Source: picture by the author
As I have mentioned here before, occasionally I have excursions with a group of hearing-impaired people. The occasions are diverse and always guided. Our group is during the tour divided into two groups, one with hearing system and the other without.
I always have my own Rogerpen with me, but if there is a hearing system available, as in this case, I use the hearing system. The guide gets the microphone and we get the receivers connected to the hearing aid (through the T-coil) or CI. Listening to the museum guide becomes so much more relaxed and even while the museum guide is talking, you can look around a little without being afraid to miss a word.
So we went to the Paul Gugelmann Museum last week. I didn’t know the museum and the name Gugelmann before and the visit to the museum was a very pleasant surprise.
In this small museum in Schönenwerd (Switzerland) there are 40 machines, each with its own theme and made with a lot of love and eye for detail. All machines can move and most of them make noises. You can see an example in the picture above.
My enthusiasm after this visit to the museum was so great that I spontaneously wantet to register as a guide in this museum because I especially like to spend time between these wonderful machines and tell others about them.
The activity as a museum guide is not completely new to me. During my studies I already did an internship in a historical museum, had to get acquainted with an exhibition, prepare and execute guided tours through the exhibition and a part of the museum.
Back then I heard better than I do today and so I naturally thought about how I should approach this today. In my opinion, openness is best here.
Inform “my” groups directly over my hearing impairment and ask them, if they have questions to make this visible, for example by raising a hand.
Also I will switch on my Rogerpen during the guidance and hold it ready on standby. If I do not understand a question after one or two repetitions, then I can hold Rogerpen (the microphone) in front of the questioner so that I can hear the question over my receiver more clearly.
The advantage of the Paul Gugelmann Museum is that the acoustics are good because there are no high ceilings and the rooms are not too big.
So, in the practical sense I didn’t see any objections for a job as a museum guide, once a month, and in the meantime I trusted myself to register because I had also learned that the museum could still use guides.
I was open about my hearing impairment at registration and the feedback was positive. Now I have to wait until Mr. Gugelmann himself, 89 and still active, makes contact and can introduce me to the wonderful world of his machines. I’m already looking forward to it!