What are your impressions after the first day of the Deaf Forum?[Dominika]: I think it was actually such a milestone, a very important step. First of all, that the hearing and hard of hearing and deaf people met in one place. This meeting proved that there are no language barriers and social barriers, because we overcame everything here together.[Weronika]: I think to sum up this whole meeting, the first and second panels, it was interesting, because everyone brought up important topics about their experiences, and I think it’s worth going in this direction and doing more such meetings. Later, after such meetings, it is worthwhile for even more people to know about it – what the hard of hearing, deaf people face. I think these are just important topics. [Bartosz]: At today’s panel on education, I really learned a lot, especially from different people. Each (person) has different problems, different insights and different perspectives. By being on this panel, I learned a lot more about what the problems really are and what the solutions are. And this panel gives us a lot to think about and a lot of understanding towards other people. I myself am a hearing impaired person, I have an implant, but I don’t sign, I don’t wear a hearing aid, and everyone has different problems. How I met these people is really very interesting for me and they give me a lot to think about. [Alicja]: Today’s panel on work and education gave me a lot, due to the fact that I got to know other people’s perspectives better. It turned out that what we all have in common is that we face different barriers, with difficulties, and despite the fact that various changes are being made, despite the fact that we have better and better technology, that there are cochlear implants, or there are better phones, where they connect together with hearing aids and cochlear implants, there is still a belief that a deaf person will not be able to talk on the phone, and will not be able to perform duties well, despite the fact that there are already huge technological advances. I’m afraid that there is still a need to take care of the education section – not only (educate) us as hard of hearing people, but all people, so that together in this society we can make better use of our various resources, talents and the various good things we have.
How do the experiences of older and younger generations differ?[Dominika]: Honestly, in terms of the experience of deaf and hard of hearing people – we had an intergenerational discussion and people of different ages met and we met with people who presented their visions, their lives, 30 years back. Today we met deaf and hard-of-hearing people from different generations, and I will also say frankly, things have changed a bit, but there are still a lot of things to do. Nevertheless, what used to be the case and what is now the case has been confirmed, namely, that deaf people continue to face barriers in looking for work and have difficult access to it.