D13 was born with the ability to hear, but an illness at a young age resulted in his deafness. D13 is now a carpenter at a furniture company, but he has concerns about receiving the support he needs to establish his own business. Below are his reflections on the experience of hearing loss.
“When [my illness] happened, my parents took me to the hospital for medical check-ups.[…] I was not sent to prayer camps.”
“I attended normal school with my friends until I became deaf[…]. [L]ater I was enrolled into the School for the Deaf. I completed Junior High School but could not enter Senior High School because I failed my exams.”
“[Because] our teachers taught us by speech and I could hear my teacher’s voice a bit but my mates couldn’t, […] after lessons all my mates would come to me and ask me to help them. In the past we had more hearing teachers but there are more deaf teachers presently.”
“I have siblings who are hearing. Our parents’ attitude towards us has been the same. In the family there’s no preferential treatment. […However,] the family does not involve me in family affairs.”
“Being deaf, I feel that I cannot hear when my friends talk, but I try to listen at times by reading lips[…]. I really want to hear again so that I can communicate by speech.”
“I attend the hospital often. It’s all fine. More deaf people can go to the hospital but there are no deaf doctors. The challenge I faced in the hospital is whenever I went there I would sit for long hours – I could not hear if my name was called[…]. There are not interpreters in the hospital.”
“[The a]ttitude of people towards the deaf is better today than as happened in the past. […Yet] a lot of people are focused on helping persons who are blind and those with physical disabilities. The attention received by deaf people is not welcoming. Disabled people […] get information faster than us. When there is something to share among all disabled people, they will be the first […]. They always inform the deaf late. Treatment is not the same.”