Travelling with Hearing Difficulties

#1 Sep 3rd, 2008, 05:42
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#1
Hi I am new to this forum but thought it looked like a great place to find out more about India and Delhi to be specific.
I am English currently living abroad, my husband has been asked if he will go to Delhi to work for 3 to 4 months come January and rag tag like I will go along .

Now I have always wanted to take a couple of weeks out to have a look at India but I never expected to go to live there and am a bit apprehensive about it especially as I am profoundly deaf but with great lip reading skills.

so what's it like?
should I give up and go somewhere else?

I am quite widely travelled and was a nurse up until last year when an accident left me disabled with a spine injury I can walk but not fast.

I worked in tropical medicine /infectious diseases so was instantly thinking Dengue, malaria etc nurses eh

so Hi everyone I hope I can make some friends here
#2 Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:05
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#2
Hello and welcome crone!

Don't worry about a thing, you'll be fine.
You might want to take at this website: http://www.samarthyam.org/
which is all about physically accessible sites in Delhi and India.

Are you a BSL user? One problem you might have is that, although largely based on BSL (I think), sign language in India is quite diverse. There's increasing consensus nowadays it seems, with the usual dialects here and there. The finger-spelling alphabet is the same as BSL I believe, which is something!

The question is- can you lip read someone with a thick Delhi accent?!

Have a look around the Moving to India and the Delhi forums- loads of info out there. If you can't see an answer feel free to start a thread with your question.
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#3 Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:14
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#3
India is not well-equipped for people with disabilities. How bad is your immobility?

You'll be visiting a country with few sidewalks, no handicapped washrooms and lots of stairs. But if you can manage it, it will pay you back many times over.
#4 Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:20
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#4
There are accessible washrooms, but you have to seek them out. Lemon Tree hotels have them (although since she'll be expat she won't need 'em), and the Samarthyam people are pushing for accessible transport and sights; in some cases successfully (Dilli Haat is wheelchair accessible, as is Raj Ghat, for example).

There are holiday companies specialising in India tours for wheelchair users, sign-language interpreters on TV, plus of course an enormous physically disabled population. It can be done.
#5 Sep 3rd, 2008, 07:22
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by karuna View Post Hello and welcome crone!

Don't worry about a thing, you'll be fine.
You might want to take at this website: http://www.samarthyam.org/
which is all about physically accessible sites in Delhi and India.

Are you a BSL user? One problem you might have is that, although largely based on BSL (I think), sign language in India is quite diverse. There's increasing consensus nowadays it seems, with the usual dialects here and there. The finger-spelling alphabet is the same as BSL I believe, which is something!

The question is- can you lip read someone with a thick Delhi accent?!

Have a look around the Moving to India and the Delhi forums- loads of info out there. If you can't see an answer feel free to start a thread with your question.
Hi and thanks
I know only basic bsl I was raised by oralists!! I think the accent will be difficult for me as Indian people tend to speak too quickly, however I am excellent at reading body language

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal2004 View Post India is not well-equipped for people with disabilities. How bad is your immobility?

You'll be visiting a country with few sidewalks, no handicapped washrooms and lots of stairs. But if you can mange it, it will pay you back many times over.
My immobility is more a case of being unable to walk distances I can get anywhere slowly in the case of steps very slowly I use a stick not a wheelchair,
thanks for taking the time to reply
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#6 Sep 3rd, 2008, 08:01
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by The crone View Post My immobility is more a case of being unable to walk distances I can get anywhere slowly
Rickshaws are plentiful and inexpensive, to help you get from place to place. You could probably have your hotel write down the name of your destination in the local language.

Good luck.
#7 Sep 6th, 2008, 07:05
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by hal2004 View Post Rickshaws are plentiful and inexpensive, to help you get from place to place. You could probably have your hotel write down the name of your destination in the local language.

Good luck.
good idea thanks a lot
#8 Sep 6th, 2008, 07:38
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#8
From one nurse to another, I can tell, you're going to have the time of your life! Don't pass up this one because of any physical stuff....you're clearly made of the right gritty nursey stuff to make this a real adventure.

Widely travelled and worked in tropical medicine /infectious diseases

You've knocked down most travellers' anxiety by just having a solid medical knowledge base.

