failing anyone who chooses to get into your car in the future. And, that’s including yourself. If you invest in untrustworthy parts, or fail to keep on top of maintenance, you’re taking unnecessary risks. And, these could go against you should anything happen. On top of which, you’ll have to face your conscience when people put their trust in you.

To ensure everyone’s safe at all times, you should invest in parts from trusted automotive experts, and know which issues to look out for. It’s also worth checking things such as tire pressure every two weeks or so. And, don’t hold off booking into a garage if you do suspect there’s a problem. Ignoring an issue is as bad as not doing checks at all.

Is everyone buckled in?

Asking passengers to wear seat belts can feel embarrassing. It’s one thing ordering your kids around, but you may not know what to do when friends don’t buckle up. But, if anything happens because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you’ll come under scrutiny. After all, it’s your car. You should have checked they were secure before driving. That’s not to say, of course, that you need to do a vocal check before heading off on each journey. You can keep things subtle, and give gentle reminders to those who don’t look set to buckle up anytime soon. Either way, DO NOT start driving until you can be sure everyone’s safe.

Don’t distract the driver

It’s also vital that you tell passengers when they’re distracting you. After all, we all have different levels of concentration. Some people can drive and hold conversations all at once. Others are unable to concentrate on the road this way. Some may be able to block out arguing kids in the backseat, while others will find this overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to let passengers know your limits. You don’t need to be rude about this (unless the kids won’t stop fighting). A simple “hold on a minute” will suffice. You can then resume the conversation when you reach a quieter road.

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