Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Deaf Friendly Christmas!

Christmas... that time of year! Families gather together, celebrations, laughter, be merry...
Cosy nights in front of the fire, yummy food and being around the people you love. It's a sociable time of time of year for most people... 

On the other hand, some of us dread Christmas! I'm not saying I hate Christmas... I love it! But it can be a tiring and hard day for me being deaf. 

My Christmases are spent  around my family: parents, brother, grandparents (mums side), three cousins, auntie and uncle. Theres a lot of us in a room and it can get very loud and noisy at points! It can cause feelings of isolation and make me feel very down... yep! On a joyful and merry day I can feel absolutely rubbish. 
Unfortunately, that's a common feeling for most individuals who experience a severe-profound deafness like myself. Most people seem to assume that hearing aids 'fix' everything like a pair of glasses can 'fix' someone's sight (depending on the condition they suffer and severity).

So i decided to write some 'deafie tips' for you to consider this Christmas if you are spending it with a deafie like myself: 

1. LIPREADING: This is an important one, which is why it is going first. Most deaf people rely on lipreading. So consider how you can include us without isolating us even  more by making us  'stick out like a sore thumb'. A round table is pretty ideal for dinner time as it enables us  to see everyones faces with ease. But dont worry if you dont have a round table- you dont need to go out and buy one haha! Perhaps try seating us  in the centre of the table if it is rectangular. Please remember to face us and not turn away! This will make it easier to see everyones faces, in comparison to sitting at the end or in the corner, which will make it harder to see everyones faces. Also, keep the lights on so we can lip read. Yes, candles and low lighting creates a nice warm mood. But it frustrates us more if we cant lip read!

2. SIGN: If the deaf relative is familiar with sign language, it wouldnt hurt to learn a few simple signs to help include them! Or even use finger spelling! If not then make your own signs that are easy fo undetstand, for example, food, drink, tea (make a 't' sign) and coffee (make a 'c' sign). Simple thoughts like this can make a huge difference!

3. INCLUDE US: This could be something simple like giving us something to do, for example, putting the yorkshire puddings on the table. Or filling us in on the conversations. For example, if it is something rude (excuse me for this!) like your Nan fell asleep and farted and everyone laughed. It wouldnt do any harm to fill us in why everyone is laughing as its likely we didnt hear Nan farting! We would love to feel included in the moment! Another example, if the doorbell goes we might not hear it, it would be nice to le us know why the atmosphere has changed and why everyone is getting up from their chairs and stopped talking.

4. SUBTITLES: Ok, we know most people find them really annoying, but for one day you should put them opinions aside just to include your deaf friend/relative. We all love a bit of Christmas TV. It would be a shame to miss out due to lack of subtitles. Imagine how boring it must be to sit there for hours and not have a clue what is being said. And PLEASE for the love of god dont just turn up the volume full blast! This doesnt help! 

These are only a few of which came to mind. Although, there is SO much more one can do. Please, if you do get the chance, check out these useful websites as you can change someone's Christmas: 


Deaf Unity

Hearing Dogs UK



  1. I love that you are writing on how small changes can help the deaf community. Many times people don't understand what they can do. Please contact me at I'd like to speak to you more about this.

  2. Hi there! I'm not sure if this is the right place to do this, so feel free to delete the comment. I just wanted to say I came across your twitter and noticed that you were considering taking down your page because of some hurtful comments.

    First, your feelings are totally valid and you have every right to want to retreat a bit. Putting yourself out there is so hard, and when you are talking about things that are both serious and personal, you should expect to be listened to and embraced for it not hurt. I hate that anyone said negative things, especially if you were trying to make a point that was important to you.

    Second, I would encourage you to take a short break and then get back at blogging. The world needs your perspective. I'm not deaf but I find your insights helpful and informative. I think you are making a bigger positive impact than you know, and you should be proud of that. However, if you choose to take down the page that is ok too, you need to take care of yourself first. Hateful comments should never be part of your day.

    Stay positive, you ARE inspiring!