February 28, 2010

Elegant Hearing Aids

I found a website, through RLMDEAF's blog, called Tuvie design of the future.

It contains a design concept for "elegant" hearing aids.
It features these interesting looking silver earrings and it comes with a ring which acts as the controller. Very interesting!

However, I have to wonder if this piece would work for all deaf and hard of hearing people? There are different types and degrees of hearing loss. Would this work for someone who is severely-profoundly deaf? How much would something like this cost?
I like to mix it up with jewelery. Sometimes I like to wear gold and sometimes diamonds (well fake ones). I don't think I would want to wear the same thing everyday. I suppose it could be an option when I go out to a party or some special event. But I am guessing this would be some expensive option.

I like the design and where they are going with this. But, I don't think it will appeal to everyone.

What do you think?


*photos from Tuvie design of the future website

See What I'm Saying - trailer

I am sure most of you know about this.
I thought I post this to my blog and make sure many
people are aware of this documentary. It looks fascinating!


February 27, 2010

Taking Good Care of My Hearing Aid Even When I Am Not All There

No matter how sleepy or out of it I am, I never lose or misplace my hearing aid.

Last night my hearing aid stopped working and I was watching a movie with a friend. I took out the hearing aid and held it in my hand. I was so sleepy. I fell asleep clutching my hearing aid. When I woke up, my friend was gone and the movie apparently ended. I got up from the couch and immediately remembered how I fell asleep with my hearing aid in my hand. I panicked and started looking for it. But, there it was on the table, with the battery case open, safe and sound. It's so strange. My friend told me I had put it there last night. I don't remember doing this.

Even when I was deathly ill with the flu to the point of hallucination, I managed to take good care of my hearing aid.

Since I can remember, I have never slept with it in my ear, no matter what.

I guess it is out of habit. It comes automatically to me even when I am not quite all there.


February 26, 2010

What Not To Do With My Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Dear Teachers and Professionals Who Work With My Students,
  • Please don't tell my students that they are "bright" and "super smart" and then chastise them for making a mistake. Do not use expressions like, "Duh!"  "Hello?! Anyone home!"  "Geez, are you awake?!"  "Aargh, we just went over this, what is your problem?!"
  • Never tell my students that they are wrong. Tell them, "Good try, but this is how most people do it." or "You are almost there, keep practicing." or "Let's try to figure this out another way."
  • Stop doing everything for them. They are not babies. They are suppose to learn how to take care of themselves. 
  • Please call on them more often. They are very capable of contributing to the classroom discussions.
  • Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions about my students. Do not smile and tell me every week that they are fine and then wait until we have a meeting to bring up all of your issues, especially if you have any issues with me.
  • If you have any problems with me, come to me and tell me to my face first before running to the principal or my supervisor about me. They do not have the time to listen to you complain about how I was two minutes late one time (you do realize I drive to 4-6 different schools every day and there are usually issues I have to deal with before coming to get your student).
  • Why, after I have told you so many times that I am hard of hearing, you continue to look away as you talk to me or mumble what is said. And try not to obviously look irritated when I ask you to repeat yourself. It worries me and makes me wonder if you do the same with my student.
  • To the paraprofessional who works with my preschool student, stop physically moving him around by grabbing his arm, he is capable of walking by himself. He does not have a severe visual impairment.
I understand that teaching is one of the most demanding jobs out there and you guys do not get paid enough for it. You work very hard and I do think all of you are excellent teachers. I understand you have twenty or so other students to worry about. But, please be mindful of how you treat my students. Remember they are  kids. Try to remember when you were a kid in school. Also try to understand where I am coming from and I encourage you to please talk with me more. Please listen to me when I tell you my concerns. Do not get defensive; it is not about you, I am only concerned about my students. We need to work together. We can't do this by ourselves. I am here to support your student and YOU. Don't forget that. Any issues you have, call me and I'll do my best to help. 


Ms. (e

February 23, 2010

What Not to Do With Your Hearing Aids

Dear students,
  • Please quit trying to trick your classroom teachers into thinking your hearing aids are "broken." I really do not have all the time in the world to travel over to your school to "fix" your hearing aids. 
  • Please do not, under no circumstances, pull your hearing aid out of your ear and smell your ear mold in front of me. It disgusts me. I hope you do not do this in public.
  • Also, I would appreciate it if some of you would stop cleaning the ear wax out of your mold with your pencil or a bent paper clip (I gave you a nice little cleaning kit for this purpose). If you choose to clean with unconventional tools, do it on your own time. I don't want to see it. 
  • When you change your hearing aid batteries, do not throw your old and worn out batteries onto the ground. Throw it in the trash. I don't care if we are outside. 
  • Do not throw your hearing aids in your book bag or put them in your pant pockets when you are not wearing them.  They have their own boxes for a reason. 
  • Stop giving me lame excuses for why you will not wear your hearing aids. "I hear real good today." "My dog died." (for the third time?) "It does not work." "My mom says I don't have to wear them today."
  • If your hearing aids are bothering you and cause bleeding, please let me or your teacher know! I don't want you to wear your hearing aids if they are really hurting you.
I love every one of you! Mwa!

