Shanna Groves, author and speaker on hearing loss, has established herself in the DeafandHoH community as a tireless advocate for hearing loss. Groves herself is hard of hearing and primarily uses spoken English, lip-reading and assistive hearing technology to communicate, though she knows some sign language.
Groves was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss at 27 after the birth of her first son in 2001. At first, she refused to wear hearing aids for two years. As time went on, however, her deteriorating hearing forced her to wear them—first at church and meetings, then all day, every day. For years, she struggled with her hearing loss. In order to help herself cope with it, she began journaling about her experiences. Later, Groves would draw upon these experiences to write her first novel, Lip Reader.
Her writing career didn’t stop there, however: in 2010, Groves launched her blog, Lipreading Mom, and immediately found that she was not alone—other parents and guardians with hearing loss shared their stories with her as well. Groves went on to open a second blog, Lessons of a Lipreading Mom at www.Deaf-Insight.com; and Lipreading Moms and Dads Network, a Facebook support group.
As a hard of hearing person whose native language is English, Groves strongly advocates for text-based accommodations, such as captioning. Last year, thanks to the combined effort of Groves and a team of volunteers, her church became the only place of worship in the Kansas City area to offer weekly captioned services. Since then, she has been encouraging other churches to open a captioning ministry for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Groves now resides in Kansas with her husband and three children. Currently, she is working on her next book, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, which chronicles her 11-year journey as a hard of hearing mother, and it is scheduled to come out in 2013. More details about her writing and speaking career can be found at www.ShannaGroves.com.