My Hearing Loss made me want to help others so they did not have to learn everything the hard way like I did. I understand the challenges of doing this with little to no support. I have a lifetime of progressive bilateral hearing loss challenges, and have experienced just about every challenging listening environment in my career. I just got my 1st AB CI implant June 12, after 42+ years of bi-lateral hearing aids.
During my career I helped my friends and co-workers learn how to self advocate and what hearing technology can do to improve our hearing lifestyles. There is so much to be done to educate the public on Hearing Health & Technology, provide feedback to Hearing Technology Development Companies on improvement opportunities, and help educate Hearing Care Professionals on being more patient/family centric. Our Hearing Care Professionals have a lot opportunities to go well beyond selling hearing aids that will help maximize their patients hearing lifestyle. Off my soapbox for now!
In early 2014, after retiring, I repurposed myself to become a Hearing Well Advocate and began giving community presentations on Hearing Health and Technology. In 2015 I helped start the 1st Upstate SC Hearing Support Group, in 2015/2016 I was a guest speaker at conferences for Hearing Care Professionals to share opportunities they have to improve their service and support. in 2017, I became an HLAA Hearing Assistive Technology Trainer and am part of the Network of Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainers (N-CHATT). I am now participating in starting an HLAA Chapter in our area. I have learned a lot about cochlear implants in the past 3 years. I am now learning about CI & assistive technology programming and how to optimize my hearing in different listening environments so I can also share my experiences and provide support as I continue on my Hearing Journey. I have been to one HLAA convention and plan to go again next year. This is a great way to gain knowledge, meet new friends and network.
The reason I am sharing this information is that we all have experiences and knowledge that we should share and there are many opportunities to do that. This forum is one of those opportunities but there are many others. It's also a very rewarding experience to help others and see their smiles when they can hear better. Anyone with hearing loss can help others as we all have valuable experience and knowledge. This forum is also a great place to ask questions too. I am learning a lot and hope everyone else is as well.