How to Combat the Social Isolation of Hearing Loss

We are all facing the pain of isolation while practicing social distancing amid COVID-19. It hurts to feel alone in the face of new challenges and to combat loneliness at a time of uncertainty. While this crisis is difficult, it also gives us the opportunity to rethink old ways of doing things. I wrote this article before the pandemic began, but I think it is valuable to revisit it as we plan for a more inclusive tomorrow on the other side of this crisis. 

This post first appeared on Culturico. Reprinted here with their permission.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog
Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

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How To Talk To Family About Your Hearing Loss

When someone in the family has hearing loss, the whole family is impacted. Getting everyone on the same page can help enhance communication and make hearing loss much less frustrating and difficult for all. As the person with hearing loss, it is your responsibility to allow your family to share your unique journey. Here are some tips to do just that.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Hearing Loss Advocacy: Captions Are Our Ramps

Last week’s post was an open letter to video conferencing companies like Zoom and Google, asking them to provide free auto captioning for people with hearing loss during this time of physical distancing. In most cases, auto captioning is available on these platforms, but it is hidden behind a paywall for premium paid accounts. There was so much support from readers, I started a petition on Change.org to capture the response.

The results have been tremendous. As of this writing, 8,000 people have signed the petition, and the number continues to grow. I have begun sharing the petition with the companies. If you have not signed already, will you help me to show more support by signing and sharing the petition? Together we can make change happen!

SIGN OUR PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG 

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Hearing Loss Access: Zoom & Google, Make Free Captions Available Now

People with hearing loss have trouble communicating in many situations leading to isolation and loneliness during normal times. Today, amid COVID-19, things are even tougher. In-person conversation has moved online, leaving many people with hearing loss few options for connecting with family and friends, especially seniors who are most at risk for developing virus complications.

Free automatic speech recognition (ASR) captioning for people with hearing loss on video conference platforms like Zoom and Google could make all the difference. Today I pen an open letter to these companies. Please share my words and add your own. Together, we can bring about the change we need to remain engaged and productive in today’s challenging times.

Computer displaying a video conference call.

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My Hearing Loss Frown: I’m Not Angry, I’m Just Concentrating

Do people sometimes think you are angry when you are not? Or that your facial expression during conversation implies a negative affect? This happens to me at times, especially in difficult listening situations like meetings with many people or at gatherings with a lot of background noise.

I call it my hearing loss frown. I am not angry or upset, but I am concentrating so hard to hear that the work shows on my face. This can be a problem for people with hearing loss because this focus is often misinterpreted as anger, frustration or annoyance, which can lead to difficulties in personal relationships and in the workplace.

portrait of an angry woman

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