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Hi, I have had hearing impairment all my life . L: severely impaired and R: profoundly impaired. As a child my parents got me an aid for my right ear only. At elementary school a Speech and Language specialist came to teach me to read lips. School was a struggle – I believe my speech recognition scores were in the 60-70% range. I persevered and got a BSc in Chemistry and studied French literature for one year at a university in France. I am an amateur musician and we've been trying to keep our band up using SmartMusic – not totally successful for me, but still fun

I have had many careers – I call myself a cat with 9 lives and I'm on my third cat :). I speak fluent French and some Spanish and Italian. My latest career I implement and train clients in Business Software focusing on companies with Manufacturing. I've been a bench Chemist, run an electronics manufacturing production floor, run Medical Devices production, Logistics, Purchasing., been a Quality Manager in Pharma, run a large warehouse and lately been in IT for many years. Hearing technology has changed my life. I now have 2 Widex hearing aids and my speech recognition is up to 90%. Adding my left ear to the hearing world as an adult, I had recruitment issues at first but got used to that. Hearing thro 2 ears was fabulous. Using an external Mic in a meeting situation is helpful. But usually, I have to let people know that I read lips to understand them and they let me watch them speak as well as hear them. We need to let people know how to help us. Side conversations are really tricky, and unfortunately I miss those frequently. What is particularly useful is getting sound directly to my aids – both phone and laptop as I mostly do remote training now and meetings with clients. Microsoft Teams has closed captions for English only at the moment.

It is possible to do many things, one needs to work with people around you, generally they want to be helpful. Let them know what you need and do use the latest technologies that work best for you. There is a lot of conversation here about captions and neck loops – both essential these days for me. Also, getting a Hearing Aid specialist to adjust the sound to match YOUR hearing needs (not just the theoretical – which is a good baseline) – go back to get them adjusted as best you can. But it is possible to do many things even with our impairment. Good luck and don't give up.

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Replies to "Hi, I have had hearing impairment all my life . L: severely impaired and R: profoundly..."

I appreciate your words of encouragement and I’m certainly trying to be courageous throughout this process, I have a lot of trauma to unpack here, so thank you. 😊 I’m curious about your experiences in France. I tried to learn the French language in college but I wasn’t hearing the teachers nor the students clearly and just reading the material wasn’t sufficient. At that time (and for reasons I won’t get into) I was unaware of the actual effect of my hearing loss on my learning capabilities. I didn’t know that my struggles were hearing loss-related so I didn’t seek help in this way. I am curious though, and perhaps my speech recognition abilities were lower than yours at this point, but I’m wondering: you were able to gain access to information while you were in France, yes? Was this solely through written material somehow or did you have help by this time?
Anyway, I learned something reading your story. I never learned to read lips; however, now I’m thinking that this might be a worthwhile avenue to explore.

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