Our congratulations go out to Samantha Tubbs, who graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in graphic design! She’s been a regular contributor to DeafandHoH.com for the past several months now, creating marketing flyers and updating the website. We also want to send our congratulations out to Lindsay Boxrud, who graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology. As our marketing intern last fall, she brought new ideas to the table and helped expand our community significantly.
Many students, including some members in our community, are graduating this month. That reminds me of when I graduated from UW-Milwaukee in December 1998. It was a great feeling of accomplishment after all the challenges I had gone through. I remember all the lectures, papers, exams, and art projects! Funnily enough, I still get dreams about missing all my classes during the semester and dreading my final exams as a result. But it’s always a relief when I wake up in the morning and realize it was just a dream.
Graduates, come share your college experience with us. What did you study or do for fun? Did you face any challenges in regards to your hearing loss? If you got any accommodations, what were they like? Let’s talk about our college days in this week’s Open Chat Night.
You can leave a comment here or discuss Happy Graduation in the forum.
A year and a half ago, I was featured in Hearing Loss Magazine. The article I wrote really affected my mom; she burst into tears after reading the article, especially the part when I wrote: “With not having a lot of friends at work or outside, I was looking for an answer. It got to the point where I was starting to hate myself.”
This year, she returned to work after a leave of absence, and she started showing the magazine to her friends and coworkers. She’s told me many times how proud she is of what I am doing; and her support has really encouraged me in all the time that I’ve run this hearing loss community. For example, year after year, she’s helped promote the Walk4Hearing fundraiser at her work.
Last year, we got an iPad for my mother and she’s now browsing in the Internet. Believe it or not, she’s even reading my blog posts now that I’ve showed her my site—one more thing we can share together!
In honor of Mother’s Day last Sunday, share with us about your mothers. What have they done for you? Share with us at this week’s Open Chat Night, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there!
You can leave a comment here or discuss Inspiration for Mothers in the forum.
Blog topic written by Chris Fischer, staff writer at DeafandHoH.com
There have been a few times when I held back on telling someone that I am deaf out of fear of prejudice. Generally, people accept it pretty well, but upon reflection, I realized that it’s not the person I’m worried about having a negative view of me—it’s the situation I’m in. For example, I have never brought up my deafness in a job interview because I’m concerned that my potential employer will disqualify me on the spot for it. I am aware that there are laws that prohibit any sort of discrimination against people. This holds true for overt discrimination, but—to quote a term from a sociology course I took in college—what about “institutionalized discrimination”? This is the idea of indirect discrimination against persons by institutions, such as schools or businesses. I do believe that this is prevalent in certain situations, so I tend to withhold telling people about my deafness in those situations, like job interviews or school applications.
In addition, I generally do not bring up my deafness on first dates, at social events, with new co-workers, etc. In the workplace in particular, I am concerned about their avoiding me or passing judgment on me, which would certainly affect my work situation. As for dates and social events, though it’s not as bad if someone thinks poorly of me for being deaf since I can always meet new people.
Although, I do tell people about my hearing loss after I get acclimated to work or social situations, I still have some reservations. One strategy I use when disclosing my hearing loss is pointing out my strengths that have come as a result of my hearing loss. This works out well after I tell co-workers or people I have known for a while because they tend to be more accepting.
What situations do you find yourself in where you’re not sure if you should tell someone about your deafness? Have you had more or less success when disclosing your hearing loss in social setting versus school/work settings or vice versa? What strategies do you use when disclosing your hearing loss? Tell us at this week’s Open Chat Night.
Night blindness is poor vision at night or in dim light. People with night blindness often have trouble seeing stars on a clear night or walking through a dark room, such as a movie theater. Unfortunately, I have a mild case of retinitis pigmentosa, which means I cannot see as well at night or in low light. I started developing this condition about five years ago, and I was told it’s genetic among people with hearing loss.
