Mary Clark has had hearing loss from birth, and since she also has a sister who has profound hearing loss, they were embedded in all of the positive learning experiences for hearing loss at an early age – thanks to their parents. Mary’s sister did not learn to talk until after she got her hearing aid when she was three, and she went to an oral deaf school for three years before being mainstreamed.
Mary enjoyed science and ended up studying Medical Technology at the University of Dayton and the St. Elizabeth Medical Center School of Medical Technology where she received her license as a Medical Technologist in 1970. She then worked in a hospital, and later, after moving to Minnesota, worked at the Mayo Clinic in biochemistry research in hematology. Mary got married, had two girls, and moved to California where she worked in the medical device industry for over 30 years. She worked in all aspects of the industry, including research, manufacturing, product development, quality assurance, and regulatory affairs.
Mary and her husband moved to New Mexico in 2010 after both she and her husband were laid off from their jobs within four months of each other. They had planned to retire to New Mexico, so being laid off just accelerated that move. They anticipated that selling their condo was going to take months, and instead took only weeks, so they had to hustle out of California quickly.
Mary and her husband rented a house in New Mexico while their house was being built and moved into their new home in March 2012. Their house is fully hearing aid compatible, with a whole house loop connected to the TV, and with additional features to ensure she will hear the doorbell and security alarm. They have a view that goes 100 miles from where they are in Placitas, New Mexico.
In retirement, Mary is enjoying learning about wildflowers, the history of New Mexico, and also teaching at University of New Mexico Continuing Education on topics related to hearing loss.
Mary’s accomplishments associated with hearing loss:
- Held multiple HLAA offices:
- President of HLAA Orange County chapter
- Secretary of HLAA California State Association (formerly Hearing Loss Association of California)
- President of HLAA California State Association (formerly Hearing Loss Association of California)
- Co-chair State Conference of HLAA California State Association (formerly Hearing Loss Association of California)
- President of HLAA Albuquerque chapter
- Co-chair Walk4Hearing Long Beach, California
- Shared development of CEPIN workshop for the Department of Homeland Security on Disaster Preparedness for people with disabilities.
- Was invited to write an article for Hearing Loss Magazine about hearing loss in the workplace.
- Invited to conduct leadership training for chapter leaders at state level, and at national office.
- Presented leadership training in webinar for HLAA.
- Conducted workshops:
- Hearing loss in the workplace – multiple presentations at local chapters, state conferences, and national conventions
- Disaster preparedness for people with hearing loss – multiple presentations at chapters in California, New Mexico, and Minnesota as well as at HLAA national convention
- Hearing loss in the healthcare setting – multiple presentations for local chapters in California and New Mexico as well as at New Mexico State Conference on Disabilities
- Was an invited speaker at multiple events:
- Department of Homeland Security San Ysidro Port of Entry
- Home healthcare nurse agency in Orange County, California
- Disaster preparedness for people with hearing loss and other disabilities – for disaster team at major employer in Orange County, California
- Hearing loss in the workplace for Occupational Health Nurses in Orange County, California with continuing education units (CEUs)
- 3M in Minnesota – Hearing loss in the workplace
- National Court Reporters meeting – panel on Understanding the Consumer
- Conducted full day workshop for job seekers with hearing loss (California).
- Taught Hearing Loss 101 at University of New Mexico Continuing Education through OSHER program.
- Partnered with Gary Clark of GWC Looping to exhibit at KOB4 Health Fair in Albuquerque and at the Conference on Hearing Loss sponsored by the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing – to educate and promote hearing loops.
- Represented HLAA at Deaf Culture Center in New Mexico.
- Was interviewed on radio program in ABQ about Hearing Loss in the Workplace.
- Completed Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) training.
- Completed course as Hearing Loss Support Specialist.