Today’s blog introduces our new guest blogger, Louise Goldsmith. We are so pleased to be working with Louise to raise further awareness of the barriers faced by Deaf people as well as learning from her lived experiences to bring you relevant content on various aspects of life in the Deaf community. 

Hello! This is my first post on the Clarion UK blog and I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Louise, I am 25 and a Deaf Awareness advocate, known on social media as, ‘Louise Deaf Awareness’. I like to write blogs, create videos, and generally raise awareness of those deaf in the community.

August 2020, marks six years of my advocacy work! In that time, I have achieved so much; I have been a guest on BBC Radio Suffolk, been interviewed on BBC News – Look East, won a regional award for my passionate advocacy, worked with some well-known organisations to help promote new products and so much more! My younger self, would be surprised at how much a deaf person can achieve.

I created my Twitter account in August 2014. It was a safe place for me to rant about my struggles in life, as a young deaf person. As my following increased dramatically, I had no idea that people were beginning to relate to my regular ‘rants’, understanding where I was coming from. This is where I believe I found my ‘true calling’ and so I decided to raise awareness and become a role model for those who needed one to look up to. I had no-one to look up to when I was younger and so I felt alienated in the hearing world. It is a big and scary world for a deaf person and one which I craved support and guidance.

My mission for my advocacy work is to create a voice for those deaf people who need it. Someone to help and encourage them to speak up and so I blog, create videos, use major social platforms like Twitter and Instagram to publicise my experiences therefore raising awareness of the struggles that we face. I think it is important for me to inspire the younger generation to follow in my footsteps and show them that together we can do and achieve anything! The more D/deaf advocates we have working together, the more powerful we will become as a community.

I wanted to create change and play my part by helping make that happen. I struggled to find any D/deaf advocates online, so I thought, why not be the first and become one myself! Since then I have seen so many advocates inspired by my words of encouragement go on to create their own social media channels and Twitter accounts. The online Twitter D/deaf community was small when I joined but has grown dramatically, which is so amazing to see! 

When I started my advocacy work, I was a huge supporter of ‘Action on Hearing Loss’ and worked so hard raising over £2000 through several different fundraising events. I decided to donate this to their biomedical research sector which will hopefully help reduce social isolation for those with recently diagnosed hearing loss and help work towards new and innovative hearing devices.
A new and recent passion of mine is helping raise money for ‘Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’ and last summer I conquered my fear of heights and completed a tandem skydive raising £850 towards the charity. I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to help other deaf charities achieve their mission.

I really enjoy public speaking and making Deaf Awareness presentations to different organisations and any money I receive I donate to Action on Hearing Loss. I love educating people about hearing loss and seeing the positive impact it can have on them and those around them. I aim to tackle the common misconceptions, by referring to my experiences and have lost count of the amount of times people have said to me “you do not look deaf!”. I know they are trying to be polite, but it only fuels my eagerness to spread knowledge and positivity not only to the deaf community but also their supporters and wider family.

Check out my social media platforms to see more and let’s get started:

Instagram: @Louise_Deaf_Awareness
Twitter: @LouiseDeafAware
Facebook and YouTube: Louise Deaf Awareness.
Website: www.louisedeafawareness.com

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading my blogs!

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