As a deaf person, I have experience with issues faced within the deaf community. Oftentimes, our disability is perceived by others as a sad inconvenience. I decided to use my experience with this disability and do an open brief.
Concept: Deaf people are always hearing the negative aspects of deafness, including myself. I want to focus on the positive aspects to having this disability because there’s always an upside.
Solution: Visually communicate to deaf children, aged 6-10, the positive aspects of having this disability in a format that is only accessible to people with hearing aids. Removing the stigma of hearing loss for young children will help encourage a positive outlook in their adult years.
My idea is to use the loop system that is accessible to people when they turn the t-switch on their hearing aids where they can hear audio, whereas hearing people can’t. This is a universal sign for a place with a loop system to help hearing aid users hear better. I thought the best place for this idea to work would be the audiology waiting room as deaf children visit there numerous times throughout the year for hearing aid check ups. To pique the child’s interest, the sign is bright and says there’s secret info. The loop system plays a secret message that is only accessible if you switch your hearing aid to the t-coil setting. The secret message directs them to the receptionist who the child has to give a secret word to access the top secret info.
This book aims to give deaf children a confidence boost, especially if the child has no deaf friends or is part of a hearing family, where 90% of deaf children actually come from. It is only for them, and children respond positively towards feeling chosen and important.
I've designed the book to be simple and easy for young readers instead of a high-spec Mission Impossible file.
I use my, and other deaf people's, experiences growing up to create this book and celebrate something that is part of your identity.
The hacks are things that only people with hearing aids can get away with, like eavesdropping on the teacher's private conversations because he can hear the microphone. The book encourages children to be mischievous and playful, and use all tools at their disposal to exploit their youth and disability. After all, it's hard to get mad at children if they have a life-altering disability and don't realise they're doing anything wrong.
The book teaches everything the child needs to know. This book provides a feeling of pride and fortune that only they can experience. They are given the important task of keeping the hacks secret by only sharing with other deaf children.