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Blog Articles

"If you could restore your hearing, would you?"
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
As I've mentioned in another post, I grew up with the impression that deafness was this great obstacle to be overcome, to be excised out of my daily life as much as possible.



School starts this week. Change.
Blog topic written by LeAnn Caseria
This morning I helped my youngest pack our old Toyota as he left for his 2nd year at University, new dorm, new roommate and part-time job, new classes and new people to meet. Change.



"Cued Speech isn't a language."
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
…and it doesn't need to be. Cued Speech is a communication mode that visually represents an existing language in real time. That's why professionals make a distinction between Cued Speech, Cued English, and Cued language.



Where the Americans with Disabilities Act Falls Short
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
The ADA is a marvelous legislative tool. I have, however, noticed a disturbing tendency to rely on it as a blanket solution, or worse, a legal bludgeon.



Who's Really Smart?
Blog topic written by LeAnn Caseria
I took one of those online tests... this one was "what level of education do you have? Let us guess." Then by a series of questions, it was supposed to know how far you'd gone in school.



Fractured
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
ne of the hardest things I've ever done was study abroad in Beijing for four months, with no accommodations for most of the semester.



Finding my Awe
Blog topic written by LeAnn Caseria
I went to a party yesterday. Actually I went to two parties….IN ONE DAY! This is epic for me, especially with my hearing loss.



We Aren't Outliers
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
Sometimes, when I tell others about what Cued Speech had done for me growing up, someone will mention the above, as if those factors somehow negate or diminish Cued Speech's efficacy.



Sara Lundquist's Top Ten List for Hearing Loss
Blog topic written by Sara Lundquist
t is a tad late for the start of a list for the first of the year but I think we can do this exercise at any point of the year. It makes us put things in perspective, to marvel at the changes, the normality of things people would think are not normal life.



How to Write about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
or three years I worked at www.DeafandHoH.com as an editor and writer (Hi Senthil!). Naturally, this entailed a lot of reading about the d/hh community– most of it from hearing writers who had no experience whatsoever with that world.



Strength, Inspiration and our Inner Champion
Blog topic written by LeAnn Caseria
Hearing loss came upon me suddenly, there was no time to gradually get used to it. Not feeling the greatest one evening, my husband and I were watching a movie and "Bam!" ….I couldn't hear out of my left ear, there was this non-stop buzzing going on and my right ear wasn't doing so well either .



Game Night
Blog topic written by Sara Lundquist
hy is it so easy to stand up for a cause and take a stand? While we were in school we made posters, joined groups etc… But, why is it so hard to take a stand and stand up and advocate for yourself?



Signing Impaired: the Double Standard
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
I've posted about the use of "hearing impaired" and how it doesn't bother me, though I do take care not to use it because many of my d/hh friends find it offensive.



We Aren't Outliners
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
"You had strong family support." "You went to a good school." "You got lots of one-on-one time, didn't you?" "You were exposed to other cuers."



Sara Lundquist's Top Ten List for Hearing Loss
Blog topic written by Sara Lundquist
It is a tad late for the start of a list for the first of the year but I think we can do this exercise at any point of the year. It makes us put things in perspective, to marvel at the changes. the normality of things people would think are not normal life.



How to Write about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
For three years I worked at DeafandHoH.com as an editor and writer (Hi Senthil!). Naturally, this entailed a lot of reading about the d/hh community - most of it from hearing writers who had no experience whatsoever with that world.



Strength, Inspriation and our Inner Champion
Blog topic written by LeAnn Caseria
Hearing loss came upon me suddenly, there was no time to gradually get used to it. Not feeling the greatest one evening, my husband and I were watching a movie and "Bam!"



Game Night
Blog topic written by Sara Lundquist
Why is it so easy to stand up for a cause and take a stand? While we were in school we made posters, joined groups, etc.



Signing Impaired: the Double Standard
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
I've posted about the use of "hearing impaired" and how it doesn't bother me, though I do take care not to use it because many of my d/hh friends find it offensive.



Sometimes
Blog topic written by Marcia Shury, author of Silent Hearer
New Year! "New start" and "new you," these are words we often hear around this time of the year as we leave an old year behind and welcome the new.



We're bringing in new blog contributors for 2016!
Open Chat Night started August 2009 and has taken place each week on Wednesday nights in our hearing loss chat room. I have written over 200 blog topics, which have spurred insightful and intriguing discussions and conversations over the years.



Share your college stories
In the past, members of our chat group have shared interesting stories about their experiences in high school or college. Since right about now students are graduating or starting their winter breaks, I thought it would be nice to bring up this topic again.



Discrimination in the D/HH community
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
I was asked if I perceived there to be discrimination between various groups of those with hearing loss. More specifically, did I see a difference in attitude between those who have hearing loss through either work or life experiences compared with those that are born deaf or hard of hearing?

Hearing Impaired = Broken?
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann
Last week, I bought a giant canvas. It did not fit in my car. I spent the next hour or so texting local friends trying to find someone with a jeep or a truck, contemplating the logistics of strapping it to the top of my car, and snarking about it on Facebook.



Is hearing loss a blessing in disguise?
Obviously many of our discussion topics have been related to the obstacles of hearing loss, but I wanted to take a more positive approach this week. Even though hearing loss does have its downsides it can be a blessing in many ways.



What impact do nutrients have on hearing loss and vision?
As I've previously discussed, studies have identified a possible link between our diets and hearing loss. Good eating habits have been shown to reduce the chances of hearing loss due to aging. However, I'm interested in whether eating habits can prevent progressive hearing loss across all age groups.



Interpreters as Advocates?
On and off, I've read discussions about the interpreter's role as an advocate or ally for their deaf and hard of hearing clients. Sometimes the discussion veers into a direction that leaves me a bit cold, because then I remember the story that Tony Wright told me last year:



A push for closed captioning in the digital age
Many in the deaf and hard of hearing community continue to rely on subtitles and captioning to some degree. Several weeks ago during our Open Chat Night we opened the topic of providing captioning at churches.



Rebuilding Social Ties
Back in October 2011, I took a huge step in overcoming my social anxiety and attended a bonfire hosted by a local church. I had never gone to a bonfire before, and because it was almost entirely dark outside with rather crowded it was one of the more challenging social events I've ever gone to.



Letter to A Hearing Parent
Sometimes I get emails or messages from worried parents with a newly-deaf or hard of hearing child. They want to know how I've done with Cued Speech, cochlear implants, sign language, etc. So, I do my best to give a balanced perspective, since I understand how lacking that can be in deaf education.



Captioning in Churches
Several years ago I was a member of the young adult groups at River Park Community Church and Elmbrook Church. During that time, I made some new friends and attended several church services.



Sleeping in Complete Silence
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I don't wear my hearing aids while I sleep. On one hand, it seems like a blessing because I will not be disturbed and my ears are free from the hearing aids, but on the other hand I could sleep through an emergency or life-threatening situation.



Oh! You're deaf? Here's some braille
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
It seems just about every other d/hh person out there has a story about clueless people offering them unnecessary "accommodations."



Back to School
Chat members have previously asked about what accommodations deaf and hard of hearing students receive in college and how beneficial these are.



Hearing Loss and Relationships
Whether you're married or just dating someone, how does hearing loss affect your relationship?



Hearing < Communication
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, A Croaking Dalek With Laryngitis
The second time I went to China on a youth mission trip at a rural middle school near Xi'an, a woman from another American group came up to me in the cafeteria and asked me if she could pray for my hearing.



