Tuesday, June 21, 2011

There and back again

Soooooooooo..... apparently I was making things up when I said I was done with this blog.


These are the facts of the case (and they are undisputed. (Not really, but name that movie!)):

Hearing loss is always on my mind. Might as well write about it.

I stopped blogging here in January. Yet this blog still gets hits and my stats tell me that people want to know about "how to live with hearing loss," "hearing aids" and "captions."

I went to Washington, D.C. last week for the Hearing Loss Association of America's national convention. Maybe someday, I'll blog about my experience but one of the things I came away with is that there is still work to be done. I met a couple of people who are affiliated with the Ida Institute, which aims to help audiologists better understand the psychological and social impact of hearing loss. This reminded me the importance of educating others about hearing loss - not just the medical aspect of it, but how it affects relationships, communication and emotional health. There were also several hearing spouses or family members at the convention - even those who do not personally live with hearing loss probably know someone who does. Hearing loss affects everyone.

Another thought I took away from the convention was the importance of staying connected. I was starting to build relationships in the online hearing loss community and sadly, I did not do a good job of maintaining those when I switched blogs. I'd like to get back into that again.

Finally, my personal burden is for churches to be accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing, so I will probably be writing a lot about that as well. This is not code for, "I'm going to convert you" or "Expect a lot of fire-and-brimstone speeches." I'm simply interested in figuring out how church can be accessible to everyone, including those of us with hearing loss. I imagine that many of the questions I wrestle with or issues that crop up won't be that different from trying to, say, procure CART for a college class or ask your boss for an amplified phone at work. So even if you're not the church-going type, I hope we can still find some common ground as we consider what it's like to be hard of hearing in a hearing world.

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