EFHOH Newsletter | December 2020
Dear EFHOH members and friends,
Warm greetings from the EFHOH board! 2020 is coming to an end and it has been one strange year for us all. This EFHOH newsletter highlights our main actions in 2020, but of course, by March our lives were turned upside down by COVID-19.
Despite this, there are many achievements to highlight from our work. Most notably we had to move our board meetings and the AGM 2020 online. We also added many online meetings and events, together with EDF and IFHOH, to help our members respond to COVID-19. IFHOH and their international partners issued a statement on accessibility during the pandemic which you can revisit here: https://bit.ly/3fizYUP
I am sure that we all have had some kind of experience related to COVID-19. I had my own experience as I was in isolation at the hospital for three days because the medical staff thought that I may have had the virus. The communication was mostly via an electronic communication system but before I went into the isolation room, I asked them to “please come into the room when you need to communicate with me because I am hard of hearing.” All the doctors and nurses did just that and sometimes we had a talk via the glass door, or even by pen and paper. Only once was there some miscommunication via the electronic communication system as a nurse asked me if I would like a croissant for breakfast. I heard and understood the word “croissant”, but it was too early in the morning for my brain. I was thinking, a croissant for breakfast in a Dutch hospital, that perhaps I heard it wrong. But it was correct and kind of funny. After three days, I received the news that I did not have the coronavirus but that I cancer so there was good news and bad news. Some weeks later, I had an operation at another hospital in Leiden, where they removed the tumor from my kidney. I am now in the recovery process and it is going fine. The results of the first checks were good so I can say that I am clear. Also, at this hospital, I informed each doctor and nurse that I was hard of hearing and that I wear hearing aids. All the doctors and nurses, therefore, knew that I was hard of hearing and they were friendly and helpful. So, my message to you is that it is always best to inform others that you are hard of hearing and what your needs are.
It is also what we learn in different workshops regarding coping skills and self-advocacy. I took it as my responsibility to inform all the great people in the hospital and I am glad that I did. I recommend that you do the same, inform others and let them know your needs. We as the EFHOH board participated in different webinars and online workshops and have given presentations including the webinars about COVID-19 and CI organized by IFHOH. At the webinar about CI, our treasurer Darja was one of the speakers.
EFHOH’s secretary Aïda was also one of the speakers at the LTA project event, where she gave a presentation about COVID-19. You can watch her presentation and the other LTA video presentations on their YouTube channel:
A big thank you to Niels-Henrik Hansen for being the EFHOH news editor over the years. We wish him the best of luck in his new pursuits. He will be missed. We are excited to welcome Alper and Ece from Turkey as our new editors of the EFHOH newsletter. Some of you will know them from their days in IFHOHYP. Welcome to EFHOH! Also, a warm welcome to Freda from Ireland. She will write a column for the EFHOH newsletter. Thanks, Freda! Of course, your feedback and articles are more than welcome.
Some last news about the EFHOH AGM 2021. As EFHOH board we came to the conclusion that related to COVID-19, an online meeting in the spring of 2021 is the only possibility and we have found a date for the online EFHOH AGM 2021, which is 19 of May 2021 and the time is from 19:00 to 21:00 (Amsterdam time). More information and details will be sent in January 2021 to our members and published on our website.
On behalf of the EFHOH board and our volunteers, I wish you all, together with your family and friends, a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021! I hope to see all of you at one of the online meetings or our online AGM 2021.
Enjoy reading the new EFHOH newsletter and stay safe and in a good health.
For more details, see: EFHOH-December-Newsletter-2020