We are becoming a deaf nation - EntornoInteligente

Jamaica Gleaner / THE EDITOR, Sir: While watching the Boys and Girls’ Championship from the safety and quiet of my home, I recalled the proverb, ‘Silence is Golden’.

I decided to utilise Google to look up the origin of the saying and Wiki.answers.com gave me this “The origin of this proverb is obscured by the mist of time dating back to ancient Egypt, when Thomas Carlyle first translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, in which a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence.”

It hit me that the person who coined the phrase would have turned in his/her grave to see people sitting in the stands of the stadium with constant shrieking of the vuvuzelas.

We are slowly becoming a nation of deaf people. The vuvuzelas have now become such a staple in our lives that there is no sporting event where this piece of equipment is not used.

The authorities are clearly aware of the abuse, as at the swearing-in of our most recent prime minister, it was stipulated that this device would not be allowed.

The Jamaica Association for the Deaf will celebrate International Noise Awareness Day on April 30, 2014 and I’m not sure how they are going to wean our people off this form of entertainment and reduce the incidence of hearing impairment.

Not only do we have to contend with the vuvuzela, but we also have to put up with loud music at dances, stage shows and even in churches. There is no escape, even in death.

Recently, a hearse passed my house with music blaring from a sound system. I guess it’s good for employment. More ENT specialists will be required and the sale of hearing aids will increase. With the cost of hearing aids ranging between CDN$500 and CDN$2,000 each, and given the state of the Jamaican dollar, many will find them impossible to acquire. Perhaps the Ministry of Education should implement the mandatory teaching of sign language as a CXC subject.

When will the authorities start enforcing the Noise Abatement Act seriously? Until they do, I will support all sporting activities from the peace and quiet of my home and sit in the back of the pews.

ELAINE WILLIAMS

Kingston

[email protected]

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