Flying Fridays

17 04 2009

It’s Friday evening and everyone heads to the pub. One of the popular haunts of my work colleagues is the cafe at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Everyone wants to chill and let off steam after a busy week. So they head out for a nice relaxed evening. For me, it means more concentrating, more work as I have to lip read and try to understand what’s being said. It’s very tiring and no fun at all at 5pm on a Friday. I’d rather be in a hot air balloon and soar off into the sky with a bottle of plonk and a couple of people to talk to – hey it’s QUIET up there!

The problem at places like RADA is that there are too many hard surfaces – walls, tables, floors, ceiling – which bounce sounds off surfaces. There is too much background noise echoing off these surfaces – people talking, plates, cutlery, glasses, chairs scraping, coffee machine – and the resulting noise is very loud, it’s actually almost unbearable at times. When you’re tired, this is harder to cope with. Hearing people forget that by 5pm, a deaf person is going to be shattered from concentrating on communicating with hearing people all day (unless they work in finance, hiding behind a computer).

The solution?
1) Turn off hearing aids and rely totally on lip reading. Do-able if speaker is clear (not usually!) and I’m not too tired (meaning I can’t keep this up for very long).
2) Find somewhere outside to drink as it’s quieter.
3) Pick a clear speaker to talk to.
4) Make it a very short drink and concentrate very hard on lip reading, ask people to slow down, then vamoose.
5) As a last resort, do the deaf nod. I used to say yes to everything but that got me into a few scrapes! I think a lot of deaf people do this.
6) Meet up with a bunch of deaf people instead. They totally get good communication.
7) Go home. Have a bottle glass of wine. Chill. Properly.

Deaf pubs Yahoo Group

21 08 2008

Join this new Yahoo Group to find out information about and notifications of meets around the UK for Deaf people in pubs. Meeting other deaf people is a great way to practise your sign language and make new friends.

To all those who organise meetings, contact the group with your new fixture dates, time and full address of the pub, nightclub, pub crawl with your bebo, facebook, piczo & myspace website address.

Deaf Pubs Yahoo Group

HOHUK meetings in London

7 02 2008

HOHUK have been holding their meetings and Saturday Tribal gatherings at the Red Lion for the last 3 years. The new landlords are now battling ill health and the private room is unavailable at the moment for HOHUK meetings.

An alternative venue has been found and it’s been booked for the next meeting on Monday 18 February.

Meetings are held on the third Monday of every month 6pm-11pm.

Venue : The Ship, 3 Hart Street, off Mark Lane, London EC3R 7NB

Or click on THIS LINK to download the location to your SATNAV.

For those of you who would like a little more fun, check out the CRAWL PLANNER.

The Ship does not provide food, but the landlord Ben has said he doesn’t mind if you bring anything in with you, providing food wrappings are cleared up afterwards. Sainsburys is in the next street. Hearing dogs will get bowls of water!! If enough people attend on a regular basis then he will consider buffet type food.

Come and test the new watering hole for future meetings and then we will put it to a vote. Click on THIS LINK and it will give you directions from all stations around the pub.

The Ship has fantastic beer, it gets busy in the early evenings with the darts team and is a friendly little no-frills city pub. Patrons beware – the spiral staircase leading to the gents is very steep – make sure you hold on!

Why not join HOHUK’s friendly online community and meet other hard of hearing people? Go to the YAHOO HOHUK GROUP and sign up.

HOHUK are also on Facebook – check out the group HOHUK under Common Interests / Friends.

Blurb from the Yahoo HOHUK group –

Do you feel isolated because of your hearing loss?

Do you feel you no longer belong in the hearing world but don’t quite identify with the Deaf community either?

Do you find it difficult to socialise, because your friends go to noisy places or group conversations have become so difficult?

Would you like to meet other hard-of-hearing, deafened or deaf people?

Please join and hopefully, we can make friends and help and support each other. Friends and relatives of the hard-of-hearing and Deaf people also welcome! This club is mainly for UK people, but you are welcome to join wherever you are in the world. All welcome!

When you join, please note that you do not have to receive the messages by email. If you prefer, you can just visit the HoHUK site when it suits you and view the messages on the message board. Just go to “edit my membership” and change the settings to “no email/web only”. If you need help, we can change your settings for you.

Thumbs up! Deaf aware pub – True Lovers Knot

4 12 2007

A pub in the Tarrant Valley, Dorset, get a round of applause from me and a virtual medal for being deaf aware.

True Lovers Knot offers a bar and food, accommodation and a child-friendly garden. They have a hearing loop system at the bar, so you can easily order food or drinks. If you are deaf and you book a table, they will set the table different to normal, so there is less ‘visual noise’. To cap it all, their staff are trained in deaf awareness.

They are currently working towards being the first pub in history to be awarded the RNID Louder than Words charter mark. Nationally recognised, the Louder than Words charter mark shows that the awarded organisation offers a fully deaf aware service to employees and customers, and that their needs are taken seriously.

Clap clap clap. More like this please!