People with hearing loss who have been successful in their careers

Posted by jaema @jaema, Dec 27, 2020

Hi -is there someone I can talk to, or read about, who's been successful in their career? I've struggled with hearing loss, and its effects, for 30+ years and because of these experiences, I've come to believe that I would not be able to navigate an employment setting in a way that would be satisfactory to any employer. I also have come to believe that advancement in any career is next to impossible for me to achieve. I've been significantly under-employed my entire life. I'm now receiving vocational rehabilitation services and I'm wondering if I've sold myself short all of these years. I think that if I were to conduct a little research into how other people have managed well in their careers, without being able to hear clearly the people around them, then I might believe that this could be possible for me, too.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

@hopeful33250

Hello @th1,

How wonderful that your book on Practical Lip Reading will be published soon. Will it be available through Amazon or another distributor?

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It is not a book, but rather will be released online as a video or DVD set. I will start offering the lessons on Zoom probably starting in March or sooner. If you want to get on mailing list for full info, send your info to me by private message.

Thank you for your interest and for being your own advocate. We can do so much more for ourselves and others when we find ways to help ourselves.

Cheryl

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@th1

It is not a book, but rather will be released online as a video or DVD set. I will start offering the lessons on Zoom probably starting in March or sooner. If you want to get on mailing list for full info, send your info to me by private message.

Thank you for your interest and for being your own advocate. We can do so much more for ourselves and others when we find ways to help ourselves.

Cheryl

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Speech reading is so important to people with hearing loss; more so than most realize. Our current masked society has awakened many feelings about how much we miss seeing facial expressions when trying to get what we are hearing to make sense. This is true even among those who do not have hearing loss. Good luck with your project.

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@julieo4

Speech reading is so important to people with hearing loss; more so than most realize. Our current masked society has awakened many feelings about how much we miss seeing facial expressions when trying to get what we are hearing to make sense. This is true even among those who do not have hearing loss. Good luck with your project.

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Thank you kindly. The window masks and face shields work better for speech readers.

Cheryl

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@julieo4

Speech reading is so important to people with hearing loss; more so than most realize. Our current masked society has awakened many feelings about how much we miss seeing facial expressions when trying to get what we are hearing to make sense. This is true even among those who do not have hearing loss. Good luck with your project.

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Thanks, and agree.

Cheryl

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@faithwalker007

Before my husband, James became disabled due to his broken down body, he was a successful electrician for years (12 yrs) and then went back to school and received an Associate degree in Secondary Education. He was a successful high school football coach and middle school wrestling coach, elementary school teacher assistant and USA Wrestling official including for Olympic Qualifiers, and detention coordinator.
Being successful as a partially deaf person is possible. It takes work and determination… energy.

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Thank you! Your husband was able to hear and understand what the students and the student athletes were saying?

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@ken82

@jaema Certainly, one can be "successful"… with hearing loss… My left ear is profoundly deaf.. and the right grew progressively worse over the years.. The hearing loss was not limiting the first decade or so … as I would not even admit that it existed… I finish my architectural Bachelor's degree, got a Master's, and a Ph.D. …practiced Architecture for 20 years across the NE quadrant of the US.. then Taught at Universities for another 20… I learned coping skills .. I taught a lot of Lab courses where I was right next to the student.. I would go into the class sitting area to listen to questions.. getting with in 6 feet of the questioning person… then tell them to speak up so the class could hear them … Certainly, my wife accused me of having selective hearing but she encouraged me along the way to get help…. I retired at 63…that was 20 years ago.. I have traveled the world and the US.. I do depend on Closed Captioning a lot.. but then I listen to Audio Books as I drive alone… Enjoy Living…. I was in the Service so the VA now keeps my Hearing Aids working… and up to date… Ken

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I really appreciate reading about this, thank you. If you were using hearing aids while you were finishing your Bachelor's degree (and onward) then would you say that your speech recognition abilities were adequate as well for you during this time?

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@joyces

reply to Faith Walker: There are many times when I cannot even listen to music, due to the recruitment provided by the "Meniere's Monster." Any loud, sharp sound just tears through my head, creates pain. I've replaced playing music with other creative pursuits; my job is graphic design, primarily of books and publications, so that's a pretty satisfying creative outlet. During the years of the initial big problems with this dreadful disease (when I lost hearing/balance in my right ear), I managed a small publishing company. In spite of frequent crises, I never missed a deadline during those four years. When the publisher's kids got old enough, they began to work for the company, always in supervisory roles, so my job ended. I started my own design/marketing business, specializing in the sport fishing industry, and still have clients and work at 78. I just started a huge book project that will probably take around five years to complete; right now, I'm slmply editing all the copy. Photo work and placement will take a long time, as each photo must be in exactly the right spot for it.