Dizziness, Vertigo & Imbalance
Did you know that hearing loss can cause vertigo? For a while, it never even occurred to me that inner ear functions can actually affect balance, since this has never been a problem for my particular type of hearing loss.

Social Life and Hearing Loss
Since creating the DeafandHoH.com community in 2008, I have had the opportunity to connect with people all over the country. Through conversations I've had with these individuals I've learned that some of us in the deaf and hard of hearing community experience social isolation because of our hearing loss.

New hearing aids on the market
Hearing aid technology is rapidly advancing every year. I am thinking about getting new hearing aids soon and so I'll have to research what new aids are out there now.



Discovering new social avenues
In the past, a hearing loss individual told me he doesn't have many friends and it's unsettling for him to see a group of friends. All of my life, I have felt the exact same emotions.



Learning American Sign Language
Back in 2011, I had dinner with a few friends in the HLAA chapter group. One of our conversations was about when we learned sign language.



Describe a turning point in your life
People with hearing loss go through various experiences in their lives. During the past several years, I have discovered more about how modern technology, such as Cochlear Implants, change people's lives.



How to take care of your hearing aids
Today, hearing aids can be very expensive. The digital hearing aids I have been wearing for the past 10 years (BTE and ITC) cost thousands of dollars.



Finding your Identity
In the past, I went to a HLAA chapter meeting, and one of the topics discussed was identity. Since then, I've wanted to continue learning about deaf culture and identity.



Adapting to new technologies
The participants in our Wednesday chat nights often describe their experiences of getting new hearing aids, so I thought it would be good to discuss our own experiences with the advancing technology in hearing aids.



Early memories with hearing loss
I'm sure many of us have memories from the days following discovery of our hearing loss. Moments in time that will forever be carried with us.



How can we educate our co-workers?
In the past, we have had interesting conversations during Open Chat Night about dealing with co-workers. Chat members asked about the best ways to educate and inform our co-workers about hearing loss.



Breaking the Self-Conscious Barrier
Back in 2010, I was truly inspired by a Facebook post. A 14-year-old kid posted this in my forum: Have you ever felt the need to hide your hearing impairment from the hearing world?



Facing challenging tasks due to hearing loss
Over the years, I have shared a lot of my life's experiences in my blog. Throughout my life, I have been socially challenged, depressed, and lonely–and that is just the beginning of what seemed like a never-ending and painful existence.



Share those embarrassing moments you never wanted to tell
We have all had embarrassing moments at some point in our lives. In the past, I read a blog where people were sharing their embarrassing, but funny, deaf moments.



Important people who have helped you
My hearing impaired teachers in elementary school were the most influential people in my life. I will never forget the first year of school when I wore a hearing aid box strapped around my shoulders.



How to communicate with people in the hearing world
I was enrolled in classes for the hearing impaired classes when I was three. The teachers wanted me to learn sign language, but I refused to learn.



Meeting your Significant Other
I am curious to know because I have been looking to meet someone myself. It has been very challenging for me to find someone and build any kind of close relationship.



Losing your hearing later in life
The phrase "late deafened" refers to those who lose their hearing later in life. While I was growing up, it never occurred to me that hearing loss could change over the years for some people, even at an early age.



Share your Social Avenue
I started my hearing loss community in 2008 because I was feeling like an outsider. It was always tough for me to have friends to hang out with and find a place feeling where I truly belong.



Facing Social Barriers in School
During my days in middle school, I was treated differently by classmates. I remember going to band class and having others constantly tease me. They looked at me as being different because I wore hearing aids.



How to cope with Tinnitus
Throughout our chat conversations, I've learned that several of our members have developed health complications as a result of their hearing loss. One of these complications is Tinnitus.



People who don't understand hearing loss
During a previous Open Chat Night, someone asked if anyone else has had problems with family members who don't understand hearing loss. This person had gone through a tough time when the "hearing people" in the family did not accept him.



Reaching your goals in 2015
As we approach the New Year I look back over all I've accomplished in 2014, and realize I have much to be proud of.



Holiday Gatherings
It's the Holiday season! There is nothing more rewarding than spending time with your family and the people you care about. As we carry on interesting conversations related to hearing loss, it's not just about us in the chatroom.



Advancement in technology
I was truly inspired by a story on "NBC Today Show." Three siblings who were all born profoundly deaf received cochlear implants on the same day. Here's a link to the story: Three siblings get gift of hearing on same day.



Share your hearing loss
When I started Open Chat Night in August 2009, many people attended and began to share their stories about their experiences with hearing loss.



The right kind of friends
In middle school, a friend of mine (Kory) asked me to sit with him and the popular kids during lunch. When I joined the group, the others gave me a look as if I didn't belong there.



Recycled Blog Topics
Over the past few years, I have written over 200 blog topics for our Open Chat Nights. These topics have opened up discussions between members of the deaf and hard of hearing community as regulars and newcomers attended our chats.



DeafandHoH Scavenger Hunt
Prepare for DeafandHoH's first Scavenger Hunt! Make sure you have your binoculars ready! The first Scavenger Hunt will begin on November 1st.



New Changes
A new job means a big change, and it's time for me to make this big change. Soon, I will begin my job with a new company after working for the same business for 9 years straight. I'm nervous and exited at the same time.



Why small talk is very important
Throughout my entire life, I have always been soft-spoken and quiet. I am not the type of person who is always comfortable making small talk with people I don't know.



What is Causing My Tinnitus?
A few years ago, I developed a mild case of tinnitus due to a medication I took to help cope with social anxiety. Tinnitus is a condition that causes ringing or buzzing in the ears.



Moving through obstacles in your path
I consider myself very fortunate because my hearing loss has remained steady, rather than declining, throughout my years growing up.



Past Friendship
Back in 2011, I wrote the cover story for a hearing loss magazine. And, before I showed the magazine to anyone else I immediately shared it with my friend at work. She was a very supportive friend, really someone I could reach out to.



Phone Conversation
Recently, I held a phone conversation with a deaf woman who was relying on an interpreter throughout the call. This was an entirely new experience for me.



Competing with hearing candidates at job interviews
Why I wasn't selected for the job? I have the skills and experience needed and I demonstrate great confidence during interviews. Although these are qualities interviewers like to see, often they have questionable looks that implies they don't think I'm the right fit.



Ear buds connected with hearing loss
Practically everywhere, I see people listening to music through ear buds plugged into mobile phones, iPods, MP3 players, computers, tablets, and more.



ABC Family Switched At Birth Memorable Moments
One of my favorite TV shows, ABC Family's “Switched at Birth,” continues to roll on new episodes in Season 3 this summer, and the stories get even more interesting and dramatic.



Describe your temporary hearing loss
It can be a scary feeling for anyone to notice temporary hearing loss. I've had mild to moderate hearing loss since birth and, while I grew up, it always stayed the same.



School for the Deaf
After attending the annual Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) hearing loss convention in Austin, Texas, I stayed for several more days and did some sightseeing.



The Austin Experience
During the past week, I visited Austin, Texas, to attend the annual Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) hearing loss convention. I had a great time and connected with new people in the hearing loss community, including a few members in our Facebook group and our Open Chat Night.



Travel Preparations
I am attending the annual Hearing Loss Convention which is taking place this year in Austin, Texas, June 26 through June 28. Since I'm starting to pack for my trip, I thought now would be a great time for us to talk about travel preparations. These preparations are important for those of us with hearing aids and/or Cochlear Implants.



