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Nine Reasons Why Being Deaf Isn't That Bad, Honest

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Now, being deaf is a pretty big burden myself and 10million people in the UK share. It's not exactly puppies and rainbows...

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Indeed a goal of the charity Action on Hearing Loss is to "reach those who do not realise how isolating hearing loss can be." The flipside though, is that every cloud has a silver lining. Nine silver linings, to be precise.

1) You get free tube travel

If you live in a London borough, you can get a Freedom Pass, which entitles you to free bus and tube travel all around London. Cheers Boris! You won't however, be able to get a blue badge, which would be really handy for parking wherever you want. A quick check with the council will confirm "Bog off, there's nothing wrong with your legs".

2) Old people like you

With your hearing aids and bus pass, you're one of them! Why not gatecrash the local septuagenarian's night at the bingo and hang out with Mavis and Tabitha? If the security guard looks at you suspiciously, just blame your youthful looks on the latest miracle face cream.

3) Selective hearing

This is best exemplified by the classic Irish priest comedy, Father Ted:

Father Ted: The Passion of Saint Tibulus (1995)

Father Ted: What's that you're looking at, Father?"
Father Jack Hackett: What?
Father Ted: Is that a film?
Father Jack Hackett: What?
Father Ted: Isn't that Kiefer Sutherland?
Father Jack Hackett: WHAT?
Father Ted: Is that Flatliners you are watching?
Father Jack Hackett: WHAT?
Father Jose Fernandez: Is Father Jack a little short of hearing?
Father Jack Hackett: WHAT?
Father Ted: To be honest, he can hear quite well when he wants to. Watch this...
Father Ted: Father Jack, would you like a brandy?
Father Jack Hackett: Yes.

Fabulous. So, Granny wants you to go to weekday Mass? No, no, you didn't hear that. The cat needs feeding? Bins need putting out? Dog needs walking? Just stare at your smartphone like a disaffected teen and tune it out, whistling nonchalantly. However, if there's any mention of free food or drink, a la Father Ted, remember to immediately tune back in.

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4) You make a really good housemate

If your housemates want to have a raging party, listen to drum and bass until 2am, or wander round slamming doors, that's all right. You'll sleep like a baby and never have any domestic disputes. I wonder if estate agents do cheap rents on flash houses nobody wants to live in, because it's next door to a nightclub or motorway? I must look into that.

5) Snoring doesn't bother you

You'll come across people complaining about their partners who snore. "Christ, he'll be snoring like a drain, don't give him any more wine!" Walk past all the anti-snoring devices in Boots, an array of tapes, syrups and nose strips and smile smugly as you know this will never, ever be an issue. There could be a live chainsaw roaring next to you and it'd be fine. Bit dangerous though.

6) You get discounted entry to attractions

Fed up with Alton Tower's entry prices? Introduce yourself to the world of disabled concessions. Tie your hair back so your hearing aids are on display, stride up confidently to the ticket booth and announce you'd like a disabled entry please, and half price for your 'carer' friend. If you have one of those flashcards from your audiologist saying 'I am hard of hearing, please speak slowly', wave it around for good measure. What's the ticket clerk going to do? They're not going to argue deafness isn't a disability are they? (Try it and lose, buddy) Receive your discounted tickets. Enter park. Have a great day. RESULT.

7) Rail travel is always 1/3 off

Over 25? Has your young persons railcard run out? No problem, simply avail yourself of the Disabled Person's railcard at 1/3 off, and take up to two friends with you at 1/3 off as well (watch all your over 25 buddies clamour to travel with you) Even better, why not splash out on an First Class Advance ticket with the savings you make? Sit in palatial first class, drinking free tea with dim lighting and a lovely lady offering you more biscuits. Look how happy this man is! This could be you.

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8) Working Tax Credits

If you're lowly paid, and qualified for these, then the lovely Government (not two words you often see together) will give you more tax credits, just for being deaf! If there ever was a time to be as disabled as you possibly can, this is it. Thanks, Mr Cameron!

9) You have an 'Off' button

Problems such as barking dogs, roaring traffic and screaming babies can be switched off in a second. I'm positively drooling with anticipation for the day I get a long haul aeroplane flight with a screaming baby. I'll be able to rescue my fellow passengers sitting with their fingers in their ears by announcing "Lovely seat, I'll sit here". I can willingly plonk myself next to said screaming baby, turn my hearing aids off, recline my seat and commence sleeping to the envy of the whole plane. Bliss.

See? Sometimes everything really will be okay.

Around the Web

What benefits are available? - Action On Hearing Loss: RNID

BBC News - See Hear: Are deaf people being let down in hospitals?

Liz Jones says 'I'm deaf but that's no reason to treat me like a cloth ...

Hearing loss - Symptoms - NHS Choices

Deaf Mental Health Charter - SignHealth

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