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.

@barbb

@jaema Hi! Too bad you aren't in NY where a staff member not only has hearing loss, but is a member of HLAA. Could your audiologist be of any help with resources? You aren't near any Center that deals with hearing loss? You do have a big workload, what with coping with people on the job and then having to do all the research. Do you know about Katherine Bouton's latest book (her 2nd one) on hearing loss? She has a wealth of information and presents it in a relaxed, almost entertaining way – very clear-cut.

Jump to this post

Hi – Thanks for the reminder to check out Katherine Bouton’s books. I was pointed towards this resource a few months ago but I forgot about it. I have a task list a mile long and sometimes the other tasks just bully themselves to the top of the list and distract me. 🤣 Anyway, I did order both of them from my library just now.

And I do have an audiologist so I can check with her for ideas. I think what I’m looking for now is someone with whom I could have a longer more in-depth conversation about their experiences with hearing loss and the workforce. Thanks for your input!

REPLY
@lucyg

Hi, @jaema For sure! I really agree with 'your brain is working overtime…" and it is truly exhausting. My most challenging experience was going to school in France where I heard non-stop French. I am an anglophone.

Meditation helped tremendously. A yogi taught me to meditate the summer before I went to France. Lunch break was for 2 hours. – Siesta time. So, daily, after eating lunch at school, I went home and did 20 minutes of meditation and then had the energy to keep going for the rest of the day. Even now, when I am in stressful hearing situations and too much information is coming my way, a 20 minute meditation break gives me the strength and energy to keep on going.

@julie04 My earliest aid was a 3" x 3 " or there about box strapped on my chest with a long wire going to my right ear. Really fashionable as an 7 year old with a humongous box sticking out of your dress. Thank heavens audio technology has improved light years now! I am glad a CI has been working for you with your Widex aids.

Jump to this post

Hah. I have been working on improving my meditation skills since the pandemic! I'm heartened to learn that it helped you with your hearing loss issues specifically and I'll look forward to experiencing similar benefits. 😊

REPLY
@julieo4

What you refer to is 'auditory fatigue'. Of course we spend an incredible amount of energy working to hear and decipher what is being said. Background noise is a monster for all of us. It's very easy to just turn out sometimes….which gives people the impression that we aren't paying attention, don't care, or don't 'get it'. I highly recommend learning and practicing basic stress management techniques. Something as simple as rhythmic breathing can help.

Jump to this post

I think I've done very well in incorporating stress management techniques into my daily life in order to offset the difficulties that living with hearing loss has posed for me but I'm also forever looking to improve. Thank you for the reminders. 😊

REPLY
@jaema

I think I've done very well in incorporating stress management techniques into my daily life in order to offset the difficulties that living with hearing loss has posed for me but I'm also forever looking to improve. Thank you for the reminders. 😊

Jump to this post

Stress management techniques matter. So glad you're doing well with that. Until I learned about SHHH/HLAA back in the early 80s my stress level was extremely high. I had a variety of health issues due to high stress. My doctors had no clue what was wrong with me. They insisted it was all 'in my head'. Even though they knew I had sensorineural hearing loss, they did not relate it to my health.

It helped so very much to learn I wasn't alone with the hearing issues I struggled with; social and professional. I had no idea there were ways to bring sound direct to my hearing aids. Even though they were rather primitive then, they helped. Other people with hearing loss introduced me to them. Once I learned coping strategies and tried some of the very basic assistive listening devices that were available back then I realized I did not have to spend the rest of my life in a deaf world.

Hopping on the bandwagon to educate and advocate for better services and products gave me a mission and a purpose. It has now been over 35 years of involvement. Seeing the changes in the industry, watching the success of cochlear implants and having hope for the possibility of a cure for some types of hearing loss helped relieve the stress I had been feeling. Sure, I still experience stress due to hearing loss and hearing fatigue, but I know it's OK to take a break from it and I do.

I am so thankful for the advocates who have gotten hearing loops installed in performing arts centers, churches, meeting rooms, etc.; for those who worked to develop closed captioning, and other technologies that have created communication access. Those advocates, for the most part, have been hard of hearing people themselves. All of these things that keep us in the hearing mainstream are stress relievers.

