anyone who's mute have negative experiences from people? — Scope | Disability forum
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anyone who's mute have negative experiences from people?

ihatecorona
ihatecorona Member Posts: 5 Connected
Hey guys, first off. I'm not disabled, I originally joined last year to ask a question about benefits during lockdown (no longer on it as it was just due to the massive disruption last year) , something people here have a lot of experience about. However, recently I have had some problems with my throat, I hope it will get better soon, but right now it's bad enough to the point where I am just not even trying to speak. 

However, I still have to work. so I have downloaded an app for the phone that helps speech impaired people. it can read what I can and show the other person in big letters. it also has preset phrases that I can reconfigure, like thank you, sorry, yes , no etc. 

I've found that most people are ok once they twig the voice coming out someone elses phone is speaking to them and understand the first thing I "say" which is that, apologies but I'm temporarily having trouble with my throat. However I've had quite a few significantly negative experiences where people refuse to believe whatever I display on my phone, until they physically hear me trying to speak, badly and in pain. The other common responses I've had is being dismissive of the fact that I can understand English at all (as I'm ethnic) or that I've got covid (I do not, I'm just ethnic), leading me to having preconfigure responses to those complaints through the app to save time. 

I'm wondering, do mute people in general, or those who are significantly speech impaired but don't "look it" also get negative reactions from people? or is it the fact that I'm ethnic that's leading to some or most of the negative reactions I've had. 

Comments

  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 4,651 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ihatecorona I can see it being a challenge as I had problems with my throat once, I found people didn't know how to react back that put them off. I didn't have any apps to use. I think when it's out side the norm, shall we say, some people don't know what to do. 
    Have you approached your gp? To get to the bottom of it. Hopefully it heals up soon. 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,477 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ihatecorona - I would guess that no-one would know if a person had a speech impairment to be honest, as this is not 'visible.' Due to my problems I occasionally get very hoarse; stress worsens this, & sometimes I have to tell family, or friends it's becoming difficult, so need to stop a phone call, which they understand.
    It must be different in the workplace, tho it's great that most understand, but there will likely always be a few who do not. I'm sorry that some have made this an issue about your ethnicity (or even mention Covid), but sadly there may always be those who don't understand, & have their own pre-conceived ideas about any disability, especially 'invisible' disorders, which many people have.
    Do you think your issues would be better discussed with someone at management level, or HR? This seems to be some racial discrimination perhaps, but perhaps also some misunderstanding about a disability in general (& having a problem speaking can be that), & its impact. My best wishes, & do kindly let us know how you get on. :)
  • ihatecorona
    ihatecorona Member Posts: 5 Connected
    edited September 2021
    chiarieds said:
    Hi @ihatecorona - I would guess that no-one would know if a person had a speech impairment to be honest, as this is not 'visible.' Due to my problems I occasionally get very hoarse; stress worsens this, & sometimes I have to tell family, or friends it's becoming difficult, so need to stop a phone call, which they understand.
    It must be different in the workplace, tho it's great that most understand, but there will likely always be a few who do not. I'm sorry that some have made this an issue about your ethnicity (or even mention Covid), but sadly there may always be those who don't understand, & have their own pre-conceived ideas about any disability, especially 'invisible' disorders, which many people have.
    Do you think your issues would be better discussed with someone at management level, or HR? This seems to be some racial discrimination perhaps, but perhaps also some misunderstanding about a disability in general (& having a problem speaking can be that), & its impact. My best wishes, & do kindly let us know how you get on. :)
    thanks for your wishes, but it's not negative reactions from colleagues but customers, as I'm public facing. Its not a work place discrimination issue. My job is mostly not very complicated, which is why I am still able to do it armed with a smartphone app with a bunch of preset phrases. 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,477 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for saying it's not a problem with your colleagues, rather customers, & apologies for my misunderstanding. My eldest daughter has just changed jobs from being a travel agent for 10+ years (not the best job recently) to doing online calls for a well-known bank. She's had lovely customers, & the odd few who were not. Despite the fact you're overcoming your hopefully temporary problems with your smartphone app, do let your management team know of any difficulties you're facing; that's what they're there for. However, it seems you've found a way of coping, so good for you.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,780 Disability Gamechanger
    I can't speak much, partly due to anxiety, partly due to throat problems, and it's highly likely I'm on the autistic spectrum as well.  It's one of the biggest barriers I face in life.  It feels as if the whole world is set up for speech, even though we live in the age of the internet.  

    The worst places for this are the medical system and the benefits system...both services that you would assume deal with this sort of thing fairly regularly, even though it's not that common overall.

    With other things, I try to do everything by email...  But what I find annoying is that if I have to meet someone after explaining everything via email, they appear to have either ignored it or forgotten it by the time I see them!!  If I could tell them in person, I wouldn't sent such a detailed email in the first place.  :|

    I also find that it is not recorded anywhere on the customer database, so I have to keep explaining over & over again each time within the same company or service.

