Angelina Anita Ama Annobil Shares Her Story;
My hearing challenge got worse during my early secondary school years. I could hardly hear anyone and struggled to keep up with what my teachers were saying. My parents got concerned and I went through several tests.
That is when my “savior” came in, the hearing aids. I had visited the hearing center just at the time where an NGO was giving out free hearing aids.
I made it through Senior high school and furthered to the University, I had several problems with the hearing aids while studying, also at a point I felt I was way better hearing, but it wasn’t. I relied mostly on slides shared by lecturers to learn on my own. My close friends knew me for not attending lectures often, aside my volunteering work,it was mostly because I could hardly hear anything in class though I always made it a point to be at the front seat.
Currently, I am pursuing my masters program and it is even worse, my undergraduate was better because then, I could sometimes rely on the hearing aids when they functioned. For now, the aids are totally damaged and I may wait forever for another donation or when I can afford one.
COVID-19 presented the worst experience. I sometimes do lip-reading, not so perfect but manageable. During COVID where everyone was in masks and me not have any hearing aids, I just wanted to avoid conversations.
My supervisor at the University of Ghana Business school was super considerate during my national service.
During job hunting, an employer mentioned to my face they couldn’t pick me because of my impaired hearing. Surprisingly I wasn’t down, I was just sorry they had lost great talent because they do not promote inclusivity and diversity. Somehow, currently, I have grown scared of onsite interviews, since I cannot communicate fluently without aids, I end up asking for repetitions and that makes me so nervous.
The thing is, lots of people are not making efforts to break into things they want or wish for themselves because of their struggles, or a natural inability because you are a person living with a disability. Today I just want you to look inside for the value you can offer, and be inspired by the likes of people like Nana Efua Bedwei who have achieved so much for themselves and did not resort to begging. Personally, I am my own inspiration, I see how much I push myself not to rely on a mere excuse that I can hardly hear. I like how Farida puts it during our Baobab summit in 2018, “we are considered disabled because the majority of the world’s population have a positive body functionality. But if a majority of the population were rather persons living with disability, y’all will be called disabled”
If you are a person not living with any sort of disability, please be kind and support us. You can be our ears, our eyes, our nose, our hands, our whatever is not physically present, and equally see us for the value we can bring to the table!
This message will get another sermon from Daddy, but I had to share!