Over the decades, I've also sat on many advisory committees for fish and the environment and have managed to overcome the challenge of understanding the conversation, in spite of, first, age-related loss in my "good" left ear, and, more recently, an invasion of the Meniere's monster when I went bilateral. For a year, I was nearly totally deaf, but got on a good program of hormone replacement last May…and the level of hearing I had had in my "good" ear returned within two weeks. Because the hormones also ended much of the recruitment problem, I'm going to try using an aid in my long-useless right ear sometime soon…difficult to get an appt. with Covid. Although I have some slight residual hearing in that ear, it has been considered impossible to aid due to recruitment, just as it was impossible for me to wear the aid in my "good" left ear when it also had recruitment. I have considered a CI for my right ear, but am hesitant to do anything that's not reversible. If an aid works for that ear, I'll be excited to hear more normally for the first time in 40 years!

With all the advances in aids and accessories, plus CIs, there no reason for anyone to not have a normal life, normal job in spite of hearing loss.

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It sounds like you were aware of your needs and blessed with support to address those needs. 😊

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@lucyg

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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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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@jaema

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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Hi, sorry to be so slow to reply… just got back home to Canada from Las Vegas. This time in France was very long ago and no facilities existed to help in this environment. I rarely let people know what was going on with regards to my hearing loss at that time. I sat at the front of the class and watched the teacher speak to understand better. University classes were a combination of lectures and reading and writing. I encourage you to learn to read lips – that helps so much for me.

However, in these covid days, people rarely wear see through masks . Whenever I do encounter someone wearing a see through mask, I thank them profusely on our behalf.

My speech recognition has improved over the years – this is directly due to improved hearing technology. My actual hearing loss has only slightly grown worse. I'm now 64. However, now I'm facing cognitive losses – my brain is not functioning as well – as determined my my audiologist based on my years of test results. But I believe the brain can still grow – and we must keep learning new things to stop the inevitable decline. My audiologist has taken up the harp for this purpose! So perhaps French might be a fun thing to do!

Lately I've been doing things in Spanish (Las Vegas …) – watching Netflix in Spanish with Spanish subtitles (House of Flowers) has improved my language skills. Perhaps find a good Netflix show – in French I recommend 'Marseille' with Gerard Depardieu. Just have fun! Good luck.

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@jaema

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.

Jump to this post

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@lucyg

Hi, sorry to be so slow to reply… just got back home to Canada from Las Vegas. This time in France was very long ago and no facilities existed to help in this environment. I rarely let people know what was going on with regards to my hearing loss at that time. I sat at the front of the class and watched the teacher speak to understand better. University classes were a combination of lectures and reading and writing. I encourage you to learn to read lips – that helps so much for me.

However, in these covid days, people rarely wear see through masks . Whenever I do encounter someone wearing a see through mask, I thank them profusely on our behalf.

My speech recognition has improved over the years – this is directly due to improved hearing technology. My actual hearing loss has only slightly grown worse. I'm now 64. However, now I'm facing cognitive losses – my brain is not functioning as well – as determined my my audiologist based on my years of test results. But I believe the brain can still grow – and we must keep learning new things to stop the inevitable decline. My audiologist has taken up the harp for this purpose! So perhaps French might be a fun thing to do!

Lately I've been doing things in Spanish (Las Vegas …) – watching Netflix in Spanish with Spanish subtitles (House of Flowers) has improved my language skills. Perhaps find a good Netflix show – in French I recommend 'Marseille' with Gerard Depardieu. Just have fun! Good luck.

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Thank you for replying. I LOVE that you're doing things in Spanish. I used to have an aptitude and affinity with learning languages and I was a musician and a music major during the first two of my college years. Confusion and struggle ensued in the years after this and I was unable to continue but I’ve come back around now to being willing to give it a try again. I’m already signed up for a beginning Spanish course starting in June. 😊

Your experiences with possible cognitive decline related to hearing loss inspired me to do some cursory reading on this topic just now. I’m pleased to learn that it’s likely possible to at least improve one’s prognosis by continuing to engage in cognitive challenges and keeping up with social interactions and I’m reminded of the importance of prioritizing these activities in my own life. I want to thank you for sharing your experiences with me.

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