I hate the word
“I'm so sorry”
When I tell them I'm
Don't be sorry.
This is who I am.
And I'm happy.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 5% of the world's population – some 360 million people - suffer from hearing loss. In the coming year, their number is expected to increase by more than 30%.
Sadly, people with hearing impairments are discriminated against in the healthcare system and social protection, in the field of education and in employment – indeed, in almost all areas of life. This situation inevitably leads, in the deaf and those hard-of-hearing, a syndrome of inferiority, feelings of being second-rate and a sense of inequality in society.
The non-profit association “Hear Me” was established in 2019 by people who care about the social problems of modern Israel; and its approach can be simply expressed: the deaf and those who are “hard-of-hearing” do not claim to receive special attention to their problems. They do not require any special privileges and preferences. Their expectations can be formulated by only one phrase - " to be heard, understood and accepted by the society."
In our work, we at Hear Me pursue two interrelated goals:
1. to facilitate the process of socialization for deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens, including new repatriates;
2. to promote the creation of a tolerant social and institutional environment for the comprehensive development of the personal potential of people with hearing impairments, leading to their full integration into the economic, political, social, cultural and spiritual life of Israeli society.
Our mission starts with our first strategic project “Help. Support. Accompany. Translation."
The purposes of the project are to promote social adaptation and integration of the people with hearing impairments, to ensure their equal rights with other citizens, to facilitate the inclusion of a person otherwise deprived of full opportunities for verbal communication in the social, economic and institutional environment. One of the tools for the implementation of our mission is the building of a system of qualified sign-language translation.
As ever, the possibilities of the state support are limited and cannot fully satisfy the needs of all. The current fully-funded “communication basket” government package is sufficient for 45 hours of sign language translation per person per year, or less than 4 hours per month, or 7 minutes per day. This is the maximum number of hours provided by the government in the most severe medical cases.
Our efforts will be directed at expanding the availability of quick translation services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as a supplement to the existing state support system.
In the near future, we intend to create a crisis-center to provide a wide range of services i.e legal, psychological, linguistic, for non-standard situations and emergency support, in case of traffic accidents, offenses, labor and family conflicts, industrial injuries, and on the like.