Hearing journalist spends a day with a Deaf family

Guardian reporter Sam Wollaston spends a day with the Woolfe family. He is hearing and the Woolfe family – Ramon and Louise and their three children: Jasper, Layla and Spencer – are all deaf.

The article starts:

I should have been prepared for it, I suppose – the silence. But it strikes me immediately. And, to begin with, I find it difficult. Here is a family behaving exactly as every other family in the country behaves every morning – having breakfast, getting ready for school, putting the wrong shoes on the wrong feet, not wanting to put coats on. But someone has hit the mute button, and it is all happening in silence.

Well, not quite. After a while other, non-conversation sounds – the hum of the fridge, birdsong outside, the crunch of cereal being munched – begin to emerge out of what I originally mistook for silence. All that is missing is the conversation, the talking, whining, yelling etc that normally goes with such a family situation. It is like a song with the lyrics removed.

Of course, there is exactly the same kind of conversation going on as any other family would have every morning. It’s just that the words are being signed instead of spoken verbally. I don’t know sign language, though. That is why I am here: I don’t really know any deaf people, have never been exposed to deaf culture. I am in at the deep end, the deep end being a smart house on a new development on the edge of Swindon.

Read it in full on The Guardian.

I really like this article. I love the way Sam starts to appreciate the quiet in the Woolfe household. It’s also interesting that, despite Ramon and Louise’s best efforts, Sam starts to feel isolated because he can’t understand BSL – “Oi! Hello? Hearing people like to know what’s going on too“, great quote and I’m sure many of you know exactly what he feels, I know I do.

Buy Your Hearing Aid Supplies in Our Online Shop

Rayovac Extra MF Size 10 Hearing Aid Batteries

All Makes of Hearing Aid Batteries

All makes and sizes of hearing aid batteries available online in our shop. Rayovac, Duracell, Powerone and more, easy online purchase delivered to your door

Widex Com DEX Mobile Phone Streamer

Wireless Accessories For Hearing Aids

Wireless accessories for every hearing aid. We stock the latest and best in wireless add-ons for your Phonak, Widex, Oticon, GN ReSound, Siemens, Starkey or Unitron hearing aids.

Amplicomms Powertel 30 Corded Phone

Phones For People With Hearing Loss

Talking on the phone can be difficult if you have a hearing loss - a phone designed specifically for the hard of hearing could help to make it easier.