Other hearing impaired folks have spoken up on IM over time, and to my knowledge, none of them said their impairment lessened their experience of being in India. Plus, you'll be living there, so some of the hassles can be reduced or at least kept more manageable. There is enough wonderfulness in Delhi and the immediate surroundings to keep you happy for quite awhile, and especially so if you find the place "clicks" with your nature
#9 Sep 6th, 2008, 14:42
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#9
Whilst it may be true that India is not hot on providing facilities to the disabled (let's face it, it is not hot on providing facilities to anyone!) I do notice that there seems to be more general acceptance here and less stupid prejudice.
~
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#10 Sep 8th, 2008, 02:56
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by The crone View Post Hi I am new to this forum...
welcome to indiamike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The crone View Post . . .I have always wanted to take a couple of weeks out to have a look at India but I never expected to go to live there and am a bit apprehensive about it especially as I am profoundly deaf but with great lip reading skills...should I give up and go somewhere else?
in a word, "no"! go to india!

i haven't posted in a long while, but one of the mods brought your post to my attention, and it seemed to warrant a login.

as a hearing-impaired traveler, i can well empathize with your apprehensions. (i was severely hearing impaired, progressively, over a lifetime, but now have two cochlear implants.) when i traveled to india, i had just one CI and was completely deaf in the other ear. CIs are great, but not so much when i travel--too many variables of cadence, emphasis and vocabulary. i was, for all intents and purposes, deaf.

despite the challenges, and the fact that i traveled alone, i nevertheless had a fabulous trip. there's no reason you wouldn't have an equally wonderful time in delhi, especially since you won't be entirely on your own.

you already know what communication challenges are like--you deal with them every day. your ability to roll with those punches is good preparation for india communication. in many ways, the challenges may be greater than you're used to--lip reading will be of much more limited value. on the other hand, those of us with hearing impairments have learned to rely much more heavily on non-verbal clues. sure, these can vary cross-culturally but, as a general matter, will serve you well. all the skills you've amassed to cope as a hearing-impaired person in an english-speaking world will also help you in an accented-english-speaking world.

the trick for me was preparation. those who were here on the board when i was planning my trip would think me obsessive--and i WAS! perhaps you can identify with that. if you know you'll be deprived of certain information streams (i.e., on on the ground in real-time), you develop others. for me, indiamike was that alternate stream, whether it was knowing exactly which way to go, what to expect, or how to "read" (or not) certain situations (e.g., learning how unreliable the indian head-wobble can be as a visual clue!)

another thing: i found people in india generally to be extraordinarily kind and generous, especially when i explained that i was "deaf." it's a highly cooperative culture, and everyone was willing to write things down, take me under their wing, and "solve" problems, large and small, communication-based or otherwise. it also helped to have made connections with people here, people i later met personally in india or called upon for assistance. you can too!

so, again, don't give up and go elsewhere--go to india!
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~Helen Keller [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
#11 Sep 8th, 2008, 03:06
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#11
another thought--you may garner more communication-related replies if you ask a mod to change the title of your thread to something more issue-specific.

mods?

as far as any mobility challenges, you can't go anywhere fast in india anyway, that is, unless you're in a car with bald tires on a hair-pin turn in the mountains!) so shuffling along at low-speed won't be a problem. however, you may be bumped and jostled more and the sidewalks (if there are any) can have craters and obstacles. if your balance is at issue, just be extra cautious.
#12 Sep 8th, 2008, 04:50
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#12
Hey, welcome to the site!

When I unexpectedly learned I had to travel to Delhi from England, I found this place an absolute godsend, no doubt you will find it equally useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The crone View Post I never expected to go to live there and am a bit apprehensive about it especially as I am profoundly deaf but with great lip reading skills.
Lip reading will definitely be harder, even people with 100% clarity of hearing find Indian accents a challenge.

But you know what? While my partner was at work, I ended up spending entire days wandering round and communicating with people who did not speak a word of English and it all worked out just fine. It seems that in India, a smile and gestures are worth any number of words.

I will be leaving Delhi at the end of November, but I hope to be back in February, so I'll meet you then and you can tell me how it's going!

