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Why I am learning BSL

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I'm learning BSL for myself and to be able to communicate with others in a similar situation.

I've grown up deaf - I had 2 grommets operations as a child and was told to start wearing HA until I grew out of my condition (approx 18 months)... Fast forward 12 years and they realised I also had a deteriorating sensorineural condition, so my hearing gets progressively worse. I wear bilateral hearing aids and increasingly rely on lip reading, but it's not always possible, especially with the current mask wearing, and frankly it's exhausting. I'm 'lucky' in that I can talk and communicate well, and I'm intelligent so I've found ways of adapting, meaning I often get told I "'don't seem deaf" (whatever that means!). Although I'm grateful to not be treated as incapable, this attitude makes it so hard for me to actually be myself around people, I always have to work to hear and it can be really difficult when people don't understand that I actually do struggle.

So I'm learning BSL in the hope of being able to communicate with more people, to make my own life easier for those days that I don't have the energy to try to hear and lip read, and to make the world that bit more accessible for so many people.

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