Will You Be At The HLAA Convention This Year?

Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) 2019 Convention is only three weeks away. Will you be there? This year the convention is in Rochester, NY, home to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) which boasts “an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.” Partially because of RIT, Rochester is a hub of activity for the deaf community and incredibly welcoming for people with hearing loss. It even has a local yoga studio that offers ASL-interpreted yoga classes every Saturday morning. And the airport is looped!

This will be my fifth convention. Each year I am thrilled to meet, mingle with and expand my hearing loss community. Usually I come away with at least one new hearing loss friend and a handful of tricks and tips I can use to make the world more accessible. All sessions are looped and have CART (communication access real-time translation), so you won’t miss a word. I’ve never attended a conference that is so accessible for people with hearing loss.

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My Hearing Aids Boost My Confidence

I am pleased to share my hearing loss story and tips on the newly launched site — FindHearing.com.  See an excerpt below.

My left ear has been acting up — increased pressure from seasonal allergies led to excess fluid, making my hearing aid unwearable for a few days until my ear dries out. It is a frustrating situation — I can’t hear on one side so I feel lopsided and out-of the-flow. It is hard to tell where sounds originate and the constant tinnitus in my hearing-aid-less-ear is a nuisance. Thank goodness this situation is only temporary.

Among the many challenges, the worst part is feeling less self-assured. At my yoga studio this morning, I briefly greeted my fellow students, but quickly retreated into a pre-class savasana to avoid conversation. I thought about cancelling lunch with a friend, but decided to fess up about being down one ear today instead. I feel low-energy, shy, and less poised. My self-confidence has taken a dip.

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Interesting Reads: My New E-Book Shares The Hearing Loss Patient’s Perspective

I am excited to announce the publication of my first e-book — “A Primer on Person-Centered Care From the Patient’s Perspective!” In it I share the fits and starts of the early days of my hearing loss journey and how person-centered care could have made my transition from hearing to hearing loss much easier.

The e-book shares my personal hearing loss journey, examines some of my experiences with audiologists over the years, and lays out my formula for person-centered care from the patient perspective. It also provides suggestions for how audiologists can incorporate each component into their daily interactions with patients.

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Seven Ways You Can Make Life Easier for Someone With Hearing Loss

Do you have someone with hearing loss in your life? With 360 million people worldwide (nearly 50 million Americans) experiencing debilitating hearing loss, chances are that you do. You probably notice how they sometimes struggle to keep up with the conversation, or that they avoid social exchanges that might be challenging or exhausting. Perhaps you wonder what you can do to help. This post provides my suggestions. Please add yours in the comments.

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How To Find The Right Audiologist For You

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a “Good Housekeeping” Seal of approval for audiologists? In my latest post for Ida Institute, I describe what they hope will become the standard benchmark of quality for person-centered care in audiology. I share an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

When my audiologist retired a year ago, I was devastated. We had invested a lot of time together to find the right programming for my hearing aids and had built a strong working relationship. She was caring, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. She understood my hearing challenges and partnered with me on my communication priorities. How could I replicate this positive dynamic with someone new?

As time passed, I felt more confident. I was no longer an inexperienced hearing aid wearer and knew what I required from an audiologist and how to ask for it. This included many of the components of person-centered care I highlighted in my recent blog series on this topic. I was looking for an audiologist who:

  1. Listens to my particular hearing needs and focuses my care around those.
  2. Runs a hearing loss friendly office with a receptionist I can understand.
  3. Champions new technologies in both hearing aids and assistive listening devices.
  4. Believes best practice communication tools are just as important as technology.

Finding the right person was still difficult. I checked online listings for audiologists in my area, but the metrics presented did not include person-centered care. I reached out to my local hearing loss friends, but many were not satisfied with the care they received and suggested I look elsewhere.

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