REPLY
@ken82

@jaema What kind of headphones worked so well for you … ? Have you told your ear doctor how well they work.? There are a lot of different ways that headphones work but essentially they amplify a modulated electric signal to sound. You say that your cochlear is in good shape,… What have doctors and test shown that is NOT in good shape ?…. Ear Drum? Middle Ear (little bones)?

Jump to this post

I use Jabra Move Wireless Bluetooth Headphones and I haven't told my ear doctor because I'm not sure how that falls into his scope of practice in working with me. I do believe that my audiologist is aware, however, but I could mention it to her again. My hearing loss stems from my hearing bones not working all that well. I think that I might have this area covered (as in technological options) because I have a hearing consultant who I believe is ready to help me once I have need for accommodations in a workplace setting. My main interest is in learning about the varying ways people have managed to function well, and advance, in their careers when they could not hear or understand what was being said around them. These stories have been helpful for me to read. 😊

Also, I think that there is an unanswered question from you somewhere in this forum; however, I'm still trying to find a way to use this forum in a way that makes any sense to me. I certainly haven't found it easy to use so far. I just cannot find questions and replies without taking too much time out of my day to search around for each one. I'd like to honor your question though so I'll pop back in again later and do another search for it. Thanks again, Ken!

REPLY
@jaema

I use Jabra Move Wireless Bluetooth Headphones and I haven't told my ear doctor because I'm not sure how that falls into his scope of practice in working with me. I do believe that my audiologist is aware, however, but I could mention it to her again. My hearing loss stems from my hearing bones not working all that well. I think that I might have this area covered (as in technological options) because I have a hearing consultant who I believe is ready to help me once I have need for accommodations in a workplace setting. My main interest is in learning about the varying ways people have managed to function well, and advance, in their careers when they could not hear or understand what was being said around them. These stories have been helpful for me to read. 😊

Also, I think that there is an unanswered question from you somewhere in this forum; however, I'm still trying to find a way to use this forum in a way that makes any sense to me. I certainly haven't found it easy to use so far. I just cannot find questions and replies without taking too much time out of my day to search around for each one. I'd like to honor your question though so I'll pop back in again later and do another search for it. Thanks again, Ken!

Jump to this post

@jaema I am glad to hear? (see!) your mention of the challenges you have encountered in making use of the Forum which I too experience. It would be great to have a "how to" list to easily consult when trying to figure out how to effectively and efficiently use the Forum!

REPLY
@barbb

@jaema I am glad to hear? (see!) your mention of the challenges you have encountered in making use of the Forum which I too experience. It would be great to have a "how to" list to easily consult when trying to figure out how to effectively and efficiently use the Forum!

Jump to this post

Yes, as it turns out, the format on here is not user-friendly at all. It really seems out-dated to me. There is a notification button in the top bar of the page that might help users to respond to each reply and comment as they come in but I came into this forum with the expectation that it would be easy to spot the newer replies and comments that have come in and to understand to which conversation they were pertaining. Unfortunately, the order of these replies and comments are, literally, just presented in the order they came in…sooo it's one long list of jumbled replies and comments. 🤣 Anyway, I can see that an "explainer video" might come in handy.

REPLY

I get their daily update, look at hearing loss, and the most recent and the # days since last post are there, I usually only look at past 2 days or so

REPLY
@ken82

@jaema It seems as if I wrote about my career (Marine Officer, Architect, University Professor) within the month. Can you look back for that so I don't have to retype.. I am retired now and am weathering the Pandemic as most have to .. but as I think about the key to do well in this isolation..(I live alone) is that in my career my individual capabilities were usually thought of as very good.. and I worked alone in the creative part of my work.. My sight, voice, and thinking was not impaired at all. So getting in a profession where your individual efforts are easily seen and recognized is helpful. When you have to interact with a lot of others, particularly strangers, that's where the problems arise… Ken

Jump to this post

Hah. I found the missing reply! 😊 I had actually been replying to @faithwalker007 above, not to you. However, I do appreciate your insights about looking for a career field in which the skills I have to offer would easily be recognized by others. I think I found networking, as a way to get ahead/advance, to be the most challenging in my past. I could do my job adequately enough but I couldn't quite navigate my social or work environment well enough to go any further. Problems certainly do arise when attempting to interact with others. It gets quite complicated.