There’s no treatment at this time, but I’m hoping something will come up in the years ahead with all the medical research. I was told there may be a cure, but it will take time. For now, I need to take extra precautions in dim lighting, especially when driving at night. Admittedly, having this issue on top of my hearing loss is frustrating, especially since I never had vision problems growing up. In fact, I used to work as a movie theater usher in high school, helping customers find open seats along the dark aisle. Today, I’m one of those customers struggling to find an open seat in the theater.
I haven’t talked much about this condition, keeping it from even my own family. But now, I’ve decided to open up about this new challenge, and see if anyone else is dealing with similar issues. At this week’s Open Chat Night, feel free to share your experiences with vision loss and hearing loss.
You can leave a comment here or discuss Vision Loss in the forum.
Are you interested in having your voice heard? Do you have something to share that you want everyone to know about? Well, now’s your chance! We are asking those interested to make a video of himself or herself on YouTube and post it to our Facebook page by May 31st. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners; the winners will be determined by the number of “likes” each video receives over a determined period of time. The three winners will have their videos posted on DeafandHoH.com for our members to view. Every other month, we will have the videos change to a new topic.
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners
- Post videos on YouTube (preferably)
- Have the audience “Like” the videos which will help determine the winner(s)
- 2 – 5 minutes in length
- Open to hearing, hard-of-hearing, and deaf people
The first topic will be: have you ever had a communication barrier or conflicts with communication? Tell us your story about your issues with communication related to hearing loss, how it affected you, and what you did to resolve it.
Be creative! It can be a funny or serious video – it’s about you!
Download our contest flyer here!
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, staff writer at DeafandHoH.com
Last week, I used a captioning device in the movie theater for the first time, at a showing of The Croods (highly recommended, by the way). In all those times that I went to theaters with family and friends, I never really thought to request accommodations. Actually, the one time that I did, the staff gave me a pair of bulky headphones that was supposed to amplify the dialogue. I ended up leaving it in my lap for the duration of the movie.
Anyway, I didn’t find out about other alternatives, like rear window captioning (RWC) until I entered college. By then, I didn’t go to the movies as often anymore, so I never gave it any serious thought; and since I had heard so many negative reviews on RWC, I was even more reluctant to try movie theater accommodations. However, when my anthropology professor assigned us a viewing of The Croods, I had no choice. So, off to Marcus I went—and they gave me a CaptiView device, a small electronic monitor with an adjustable stand that could be propped in the cupholder.
The device was surprisingly easy to use once I’d gotten used to it; none of the complaints I’d heard with RWC applied here. The only major downside was a slight delay once the movie began and the captions didn’t appear, which I quickly remedied after fiddling with the buttons on the bottom of the device.
Those are just my initial impressions, though. I’d love to know if anyone else out there has used CaptiView or a similar device, and what you thought of it. Come discuss CaptiView or other movie theater accommodations at this Wednesday’s Open Chat Night!
You can leave a comment here or discuss CaptiView in the forum.
This week, we’re launching our new I2Rant page. Check it out at www.i2rant.com.
This forum is a way to vent your feelings and frustrations within the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing world. On top of hearing loss, many of us deal with our own issues, like conflicts among friends, partners, and family members.
For instance, I tend to be shy and soft-spoken, especially around large groups. And I’ve found it helps to rant in a community that understands and can explain why things happen the way they do. For example, is it because of my personality, my hearing loss, the type of people they are, or all of the above? In situations like these, it can be tempting to keep our frustrations bottled up inside. This forum gives us a way to let them out. We can also offer advice, support, and help to others who are going through similar experiences.
For this week’s Open Chat Night, take a look at our opening topics at www.i2rant.com. Feel free to leave your feedback and suggestions, or to just share your frustrations.
