Tasman Leader : August 15th 2013
10 THE TASMAN LEADER, AUGUST 15, 2013 NEWS 5556275AA P P Prrriiic c ce e e One day of hearing loss a real challenge By JUDENE EDGAR My busy world fell sud- denly silent last Friday when I joined 43 natio- nal corporate and community leaders in a silent leadership challenge which raised more than $55,000 for those with a hearing impairment. The day involved wearing ear protectors to simulate hearing impairment and undertaking four challenges -- a group meet- ing, a one-on-one meeting, a social occasion and watching TV. The day started with a school group meeting where I found myself constantly turning to face the speaker. Facing people when listening to them made an amazing differ- ence; it s not as though I could suddenly read lips, but it made a very real difference in my ability to follow and understand. Walking to the council s Rich- mond offices to pay a bill I could feel the vibrations of walking up through my body as I moved in total silence. I could feel every time the footpath surface changed under- foot. I would be startled when someone suddenly rushed past me from behind, brushing past me. Crossing the street was an exercise in vigilance. Conversing over lunch with a soft-spoken friend at a roadside cafe table was basically imposs- ible and I found myself leaning in closer and closer and in the end took the headsets off when I felt that she was becoming inap- propriately close! My one-on-one meeting was difficult, with the other party talking quickly without much mouth movement. I found it very hard to keep up with him and I felt like I couldn t highlight my impair- ment continually. A sense of embarrassment must happen frequently for people with a hearing impairment, especially in group settings. My second social occasion was at a large open venue with a lot of people, where I found it very difficult to differentiate the voice of the person I was listening to. I would imagine that you could end up becoming quite socially isolated as these group situations could become quite exhausting and frustrating to attend. Home at last, I sat to watch television news but constantly had to turn the set up to hear all the variances in the voices. When my husband got home and I took the headsets off I found myself deafened by the volume. We couldn t be in the same room to watch TV. The day was an eye-opening (or ear-opening) experience and well worth the inconvenience. Arts in the sun Community art: Summerset in the Sun residents -- leather work artist Rob Milner (rear) with ( from left) painter Pamela Banks, Mary Milner and painter Irene Ford. Photo: MARRIT WALSTRA Artistic Summerset in the Sun residents staged an inspiring August Art Month exhibition at the community s clubhouse. Art work made by residents decked the clubhouse walls and filled tables and display stands with works. Among the plethora of pieces were paintings, wood turning, card making, leather work, character dolls and even a hand- made classic car. Activities co-ordinator Marrit Walstra discovered the depth of artistic talent within the village which was crying out to be enjoyed by others. She hoped the exhibition would become an annual Summerset event.
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August 22nd 2013