Awkward moments with hearing aids
A Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) member in my local chapter suggested a topic for our Open Chat Night. It's about moments with hearing aids. She wanted to share one particular moment of hers in which, one morning, her little girl smiled wide only to discover she had one of her hearing aids in her mouth! It was an awkward moment, but with plenty of humor.



Social and Psychological Stigma of Hearing Loss
Many of us experience dramatic social and psychological effects as we struggle to deal with hearing loss. Whether we are profoundly deaf or hard of hearing, we each have to understand our individual feelings and reactions in order to cope with our situations.



Our Fifth Walk4Hearing
We are having our fifth annual Walk4Hearing at the Milwaukee Lakefront on May 31, 2014. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing takes place in 21 cities nationwide to raise awareness for hearing loss.



Different Styles of Hearing Aids
We haven't had an opening topic on hearing aids for a while now. Of course, it's brought up in the conversations quite often during chat night because many of us wear hearing aids to help compensate for our hearing loss.



Creating Calm in a Chaotic World
Last weekend I attended a class on “Strategies for Effectively Managing Stress,” which was run by a psychotherapist. I have been dealing a lot with social anxiety, which causes me stress (particularly at work), so I thought attending this class might be helpful for getting some tips.



The Evolution of Gene Therapy
In the recent decade, it's been amazing to see technology improving to restore hearing of those with hearing loss. The rise of cochlear implants and improved technology of digital hearing aids help millions of people hear the sounds they never could never hear before.



Deaf Community
Different areas of the country have different dynamics to their deaf and hard of hearing communities. One of our contributors at DeafandHoH.com recently moved to Dallas, Texas, and mentioned to me that Austin has a huge deaf community there.



Speaking Out
Last weekend, I attended the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing kick-off event in the Milwaukee area. The purpose of the event was to discuss more about the upcoming walk on May 31st and about our fundraising goals.



Life is too short, who inspire us
In 2013, Elizabeth Kuhn was one of our contributors at DeafandHoH.com. Her articles, including the member profile on Mackenzie Harrington, have drawn more readers than ever before and have inspired those of us in the community.



Left Out of Family Conversations
A member recently posted this blog article in our group and thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss. I can relate to this experience not only among family members but friends and co-workers too.



Daycare and Camps
As part of our new DeafandHoHKids.com website, every month we are highlighting a different camp that appeals to kids and teens in the deaf and hard of hearing community. We have already created a directory for all the daycares and camps in the U.S. we could find.



Hear Your Dreams
Although I personally can't remember any specific dreams about my hearing loss, one of our members mentioned one of hers in which she got into a pool without taking her hearing aids off.



How the common cold affects hearing loss?
Those of us living in the northern and eastern parts of the U.S. have had to face one of the worst winter seasons yet. With sub-freezing temperatures, record lows, and snow accumulation since last December, people have also had to deal with cases of the flu and common cold.



What's your Valentine's Day Story?
During last year's week of Valentine's Day, I went out with a woman I met online for my first date ever. That night, we had a great conversation over dinner.



My Social Interaction at the Convention
Last summer, I attended the HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) annual Hearing Loss Convention in Portland, Oregon. Although I met many wonderful people and made some new friends there, being around all the new faces created a great social challenge for me. As many of you know already, I am shy and soft-spoken.



Telephones and Mobile Devices
This past decade has flourished with the development and widespread usage of mobile devices, such as the popular iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices. These advances in technology are convenient because they allow us to instantly connect with one another.



Inspiration from Disability: What's your perspective?
I was enthralled to see a Duracell commercial featuring Derrick Coleman, a hard-of-hearing running back for the Seattle Seahawks. I loved the story and thought it was inspiring.



2013 Year's End
2013 has been an amazing year for the DeafandHoH community. Our Facebook group has grown to almost 3,000 members. Our wonderful contributors have helped expand our community through writing, marketing, and social media.



Fear of the unknown
I mentioned in a previous post earlier this year that I had been diagnosed with a mild case of retinitis pigmentosa, which means I cannot see as well at night or in low light.



Holiday Gifts
As the holiday season approaches, I thought it would be nice to share thoughtful gift ideas. What have you given or gotten for Christmas? Was it bought or handmade? What made it special?



Thanksgiving
Although Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate, those with hearing loss can often be left out because of their inability to hear and actively participate in conversation. Nobody likes to be looked at or treated differently in his own family.



Drive-Through Accessibility
Members in our Facebook group have been posting articles on how some restaurants are providing better assistance for deaf and hard of hearing customers. For example, some drive-through restaurants use touch screens instead of a speaker system.



Sign Language around the World
The deaf and hard of hearing people all over the world are joining our Facebook group. I noticed some of them are familiar with sign language from various nationalities all over the world such as British, French, Sweden, Australian sign language and many more.



Sunday church services
In last week's chat, we discussed the possibility of setting up looping systems at your local church, and I started thinking about my local church's accommodations.



Hospital Communication Kits
Recently I learned about hospital communication kits for the deaf and hard of hearing. These kits include a variety of items that are designed to improve communication between hospital staff and deaf and hard of hearing patients, like a writing pad, flashcards with pictures on them, and hearing loss stickers that show the international symbol for hearing loss.



Walking for a Cause
Last Sunday I participated in the Chicago Walk4Hearing, a fundraiser for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). It was a wonderful experience, full of friendly folks with varying degrees of hearing loss.



Chat Recap
In an effort to expand the weekly chats to those who cannot make the sessions, and to engage more of the community into the group discussions, we will be posting a brief recap of the topics discussed following the chat sessions.



Food and hearing loss
We all know about the common ways to maintain healthy hearing, like protecting our ears from loud noises and infections. Believe it or not, however, I learned that your diet can also play a role in preventing hearing loss, especially as you age.



Cyber Bullying
I was very honored to be a guest on the Social Network Show last week with hosts Dr. Jane and Jim Nico. You can listen to the segment here.



A Mother's Inspiration
What would you do if your child were born with unknown hearing loss? Perhaps some of you have this experience, while others simply can't imagine how difficult it would be as a parent to cope with this type of struggle.



First Day of School
As the summer comes to an end, many students and teachers have already begun school. Children in grade school start their first day of school with new lunch boxes and backpacks; teenagers head to their familiar homeroom and stow their belongings into an assigned locker; college students review the syllabus during their first lecture.



Ask the Audiologist: Kate Scully
Kate Scully Au.D., will be joining us on Wednesday, August 21st at 9 p.m. (EST) for the Ask the Audiologist Night.



Safety
The news is rife with horror stories of kidnapping, rape, and robbery. This brings up the question of safety for deaf and hard of hearing people, especially if we're doing something like walking alone at night.



Open Mic!
I'm excited to announce our four-year anniversary for Open Chat Night. During the past few years, I have seen amazing people of all ages join our chat group to engage into fun and intense conversations.



Travel preparations
When I travel, I prepare for hearing aid malfunctions by bringing along my older hearing aids as a back-up, in addition to extra batteries and wax traps for both sets of hearing aids. All of these items go into my carry-on luggage, and I've never encountered a problem with security.



Ask the Audiologist: Dr. Noreen Gibbens
Dr. Noreen Gibbens is the lead audiologist for hi HealthInnovations and a field team representative for the state of Tennessee. Her responsibilities include assisting patients with hearing testing, fittings and aural rehabilitation, as well as ensuring clinical quality companywide.



