When it comes to communication with someone with a severe hearing loss, be them hard of hearing or deaf, background noise can play and important part in them being able to comprehend what you’re saying, not just proper and well enunciation. Things like the noise of the road, car engine, TV, radio, MP3 player going, etc can make it exceptionally difficult for a person with hearing loss to comprehend conversations.
This is one of my own personal hells is going into a restaurant with my hearing aids in and realizing that they have music playing on some overhead speaker system throughout the place. The additional noise I’m sure does add to the overall atmosphere of the place but quite honestly it’s a personal hell of mine causing me to feel isolated and away from the conversation, excluded even.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had issues with these kinds of places, going in and spending a good deal of money solely for the food and being unable to have any sort of conversations with my party of hearies. Even without hearing aids, residual hearing is really needed for proper and accurate lip reading to be had.
For example, muting the 2018 YouTube Rewind at the beginning and without closed captioning, Will Smith says “If I contained your boobs rescind I would want porn nite and a dank ass brownie”. Now as funny as that is, what he actually says is “If I controlled YouTube Rewind I would want Fortnite and Marques Brownlee” so unfortunately Will Smith isn’t talking about having actual porn on YouTube nor eating some dank ass marijuana brownies, as awesome as that would be, especially in that specific combination.
The quieter the background environment can be, the better off it is for the person with hearing loss. And don’t get me started on places that have a jukebox. Customers regularly walk up, fork in some money and pick an annoying as hell song which prevents me from being able to enjoy conversations with my party for an even longer period of time until it hopefully ends and becomes silent and hopefully without another jackass, inconsiderate prick choosing yet another song to make my experience a living hell.
I would like to ask stores and restaurants alike to ditch the music. I’m there for shopping or eating, I’m not there to listen to a god damn concert. Turn that shit off and let me enjoy the conversation with my party. The background babble as it is is hard enough but the added music bullshit you play all the time only adds to the issue making it far, far, far worse.
If I wanted to listen to music, I’d have brought my own or have gone to a concert instead. But I’m not at a concert, I’m at a store or restaurant, so turn that shit off. If you really must be having music, put on some damn headphones and leave that shit out of my ears.
Deaf people with residual hearing and those who are hard of hearing having a hellish experience at your business establishment.
I use a relay operator to make phone calls, I’m not a telemarketer. Stop hanging the fuck up on me when I make a phone call, my business is important to. Sorry there’s a delay but that’s how it works. Train your employees to better handle the deaf and hard of hearing that use relay operators to make phone calls and stop treating us like second class citizens already before I start lawyering the fuck up.