A new journey to the Deaf world
I lost my hearing mid-way through my University degree. At 19; it was terrifying but also I was clue-less. I ignorantly had no idea it was possible to lose your hearing overnight.
I just thought I had a really bad head cold and didn’t seek medical attention until it was too late. I was told steroids would’ve reversed some of the hearing loss if I had gone to the GP sooner.
After my diagnosis; it became apparent that it was hereditary, my mum and eldest sister had both started to lose their hearing in their 30s. I have severe to profound hearing loss and after a few years of mourning the loss of my hearing I finally plucked up the courage to wear my hearing aids, not only wear them…but rock them! I’ve ‘pimped’ them so they match my colourful personality.
And since joining Deaf-initely Women I have met the most amazing inspirational women who have supported me. I no longer look at my hearing loss as a ‘loss’. It’s a new journey for me and it’s opened a lot of doors to the Deaf world. I’ve been working towards my qualifications in BSL and currently mid-way through my level 3. I teach basic BSL at Buxton and Leek College where the feeling of spreading this beautiful language is hard to put in to words. I have such passion about the path I’ve been travelling along during this journey and I’m glad I get to share it with others. Having one foot in the ‘Hearing World’ because I lost my hearing when I was an adult and still have good speech but also being wholly accepted in to the Deaf Community has made me realise I have the chance to open doors for other people.
I’m part of a fantastic Sign Language Choir in Buxton called Signs from The Peaks, it’s comprised of people of all ages and abilities. We’ve only done a few performances, but together as a little family, we have achieved so much.
By Steph Bennett