Hearing Loss in the Workplace: An In-Person Meeting

Hearing loss can make communication in the workplace challenging, but there are strategies for success. In a recent talk on hearing loss in the workplace at Goldman Sachs, I highlighted the strategies and tips I use for one of the most difficult workplace situations — an in-person meeting. I share the portion of my talk on this topic below. Please add your suggestions in the comments.

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Living With Hearing Loss: Top Ten Posts of 2019

It’s that time of year again — time to look back and remember the highlights of the past year, and make plans for the upcoming year. Many of 2019’s most popular posts on Living With Hearing Loss centered on the ways hearing loss impacts more than just the individual with hearing loss, but also the person’s family and friends. Some posts suggested ways that family and friends could help support those of us with hearing loss, while others discussed ways that we as people with hearing loss can get more comfortable asking for the help we need. The bottom line: Hearing loss is a team sport.

Thank you to all my readers for helping create this wonderful and encouraging hearing loss community. I appreciate you adding to the discussion with your comments and suggestions and for sharing support for one another. Here’s to more of the same in 2020.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

I am taking next week off, but will be back in January with more posts. In the meantime, please enjoy the 10 most popular articles of 2019.

Top 10 Living With Hearing Loss Posts of 2019

  1. A Head Cold + Hearing Loss = A Perfect Storm
  2. Five Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Hearing Loss
  3. Hearing Loss: When Dinner is A Disaster
  4. Seven Ways You Can Make Life Easier For Someone With Hearing Loss 
  5. Does Your Tinnitus Worsen in the Winter
  6. When Your Hearing Aid Settings Are Just Wrong
  7. What My Hearing Loss Has Taught Me
  8. You CAN Go to the Movies When You Have Hearing Loss
  9. How To Love Someone With Hearing Loss
  10. Do You Hear Better in the Morning?

Readers, what was your favorite post of the year?

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How To Improve Your Lipreading Skills Online

Living with hearing loss, I have always wanted to take a lipreading course, but was never able to find one in New York City that worked with my schedule. So when I learned about a new online tutorial created by the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador (CHHA-NL), I was excited to give it a go. Read My Lips is a self-paced online course that uses videos, exercises, and quizzes to demonstrate and teach basic lipreading skills.

I consider myself a good lipreader, but most of my knowledge has come intuitively, driven by necessity. Taking the Read My Lips classes helped me gain a firmer understanding of the basic lip, tongue and jaw movements involved in many letter sounds. Knowing the mechanics of how the sounds are made can only improve my skills. I am glad I took the course.

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When “You Seem To Hear Just Fine” Felt Like an Insult

It was the annual celebration dinner for a community group where I volunteer. People wore their finest attire and mingled in the beautiful space, chatting ahead of the awards dinner. The sound was deafening, but I did my best to hear and partake in a variety of conversations using my surviving a cocktail party with hearing loss tips.

Finding my spot at my assigned table, I introduced myself to my seat mates. Luckily the majority had strong voices in the right decibel range for me to hear; and they were easy to lipread. The conversation flowed, bouncing from topic to topic, before my hearing loss and related advocacy work came up. Yes, I try to slip it into every conversation — that is what advocates do.

Their response: “But, you seem to hear just fine.” Part of me was happy that I was conversing so successfully — those lipreading skills do come in handy — but part of me felt almost slighted. Truth be told, this duck was paddling furiously under the water.

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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?

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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