I would like to seize the day and contemplate out-loud whether there is a justified fairness in the eligibility rules for a freedom pass, regarding those with varying degrees of hearing loss.
Except, what I am about to say regarding Cochlear Implant users may offend them and if that turns out to be the case, I sincerely apologise in advance, for being honest.
Those with a profound or severe hearing loss (like myself) cannot hear very well at all, with or without any hearing aids, are eligible for what Londoners call a “Freedom Pass”; this is a travel permit scheme which allows the named holder to “surf” London using the public transport system.
However, there are those who are categorized as having a mild form of hearing loss and if their range of loss does not meet, the minimum required – they are deemed ineligible for a freedom pass. One can work out the reasoning behind that since they may have enough residual hearing to, sort of, ‘get by’ without any hearing aids yet whilst supported by hearing aids they could be, almost, on a par to a hearing person. Nevertheless, the stress of travelling remains albeit for almost all of us since whatever announcements are broadcasted, not even hearing people can comprehend.
Moving onto (successful) cochlear implants users – A CI is considered the most superior hearing aid of all; this will enable the user to hear extremely well and ever so clearly, once again, more or less being on a par to a hearing person.
Why then, do those who are not eligible, have to miss out on the benefits of a freedom pass when there are CI users who can potentially hear better than them, remain eligible for a freedom pass? Go figure…
Inevitably, there will be those who throw their arms up into the air in protest, demanding the same level of benefits since they feel, they too should not have to pay to use the public transport system.
Above all, an unfortunate fact remains. That almost each (if not all) Travel Concessionary Department(s) has not acquired the necessary experience or relevant qualifications, in order to assist them adequately with reading audiograms or differentiating between the pros and cons. This inexperience does not help them or us, at all, so how can they truly appreciate the injustice that exits, in their rules of eligibility.
Thank you for your time and patience.
Rant Over 🙂
~ SJ (Sara Jae)