Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Xi gn language

Have I mentioned that I'm getting a bit hard of hearing since I've been helping in music lessons? Or it could just be that I've realised it because when pupils speak to me and there's music going on, I can't always make out what they're saying. I've always been quite careful of my hearing and don't tend to go to loud concerts and the like very much and I live in a relatively quiet place, but I suppose that life takes its toll. The Sage has pretty good hearing however, if he uses it.

I went to a meeting at the school the other day - oh, it's only Tuesday - it must have been yesterday then. It was about disabilities and ensuring equality, lack of discrimination and access in the school - it's an interesting subject. Our high school was built on a sloping site and there are steps all over the place. A member of staff with a disability (which I was unaware of) has taken on the project and I'll be involved too as I'm one of those people who volunteers.

As an aside, I can't help wondering when that happened. In my younger days I was the sort of person who hid behind a taller person, who was anyone else, when a volunteer was needed.

Anyway, I'll no doubt get to know more about the definition of it - for a start, someone who wears glasses will not, just for that, be counted as having a disability but someone who wears a hearing aid probably will. I suppose that glasses correct a sight problem while a hearing aid helps but doesn't correct deafness? I suppose also that, in a school, a child who wears glasses is hardly unusual, but one who can't hear properly is.

At the village school they've done after-school classes in sign language, I've been told. I think that it is supposed to help with language development for visual learners, as well as being a generally Good Thing. I'd be absolutely useless at it I'm afraid. If I go deaf, I'll have to live in a little world of my own because, while I might learn to use sign language, I'd never be able to read it. That is, I probably could read it in a book but not understand the actual hand signals. When Ro was at the village school, there were two children there with profoundly deaf parents, although the children weren't. It was dreadfully embarrassing trying to hold a conversation with the mother as I had no idea what she meant. She'd patiently use gestures several times until I caught on, then my face lit up with recognition and I enthusiastically replied, only to be bemused again the next minute.

On the other hand, I'm absolutely not an auditory learner either. I can remember what someone tells me, one-to-one, but I completely switch off from an information talk unless I have it written down in front of me too. If I do, not only will I remember it but I'll remember where on a page a particular sentence is. I've got better over the years at listening, but only because I try really hard.

I must do some more work. See you tomorrow.

13 comments:

Four Dinners said...

eh? Wassat?...Sorry...you're on me deaf side....;-)

Actually I have significant hearing loss on me left side. Really. That's why I always sit in the armchair that has my left side towards Caz.

"Sorry dear...I didn't hear when you said 'can we turn over from the football'...It is my deaf side after all..."...;-)

Z!!! I am ashamed of you!!!

Four letter words on your blog!!!!

You used the 'W' word.

I am now in a cold sweat....

Dave said...

Is it called the High School because it was built on a sloping site, or was it built on a sloping site because it is a High School?

Z said...

I sit here abashed, 4D. First I speak of income tax, then of work. Next, I'll be mentioning the dread C word.

Would it not be the Sloping School, or the Staggered School, in that case Dave?

Dave said...

A slope implies a hill; I assumed the peak of the hill was too sharp to build the entire school thereon, hence parts of it have to be built down the slope. Nevertheless it is higher than the surrounding plains.

KAZ said...

I realised I was slightly deaf when I had trouble with the questions asked by certain students and one lab technician - I realised they didn't pronounce consonants.
It seems OK now as I don't talk to students.
I love sign language for the expressive faces of the 'speakers'.

Z said...

It's on a slope, Dave, therefore when I cycle to school i arrive red-faced and puffing with exhaustion. The ground continues to rise on the site of the schooll, although it levels out somewhat behind so that the playing fields are level. The hill doesn't exactly have a peak, this is Norfolk. Inside the school, there are three or four steps every so often to allow for the rising ground. This makes it tricky for disabled access to all areas.

Even when my own children were teenagers I had difficulty making out what they were saying because of the lack of consonants, Kaz. "Enunciate!" I used to demand.
I agree, when I go to a play with a signer, I watch him or her act the whole thing out rather than the play.

Christopher said...

The Sage has pretty good hearing however, if he uses it.

Ouch. You've got us sages pretty well summed up, haven't you?

Z said...

Said with a smile, Christopher. And after all, deep thinkers can't always be bothered with trivia.

Christopher said...

I didn't doubt it, Z. And as for being bothered with trivia, as a junior relative, a bit stuffed up at the time, once said 'That is in very fact true'.

Four Dinners said...

Calapidgion? - Having shapely buttocks

C.H.A.V.? - Counsil House And Violence

Chief? - To smoke Marjuana

Cwtch? - (pronounced as if it rhymes with butch) It's a welsh word-means to snuggle/hug



Cwtch
4D x

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

zIggI said...

Must be something in the air (or ofsted) I've just written our disability, equality, access plan and it's given me a headache! Not helped by the fact we have no volunteers and 1/3 of a governing body :(
Still the plan's good :)

Z said...

4D - 1. Yes, notably so. 2. Not me. 3. I've never indulged (and me a child of the sixties, I should be ashamed) 4. My speciality.

Thanks, Anon - no links?

Ziggi, we've got 5 vacancies on our governing body. With parent governors having to be 1/3 of the total and staff being 1/5 (and they can't chair committees etc) it's really difficult to get people to stay for more than one 4-year term and take on this sort of job.