Tel: 01744 23887
I’m Melody, I’m 16 and live with my mum, dad and sister in Merseyside. I was born with a hearing impairment and I’m not sure why. I have moderate, Sensorineural hearing loss and I use two hearing aids. I’m the only deaf person in my family!
At school I find it hard to understand others, teachers as well as classmates. I do miss out on a lot of information in class and have to concentrate harder than other people. I’ve got a close group of friends though I’m the only one who is deaf. My school has other students with a hearing loss but they are not the same age as me. We don’t share any classes together and hardly see each other.
People can sometimes be impatient with me and use my deafness as a joke to wind me up. I find it difficult to understand people in conversations and sometimes I pretend I know what’s being said. I have to use subtitles to watch TV which can annoy my family who find it distracting whist watching programs. My family sometimes have to phone me when I’m in different rooms of our house as I can’t hear them shouting my name! I rely on my hearing aids, but even with hearing aids things like traffic can be dangerous as I can’t hear where the cars are coming from.
I met Darcy at The Deafness Resource Centre at the Thursday afterschool Group. Darcy makes me laugh, she’s always positive about everything. She has lots of ideas and she’s very creative. We like doing the same things, watching the same films and listening to the same music. We go to different schools so it’s great to meet her at the centre.
I’ve been going to the group for about a year now. The sessions are great. There are loads of activities that interest me, we are asked about what we want to do and help with the planning too. It’s nice to do things with others who have a hearing impairment like me. I have made a lot of new friends since starting here who understand me and like the same things that I do. The staff are nice and they make me laugh!
People without a hearing impairment often ask me about the differences between deaf and Deaf. A Deaf person, with a capital ‘D’ is a British Sign Language user and has had a severe hearing loss. They are involved heavily in the Deaf community and have a culture of their own. A deaf person might not be as deaf and is more a part of the wider community.
When I’m older I want to go to college to study A Level English Language & Literature, Maths, Psychology and Biology and then go on to University. My dream job is to be a Criminal Psychologist.
I have more confidence now, more friends and have learned new skills. I communicate verbally as it’s sometimes hard to rely on lip-reading, but since coming to the centre I can now use some BSL (British Sign Language) and gestures to communicate with friends to have private conversations so other people can’t hear me.