Blog topic written by Chris Fischer, staff writer at DeafandHoH.com
While I was a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, the campus experienced its share of controversial events, including the nationally publicized protests at the Wisconsin state capital against the “Wisconsin budget repair bill” in February 2011. However, another less -publicized but very controversial debate struck the campus again in September 2012 between UW-Madison and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over experiments involving cats, which resulted in the death of a cat named Double Trouble. In February of 2013, actor James Cromwell broke into a meeting protesting the experiments, calling them “torture” and “not science.” PETA continues to speak out against these experiments and has even posted a video on YouTube protesting the experiments.
One of the primary purposes for using animals in experiments is because of the potential for the development of treatments for diseases and disabilities, including hearing loss. Understandably, this is a fiercely debated topic, and I’m sure there’s resistance against such experiments, even from those with hearing loss.
Science is about pushing boundaries, but it cannot progress if it’s bound by morality and/or ethical practices. For those with disabilities and those who would like to see treatments developed for them, these types of experiments are the best way to discover such treatments. On the other hand, it’s easy to see why PETA would claim it’s unethical to subject animals to experimentation, even if the potential for reward is great.
What are your views regarding using animals in hearing-loss research? Do you believe that the reward and potential for finding treatments for hearing loss through animal experimentation is greater than the investment? Do you think there should be a limit to how far science should “go” in hearing loss research? Tell us at this week’s Open Chat Night.
If you are interested in more details about PETA and UW-Madison, here are some links:
University of Wisconsin – Madison FAQ on Animal Research
PETA’s Video (Must have a YouTube account)
Article about cat research and PETA’s Complaints against UW-Madison
Last Friday, I noticed that my right ear felt clogged after taking a shower, which I found odd because that usually happens only when I have a cold or fly at high altitudes. Later that day, my ear started to hurt more, and I began to worry. Since the doctor’s office is closed during the weekends, I contacted an audiologist in DeafandHoH.com via Facebook. She thought that water might have gotten trapped behind the wax in my ear, causing it to feel plugged up. She then reassured me that it was probably nothing to worry about, and I could wait to have it checked out and get the wax removed. So, I decided against urgent care this time. Fortunately, even though my ear is still itchy (probably from wax build-up), my hearing has gone back to normal.
Have any of you dealt with odd symptoms and wondered whether or not you should go to urgent care or the ER? Where do you usually go to get any ear issues resolved? For example, some symptoms normally associated with ear infections may also be a sign of something worse. How do you handle these situations when something unusual occurs? Tell us at this week’s Open Chat Night.
You can leave a comment here or discuss Urgent Care in the forum.
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, staff writer at DeafandHoH.com
Many interpreter programs have at least one ethics course in their curriculum that is designed to address the “gray areas” of interpreting, especially since sign language interpreters often inadvertently take on additional roles throughout their careers. For example, an educational interpreter may also double as a language model or impromptu tutor for a deaf child who is developmentally delayed.
However, some interpreters may take it a step further, and in doing so, they may cross a professional boundary. For instance, I read of one interpreter who had to relay a touchy exchange between a somewhat rude receptionist and her deaf client. After the client took her seat, the receptionist called the interpreter over for a brief chat. When the interpreter returned, the client asked her what their conversation was about. This interpreter explained that the receptionist had wanted to apologize for her attitude, so the interpreter told her, “Oh, it’s all right.” Upset, the client insisted that the receptionist should have apologized directly to her, and that the interpreter should not have accepted it for her.
Most situations aren’t as clear-cut as that one, though. I have personally encountered several situations where the rules are much less clearly defined, such as a study abroad trip where you may share transportation and lodging in quite close quarters. These instances often depend very much on the interpreter’s personal judgment and the client’s preferences. So, we want to hear your perspective.
For those of you who have used interpreters, captionists, a telephone relay service, or any other professional translating/relay service, where do you draw the line? Can you think of a particularly ambiguous instance where the professional handled it well—or not? How? Share with us at this Wednesday’s Open Chat Night.
You can also discuss Interpreter Ethics in the forum.