Deaf People in Popular Media
Over the past 30 years, we have seen more prominent deaf people in popular media, starting with Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lessor God. Now, the Switched At Birth series is as popular as ever, running into its third season.



Hearing Loss Convention
Last week, I attended the HLAA annual Hearing Loss Convention in Portland, Oregon. I met many wonderful people at the convention and made some new friends along the way.



Hearing dogs
Some deaf and hard of hearing people opt to use specially-trained hearing dogs, which are trained to notify their owners upon hearing certain sounds, like fire and smoke alarms, telephones, and doorbells.



Social challenges
This week, I'm attending the 4-day National Hearing Loss Convention in Portland, Oregon. Believe it or not, this will be my first out-of-town trip to a convention. In addition, the local HLAA chapter selected me to represent the Wisconsin chapter-by which I was very honored.



Deaf-Blindness
I recently finished a week-long stint as a volunteer SSP (Support Service Provider) at a deaf-blind camp in Maryland. Essentially, SSPs serve as a bridge between deaf-blind clients and their environment, often through tangible means, such as tactile sign language or physical guidance.



Advantages to Being Deaf in Athletic Competition
As I have read about deafness in athletics, I have found that many articles tend to point out the challenges that athletes with a hearing loss face rather than the advantages they have in competition because of being deaf.



Cultural Identity
Growing up hard of hearing, I always found myself stuck between two worlds-deaf and hearing. In third grade, I was fully mainstreamed with hearing students, and as the only hard of hearing student in the entire school and in my family, I didn't have the opportunity or the skills to interact with hard of hearing and deaf people to understand their culture and background.



Cued Speech
This week we'll be discussing Cued Speech, a mode of communication that uses eight handshapes and four basic locations/movements in conjunction with lipreading to convey the basic components of spoken English.



Happy Graduation
Our congratulations go out to Samantha Tubbs, who graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in graphic design! She's been a regular contributor to DeafandHoH.com for the past several months now, creating marketing flyers and updating the website.



Mothers
A year and a half ago, I was featured in Hearing Loss Magazine. The article I wrote really affected my mom; she burst into tears after reading the article, especially the part when I wrote: “With not having a lot of friends at work or outside, I was looking for an answer. It got to the point where I was starting to hate myself.”



Withholding information about being deaf
There have been a few times when I held back on telling someone that I am deaf out of fear of prejudice. Generally, people accept it pretty well, but upon reflection, I realized that it's not the person I'm worried about having a negative view of me-it's the situation I'm in.



Vision Loss
Night blindness is poor vision at night or in dim light. People with night blindness often have trouble seeing stars on a clear night or walking through a dark room, such as a movie theater.



CaptiView
Last week, I used a captioning device in the movie theater for the first time, at a showing of The Croods (highly recommended, by the way). In all those times that I went to theaters with family and friends, I never really thought to request accommodations.



I2Rant About Relationships and Friendships
This forum is a way to vent your feelings and frustrations within the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing world. On top of hearing loss, many of us deal with our own issues, like conflicts among friends, partners, and family members.



Using Animals in Hearing Loss Research Debate
While I was a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, the campus experienced its share of controversial events, including the nationally publicized protests at the Wisconsin state capital against the “Wisconsin budget repair bill” in February 2011.



Urgent Care
Last Friday, I noticed that my right ear felt clogged after taking a shower, which I found odd because that usually happens only when I have a cold or fly at high altitudes. Later that day, my ear started to hurt more, and I began to worry.



Interpreter Ethics
Many interpreter programs have at least one ethics course in their curriculum that is designed to address the “gray areas” of interpreting, especially since sign language interpreters often inadvertently take on additional roles throughout their careers.



Something to Rant About
Do you have something to rant about? Need to vent your feelings? Let it out on our forum I2Rant! Soon we'll launch the opening page for www.i2rant.com. Our topics will be applicable to deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people.



What Motivates You?
Life is full of exciting experiences and wonderful people who make you look forward to the days ahead. Other days can be tough, and we are presented with many challenges.



Bullying
Shanna Groves, a DeafandHoH.com member and hearing loss awareness advocate, recently started a petition to stop bullying toward students and employees with hearing loss.



Where is Your Place in a Technological World?
I have been developing as a person in an age of accelerated technology, where one can communicate at any given time with someone in any given place. Talking to someone is virtually at our finger tips with texting, email, Skype and countless other digital devices.



Your First Date
Last week, I went on my first real date after meeting someone online. We had dinner at a Thai restaurant. Surprisingly, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be, and I took that as an encouraging sign of my progress.



Documentary Delves into Abuse at St. John's School for the Deaf
Earlier this week, HBO premiered “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” a documentary by Alex Gibney. The film delves into the crimes of Father Lawrence Murphy, a Milwaukee priest who abused more than 200 deaf children.



Convention 2013
I will attend the HLAA Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon from June 27th to June 30th. This is my first out-of-town trip alone to a convention, and I expect the experience will be both rewarding and challenging.



Deafness in Sports
As I have researched deaf athletes and deafness in athletics, I've noticed a general trend: deaf athletes tend to participate in individual sports rather than team sports.



New York State of Mind
Last week I was delighted to spend seven days in Brooklyn with my lifelong friend Maya who moved there this past summer to join her boyfriend Henry who arrived the year prior. The liveliness of the city is truly invigorating, with a never-lacking source of energy.



My 3 seconds of fame
I was thrilled to find out that a copy of my cover feature in Hearing Loss Magazine had featured in a recent episode of “Switched at Birth.”



Alcohol and Hearing Loss
Alcohol can be a great way to bring people together. However, it often does entail a certain degree of planning-especially if you are concerned about safety, transportation, or reputation.



New Year's Resolutions
The Mayans were wrong; we are on the brink of a brand new year-and likely many more to come. 2012 has been very challenging for me, with both positive and negative experiences.



Holiday Cheers
My nephew's birthday is on Christmas Eve, and he turned 15 this year. It's amazing how quickly he is growing now; it seems like yesterday I was holding him on my arms. Now he's a couple of inches taller than me!



Volunteering
Growing up, I was involved in a variety of volunteer activities, such as mission trips, food drives, and rak-a-thons. For the most part, my experiences were positive. My leaders were always flexible with communication and did their best to accommodate me and make sure I was involved.



Support Groups
During the past few months, my social anxiety had worsened as I struggled to make new friends. To vent my feelings, I created my first YouTube video, opened up more about my experiences in my blog, and joined a support forum for people who suffer from social anxiety.



Job Interviews
In the past, when I went to job interviews, I wouldn't mention anything about my hearing loss. Graphic design, my field of study usually doesn't require that much communication, so my hearing loss is not much of an issue.



Family Gatherings
The holidays are almost here! For many people, that means visiting relatives. For deaf and hard of hearing people, it can mean a warm family reunion… or increased social anxiety, isolation, frustration, and other challenges.



Medication linked with hearing loss
Recently, I read about a study that linked household painkillers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, to an increased risk of hearing loss for women under 50.



Humor or Mockery?
New York interpreter Lydia Callis' televised translation of Mayor Bloomberg's news conference on Hurricane Sandy has sparked a series of spoofs from late night comedy shows.



Like-minded people
I've talked about how difficult it can be for me to find and keep friends, especially when they already have their own circle of friends. Sooner or later, I somehow lose touch with them. This pattern has repeated itself at school and work, and it's taken some of the fun out of meeting new people.



