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Accessibility Advocacy Communication Practices Connections Hard of Hearing Hard of Hearing Defined Hearing Loss Hearing Technology

The Better Connect Academy with Jean Nalbantian

It’s always great to meet another hearing loss advocate. Sometimes, things just fall into place. One day we discovered The Better Connect Academy (TBCA) website sharing it with each other. The next day Jean (John) reached out to invite us to be a guest on his podcast. It is great when the stars align and the universe conspires to connect like minds on the subject of hearing loss and advocacy.

Hearing Loss LIVE! talked with Jean in late March, sharing our passions and what we do. We got to know TBCA further when Jean was our podcast guest—video will be available May 16th.

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Cochlear Implants Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid Program Options

by Chelle Wyatt

Hearing aid program options are awesome these days! Both hearing aids, and cochlear implants, have a variety of options to help us hear better in different environments. Hearing devices have come a long way in the 30 plus years I’ve been wearing hearing aids. I’m more connected than ever, are you?

Ten years into wearing hearing aids, I got my first pair of digital hearing aids. They were a huge improvement over the analog hearing aids that turned all noise up. With digital hearing aids, I could better tolerate my work related noise in the salon. It was a smooth transition for me to go digital for me.

Technology keeps pace with my hearing loss, thank goodness. There’s so much more that can be done with specific programs in hearing aids (and cochlear implants) than ever before. Thank you technology for keeping up with my hearing loss!

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Accessibility Advocacy CART (live captioning) Emotions, Psychological Stress Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss Shame/Stigma/Denial Vulnerability

Vulnerability

When we apply a little vulnerability, life with hearing loss gets a little easier. Sharing our experiences helps break down the mystery behind hearing loss. Asking others to help us find solutions invites creativity.

Don’t avoid the uncomfortable.

Michele: Emily Nagoski, who has a PhD in health behavior, talks about the fear of uncomfortable feelings, which is another way to say the fear of vulnerability: “One of the things I say over and over… is that feelings are tunnels. You have to go through the darkness to get to the light at the end… You’ve got to work all the way through it… [I] grew up in a family where uncomfortable feelings were not allowed, and… [I was] pretty sure that uncomfortable feelings [were more like] caves with bats and rats and snakes and a river of poison.

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Advocacy Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss Misconceptions Setting limits

Get Out of Your Own Way

Written by Michele Linder

It is tempting to frame disability in the context of limitations. Certainly, Hard of Hearing (HoH) people face a communication barrier. That means they either find workarounds in situations where communication is a challenge, or give up and accept less out of life.

Getting hung up on what we can’t do is a natural tendency when we are going through the stages of emotional trauma that hearing loss forces upon us. However, we can choose to come out the other side a better person.

Fear is the vehicle for unnecessary limitations, and can rob anyone of a life well-lived. Having a barrier makes it easy to justify I can’t.

When others tell you that you CAN’T do something because of your hearing loss, it is your decision to accept or reject that limit. You determine what limits are acceptable, and those that are not. 

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Emotions, Psychological Stress Hard of Hearing Hearing Loss Shame/Stigma/Denial

The Emotional Side of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss comes with a cycle of emotions—sadness, grief, anger, depression, pain of isolation, and feeling panicked at not being able to do things in exactly the same way as you used to, or not all. One of the biggest things most people miss about hearing loss is how emotional it is. 

Big moments—a loss that is glaringly and painfully apparent—and day-to-day challenges make life with hearing loss an ongoing rollercoaster of emotions.