How To Combat The Stigma of Hearing Loss

Stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” It often arises from external forces like prejudices, stereotypes or societal norms, but it can also come from inside ourselves — perhaps as we internalize the negative perceptions of others or suffer from a generalized fear of being different from the norm.

Stigma surrounding hearing loss can make us afraid to admit that we have trouble hearing. The shame and embarrassment of stigma drives us to behave in unproductive and unhealthy ways, like neglecting to ask friends and family to use communication best practices or refusing to seek out the professional assistance we need. It may lead us to avoid socializing or prevent us from applying for a deserved promotion. Over time, these behaviors can lead to isolation, depression, and a plethora of health problems.

We must nip hearing loss stigma in the bud. But how?

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Being A Mother With Hearing Loss Has Its Challenges

I enjoy sharing my hearing loss adventures in mainstream media publications. Not only does it helps raise awareness about hearing loss to a broader audience, it chips away at the stigma surrounding hearing loss. In each piece, I aim to share valuable communication tips or other helpful hints to educate the public about ways they can be more hearing loss friendly. My latest article was recently featured on NYMetroParents

Please show your support for these initiatives by visiting the original article here

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Hearing Loss in the Workplace: Strategies for Success

Managing hearing loss in the workplace can be challenging. Hearing loss stigma may make you worried about disclosing your disability, and even if you do, others may not know the communications best practices required to help you hear your best. You may struggle in some work situations, but thrive in others, confusing your co-workers and clients. You company may not be aware of the many new technologies that can make communication easier for people with hearing loss. The good news is that there are many strategies for success, but much education is needed.

So, when Goldman Sachs’ Disability Interest Forum invited me to speak on a panel highlighting hearing health in the workplace at one of their four Disability Awareness Month events, I jumped at the chance! I was thrilled that a leading global firm like Goldman Sachs chose to prioritize hearing health in the workplace in such a public and impactful way.

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How A Gratitude Journal Helps Me Manage My Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be frustrating and annoying, but what if expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of life could help offset some of those negative feelings? In my latest post for Hearing Tracker, I share my experiences using a gratitude journal to help manage my hearing loss. See an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

Living with hearing loss can be incredibly frustrating. You might miss the joke at a social gathering and stand staring while everyone else laughs or you may try to enjoy a dinner out at a restaurant, but the background noise blocks out the voices you want to hear. Sometimes your friends and family are supportive, but other times they wave off your requests for a repeat with the dreaded “never mind.” Your hearing aids are wonderful in certain situations, but not in all. There can be a lot to complain about.

But what if expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of our life could help deflect some of the frustrations we live with every day because of our hearing issues? Many research studies suggest that gratitude can help enrich your life through increased patience, better sleep, improved health, higher self-esteem and more resilience. And the benefits are long-lasting. It seemed worth a try.

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Why Do People Assume Everyone With Hearing Loss Can Sign?

We would love for you to make videos to reach a hearing loss audience, the media rep suggested. “Sure, that sounds good,” I replied, “assuming the videos would be captioned, of course.” “But wouldn’t you just sign in them?” she asked with some confusion.

I stopped dead in my tracks in surprise. “Most people with hearing loss, myself included, don’t know sign language,” I explained, “particularly if we acquired our hearing issues later in life.” “I didn’t know that,” she said.

This was an intelligent, educated person working in media for a patient advocacy company. If she doesn’t know this basic fact about people with hearing loss, imagine the ignorance of the general public.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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