Speech-Language Therapy
Many of us in the hearing loss community have experienced speech-language therapy. I myself had to take speech classes in elementary school. I always struggled with the r sound because it ended up sounding like l instead.



Show your Talent
I'm sure many of us in the hearing loss community have a unique talent to show the world-something out of the ordinary.



Riding a Motorcycle
A hearing coworker recently took motorcycle classes. One of the lessons covered was safety. The mention of motorcycles reminded me of Emmett from ABC Family's “Switched at Birth”; Emmett is profoundly deaf and rides a motorcycle.



Reaching Out
I know many of you are already aware of my struggles to make new friends. I want to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for the tremendous support you've given on Facebook and here, especially after I posted my video. I want to give back and support others in return.



"Act & Win" Facebook Contest
Do you have something to say to everyone, but haven't? Make a video of yourself (preferably YouTube). We are providing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Have your videos posted on our Facebook page, so the audience and administrators can view them and “Like” the videos as well.



Opening Social Avenues
Why do I sometimes feel like I don't have a friend in this world? Why my friendship is a one-way street? Why do I still deal with social anxiety? Friends, I'm sharing my story on YouTube for the first time ever.



Ask the Audiologist Night - Brandon Lichtman
Brandon Lichtman, Au.D., will be joining on Wednesday, September 12th at 9 p.m. (EST) for this month's Ask the Audiologist Night. Dr. Brandon Lichtman specializes in pediatric and adult audiology as well as vestibular assessment.



Shopping
Over the past two weeks, I'd been running a lot of errands in the process of moving and getting my apartment ready for the semester. Of course, this required quite a bit of interaction with store employees-asking staff where things are, going through the checkout line, etc.



My ASL Buddy
I recently signed up for another sign language class. I was fortunate to make a new friend at work who is also interested in learning sign language, so we both decided to take a beginner's course this fall at Waukesha County Technical College.



Open Chat Night's Third Anniversary
On August 8th, DeafandHoH.com celebrated its third year of Open Chat Night. This year, DeafandHoH.com had its highest recorded number of Open Chat Night attendees and blog topic views: fifteen members came in one night, and blog views reached 1,000 unique visitors per month.



Tours and Hearing Loss
Many places offer organized tours: museums, historic districts, haunted cemeteries, to name a few. On many of these tours, the guide's back is usually turned to the rest of the group.



"Coming Out"
Before I started this hearing loss community, I would never talk to anyone about my hearing loss except my family members. I felt it was a personal matter, not appropriate for the public.



Camping
My family loves camping. We have gone camping at least once every summer since I was a baby-from modern RV's to cabins to tents in the middle of the forest with a port-a-potty about fifty yards down the trail.



Hearing Aid Emergencies
Last Friday night, I hung out with friends for a night of food, fun, and live music in the heart of downtown Waukesha. After dinner, the diminishing sound indicated that my hearing aid battery had gotten weak.



Conversing with your hairdresser
Whenever getting my routine haircut, I usually take out my hearing aids to protect them. Therefore, I'm unable to hear what's happening and being said around me in the salon.



Regional dialects
Each region has its own way of speaking (or signing), even within the same language. There is the infamous Southern drawl, which my father would slip into when he was angry or excited; the urbane British accent that many Americans find endearing; even sign languages have their own dialects.



Reaching for Your Dreams
Caitlyn Campbell, our featured member for July, dreams of becoming a book critic and traveling to Paris and Italy someday. Like her, we all have dreams and goals for our lives.



"Deaf Plus"
This week, our topic will focus on hearing loss in conjunction with other conditions-often referred to as “deaf plus.” For example, some people have severe vision loss in addition to their hearing loss. Others have physical limitations that may or may not be correlated to their hearing loss.



Summer Party Experience
After missing out on opportunities last spring, I'm working hard to get myself out during the summer. Last Saturday, I attended a summer get-together for my church group. We played volleyball and cooked out.



Social Intelligence and Hearing Loss
A Facebook member asked if there was a connection between social intelligence and hearing loss. Often, deaf and hard of hearing children-especially those with hearing families who don't use any visual mode of communication-struggle with absorbing the secondary information that accompanies interactions with people.



Prominent Deaf People
We recently updated our Prominent Deaf People page, which highlights deaf and hard of hearing people who have made notable contributions to society or culture. Among them, we have a Nobel Prize-winning Australian chemist, a 2008 American motorcross national champion, an acclaimed Croatian watercolorist of the late 19th century, and a modern-day Finnish rap artist who rhymes in sign language.



Interpret the meaning of your dreams
Dreams combine verbal, visual and emotional stimuli into a storyline that can be broken and nonsensical, but also very entertaining. Personally, I think our dreams often have a deeper meaning, even if the storyline seems bizarre or nonsensical.



College stories
Last week a member in our chat asked if anyone had interesting stories about their time in high school or college. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to share since I mostly focused on my studies instead of socializing with others.



First Experience at Deaf Day
Two years ago, I attended University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee's annual Deaf Day to promote Walk4Hearing for the local chapter. I remember how nervous I was around people. Throughout the day, I felt fatigued from the anxiety of approaching people. That was the first time I'd been surrounded by mostly deaf and hard of hearing people; it was certainly a very new environment.



Blessing in Disguise?
Many of our discussion topics have been related to the obstacles of hearing loss, and I wanted to take a more positive approach this week. Even though hearing loss does have its downsides, it can be a blessing in many ways.



Member Profile
Beginning April 2012, Deafandhoh.com will be publishing a monthly article on one member each month, starting with the current Miss Deaf America, Rachel Mazique. We hope these articles will increase exposure for our community by giving members the chance to share their experiences with the rest of the world.



Connection between nutrition and hearing loss
Studies have identified a possible link between the food we eat and hearing loss. Good eating habits have been shown to reduce the chances of hearing loss associated with aging. I'm interested in whether eating habits can prevent progressive hearing loss across all age groups.



Member Profile
Beginning April 2012, Deafandhoh.com will be publishing a monthly article on one member each month, starting with the current Miss Deaf America, Rachel Mazique.



Connection between nutrition and hearing loss
Studies have identified a possible link between the food we eat and hearing loss. Good eating habits have been shown to reduce the chances of hearing loss associated with aging.



Captioning and Subtitles
Many in the deaf and hard of hearing community rely on subtitles and captioning to some degree. I personally find them quite helpful in situations where I can't turn up the volume (e.g., it would disturb hearing people in the area).



Personal Space
Personal space is an important factor in communicating with deaf and hard of hearing people. Actually, this topic reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. One of Elaine's boyfriends, Aaron, happens to be a “close talker”-that is, when he talks to people, he stands so close to them, making the entire conversation rather uncomfortable.



The effects of dim lighting
Restaurants are a common setting for social gatherings with your co-workers, friends, and families. For those with hearing loss, however, this often means dealing with poor lighting.



How do people identify themselves?
The community of the deaf and hard of hearing is diverse. People with different degrees of hearing loss will perceive themselves based on their social values and cultural values: for example, in the 1988 book Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture, authors Carol Padden and Tom Humphries have this to say:



Psychological Aspects of Hearing Loss
Since hearing loss can significantly affect verbal communication, it can also hurt our ability to interact with others. As a result, many people with hearing loss experience a different set of emotional and psychological effects.



