I’d Love to ‘Hear’ From You

Other than having to don my reading glasses (two for the price of one with coated lenses thrown in – bargain… although they wouldn’t let me have one of those little Larry Grayson chains for free) to read the preparation instructions of an Angel Delight, I consider myself very fortunate that I face few other physical challenges.

Now, although I try and keep my article light and witty (well I make myself laugh at least), I wanted to shine a light on my slightly more serious side to launch the New Year.

For those who don’t know me beyond the lovely Felixstowe Magazine, I work as a PR and journalist in the realms of what’s ‘poshly’ referred to as TV access services; that’s subtitling to the likes of most folk.

Yes I’m afraid I work in the industry sector responsible for caption faux pas such as referring to the famous singer “engle Bert humper distinct” and the request for “a minute’s violence” instead of “silence” following the solemn announcement that the dear old Queen Mother had passed away. And there are the captioned sound descriptions such as “[loudly implied cannibalism]” and “[sobbing mathematically]”, erm, what’s that’s supposed to sound like?

However humorous the gaffes in news and live TV subtitles can sometimes be (switch them on for a giggle), captions open up a raft of entertainment and information to people who are deaf or suffer a degree of hearing loss. TV, cinemas, theatres and museum and other cultural venues all offer captioning for people who may otherwise find it difficult to follow spoken dialogue.

One aspect of my job I’m really very thankful for is the number of deaf people I’ve met and become friends with… and their wicked sense of humour. But possibly what I’m even more grateful for is what I’ve learned as a result; things I’d never considered before, such as the many challenges faced by people with hearing loss.

It’s because of this I learned British Sign Language (used by around 50,000 deaf people in the UK) and trained as a Community Fundraising Ambassador for the charity Action on Hearing Loss.

Now, not wanting to be too dry, but did you know that there are around 11 million deaf or hard-of-hearing people here in the UK? At the moment that’s about 1 in 6  people and the number is continually growing.

As well as funding scientific research projects and lobbying, for example, for better subtitling, Action on Hearing Loss support people with hearing loss and work towards reducing the isolation they may experience.

So if your business, organisation or group would like to know about the charity and its work, or you’re looking at supporting an important charity in 2017, drop me a line at dean.wales@btinternet.com.

Thanks and have a very Happy and loving New Year.

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