No, Hard of Hearing is not the same thing as Deaf, but it is what's known as little "d" deaf as I can't use verbal communication as well as others.
Yes, I do very well talking to you face to face without background noise. Thank you, it takes effort and I've worked on it.
No, don't shout. My difficulty isn't hearing the sounds, it's turning sounds into words. Sound quality is more important than volume.
No, I don't have "an Irish accent". Nor any other nationality of accent. I'm many generations Australian. I have what's basically a "deaf accent". Yes I did get speech therapy growing up to work on it. This IS the improved result.
No, I don't use hearing aids but I do have a similar device that's helpful in noisy situations. It helps reduce background noise. What helps more is talking in a quiet place, with you facing me so I can see your lips.
Yes, I do block all incoming phone calls. Phone calls are very difficult. We have a few great workarounds:
- Use text, it's great!
- Tee up a video call or a face to face meeting
- Call me through the National Relay Service (1300 553 467). The NRS is basically an interpreter service so you can talk as usual on the phone and they'll handle typing in text to me. It's cool, try it :)
No I don't speak "sign language". I do hope to add Auslan to my repertoire, partly to become more inclusive myself.