P.S. At the risk of sounding flippant, at least your hearing impairment will make it easier for you to ignore some of the more insitent the demands on your attention!
#13 Sep 8th, 2008, 06:17
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylo View Post P.S. At the risk of sounding flippant, at least your hearing impairment will make it easier for you to ignore some of the more insitent the demands on your attention!
absolutely true! deafness + mirrored sunglasses = many more manageable experiences.
#14 Sep 9th, 2008, 09:04
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SitaParityaga View Post From one nurse to another, I can tell, you're going to have the time of your life! Don't pass up this one because of any physical stuff....you're clearly made of the right gritty nursey stuff to make this a real adventure.

Widely travelled and worked in tropical medicine /infectious diseases

You've knocked down most travellers' anxiety by just having a solid medical knowledge base.

Other hearing impaired folks have spoken up on IM over time, and to my knowledge, none of them said their impairment lessened their experience of being in India. Plus, you'll be living there, so some of the hassles can be reduced or at least kept more manageable. There is enough wonderfulness in Delhi and the immediate surroundings to keep you happy for quite awhile, and especially so if you find the place "clicks" with your nature
thanks a lot for the reply and hi to a fellow nurse lets hope I don't need my medical know how

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacita View Post welcome to indiamike!



in a word, "no"! go to india!

i haven't posted in a long while, but one of the mods brought your post to my attention, and it seemed to warrant a login.

as a hearing-impaired traveler, i can well empathize with your apprehensions. (i was severely hearing impaired, progressively, over a lifetime, but now have two cochlear implants.) when i traveled to india, i had just one CI and was completely deaf in the other ear. CIs are great, but not so much when i travel--too many variables of cadence, emphasis and vocabulary. i was, for all intents and purposes, deaf.

despite the challenges, and the fact that i traveled alone, i nevertheless had a fabulous trip. there's no reason you wouldn't have an equally wonderful time in delhi, especially since you won't be entirely on your own.

you already know what communication challenges are like--you deal with them every day. your ability to roll with those punches is good preparation for india communication. in many ways, the challenges may be greater than you're used to--lip reading will be of much more limited value. on the other hand, those of us with hearing impairments have learned to rely much more heavily on non-verbal clues. sure, these can vary cross-culturally but, as a general matter, will serve you well. all the skills you've amassed to cope as a hearing-impaired person in an english-speaking world will also help you in an accented-english-speaking world.

the trick for me was preparation. those who were here on the board when i was planning my trip would think me obsessive--and i WAS! perhaps you can identify with that. if you know you'll be deprived of certain information streams (i.e., on on the ground in real-time), you develop others. for me, indiamike was that alternate stream, whether it was knowing exactly which way to go, what to expect, or how to "read" (or not) certain situations (e.g., learning how unreliable the indian head-wobble can be as a visual clue!)

another thing: i found people in india generally to be extraordinarily kind and generous, especially when i explained that i was "deaf." it's a highly cooperative culture, and everyone was willing to write things down, take me under their wing, and "solve" problems, large and small, communication-based or otherwise. it also helped to have made connections with people here, people i later met personally in india or called upon for assistance. you can too!

so, again, don't give up and go elsewhere--go to india!
Hi and thanks a lot for coming on here and giving me such helpful advice , yes i am slightly obsessive in preparing myself for places I joined 3 forums to research our move here to Australia
I am profoundly deaf with very little hearing so my lip reading skills are excellent as a nurse working in acute medicine they have to be
I was hoping to meet other Delhi bound or Delhi resident people so I look forward to meeting you all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylo View Post Hey, welcome to the site!

When I unexpectedly learned I had to travel to Delhi from England, I found this place an absolute godsend, no doubt you will find it equally useful.

Lip reading will definitely be harder, even people with 100% clarity of hearing find Indian accents a challenge.

But you know what? While my partner was at work, I ended up spending entire days wandering round and communicating with people who did not speak a word of English and it all worked out just fine. It seems that in India, a smile and gestures are worth any number of words.

I will be leaving Delhi at the end of November, but I hope to be back in February, so I'll meet you then and you can tell me how it's going!

P.S. At the risk of sounding flippant, at least your hearing impairment will make it easier for you to ignore some of the more insitent the demands on your attention!
I look forward to meeting you, I wondered if being deaf might be an asset in a way after reading some of the stories on here
#15 Sep 9th, 2008, 10:04
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  • Hal is offline
#15
I just wanted to say that your avatar is both frightening and funny. (although I suppose many people think that of mine)

Deafness will also come in handy if you are invited to an IM Meetup.

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