SOUND OFF with…
San Diego Chapter President, computer and technology geek, teacher, and line dancer.
1. What was the moment when you realized that you had a hearing loss? What did you do about it?
I was 40 years old and kept having “trouble” with the telephone in my kitchen. I couldn’t understand why my husband didn’t notice it. Then I couldn’t get my favorite radio talk show to come in clearly using an ear bud. I couldn’t figure it out – I never had problems with my radio reception before! It never occurred to me that maybe something wasn’t wrong with my phone or my radio…that it could be my hearing. Finally, I put that ear bud in my other ear and it was perfectly clear! I was in shock! I immediately went to an audiologist and learned I had a mild, one-sided hearing loss.
2. How has your hearing loss affected your life?
It completely changed my life and led me to a new career! (Thanks to HLAA!) My hearing loss gradually progressed until I was wearing two hearing aids. As a teacher, I was struggling to hear in the classroom. By attending a speech reading class given by HLAA-San Diego Chapter, I learned about assisted listening devices. After my school district purchased an FM listening system for me, I was hooked on hearing technology. I took the HLAA course on “HAT – Hearing Assistive Technology” and later completed the “American Academy of Hearing Loss Specialists” program. I started a business selling assisted listening devices (www.heargear.net
) and am starting a hearing loop business. I give a PowerPoint presentation about “Hearing Loss Solutions” to local organizations, I am president of our HLAA chapter, I blog about hearing loss (www.heargear.wordpress.com
) and I created the HLAA-SD Facebook page. So, I guess you could say my life centers around hearing loss – but in a very positive way.
3. What current issue related to hearing loss would you like to see addressed more? Why?
I’m concerned that audiologists are not telling clients about t-coils and because of all the (great) wireless connectivity, hearing aid manufacturers and audiologists don’t think t-coils are needed. You can’t hear a sermon in a looped church without a t-coil!
4. What would you like to tell the younger generation?
Limit your use of MP3 players, Bluetooth ear pieces and other devices with earbuds. Keep the volume as low as possible.
5. What technologies are the most useful to you? How?
My Oticon hearing aids and Bluetooth Streamer, my iPhone, the hearing loop in my living room hooked to the TV – keep me connected to the world! Oh, and my vibrating alarm clock that gets me up and going!
6. I am a member of HLAA because..
I am passionate about educating and helping others with a hearing loss.