Art for ev­ery­one

Peers in the Pier of­fers fun, ther­apy

Cape Breton Post - - COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS - Ros­alind Wright Ros­alind Wright is the re­gional man­ager of the So­ci­ety of Deaf and Hard of Hear­ing Nova Sco­tians, which is based in Syd­ney

With a huge thank you to the Cen­tral Cape Bre­ton Com­mu­nity Health Board, So­ci­ety of Deaf and Hard of Hear­ing Nova Sco­tians will be of­fer­ing a fun and cre­ative way for hard of hear­ing peo­ple in this re­gion to get to­gether.

The Peers in the Pier Art Ther­apy project was con­ceived to com­bine two of my com­mon in­ter­ests: my love for paint­ing and the need for peo­ple who share com­mon needs to come to­gether to help one an­other.

Peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­ence hear­ing loss have a dif­fi­cult time cop­ing with the me­chan­ics of their hear­ing loss, then they must ad­just and adapt to ex­ter­nal sounds and sit­u­a­tions that will fur­ther in­hibit their abil­ity to hear. On top of this, they must en­dure the daily frus­tra­tions of try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with fam­ily, friends, and other ac­quain­tances who do not have a full un­der­stand­ing of the in­tri­ca­cies of hear­ing loss and its phys­i­cal and so­cial af­fect on the per­son.

Hear­ing loss may mean more than sim­ply mak­ing sounds louder to hear. Of­ten turn­ing up the vol­ume or am­pli­fy­ing sounds or speech makes the sound worse. For peo­ple who have sen­sorineu­ral hear­ing loss, of­ten you may hear the per­son say, “I can hear you, but I don’t un­der­stand you.” The words sound jum­bled to­gether or gar­bled. Shout­ing or talk­ing louder only in­ten­si­fies the jum­bled sounds. Un­for­tu­nately, as we age, it is the higher fre­quen­cies that tend to be af­fected thus af­fect­ing speech sounds that can give mean­ing to the words we know or can make these words more dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from one an­other.

We have a de­sire to so­cial­ize with oth­ers, whether it be in groups, at small gath­er­ings, or in larger en­vi­ron­ments that can in­tro­duce noisy dis­trac­tions and com­pe­ti­tion. It is not un­com­mon for peo­ple with hear­ing loss to re­treat from out­ings, fam­ily gath­er­ings, and ac­tiv­i­ties that they once en­joyed.

So­ci­ety of Deaf and Hard of Hear­ing Nova Sco­tians un­der­stands the frus­tra­tions that you may be go­ing through. We in­vite you to join us in a re­lax­ing, non-threat­en­ing, and fun en­vi­ron­ment. We have part­nered with the Whit­ney Pier So­ci­ety of the Arts to run this ex­cit­ing pro­gram.

The classes will run over an eight-week pe­riod start­ing in the spring. No ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired and ac­tu­ally pre­ferred. We will work with acrylic paint and there will be a limit to the num­ber of peo­ple we can ac­com­mo­date. Con­tact Ros­alind at 902-564-0003 for more in­for­ma­tion or to see if you qual­ify/ meet the cri­te­ria.

So­ci­ety of Deaf and Hard of Hear­ing Nova Sco­tians is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing ser­vices to meet the needs of the deaf, hard of hear­ing, and late deaf­ened with dig­nity, in­tegrity and re­spect. We are lo­cated at 762 Vic­to­ria Road, Syd­ney, Whit­ney Pier. Clare and I look for­ward to hear­ing from you at 902-5640003 or cb­deaf@ns.sym­pa­tico.ca .

It all starts hear.

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