October 26, 2017. A few days ago, three of us who are hard of hearing went out for lunch in downtown Ottawa. Lunch was fun, but the next challenge we faced was going out for dinner in Ottawa with more people. Disaster or success?
We planned ahead by visiting the restaurant chosen, Graffiti’s in Kanata to see how accommodating the restaurant would be with four hard of hearing people at dinner. What did we need? A quiet spot, with good lighting so we could see each other, and the music turned down low. We were offered a quiet spot in the back of the restaurant with good lighting and a promise to shut off the music in that section. Better than we expected, so a reservation was made.
On the evening in question, our party of five arrived at the restaurant – 4 who are hard of hearing, 1 with normal hearing. Take a look at the photo of the five of us. What do you notice? You probably spotted that we are in a booth, one of the first criteria for an enjoyable dinner when you are hard of hearing. As promised, the music in our section was shut off as soon as we chose our spot.
We had a selection of booths to choose from, but found that this circular booth allowed everyone to see each other easily. Although the photo shows all of us in the booth for the photo op, during dinner four of us were in the booth and one person opted to sit on a chair in front of the table.
You probably guessed that the two men sat near each other, to be able to have a side conversation on topics of interest to them. This allowed the women to have a side chat of their own, and no one had difficulty hearing due to the spaciousness of the booth. Otherwise, only one person spoke at a time, so that everyone could follow the conversation.
The booth had a high side on three sides for a noise barrier and there were no tables directly in front of us. This provided optimum quiet and allowed us to concentrate on the conversations. The person with us who had normal hearing was very grateful that we didn’t have to talk loud in order to be heard.
We had a grand evening! It was a success. Do you have a tip or story to share about restaurant dining? Let us know! Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at email@example.com.
© Daria Valkenburg