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I am the Only One Who Can Hear

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

I get that this one does sound like a psychotic episode, but strangely this one is legit.

I got up this morning at the ungodly hour of 6am. Which is madness in itself. Got ready, fed the dog and left for work. Seemingly uneventful, I was due to start work at a new placement at 7:30am. My understanding was that it was ran by a popular deaf charity and that I was attending a unit. 30 minutes I was on the phone with the on-call team as we both tried to find this address. He was very helpful being in London while I’m in Sunderland… Sarcasm never comes across right in the written form. At one point I stopped and asked a man if he could give me directions, his response was priceless.

“I’ve seen deaf people signing outside that house there. So that must be it but they won’t hear you if you knock ey? Just walk in mate, gotta be it” and then he walked away.

Knowing that I could not just walking into someone’s house uninvited, like this fool suggested, I sat back in my car waiting for on call to ring me back. Imagine my annoyance at this man I had dubbed a fool, when on call did call me back and tell me it is a house for one person who is 2:1 and you guessed it, it’s the house the man had pointed me too.


I rang the door bell, as was asked of me on the sign on the door, and was greeted by the lovely night staff. From then on it’s a normal working day. But I tell you, it’s a weird thing being the only one with hearing in a house. Noises from outside are only yours to hear, creaks in the house, how loud otherwise unnoticed daily activities are. My signing is not up to scratch, I don’t use it every day and it’s been a while. I need conversations slowed down for me, I became the one with a “difficulty” when in their world. It got me thinking, are we the once that have caused deafness to be labelled a disability?

British Sign Language: A Beginner’s Guide by Donald Read

This book was an eye opener, how the deaf community have been failed over the years is illustrated for all to see in its opening chapters. If we even taught basic signing or have signing as a languages option in schools, I think the impact would be amazing.

Tell me what your thoughts are. Hopefully, after a few more shifts every now and then I’ll be back signing with the best of them because overall, I had a good morning today.

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