Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Hard of Hearing Club

--by brighteyes, posted Jun 27, 2008

I have enjoyed mentoring the hearing impaired and deaf in my community. I urge you to give it a try -- working with children or the handicapped is so inspiring and rewarding!  I have given some inspirational speeches on how I accepted and overcame my own hearing loss at work and through various organizations.

Over the past few years, I have been in email correspondence with a deaf young man who did not believe he was college material.  I found out one of my salesmen had a deaf son whom he wished would go to college (to ensure the best possible future and because he was so bright and excelled in math & science).  He asked me if I could befriend his son and share my experiences. I gladly agreed and had a grand time emailing back and forth.  His son is a lovely person, smart but lacking confidence and a sense of adventure. We were in contact for a few years off and on and I was so pleased to hear he had applied to engineering colleges, was accepted and moving forward with his life.

I plan to continue to do this as I believe in the power of words, the power of a positive attitude.  I feel that my enthusiasm and ability to overcome the same disability they face makes a huge difference as well. I, too, was inspired through hearing others' stories, successes, failures, suggestions and new technology advances. For me, it was very important to have someone to talk to other than family and friends.  This allowed me to vent, share my fears, frustrations, etc and know that I was not burdening anyone because they have been in "similar shoes".

I joined a HH (hard of hearing) and deaf club at work and one in my local community where I can interact with like minded people and together we assist each other and others in our area.   As a group, we volunteered to assist laid off deaf or HH individuals write resumes, improve their interview skills, make a good first impression, learn about the latest equipment that could assist them with hearing and fill out job applications. We also helped some high school graduates apply for college and jobs as well, coaching them through mock interviews.

Lastly, a CA buddy and I assist others during their cochlear implant surgery and rehabilitation. Our doctor asked if we wanted to volunteer our services since we had been through the operation and rehab process ourselves.  I even agreed to allow 2 medical students in with my Doctor during my operation so they could watch and learn. I allowed one of them to video the procedure and share it with other medical students, as it is specialized surgery and not preformed by many doctors.

I love working with the deaf and HH community. They are a great group of people with large hearts and sensitive souls. Gaining confidence and interfacing in a hearing world can be daunting and scary but with support , it is happening easier than in the past. Improved technology and governement support for the "hearing challenged" in the world has grown too so had tolerance and acceptance of deafness.

I am motivated to give back in honor of the individuals who mentored , inspired and pushed me when I was losing my hearing. To NOT give up, to not isolate myself, to not stay depressed- that the world is a wonderful place and all types of people make the world go round.  I am truly grateful for all who have lighten my load!

Inspirational Quotes I have posted outside my cubicle:

" The greatest limitations we will ever face are the ones we place on ourselves."    

" Unless you try something beyond what you have mastered, you will never grow. It is important for us all to stretch and reach for the stars."    

"If at first you do not success. Try, try again."

"If you can't go through the brick wall, go around it!"

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Readers Comments

Deb wrote: Hello -
I just stumbled in here... and loved this post. This whole site is actually a really cool idea... but, I am wondering about the "Hearing Loss Club". Is there more info on this some place? I am not HOH, but my 11 year old son is. I've been looking for a way for him to meet other kids that are HOH. I supose I should sign up for this site and check it out.

swamy narayana wrote: I am unemployed professional aged 59. I live in Canada. I had hard hearing(not very bad). When I checekd the cost of hearing aids are very expensive beyond my budget. Can some one help with their advise how I can overcome with less expensive or alternative one. I do not want to wear all the time except in any meetings or working in a group. The hearing aid should not isoloate me as hearing defective but should be invisible in ear canal. Can few readers share with their information. Regards= Swamy Narayana
chzmzati wrote: nice one. thank you
lovebug wrote: What have I learned out of life. I have learned not to live with expectation. I think it was because I was raised that way. Now that I am older I realize I do not have to measure up to any persons idea of what it takes to make it through this life. There are no accidents in life. So glad you learned to draw outside of the borders and limitations we put upon ourselfes.
lmil1954 wrote: We do put limitations on ourselves, dont we...and I love the brick wall one:) Thanks brighteyes. You are a good friend.
JuneBug wrote: It is said we are our own worst enemy....The sky is the limit if we would just set ourselves free...:}
katlampi wrote: It is great that you were able to turn your experiences into mentorship opportunities!! I truly believe that mentoring and supporting others is one of the best gifts that we can give, as it is so personal and memorable in nature. Thank you for sharing this!

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