Greetings, all! It’s taken me a few years to finally get up the courage to reach out here. I began slowly losing my hearing by my second decade. Twenty years on and I’ve got moderately severe bilateral loss. I was raised hearing. My family didn’t understand my struggle to understand for years; most of them do now, but I still need to remind them about lighting and things when we speak in person or Facetime. (My father and one sister refuse to use VRS.) I rely on lipreading a lot, because HAs haven’t yet worked out. (I’m getting a new set soon to give them another go.) Before my hearing loss was significant enough for HAs, I went to Gally to learn ASL. I got quite involved in the Deaf Community for a while, but when they all went off to college full time, we lost contact. (I went to uni myself, locally, and I got busy as well.) ASL helped me so much, but without a community, my signing wasn’t as strong. By my thirties, my hearing loss dipped again and I found a few local connections for a time, but those were eventually lost as well. (I have neurological diseases effecting my mobility and I also started having seizures. I live in a very rural area and I couldn’t drive, so that made keeping in touch hard. I know there’s technology, but I wasn’t accustomed to using it like younger generations and I still prefer face to face communication, though I don’t mind video to keep in touch.) Now I’ve also got vision challenges and I feel even more removed. I rely on VRS for all phone communication and I sign to myself, but barring my Deaf social services people, who I don’t talk to a lot, I don’t have a Deaf social network. I don’t fit in with the able bodied hearing world and I feel disconnected from the Deaf world. I’m looking for kind, open minded people to chat to. I know I’m not the only one in the world with complications like this, but I feel quite alone in my struggles at the moment. I want to make some friends and improve my ASL skills. Thank you for reading. Ta-ra!