Jam Ears

“Is it contagious”
“Will you also lose your hearing”
“Does it skip a generation”
“Can it be fixed”
“Is sign language different for each language e.g. do you get Xhosa sign language or Afrikaans sign language”

I answered most of these questions as best as I could in a way that would be understandable without the medical jargon. Hearing loss is after all very complex!

This, part of the brief meeting I had with an organisation who’ve come on board to help me raise awareness about hearing loss through technology.

I briefly described what it is that Decibels of Love is about and shared some of the features that were published in the Cape Times in 2014. The first image I took out was that of my son and dad on the cover of the Health Times.

The person I met with looked at me a bit bewildered. Embarrassed to learn that it is my father whom he mock as a youngster, referring to him as “jam ears” many years ago!

This young man went from mocking a person with hearing loss, to wanting to help spread awareness and educate the greater public about Decibels of Love and empower families through access to hearing loss information.

Sitting next to him, it amazed me that such a creative young man, once mocked those living with difference. It also inspired me to hear him “own up” to his ignorance, admitting to how very little he knows about hearing loss and the embarassment of mocking people with hearing loss. Words coated in ignorance that can never be taken back…

My message to him; communication is one of the biggest challenges in this world, hearing loss or no hearing loss. Often we say things without giving our words any thought. We speak from a place of ignorance and our actions and words disable those around us who are perfectly able … in a different way …

My son and father live with hearing loss, but that in no way makes them any lesser of a person than you and me.