Ms. (e

February 21, 2010

"Oh, That's Just the Way She Is"

Writing and thinking about hearing loss issues has got me thinking a lot about myself and my past. I am beginning to dredge up some painful memories. Some of them attributed to my hearing loss. And its funny how at the time I did not associate the problems to my hearing loss (of course partly has to do with my personality at the time). I never gave it much thought. Now I find myself thinking, "Oh, that's why I did that!" or "Oh, no wonder I behaved that way." It would have been so much easier if I had paid a little more attention to my hearing loss and learned ways to deal with it.

One of those painful memories: During high school, I was sitting in the library reading and some of my classmates walked by. They sat down at another table across from me. I looked up and noticed one them was sort of waving and looking towards my direction. I thought he was waving at someone else so I looked down and did not wave back. Why would he be waving at me? We barely speak to one another. Then I looked back up towards to them. They were quietly talking, the girl glancing towards me. I read her lips and heard her quietly say, "Oh, that's just the way she is." I quickly looked down back at my book. I was mortified.

I wanted to stand up and yell, "I did not know you were waving at me! I'm sorry. I am not a mean person, I LIKE PEOPLE!" But, I did not say anything and I silently cried inside. As usual, I pushed this incident aside and I never thought about it until now.

I realize that perhaps because of the way I socialized and did not help others be more aware of my hearing loss, I was perceived as a snobby cold person. The comment, "Oh, that's just the way she is," says a lot.


February 19, 2010

The Importance of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth Learning Advocacy and Social Skills

I sometimes see children or young people with hearing loss act passive or apathetic when in social situations. They may not really contribute to the conversations (either they don't make the effort, are unable to communicate effectively because they lack language skills, or are missing out on the conversations, etc.). Therefore, it seems as if they learn to be passive; simply standing by watching and pretending everything is dandy. It is quite damaging to hide who you are and not to be able to express yourself effectively.

I know, because I was one of them (mainly during junior high and high school). I would be described as the "nice" or "quiet" girl. But those who really knew me, understood that I was more than that. I would often pretend I heard the latest gossip when sitting with a large crowd of people, smiling, nodding, or even laughing on cue. It was exhausting. It was horribly embarrassing when I was caught bluffing. Therefore, I avoided large crowds and spent a lot of time by myself reading books. I hung out with the outcasts of the school (the goths, geeks, nerds, wannabe punks, etc.). Besides the benefit of easy to follow one on one conversations, they were interesting. But, it is never nice to be left out. As a kid you want to belong.
There wasn't anyone I could talk to about this stuff without them fully understanding. It would have been nice to have talked to and learned from other deaf and hard of hearing people. From not having a lot of exposure to socializing with people on my own, I did not really learn how to talk to people or how to do it comfortably. And this was all on top of being a pimple-riddled-braces-wearing teenage girl.

Ugh, it was tough.

**Me, during my awkward teenage years. 

*This is me now. 
Don't hate. 

Now, being a teacher, I see some of my older d/hh students repeating the same behaviors I exhibited during junior high and high school. Some of them get along quite well with others (or it seems as if they get by fine), but I do notice how they miss most of what is being said in a large crowd, and they bluff their way through, smiling and nodding. I keep telling them that it will save them a lot of trouble if they start talking about their hearing loss with others now or at least advocate for themselves. They don't have to get on a soapbox and announce it to everyone. But, just telling someone to please repeat themselves would be good enough.


** Drawing by yours truly, (e  [from a class photo 94' when I was 14]

*Photo from Victoria's Secret 

February 16, 2010

"Whack it Up, My Faded!" (Misinterpreting Music Lyrics)

Like most deaf and hard of hearing individuals, I can never understand the lyrics or what is being sung in most songs. A lot of times if I can't hear what they are singing, I will hum it or make it up.

As a child of the 1980s I was always watching MTV and its music videos. My older sister told me that when I was 5 years old or so I would sing a song to myself that went like this:

"Whack it up, my faded! Whack it up, my faded! Whack it up!"

I was trying to sing the song, "Wrap it Up" by the Fabulous Thunderbirds (1986). They were actually singing,

"Wrap it up, I'll take it. Wrap it up, I'll take it."

But, really I think most people, hearing or not, cannot understand or pick out most music lyrics (at least when listening to the song for the first time). When talking about my hearing loss, usually I tell people that for me to try to understand what is being said to me, especially in noisy situations, it is probably a similar experience when trying to fully understand the music lyrics of a new song.

It's hard work. 


February 14, 2010

All Decked Out for Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!




February 5, 2010

Can Hearing Aids Electrocute You?

Most common questions and comments about my hearing aid from various hearing students:

1) Can hearing aids electrocute you? (when they get wet).

2) Is it connected to your brain?

3) How much do they cost? Fifty dollars?

4) What happens when you sweat a lot? Do you wash your hearing aid?

5) I want one. Do they come in pink?

6) Where do you buy them? Can you buy them at WalMart?

7) Is it attached to your ear? Does it hurt when you take it out?

8) Why don't you have the smaller one, like my grandpa has? He got it from the TV. (miracle ear)

9) I think they should make them bigger with flashing lights on them. That would be cool!

10) I want one! I think it would help me eavesdrop on my parents. They are always whispering about something.

11) Why are there stickers on your hearing aid?