Josie Gibson has made an emotional appearance on today’s This Morning where she teared up discussing the deaf community’s experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.
The presenter was on the show to talk about her brother Harry, who is deaf, and the problems he and others with hearing difficulties have faced while wearing face masks.
Josie said that the ‘deaf community has been forgotten about’, with the rules over mask wearing making it difficult for people who rely on lipreading to communicate.
Speaking about her brother’s recent experience, Josie added: ‘We went to a restaurant the other day and we kept our distance from the guy that was sitting us down.
‘I was just about to explain that we haven’t got masks on… because he lip reads from me. And they said, ‘Well, you’ve not got masks on, you’re going to have to get outside’’.
After watching an audio-described clip featuring her brother and his wife, Josie appeared close to tears, saying she was ‘so proud’ of them both for overcoming their nerves to record the message.
Talking about the experience of people with hearing difficulties, Josie said: ‘We are so privileged to still be able to communicate even when we wear a face mask, but imagine going into a shop and being totally cut off from everybody in that shop?’
Josie also spoke about the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard, which acts a sign that the wearer may need additional support.
Alec Shelbrook MP also spoke about his hearing issues, discussing the moment he was photographed leaning on the benches in the House of Commons in order to get his ear closer to a speaker. Many saw the image and accused him of sleeping at the time, something he was ‘disappointed’ to see.
The latest rules on face coverings say that people are required to wear coverings in public indoor settings where they are likely to come into contact with someone they ‘do not normally meet.’ It was previously only mandatory to wear coverings in shops and on public transport.
People on social media were quick to praise Josie for highlighting the problems faced by people with hearing difficulties.
One viewer said: ’Watching #ThisMorning about how deaf people are suffering when it comes to people wearing masks and not being able to lip read. I know my youngest struggles and she’s only deaf in one ear.’
‘Well done for showing this up,’ another said. ‘I’m only partially deaf and I struggle.’
A viewer added: ‘I’m hearing but have struggled with communication in general and so can only imagine how hard it must be for the deaf and hard of hearing- so I’ve taken Covid to learn BSL (British sign language) and feel others should do it too!’
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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Credit: Original article published here.