Petition for Change
Even today, there is still a significant lack of awareness about hearing loss and the issues surrounding it in America, despite the estimated 48 million Americans who have varying degrees of hearing loss.



Driving Safely with Hearing Loss
A member in our chat suggested this topic. Since I have mild to moderate hearing loss and I can hear oncoming emergency vehicles and car horns with my hearing aids,



NBC Ousts Miss Deaf America
After hearing that Rachel Mazique, Miss Deaf America, was scheduled to sign the national anthem at Super Bowl 2012 as a representative of the deaf and hard of hearing community, I was so excited to see this momentous event; I even told my parents about it.



Lack of Accommodations
Have you ever had saftey concerns because of a lack of accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing people?



Your Thoughts on ABC Family's "Switched At Birth"
“Switched at Birth,” the new TV show about a deaf girl and a hearing girl who were-as the name suggests-switched at birth, started its second season this month.



Roommates and Hearing Loss
Hello, everyone. I (Hannah) am filling in again for this week's topic, which will focus on living with roommates with a hearing loss. I just spent four months studying abroad in Beijing. Before the semester began, I had opted to stay in an off-campus apartment with one Chinese teacher and three other students.



Bluetooth Technology
I've been wearing the Phonak Ambra hearing aids for a while and I'm liking it so far, so I plan to purchase them after my trial period is over. I recently enabled Bluetooth for my hearing aids; the equipment includes a remote, charger, and microphone.



Follow Your Dreams
I've always dreamed about having a book published, sharing my story with the world. It started to happen this year when I was featured on the cover of Hearing Loss Magazine's November/December issue.



Deaf Educational Programs
DeafandHoH.com has recently completed the school directory listings for all states. Surprisingly, we found only a few public and private schools per state offering programs for deaf children. I can imagine that if parents wanted to ensure proper education for their deaf and hard of hearing children, they would have to move to a certain location.



"Opening Up" in the Hearing Loss Magazine
I am thrilled to announce that I will be on the cover feature of Hearing Loss Magazine's November/December 2011.



Sunday Open Chat Night with Sarah Filer
Sarah Filer, Au.D. has been an audiologist for a year and a half. She currently works part time at the Center for Sight & Hearing, a non-for-profit in Rockford, IL and part time at Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital in Prairie du Sac, WI.



Ask the Audiologist Night - Kimberly D. Jones
Kimberly D. Jones, Au.D., will be returning on Wednesday, November 16th at 9 p.m. EST for this month's “Ask the Audiologist” Night. Kimberley has been a practicing audiologist since 1999 and received her doctorate from the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2004. She currently runs a practice in Brookfield, Wisconsin.



Hearing Aid Fitting
I met with the audiologist this week for my hearing aid fitting. I'm trying out one of Phonak's products. Phonak makes the smallest in-the-canal hearing aids available on the market; these hearing aids are virtually invisible. I'm quite excited to try out this newer technology.



Open Forum Night
Starting November 9, 2011, we'll be opening our Hearing Loss Forum for live discussions on specific topics during our regular Wednesday Open Chat Nights. Anyone and everyone is welcome to register and join in. The more, the merrier!



Calling all Members!
As some of you may know our website features an audiologist on our page; this usually would cost $15-$25 a month for an audiologist to have the full benefits of the constant exposure this featured section could offer.



Surrounded by new faces
Last week I met a wonderful group of people from a youth group at a church bonfire event, and covered this experience in my blog. Several days later I was informed by a church organizer that a group of people from Elmbrook Church were meeting for a Bible study at one of their homes and I decided to attend.



Social Challenges
Last weekend, I took a huge step and went to a bonfire hosted by a local church. I had never gone to a bonfire before, and because it was almost entirely dark outside with many people, it was much more challenging compared to other social events I'd attended in the past.



The Impact of Communication
Todd Lowell, a DeafandHoH.com member from Michigan, shared an inspiring story at last Wednesday's Open Chat Night.



First Time Hearing
I was one of the millions of people who viewed the YouTube video about Sarah Churman, a 29-year-old woman from Texas, hearing her own voice for the first time.



Deaf people you admire
Share the experiences of deaf people who have been our acheivers, leaders, and mentors in past or present times.



Any changes in your hearing?
In my previous blog, I explained the problems I recently had with my hearing aid. Although I still don't know what went wrong with it and will have to send it in for repairs, I do know that it's time to buy a new hearing aid since my current one is almost six years old.



Hearing aid problem
Have any of you had any unusual experiences with your hearing aids and with audiologists? Let me share my latest story with you. I've been wearing open fit hearing aids for five years now.



Beginning American Sign Language
I have registered for an American Sign Language (ASL) class at UW-Waukesha. I think learning the basics of ASL could help me in day-to-day interactions with the deaf and hard of hearing community.



Learning Other Languages
Hello, everyone. My name is Hannah Mann and I'm a staff writer at DeafandHoH. Naturally, learning another language presents a special challenge for deaf and hard of hearing students since most classes tend to emphasize listening and speaking. I'll share a few students' experiences here, starting with me.



Share your summer adventures
My greatest accomplishment was taking the opportunity to play miniature golf with coworkers on a Sunday afternoon. It's very rare that I get out to do things with others, especially in the summer time.



Sunday Open Chat Night
Due to the popularity of Wednesday's Open Chat Night, DeafandHoH.com is launching a second Open Chat Night once a month on Sundays. Our first Sunday Open Chat Night is on August 21st starting at 8 p.m. (EST), and the discussion topic is accommodations for those with hearing loss in places of worship.



No barriers to success
I accomplished a lot more in my life than my parents ever imagined. At age three, I had to wear a box with a transmitter and a receiver so that the teachers in my special education classes could communicate with me.



The New Meaning of Friendship
The first topic for Open Chat Night was Not having many friends and stemmed from a bad experience I was having with a few people at work. During the chat, I quickly realized that I'm not the only person living with that type of experience.



Emotional and Psychological Aspects of Hearing Loss
At this Wednesday Night's Open Chat Night, we will discuss the emotional aspects of hearing loss. During the past year, we have had many discussions in the chat room related to the emotional aspects of hearing loss, and I have learned many in the hearing loss community have faced challenges with communication barriers and social anxiety.



Sleeping at night without hearing a sound
I don't wear my hearing aids while I am sleeping. On one hand it seems like a blessing because I will not be disturbed and my ears are free from the aids, but on the other hand I could be sleeping during an emergency or life-threatening situation.



Providing Captioning at Places of Worship
Due to the popularity of Wednesday's Open Chat Night, DeafandHoH.com is launching a second Open Chat Night once a month on Sundays. Our first Sunday Open Chat Night is on August 21st starting at 8 p.m. (EST), and the discussion topic is accommodations for those with hearing loss in places of worship. Come and share your experiences with us during this Sunday's Open Chat Night.



Your Feedback on 2-Year Open Chat Night
As we approach our 2-year Anniversary for Open Chat Night in August 2011, give your feedback and suggestions on improving the Chat on this week's Open Chat Night.



Reaching out to Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an inspiration to people all over the world. I was especially touched by her speech during her last show



Hearing Loss Terminology
Currently, DeafandHoH is working on a terminology page explaining specific words that are commonly used in the hearing loss community-for example, tinnitus.



Hearing Aids and Ear Infections
Ear infections happen when bacteria, viruses or fungi cause swelling and irritation in the ear canal. My mother said I got a lot of ear infections as a child. After that, though, I rarely got infections.



