My advocacy work continues… I’m experimenting with assistive technology that can help people with hearing loss. While my cochlear implant helps me hear better it doesn’t solve all hearing challenges. In particular, noisy environments and large meetings.
Today I tested an infrared transmitter and receiver to hear better in meetings at work. It was pretty cool and did help. The equipment is on loan so I’m sending some questions to the vendor. In New Jersey I think.
They replied and signed their email “Everybody has the right to hear.” I love that statement and I’m gaining the experience and courage to believe it.
Now that I’m wired for sound, I need to find out what this baby can do. What better way than to get trained as an assistive technology volunteer advocate. I applied for a training program offered by the Hearing Loss Association of America and was accepted. I plan to use what I learn and share what I learn at my workplace, with local hearing loss groups and for my own personal benefit. I’m hoping it’s gong to be a win, win, win. We shall see…
My stay in Denver was extended a few extra days due to Hurricane Sandy. This gave me time for a spontaneous road trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park with two other Boston area trainees also stranded by the storm. We took a fun day trip with a dinner stop in funky Boulder, CO. It was beautiful. It was also nice to travel with two other hard of hearing people. They remember what I need for communication success because their needs are similar. A bit of a relief to be honest.
Fast forward a few days.
I just completed Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) training. When the opportunity came up to become a HAT volunteer and advocate I wasn’t sure I’d qualify for the program and I wondered about finding the time to fit in the commitments. But I was very interested and, in fact, have already been doing advocacy, testing and sharing of information like this at work, with friends, with my CI contacts. So why not?
Boy am I glad I did. First of all, I found so many other wonderful people who are living with all forms of hearing loss and trying to maximize their communication ability. We live in exciting times with a lot technology options, maybe too many. We don’t have to just deal with it. There are things we can do to make our lives easier and participate more fully. I did my best to try and soak up all the information and now have a number of research projects to keep it going. And I have some potential new “partners in crime” to work with 🙂