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Thread started 10/08/21 11:15am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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I'm Sick of the Ableist Responses When I Can't Hear Someone Wearing a Mask

I communicated with someone legally deaf about this same type of hardship during 2020 lockdown.
It's a very interesting avenue of life to understand

.

a·ble·ism
/ˈābəˌlizəm/
noun
  1. discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

.

Thursday I was craving some fries from McDonald’s, which is one of my safe foods due to my gastroparesis. So I placed a mobile order, I did curbside pick up, but it wasn’t letting me check in for pickup. So I went inside. The cashier was talking to me and I couldn’t understand/hear her. So I told her. Then the manager started talking to me. I repeated I can’t hear them. She started again. I yelled, “I’m partially deaf, I can’t understand you.” Then she laughed. The manager laughed! There were several guys waiting for their food, and one stepped up to help me. When I walked away, she laughed again! I was so angry and embarrassed, I was almost crying.

AAPgpxR.img?h=400&w=799&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=544&y=195© The Mighty Waitress holding credit card reader machine and wearing protective face mask.

Masks have long been a challenge for those that are hearing impaired. Many have experienced horrible situations from being unable to communicate. This is not OK. This is stressful and honestly traumatizing. I have 30% hearing loss in my left ear and 40% in my right. I’m exhausted sometimes from straining to hear what’s being said to me by others

Now you may think, what’s the big deal? Well, for those in the hearing impaired community, reading lips is imperative to communicate. With lips covered, they can’t effectively communicate. Many won’t wear clear masks so their lips could be read. Many won’t write down on a pad of paper for the hard of hearing person; many make no effort to accommodate to provide effective communication. What is even more mind-blowing is how often this is happening at doctors’ offices and hospitals. I have told them, upon checking in for an appointment, that I am hard of hearing. I will not hear my name if called softly, or on the other side of the waiting room. Frustratingly, it still happens! I had one appointment last year with an ortho; I couldn’t tell you what was said. He wore two masks and didn’t speak clearly. Again, this was after telling him I’m hearing impaired.

I'm Sick of the Ableist R... (msn.com)

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Reply #1 posted 10/10/21 3:41am

coldcoffeeandc
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That's terrible. I know as someone with good hearing how medical appointments are with everyone in a mask. I was 5 minutes a from death last year without emergency surgery and I was greeted by about 15 people in the operation room kn masks. Couldn't hear a word being said. I didn't even know exactly what was wrong with me as I could not understand. They had thick accents and 2 muffling masks on. Then the care i had after from the staff was great but in a noisy hospital I couldn't always hear them, then to top it all off I couldn't see their faces and so if they passed me in the street I couldn't identify anyone who saved my life or cared for me. I couldn't hear their names, what had happened, wbat they were going to do. Anything. It was frightening. It's not the same but I can entirely sympathize. Deafness is an invisible disability and if my experience was like that yhen daily then that's abysmal.
[Edited 10/10/21 3:44am]
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