Deaf and HoH Students in the Mainstream Classroom
In the third grade, I was mainstreamed into a hearing classroom. At the age of five, I attended Lowell Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin where they had classes designed specifically for hearing impaired children alongside mainstream classes.



Starting College
In the forum, a member asked what kind of accommodations students received in college and which was the most beneficial to them. As summer begins, I thought this would be a good topic to discuss, especially for anyone planning to attend college next fall.



How hearing loss impacts relationships
I have never been in a relationship. It was only six years ago when I discovered that feeling of wanting to be in a relationship with someone.



Comics for the DeafandHoH Community
I am excited to announce that DeafandHoH community will begin posting comics for our readers to enjoy. I haven't seen many hearing loss related comics and thought it would be good to have a storyline in our community.



Expressing Appreciation to Someone
We had our second annual HLAA Walk4Hearing at the Milwaukee lakefront on Sunday, May 15th. I wanted to show my appreciation to my friend from work and my mother who support us at the walk.



Your Local Community Happenings
Some people in the chat room have expressed frustration with finding events or support groups. Because I was mainstreamed in a hearing school, I didn't get the opportunity to connect with people in the deaf and hard of hearing community until I started DeafandHoH several years ago.



Exploring the world of ASL
Over the past year, I've attended several deaf events. Because I am not familiar with American Sign Language, it was difficult to interact with deaf and hard of hearing people at these events, many of whom are fluent in ASL.



Share your favorite deaf entertainer
I recently attended UWM's third annual Deaf Day to watch deaf performers on stage. This was the first time I'd seen live deaf performers, and I was truly amazed by their talent.



Your perceptions on the Deaf Culture
Before I started this community and website, I wasn't familiar with Deaf culture. However, I have been learning more about Deaf culture as members share their knowledge and beliefs in the chat room and at the local HLAA chapter meetings.



How to make our community stronger
When I founded DeafandHoH.com (under the name iamhearingimpaired.com) three years ago, I wanted to create a place for people to share their experiences, meet and have fun. I don't have a lot of friends and always felt like an outsider because of my hearing loss.



Overcoming Dizziness and Balance Problems
In the past month, various members in the chat room have talked about how they cope with dizziness and balance problems. I was surprised to learn that some people experience vertigo as a result of hearing loss.



Ask the Audiologist Night – David Powell
Dr. David Powell, Au.D., will be joining us on Wednesday, March 30th at 9 p.m. (EST) for this month's “Ask the Audiologist” Night.



Stress-Filled Situations
Stress caused by issues relating to hearing loss can result in isolation, anger, and withdrawal from others. There are ways to reduce these stress-filled situations and make our lives more enjoyable and peaceful.



How to Avoid Communication Barriers
I have been learning ways to overcome the obstacle of not hearing what others are saying to me. For instance, what can I do if someone approaches me to start a conversation and I cannot hear them because of the background noise?



Coping with Tinnitus
I have talked with several people in the hearing loss community who have experienced some degree of Tinnitus. Tinnitus is a perception of sound that originates in the ear in absence of corresponding to external sound.



Share your experience with nightlife and hearing loss
I have connected with many people from all over the country since starting the hearing loss community several years ago. I have learned some of us are going through social isolation because of our hearing loss.



Ask the Audiologist Night - Kimberly D. Jones
Kimberly D. Jones, Au.D., will be joining us on Wednesday, February 16th at 9 p.m. (EST) for the second Ask the Audiologist Night.



Thinking of Someone to Love
A mentor gave me a book named, “Don't Sweat the Small Stuff…” to read whenever I am feeling down. One chapter explains that we should be spending a special moment each day thinking of someone to love.



Do you perceive yourself as being less approachable?
Whenever I am in a social environment, people seem cautious about approaching me and starting a conversation, other than the so-called small talk.



How to Cope with the Unwanted Noise
All of us in the hearing loss community have our own struggles to deal with. The biggest challenge are the difficulties to hear what others are saying when background noise is present.



DeafandHoH 2011 New Website Kick Off
I am excited to announce that DeafandHoH has launched a brand new website to better serve the deaf and hard of hearing community!



Newest Hearing Aid Technology
This past summer I wore the Oticon Agil hearing aids for a trial period. I really liked the new style and they were less visible to the people around me.



Who is your support?
All of my life, my parents and older sister were very supportive by always being there for me during difficult situations.



New Year
Recently, a hearing loss member wrote to me saying he doesn't have many friends and that it's unsettling to see a group of friends having fun in public.



Group of Friends
All of my life, my parents and older sister were very supportive by always being there for me during difficult situations.



Turn Down the Volume
A new national study has found that 1 in 5 teenagers has slight hearing loss. I have learned that hearing loss among adolescents has increased about 30 percent from the early 1990s because of exposure to loud music.



Another Year Older
As I turned a year older, my parents sent a greeting saying, “Remember, you are not just an year older, but a year better!”. At the midpoint of my life, I must have accomplished a lot more than I realize in order to be where I am today.



Communication Road Blocks
At some point, most of us have allowed hearing loss to become a road block to enjoying life to the fullest. One of the most important road blocks is communication.



Get in the Hearing Loop
During our chat on Wednesday nights, I have heard many things about loop systems. Lots of people with hearing loss have found this technology very helpful.



DeafandHoH Awareness Campaign
Let's rally together to form the largest hearing loss group on facebook. It's time to bring more awareness to hearing loss. The more we have, the stronger we are!



Ask the Audiologist
Exciting News! An Audiologist will be attending Open Chat Night on November 10th at 9 p.m. (EST) for the inaugural “Ask the Audiologist” night.



Learning American Sign Language
While working out at the gym, a girl who worked there asked me whether I knew sign language. I told her that I want to learn the basic signs so I can communicate with deaf people.



Impact of Bullying
Every now and then, there is breaking news related to bullying in public schools. When I attended middle school in the early 90s, I was teased a lot by other kids in the classroom because of my hearing loss and shyness.



Share your Hearing Loss Story
The new message board (www.OuterDialog.com) is open for everyone to use. I'm happy to see a number of people already registered in the forum.



Broadening our Social Network
I have upgraded the message board (www.OuterDialog.com) with better functionality. A forum for Open Chat Night topics has been added to benefit those who are unable to attend the chat on a weekly basis.



Deaf Awareness Fest
I attended the Deaf Awareness Fest at MATC in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The HLAA Milwaukee-Racine chapter was very generous to allow me to hand out postcards about my online community at their booth.



Local Community Outreach
I have decided to start a local community outreach for young adults with hearing loss to meet up and have fun. I know many people with hearing loss struggle to socialize with others and creating a community outreach will help.



Waterproof Hearing Aids
My trip to South India a few weeks ago was interesting because it was monsoon season and my hearing aids are not waterproof. I was uneasy and had trouble relaxing due to the ultra-hip ear muffs I wore to protect my aids.



Expanding Our Community
For the past month, I have traveled to places across South India. I did some sightseeing but mostly visited my cousins and relatives.



The Cost of Hearing Aids
The latest digital aids are much smaller and less noticeable, but as we all know, newer hearing aids are always expensive and insurance companies are of little help.



Communicating with Signs
Last Monday, I had dinner with a few friends in the HLAA chapter group. One of our conversations was about when we learned sign language. My hearing is close to normal by wearing hearing aids so I didn't find the need to learn sign language to communicate with others.



