I have always wanted to write a book. So when one of my favorite hearing loss advocates, Gael Hannan, contacted me during the pandemic to see if I would be interested in co-authoring a book with her, I jumped at the chance. After numerous outlines, and first drafts, and rewrites, and early readers, and more edits and hundreds of cross-continent Zoom calls, our manuscript was complete. Our baby, Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss, will be born in May 2022.
This is the book about hearing loss I wish I’d had at the beginning of my hearing loss journey. It’s skill-based, but it’s also a place to call home. Pre-orders begin on World Hearing Day, March 3, 2022.
Why Write a Book about Hearing Loss?
When I began my hearing loss journey, there was so much that I didn’t know. I was battling stigma and embarrassment as I struggled to adapt to the changes that came with this new life. I often felt alone and unprepared for the challenges I faced. In denial, I never asked for assistance to communicate better, in part because I didn’t understand what I needed.
For years I struggled with my internal attitudes about hearing loss that prevented me from taking steps to improve my life like admitting to others that I had trouble hearing. I didn’t fully embrace technology or realize there were many non-technical tools I could use to make life easier. There was no guide telling me what to expect or how to take back control of my communication, and of my life.
This is the book I wish I’d had at the beginning of my journey. Containing practical tips for people with hearing loss, no matter the degree or how long they have had it, it is also a place to build roots. Gael and I share our personal stories—the ups and the downs—and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. But most of all we reveal the ways we have learned to accept, adapt, and embrace our hearing loss lives. Because, as we have discovered, the key to living well with hearing loss is to live skillfully.
Why Write a Book Together?
No two hearing journeys are alike and Gael and I are perfect examples of that. Gael’s hearing loss was present from birth, while mine developed in my mid-20s. Our degrees of hearing loss vary, and the technology tools we use differ as well. She is bimodal, wearing a cochlear implant on one ear and a hearing aid for the other, while I use two hearing aids.
We live in two different countries, have different skills and divergent life experiences, yet, over time, we each developed a similar set of attitudes, skills and workaround that we use to remain connected to the things and people we love.
We hope that the diversity of our experiences will allow each reader to recognize at least some part of their journey in ours.
How Can You Get Your Copy?
Hear & Beyond will be available to pre-order on March 3rd. We can’t wait to share our baby with you.
Readers, what skills do you use to live well with your hearing loss?