I recently attended the disability forum at the local council. This really opened my mind up to other people's difficulties when coping with various disabilities.
I nearly didn't attend as I have felt so tired since the operation on the 4th March but I pushed myself to go and I am glad I did.
There were several people with hearing loss and they were explaining the difficulties they have when using taxis. When looking at my own experience of using taxis I could understand their difficulties. More often than not a taxi firm will telephone the number that has booked them to let them know the car is about to approach the customer. When the car does arrive the driver (not always) will sound his horn. Think of this from someone who is deaf - how can they hear the telephone ring or the sound of the horn? The solution is for taxi drivers to text customers that they are arriving this way they will feel their mobile phone vibrate and know that the taxi is approaching.
To inform a taxi driver where they are going there needs to be a card system which the customer can write on to let the taxi know where they wish to be taken and can ask how much the fare is. The driver then would write on the card letting the customer know that he has understood their instructions and how much the fare is.
I also found a deaf lady who has had similar surgery to myself and wishes to go swimming. This will mean an interpreter will have to attend the swimming sessions but that is not a problem as I have a friend who has learnt British Sign Language and is willing to help with this issue.
I wish I had been taught British Sign Language at school that way there would not be the barrier there is for deaf people to be understood. It would have also made me more aware of their needs and how to help overcome their difficulties coping with such a disability.
I am so lucky in so many ways.
I have wonderful friends and various skills I can utilise to help others.
Best wishes to everyone.