    I also get frustrated with any sales & lettings places that list an email contact form, to which I explain that I can't speak and ask a specific, detailed question, just to receive a response of 'thanks for your message, call us on XXXXX'...  Argh!! :angry:

    I'm not able to work so don't have many face to face interactions with people.  People probably think I'm just weird or rude if they say 'hello' or 'sorry' or anything when I'm out walking or in a shop as I just try to give them a smile or a nod in response.  I do also look a bit Eastern European so I have wondered if any just assume I don't speak English.


  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 6,422 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2021
    When I was young I had selective mutism,some people can’t speak to adults but  in my case I couldn’t speak to my peers. School was hell and most people thought I was weird but inside me was a normal boy locked away. I couldn’t even answer questions in class or ask questions and so my education was damaged. Even my cousins thought I was mad as I just could not speak to them. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. 

    in those days even if the teachers had noticed nothing much would’ve been done but really I needed to see a child psychologist. Even at my advanced age I still have the odd moment when I just can’t speak, it depends on the people around me, thankfully it’s rare.

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Member Posts: 409 Pioneering
    edited September 2021
    Yes i would say it's a big issue!  My son has athetoid CP and no speech so uses AAC (alternative and augmentative communication) including an electronic communication aid and a spelling chart.  Invariably the general populus a) don't speak to him they speak to his PA b) when he uses his communication aid they just don't "get" what it says" c) they do not connect what comes out of it, with him, and so on.  There is a fairly new scheme called Communication Access UK (CAUK) which is offering training to businesses of all kinds in how to interact with communication impaired people. https://communication-access.co.uk/
    There is also lots more info about non-speech communication here https://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/



  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 6,422 Disability Gamechanger
    Forgot to say, most peers thought I was dim or weird because I couldn’t speak.

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • ihatecorona
    ihatecorona Member Posts: 5 Connected
    chiarieds said:
    Thank you for saying it's not a problem with your colleagues, rather customers, & apologies for my misunderstanding. My eldest daughter has just changed jobs from being a travel agent for 10+ years (not the best job recently) to doing online calls for a well-known bank. She's had lovely customers, & the odd few who were not. Despite the fact you're overcoming your hopefully temporary problems with your smartphone app, do let your management team know of any difficulties you're facing; that's what they're there for. However, it seems you've found a way of coping, so good for you.
    I'm going to be forced to take some time off work now. Following a customer complaint that I was being "creepy", management said I wasn't allowed to keep using text to speech to read out phrases. 

    The complaint from Karen was that it was creepy because the phone's voice was female and I was a man. She didn't elaborate further on how the default voice of mobiles is creepy when used by half the population. 

    Management said I could still continue but only show the phrases on my phone, but it's basically untenable. People don't read, don't want to, can't etc. Over half the people assume I can't understand any English at all and mutter darkly to themselves or friends. Like last year when people thought I had covid because I wore a mask. Now because I'm having trouble speaking , they both think I don't understand English and I have covid.

    Literally cannot win. 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,780 Disability Gamechanger
    chiarieds said:
    Thank you for saying it's not a problem with your colleagues, rather customers, & apologies for my misunderstanding. My eldest daughter has just changed jobs from being a travel agent for 10+ years (not the best job recently) to doing online calls for a well-known bank. She's had lovely customers, & the odd few who were not. Despite the fact you're overcoming your hopefully temporary problems with your smartphone app, do let your management team know of any difficulties you're facing; that's what they're there for. However, it seems you've found a way of coping, so good for you.
    I'm going to be forced to take some time off work now. Following a customer complaint that I was being "creepy", management said I wasn't allowed to keep using text to speech to read out phrases. 

    The complaint from Karen was that it was creepy because the phone's voice was female and I was a man. She didn't elaborate further on how the default voice of mobiles is creepy when used by half the population. 

    Management said I could still continue but only show the phrases on my phone, but it's basically untenable. People don't read, don't want to, can't etc. Over half the people assume I can't understand any English at all and mutter darkly to themselves or friends. Like last year when people thought I had covid because I wore a mask. Now because I'm having trouble speaking , they both think I don't understand English and I have covid.

    Literally cannot win. 
    Would there be a non customer facing role at your current workplace that you could change to for now?  I know you shouldn't have to but just thinking it might be an option.

    That's an interesting complaint tbh...I wonder if they make the same complaint about trans people...  
  • ihatecorona
    ihatecorona Member Posts: 5 Connected
    edited September 2021
    To put it differently, I certainly don't live in Bristol or Brighton. Not that I'm trans. But I did serve a trans customer and their cousin once and they told me the reception from the public could also be quite frosty at times. 

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