REPLY
@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

Jump to this post

"We can do so much more for ourselves and others when we find ways to help ourselves." It has been quite the journey for me to get to this point but I agree that this is helpful. 😊

REPLY
@julieo4

@jeama Learning about and using assistive devices can be the difference you need. Hearing loss is invisible and people, no matter how much they want to be helpful, forget what it is you need if it boils down to being on one side of you, etc. Assistive devices show. They remind people you need their help. Using a small hand held microphone that broadcasts to your hearing aids can be a huge help. Not just because it transmits sound to the place where you need to hear it, but because people see that you are using something that is working. Vocational Rehabilitative Services should be able to provide the information you need. Other options like speech to text captions can also help a lot. So much depends on when you need it, how you need it, etc. I've heard hard of hearing people who struggle say "I don't like gadgets", well, these are gadgets. Gadgets that require some learning and discipline to use properly. Hearing aid providers should also be well versed in this add on technology, but many are not. Maybe if we all started asking more questions of them, they might be. I hope you get the help you need. It's out there. HLAA has information about assistive technology on their website. HLAA has periodic Zoom meetings that feature technology. Most of those are available on YouTube. http://www.hearingloss.org Take time to explore the website. Some things are hard to find, but they are there.

Jump to this post

I do have access to a hearing consultant who could help me navigate my next work environment successfully. I have conductive hearing loss, and while I have experienced some decline in the functioning of my cochlear, my cochlear is mostly normal. Hearing aids just don't cut it for me as they manage the sound too much. My headphones have been like a dream for me while I've participated in Zoom calls throughout this pandemic. While I'm highly resistant to wearing my hearing aids, and thus by extension using assistive technology that requires the use of my hearing aids to operate, perhaps I could use over-the-ear headphones instead. I've seen these in use by people who consider themselves to be D/deaf. Perhaps this will be an area to explore in my near fuutre. 😊 I have attended a few HLAA webinars and I'll take a deeper dive into those available on their YouTube channel as well. Thanks for the reply and the advice! I really appreciate your time and attention to my question.

REPLY
@julieo4

Stress management techniques matter. So glad you're doing well with that. Until I learned about SHHH/HLAA back in the early 80s my stress level was extremely high. I had a variety of health issues due to high stress. My doctors had no clue what was wrong with me. They insisted it was all 'in my head'. Even though they knew I had sensorineural hearing loss, they did not relate it to my health.

It helped so very much to learn I wasn't alone with the hearing issues I struggled with; social and professional. I had no idea there were ways to bring sound direct to my hearing aids. Even though they were rather primitive then, they helped. Other people with hearing loss introduced me to them. Once I learned coping strategies and tried some of the very basic assistive listening devices that were available back then I realized I did not have to spend the rest of my life in a deaf world.

Hopping on the bandwagon to educate and advocate for better services and products gave me a mission and a purpose. It has now been over 35 years of involvement. Seeing the changes in the industry, watching the success of cochlear implants and having hope for the possibility of a cure for some types of hearing loss helped relieve the stress I had been feeling. Sure, I still experience stress due to hearing loss and hearing fatigue, but I know it's OK to take a break from it and I do.

I am so thankful for the advocates who have gotten hearing loops installed in performing arts centers, churches, meeting rooms, etc.; for those who worked to develop closed captioning, and other technologies that have created communication access. Those advocates, for the most part, have been hard of hearing people themselves. All of these things that keep us in the hearing mainstream are stress relievers.

Jump to this post

I absolutely resonate with your experiences with having a high level of stress, having it affect you in myriad and insidious ways, and not being able to really pinpoint what exactly is wrong. I was very confused for many many years and have only recently started to dig into my hearing loss issues. I'm starting to really understand now the significant and impactful effects my hearing loss is/was having on me. Fortunately, I now have access to a mental health therapist who specializes in working with people with hearing loss issues and vocational rehabilitative services for my (hearing loss) disability and I'm really working hard to get through some of these old belief systems. You seem to have a passion to help others with similar issues and I appreciate the time and effort that you seem to be putting into this forum. Thank you, @julieo4!

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment