Kelly Ann has been a Reside tenant for two years and has a part-time job as a personal assistant for people with deaf/blind/learning difficulties. She was born deaf and lives with her dog Megan. During the first lockdown she made sign language YouTube videos with her sister Natasha. “They were received incredibly well. I have had many messages of support from kind people thanking us for teaching them a new language during lockdown,” she says.
The challenges deaf people face in a pandemic are immense as most people are wearing face masks. There’s little opportunity to lip read. “It’s frustrating,” says Kelly Ann. “It’s important to be aware of the deaf community, be patient and even learn sign language to communicate.”
Kelly Ann is very happy with her Reside home: “When I first moved in I was nervous and anxious, but I feel safe living here and the people here are friendly and supportive. It’s quiet and Megan my dog is very settled. I have the correct equipment such as flashing lights when someone is at the door as well as a camera inside the flat so I can see who’s at the door.”
Coping with lockdown hasn’t been easy. “I have anxiety which makes it harder,” says Kelly Ann. “I have my ups and downs like everyone else. I’ve been keeping myself busy with photography and Lego, as well as enjoying walks with Megan.”