Share Our Stories

Those of us with a hearing loss love to connect with each other. We love to share our stories and hear other people’s stories – both successes and struggles.  After all, we’re all in this together! Be one of the first to share your story and insight here. What have you learned through your hearing loss? What have been your struggles? What have been your disappointments? What have been your successes? We would love to hear from you.

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Carol G., New Jersey

Hearing loss is invisible, and normally-hearing people are not told how best to help a hoh/ld/ci person understand what is being said. It’s up to ME as a CI user to educate those that I come in contact with. At a sales register in supermarkets, or stores, if the environmental noise is too loud I have no qualms about telling the clerk: “I’m having trouble understanding you, although I wear hearing equipment (pointing to my processors) so bear with me while I ask for repeats because I really want to know what you are saying.” All this while smiling and being friendly. Get over the hurdle of self-consciousness, practice saying this in front of a mirror. When you make your hearing loss “visible,” people will then accommodate you.

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  1. When I started wearing my button, that says, “Please FACE me when you speak to me; I am hearing impaired”, my life turned around. My hearing loss is “invisible”, because my hearing aids are barely noticeable. Until I wore the button, I would explain to the speaker, what I needed for them to do, so that I could hear their voice.

    Unless I told the speaker to look at me and to speak slowly, that person had no idea about what I needed from them, in order for me to hear him/her.

    I have several different styles of buttons. The first button that I ever got, was for my father, who became deaf. I got it from the SHHH organization, which later became HLAA.

    Then, I made another button with a message imprinted from an audiology website in Great Britain. The message says, “I can’t hear you if you don’t FACE ME.” The “FACE ME” part is written as if in a mirror image. So, it really gets the attention of the person with whom I’m trying to have a conversation. At first, they are puzzled by trying to read the mirror image of the words. After their attention is piqued, they say, “Oh, I see! You need me to look at you, so that you can hear me, right?” And, of course, I say, “Yes, indeed. That is exactly what I need. I am hard of hearing. So, I thank you for helping me.

    Wearing a button has enabled me to have more meaningful, complete conversations with people. I recommend it highly. When I wear it, I don’t need to explain much to the speaker. Their attention is grabbed and they engage with me right away.

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