Hard of Hearing

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    Ambre M

    I'm Sick of Rude Responses When I Can't Hear Someone Wearing a Mask

    Thursday I was craving some fries from McDonald’s, which is one of my safe foods due to my gastroparesis. So I placed a mobile order, I did curbside pick up, but it wasn’t letting me check in for pickup. So I went inside. The cashier was talking to me and I couldn’t understand/hear her. So I told her. Then the manager started talking to me. I repeated I can’t hear them. She started again. I yelled, “I’m partially deaf, I can’t understand you.” Then she laughed. The manager laughed! There were several guys waiting for their food, and one stepped up to help me. When I walked away, she laughed again! I was so angry and embarrassed, I was almost crying. Masks have long been a challenge for those that are hearing impaired. Many have experienced horrible situations from being unable to communicate. This is not OK. This is stressful and honestly traumatizing. I have 30% hearing loss in my left ear and 40% in my right. I’m exhausted sometimes from straining to hear what’s being said to me by others. Now you may think, what’s the big deal? Well, for those in the hearing impaired community, reading lips is imperative to communicate. With lips covered, they can’t effectively communicate. Many won’t wear clear masks so their lips could be read. Many won’t write down on a pad of paper for the hard of hearing person; many make no effort to accommodate to provide effective communication. What is even more mind-blowing is how often this is happening at doctors’ offices and hospitals.  I have told them, upon checking in for an appointment, that I am hard of hearing. I will not hear my name if called softly, or on the other side of the waiting room. Frustratingly, it still happens! I had one appointment last year with an ortho; I couldn’t tell you what was said. He wore two masks and didn’t speak clearly. Again, this was after telling him I’m hearing impaired. The sad reality is, this is happening at an alarming frequency. We in the hearing impaired community have lost valuable, necessary ways to communicate. This has left us reeling. This has left us experiencing frustrating, even embarrassing situations. The number of times we’re ridiculed, ignored, or absolutely no effort is put forth to communicate in a way we need is astounding. There are countless videos on TikTok of this happening, countless posts on Facebook detailing the same thing. It’s disheartening. This is honestly ableist. Experiencing this over and over is emotionally draining. Today’s experience was completely unacceptable. It should never have happened. It shouldn’t be happening to anyone! Struggling to hear so I can communicate, is that really acceptable? Is that really where we are? This is not about politics. This is about a community being left in the lurch, struggling to communicate due to masks. We need to find a way that doesn’t leave an entire community struggling to communicate. If you see someone struggling, please help them. Offer assistance. Work to find a way to communicate with them, whether it’s typing on your phone, or writing it down. Be kind. Choose kindness and compassion.

    Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids May Be Coming in 2022

    Better hearing might be more accessible than ever for Americans with mild to moderate hearing loss come next year. According to CBS News, millions of Americans should already be able to go to their local drug store to pick up over-the-counter hearing aids. Unfortunately that’s not possible today because the Food and Drug Administration missed the August 2020 proposal deadline. In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order giving the FDA another 120 days to finish drafting their proposal with the necessary guidelines. After that, it may take until 2022 for hearing aids to actually touch down on shelves across America. Hearing aids are incredibly expensive devices that few insurances will cover despite how many individuals’ need them. According to Healthline, 37.5 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss , but due to lack of accessibility and stigma, only one in four adults own a set of hearing aids to help them. The average cost for hearing aids can set you back anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. The process of being tested, fitted, etc. could cost even more before you are able to acquire the pair that best fits your needs. A select number of companies currently make the devices, so with this upcoming proposal may come a greater influx of options. T he new OTC (over-the-counter) models — which are only effective for people with mild to moderate hearing loss — are predicted to cost from $200 to $800. Hearing loss is also a symptom or co-morbidity of a variety of medical conditions. This upcoming change could be a game changer.

    Community Voices
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    Community Voices

    I am in the hospital. I Have Cancer. #Encourageme

    <p>I am in the hospital. I Have <a href="https://themighty.com/topic/cancer/?label=Cancer" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce6a00553f33fe98f050" data-name="Cancer" title="Cancer" target="_blank">Cancer</a>. <a class="tm-topic-link ugc-topic" title="Encourageme" href="/topic/encourageme/" data-id="5e1ac0ecfe7b6900d668f309" data-name="Encourageme" aria-label="hashtag Encourageme">#Encourageme</a> </p>
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    Hard of Hearing Student Berated for Accommodations by Professor

    Last week, a video went viral on social media last week for all those wrong reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for many people, and this includes virtual education for many students around the world. One would hope people would become more understanding during the pandemic, but one TikTok showing how a hard-of-hearing student was treated by a professor shows that this has not always been the case. In the video, a professor at Oxnard College criticized a hard-of-hearing student for not responding right away and also criticized that her for having a translator. The professor told the student they would have to discuss her participation later in front of the entire class. HuffPost has reported that the professor is now on administrative leave. Is this the kind of professors you are employing at your college?? Unacceptable! @ventura_college pic.twitter.com/7JqzxuoJxT— Deaf Hottie????????‍♀️???? (@Freelove19xx) February 19, 2021 I am hard-of-hearing myself, and this video rattles me for a few reasons. The first being how hard it can be to be on Zoom calls for hours without a break. I was in the final semester of my undergraduate degree in May 2020, and I was so tired after my virtual classes. My professors also did not have captions on their calls, which made classes more taxing. When I look at the TikTok video itself, there do not seem to be captions on the Zoom class call either. Another reason why this professor’s behavior disturbs me is that I am afraid people will judge me if I ask for too many accommodations. I was always at the top of my class in French throughout high school and took advanced French courses while at university. While I was a dedicated student, I always struggled with listening sections on my exams. I read lips, so just having a message said over audio can be difficult for me. In high school, my French teacher completely understood some limitations of this disability, and when we had audio-only exercises in class, she would then go to the hallway with me after and read the transcript so I could look at her face. I was unable to get proper accommodations for the AP French exam — I only had extended time to write out answers to questions — but that was due to issues with the College Board. When I went to university, we often had listening exercises in my French class. To my luck, during my entire first year, there was construction on my building. These exercises were not graded, but I still felt frustrated that I was unable to understand everything the professor was saying. There was one positive part of this TikTok, and that was the student who jumped in to defend her hard-of-hearing peer. Dealing with ableism is difficult, but it is always nice to have allies to help us when we are dealing with situations we do not deserve. In my French class at university, there were multiple students in my class who shared with me their notes from the exercises because they knew of the challenges I face with my disability. Going forward, I hope to see more stories of what professors are doing to accommodate students, and not the other way around.

    Community Voices

    Guard my Life - Signed English and Interpreation

    <p>Guard my Life - Signed English and Interpreation</p>
    Community Voices
    MiaB

    It's been awhile....

    So I haven't posted in quite some time but I hadn’t been able to work for over two years due to this demon we all know as Ménière’s but today I had my very first day starting a new work from home position that is more conducive to my current capabilities. My anxiety has literally been through the roof but I made it through ok & I’m excited to be becoming more self sufficient again. My mom (and daughter) have been my caretakers & biggest supporters but I’m sure they’re just as happy that I’m able to take some of my power back from this disease. ♥️ #Anxiety #MenieresDisease #HardOfHearing #workfromhome

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    Community Voices

    UK based Peeps: Let's all contribute to the Government's consultation on our lives & experiences with disabilities and/or as carers!

    <p>UK based Peeps: Let's all contribute to the Government's consultation on our lives & experiences with disabilities and/or as carers!</p>
    3 people are talking about this