1. What was the moment when you realized that you had a hearing loss? What did you do about it?
I realized I had a hearing loss in my mid-30’s. Since my educational background was in Communication Disorders, I promptly made an appointment to get hearing aids, fully convinced I would then hear normally. Boy, was I in for a big surprise.
2. How has your hearing loss affected your life?
I’ve become more introverted and less bold, though I still celebrate my inner ham at HLA-LA meetings. I’d like to think I’m more compassionate and thoughtful than I was pre-hearing loss, as I see how life can change so suddenly.
3. What current issue related to hearing loss would you like to see addressed more? Why?
I would like every audiologist to make a pledge to address the importance of support groups for those new to hearing loss. I wish I could have found a support group in the early years of my hearing loss… it would have saved me a lot of depression and isolation.
4. What would you like to tell the younger generation?
For the younger generation with hearing loss, embrace it and get involved in HLAA or ALDA. You’ll be glad you did. You will be celebrated just because of your youth, and you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Just remember to be a little humble…
5. What technologies are the most useful to you? How?
We use a loop at our meetings and it’s very helpful, but the best technology for me is captioning. I would like to learn more about assistive devices… there are a lot of choices out there.
6. I am a member of HLAA because...
It brought me back to life when I felt the most isolated and alone. It exposed me to many wonderful and dear friends that I never would have known otherwise. It has shown me that life with a hearing loss is not only doable, but can be fun and enjoyable!