I was a Donut King the other day. A young man was serving me (masks were mandatory at the time - sigh).
He asked me a question and I could not understand him. I asked him to repeat it, I still couldn’t understand. I explained that I was Deaf, needed to read lips and could he please remove his mask. He looked around in alarm at this request.
*Government policy states that when communicating with people who rely on lip patterns and facial expressions for communication, you are ‘allowed’ to remove your mask – just maintain the 1.5m distance.
A young co-worker sidled up to him, removed her mask, and then repeated the question. The rest of the transaction was seamless and painless.
As I walked away - with my milkshake and donut - I pondered on how much of a difference a little bit of awareness had made to that interaction, to my day. I was very grateful to this young ‘aware’ girl.
Others Deaf awareness can really have a positive impact in our (DHH people) day-to-day interactions.
As a Deaf person who has used, loved, and continued to learn Auslan throughout my life, it was when I started studying the Diploma of Auslan (Deaf cohort 2018) that I was awestruck by how beautifully complex Auslan is.