Bombs. Terror. Acute stress. Anger. Grief. Fleeing for your life.
Added to this unimaginable horror taking place is the lack of essential supplies – including hearing aid/processor batteries and communication access for people who are deaf or need assistive technology to understand.
As a person with profound hearing loss and equally profound tinnitus, I can hardly guess at what a Ukrainian person with hearing loss is experiencing, right now. Without working assistive devices, I would understand little of what people are saying. Stress and the noise of bombs and destruction would ramp my tinnitus to the point of unbearableness. How possible would it be to calm myself through meditation, with my world being destroyed around me?
This war might not be our experience, but we are affected by it. How can we not? As people with hearing loss, let’s help those who need our help to hear and understand. Even though we may have already donated, there are specific organizations and funds that will get support and supplies to people with hearing loss affected by this war. The International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) and its European Federation have identified two sources for helping persons with hearing loss. You can give individually or have your local hearing loss association get in touch with IFHOH to donate.
- Hear without Borders Association fundraiser for hearing aid and speech processor batteries. Online fundraiser: Stowarzyszenie Słyszeć bez Granic – zbiórka charytatywna | Siepomaga.pl
- Deaf Kidz International has also set up a fundraiser and, in this context, deaf also includes others with hearing loss – https://deafkidzinternational.org/ukraine/
- The UN Refugee Agency requires urgent help to provide life-saving protection to families forced to flee their homes in Ukraine. Support https://www.unhcr.org/ or its donation site in your own country.
If you know of other hearing and communication supports being offered in Ukraine or to its refugees, please share them in a comment below.
Imagine being frightened and sick – and not being able to understand what people are saying. Let’s help.