A Life Changing Experience
People with hearing loss go through various experiences in their lives. During the past year, I have learned more how modern technology such as Cochlear Implants altered many lives. Some of those in the chat room describe it as a life altering experience that got them out of their comfort zone.



Try Something New
Many of you already know I have been taking steps to get out of my comfort zone. I have made some progress to stretch those limits, but I'm still having this fear holding me back from adding more adventure and excitement to my life.



Journey Into the World of Sound
We had an interesting conversation in last week's Open Chat Night. A member was scheduled to get Cochlear Implants and wanted to know the experiences of others who have gone through the process.



Your Feedback: Second Open Chat Night
Because of the success and feedback, Open Chat Night will continue on Wednesday of each week at 8pm EST. But for those who can't make it on Wednesdays, I am considering the possibility of adding a second Open Chat Night.



Long, Lasting Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are very expensive. The digital hearing aids I have been wearing for the past 10 years (BTE and ITC) have cost thousands of dollars. When paying so much, taking good care of the aids is a must.



Your Identity and Acceptance
I went to the HLAA chapter meeting on Thursday, and one of the topics discussed was about identity. I would like to learn more about deaf culture and identity. For instance, some deaf people refuse to get cochlear implant even though it will help them hear.



New World of Technologies
A member of our Wednesday's chat described his experience with getting new hearing aids, and I thought it would be good for members to discuss their own experiences with new technologies.



Unforgettable Moments
I'm sure each of us has memories from the days following discovery of hearing loss. Moments in time that will forever be carried with us.



First Time, A Learning Experience
We had our first Walk4Hearing fundraising event in Milwaukee on May 16th, 2010. I was in charge of coordinating the field volunteers. This is the very first time I've taken the role of being a coordinator at an event and I found it to be a very challenging and rewarding experience.



Hearing Loss Awareness
We all know there isn't much awareness about the hearing loss community. The last time I've seen a national televised commercial with a deaf person was during the Christmas season for Kay's Jewelry. It was about a guy giving jewelry as a Christmas gift to a deaf lady.



Hearing Loss in the Workplace
We had an interesting conversation last week for dealing with co-workers on the job. A question was asked how we can educate and inform our co-workers about hearing loss?



Bringing in New Ideas
Open Chat Night has been a success for nine months. Many great people from all over the country have come to the chat on Wednesday nights to share their experiences and discuss various topics.



Open Chat Night and Walk4Hearing
It has been two years since I started this hearing loss community, and throughout this time I have connected with many great people from all over the country.



Hearing Loss Versus Disability
A question was asked in the forum whether anyone thinks of their hearing loss as a disability. A member in my group told that she can do anything a hearing person does except for hear perfectly.



Breaking the Self-Conscious Barrier
I was truly inspired by a posting in Facebook. A 14-year old kid posted this in my forum: Have you ever felt the need to hide your hearing impairment from the hearing world? Please take your time to read this posting and share your thoughts.



My Audiologist
Several weeks ago one of the members mentioned that her audiologist was more like a sister than anything else. All of us with hearing loss have seen an audiologist so I thought it would be a good topic to share our experiences.



Overcoming Obstacles
Several weeks ago one of the members mentioned that her audiologist was more like a sister than anything else. All of us with hearing loss have seen an audiologist so I thought it would be a good topic to share our experiences.



Funny Stories
We have all had embarrassing moments at some point in our lives. In the past, I read a blog where people were sharing their embarrassing, but funny, deaf moments. I thought this would be a good topic to share on Wednesday night.



Helping Hands
My hearing impaired teachers in elementary school were the most influential people in my life. I will never forget the first year of school when I wore a hearing aid box strapped around my shoulders.



Communication Gap
I was enrolled in hearing impaired classes at the age of three. The teachers wanted me to learn sign language but I refused to learn, and soon discovered that hearing aids were the solution. It helped me hear all the sounds as a normal person would.



Join Chat'n Walk for the Milwaukee Walkathon!
Please help me supp ort HLAA by joining my team for Milwaukee Walk4Hearing on May 16th 2010! If anyone cannot attend the walk, you can still be a part of my team to show your support.



The Next Generation of Hearing Aids
I started wearing hearing aids at the age of three. They were these big analog ones worn behind my ears. I kept my hair long to cover them because I was very sensitive and uncomfortable.



Improving the Quality of Life
I have learned that some people in my community have experienced a varying degree of social anxiety due to their hearing loss. Whenever I go to any social gathering in a noisy environment, I struggle to hear all the words from a person who approaches me.



Finding Someone Special
During the past several months, I have been conducting a poll on my Website asking if your significant other also has hearing loss. About 34 percent of the votes responded with “yes.”



Late Deafened
The meaning of “late deafened” is used for those who lose their hearing later in life. While I was growing up, it never occurred to me that hearing loss can change over the years for some people even at an early age.



Getting Involved in the Community
I started my hearing loss community because I was feeling like an outsider. It was always tough for me to have friends to hang out with and find a place feeling where I truly belong.



Family Matters
My family has always been supportive of me, and I know I can always count on them. However, I sometimes become frustrated and feel as if I'm not as independent as I should be.



School Days, back then
During my days in middle school, I was treated differently by classmates. I remember going to band class and having others constantly tease me.



Ringing in the Ears
During our chat conversations, I have been learning that some people have other complications due to their hearing loss. Tinnitus is one of the conditions that has been talked about by various people in the chatroom.



A Nice Article about IAmHearingImpaired.com
I realize that many websites are written about and discussed online, but I have to admit I was excited to have something written about my effort.



Just remember, you are never alone here
During the conversations at last week's Open Chat Night, someone asked if anyone had problems with family members that don't understand hearing loss. It was someone who has gone through a tough time for not being accepted by “hearing people” in the family.



At Year End
It has been yet another challenging year for me. During the summer, I was feeling good about myself being included in a group, and then months later has led into another disappointment.



New Beginnings
I think the beginning of the New Year is the most important day. I know everyone wants to start a brand new year and reach the goals they have been longing for.



The people who care about you
It's the Holiday season. There is nothing more rewarding than spending time with your family and the people you care about. As we carry on interesting conversations related to hearing loss, it's not just about us in the chatroom.



A Miracle of Medical Technology
I was truly inspired by a story on NBC Today Show. Three siblings were born profoundly deaf and got cochlear implants on the same day. Here's a link to the story: Three siblings get gift of hearing on same day.



How did you lose your hearing?
When I started Open Chat Night on August 2009, many people attended to share their hearing loss story. Everyone had gone through different experiences; there were people born deaf or hearing impaired, and some had lost their hearing due to ear infections and other illnesses at a younger age.



Not having many friends?
Along with other interesting topics of conversation, I thought this might be a good one to discuss during Wednesday's Open Chat Night. Looking back to when I was in middle school, a friend of mine in class (Kory) asked me to sit with him during lunch.



Open Chat Night – September/October Highlights
A member of the hearing loss community doesn't own a computer, and so during the past few Open Chat Nights he has taken the time and effort to find a computer with Internet access in a library. Open Chat Night has actually become a part of someone's daily life.



Open Chat on Wednesday Night
I hosted the first Open Chat Night for the hearing loss community on Wednesday, August 5th. A nice group of people joined to share hearing loss stories and personal experiences, as well as other intresting topics.



My first column
It has been a year since I started my hearing loss community, and throughout the past months I have connected with people from all over the country by sharing hearing loss stories.

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