When Using A Microphone Made All The Difference for My Hearing Loss

Do you wish a microphone was used at all meetings and events that you attend? I certainly do. My article for FindHearing on HHTM discusses how important microphones are for creating an inclusive environment and what we, as people with hearing loss, can do to help promote microphone usage. See an excerpt from the piece below.

Thank You For Using the Microphone

It was a reunion weekend at my alma mater. It was great to see old friends and revisit my school days by sitting in on some “Back-to-School” classes — without the stress of homework or grades of course! I was worried if I would be able to enjoy the classes fully given my hearing loss, so I was proactive and spoke with the organizers ahead of time, to request that a microphone be used.

Arriving at the first class, I reminded the professor about my hearing issues and he assured me he was a loud speaker, but if I couldn’t hear, he would use the mic. I sat in the second row to make sure I was as close as possible and hoped for the best.

The professor was a loud talker — at the start of his sentence — but his voice trailed off as he reached the conclusion. I tried to catch his eye and held my hand behind my ear to indicate I was having trouble hearing — and it worked!

He stopped talking and walked over to get the mic. It was a clip on and he was struggling to make it work. Someone called out from the class, “You don’t need it. We can hear you,” but to his credit, he kept fumbling with it.

“I saw some folks that were having trouble,” he said, and continued working until he succeeded. He then continued his lecture with a smile on both his face and mine. I was grateful for his efforts and his tact in not singling me out in his response.

Continue reading on HHTM for ways you can help advocate for using microphones in all meetings, large and small.

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14 thoughts on “When Using A Microphone Made All The Difference for My Hearing Loss

  1. Never accept the statement “It’s OK, I have a loud voice..” from a speaker ahead of time. It is always best that they use a mic, if one is available. Just say, “There are people in the audience who have varying degrees of hearing loss and without a mic, you will lose them”. We learned this the hard way at a college-for-seniors program of full-time classes. Mics are the only way to go. And that’s a great video; I’m glad it is still available!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good advice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. In case there is no mic it’s a good idea to have a personal ic that connects to your hearing aids. If your hearing aids don’t have that feature there are assistive listening devices to bring the speaker’s voice to your ears. The problem is that it makes it very awkward if you want to leave early.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for sharing what works for you.

  3. Carol, I love your comment. Yes, indeed providing the speaker with your remote mic certainly makes it difficult to leave early. Also, whenever I do this, I arrive early to make arrangements with the speaker. All in all, an added step for those of us with hearing loss.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Arriving early is key. Thanks for weighing in.

  4. I agree microphones of some type should be used and regulated correctly to avoid whistling and screeching noise. Educating people on how to use a microphone. I get disgusted when people put the microphone right in front of their mouth and you can’t lipread anyone if happen to miss something. Grrrrrr!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Education is ongoing. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Another place to have microphones is the funeral homes. I sat through two services and had a hard time hearing the person speaking. At one service I could not hear at all and had to move to another area and fortunately was able to hear but not without a bit of a struggle. So yes microphones are a necessity especially for those of us with a hearing impairment.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Mics have been no help to me at religious services. We had a very nice rabbi for 13 years; she used a mic, and in that time I never clearly heard one word of her sermons, nor any of the congregation announcements.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is a shame. Different things work better for different people. Were you able to find another option? Perhaps a loop or speech-to-text app? Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  7. Unfortunately, houses of worship often have very poor acoustics.Yes, hearing loops are the answer, but, sadly, few buildings have installed them. Your next best bet is probably a personal external mic, as described above in comments. But the rabbi would probably have to agree to wear it (clipped unobtrusively to clothing) as she may walk around during the service. Or you might find a place up front (to one side) to lay it. Don’t forget to collect it at the end!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for adding your thoughts to the discussion.

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