• Clare Childers

    SOUND OFF with…
    Clare Childers

    HLA Woodland Chapter Member, great-grandmother, disabilities advocate, and book lover.

    1. What was the moment when you realized that you had a hearing loss? What did you do about it?

    In 1943, as a senior in high school, all students in the school were given hearing tests by a survey company. We were not told the result of the test, but all of my teachers moved me to a seat in the front of the class. I guessed what that meant, but did nothing about it. My first hearing aid came in 1980, when I supervised an office that received a great many phone calls, which were becoming difficult for me. My hearing loss became apparent to me when I could not hear the jokes of the young people in the office. In the following years, my hearing dropped gradually, requiring new hearing aids. In 1990, I became ill with Wegener’s Granulomatosis. After a year on medication for the illness, and after numbers of hearing tests showing variations in hearing, I awoke one morning in 1991 with severe hearing loss in one ear and was almost deaf in the other. The diagnosis was that I could not expect any improvement in my hearing. With another new hearing aid, I became an active ADA advocate for the hearing impaired and I later formed the local support group for those with hearing loss.

    2. How has your hearing loss affected your life?

    I shy away from social gatherings and prefer solitary pursuits.

    3. What current issue related to hearing loss would you like to see addressed more? Why?

    I would like to have hearing technology described in simple terms for older people to understand. I belong to the generation when an “on/off” switch was all that’s needed.

    4. What would you like to tell the younger generation?

    Learn now about how your future life will be affected by hearing loss.

    5. What technologies are the most useful to you? How?

    I use a pocket talker frequently, because I like to have conversations over lunch at a restaurant. My computer allows me to read and save messages so that there is no confusion over dates, times, and places.

    6. I am a member of HLAA because…

    At one of many sessions at the office of the ENT, I picked up a copy of Self Help (HLAA) magazine. I have been a member since the 1990’s.