As part of our new DeafandHoHKids.com website, every month we are highlighting a different camp that appeals to kids and teens in the deaf and hard of hearing community. We have already created a directory for all the daycares and camps in the U.S. we could find.
When I attended school in the 80’s and 90’s, I never even thought about joining summer camps specifically for the deaf and hard of hearing. I don’t even know if they had many camps then. Looking back, it might have been good for me to make new friends and interact with others who were having similar experiences as myself as a kid or teen with hearing loss.
When I was in middle school, I was accepted into the high school marching band. But, I dropped out after I learned I’d have to attend a summer camp for this. I didn’t have any close friends and was afraid I’d be isolated from and left out among the hearing students. I also didn’t want to be teased. I’d had my fair share of that during middle school, especially in band class.
If you’re a parent with a deaf or hard of hearing child, have you considered putting your child in a darecare or summer camp for the deaf and hard of hearing? If you’re a teen or student with hearing loss, have you attended one of those camps? Share your experiences with us. What are the advantages of going to a camp for the deaf and hard of hearing compared to attending a camp with hearing youth?
As the summer approaches in a few months, let’s talk about camps for the deaf and hard of hearing and places you would recommend. See you all at this week’s Open Chat Night!
A while back, we had an interesting conversation at Open Chat Night about how dreams relate to hearing loss.
Although I personally can’t remember any specific dreams about my hearing loss, one of our members mentioned one of hers in which she got into a pool without taking her hearing aids off. I was just curious if anyone in the hearing loss community has something to share about their dreams.
We should all be able to hear sounds in our dreams without wearing hearing aids in them, since we already know the sounds from wearing hearing aids in real life. However, if someone has been deaf throughout his or her entire life, that person wouldn’t know what “sound” sounds like. So, how would he or she recreate it in a dream?
Hannah, a staff writer at DeafandHoH.com, is profoundly deaf. She can’t hear speech or most environmental noises without hearing aids. So, before she wore hearing aids or had a cochlear implant, she doesn’t remember having “heard” anything in her dreams, and her dreams tended to be mostly visual. However, she’s been told told that she signs in her sleep.
I know deaf people can also sense vibrations in music without necessarily hearing the sounds. I’m curious to know if that’s ever played a role in your dreams.
Share your interesting dreams or anything related to sound and hearing loss at this week’s Open Chat Night. Let’s have fun talking about the inner thoughts and imagination of your dreams!
Those of us living in the northern and eastern parts of the U.S. have had to face one of the worst winter seasons yet. With sub-freezing temperatures, record lows, and snow accumulation since last December, people have also had to deal with cases of the flu and common cold. So, I thought this would be a good time to discuss how the common cold affects your hearing loss.
Whenever I catch a really bad cold, my ears get plugged up and I can’t hear very well, even with my hearing aids. It’s really annoying and I keep moving my jaw to make my ears pop so they’re not clogged. This is a similar sensation to what you might experience during a plane ride. My ears got plugged due to the high altitude during my last trip to India. Sometimes, it’s scary to think that your hearing won’t come back to its normal state. But, it usually does over time. I really don’t do anything to my ears other than taking cold/cough medication and drinking liquids. However, for ear infections (which I usually don’t get often), I’ll need to visit the doctor and get a prescription, such as ear drops.
Have you recently caught a common cold or had an ear infection? How did it affect your hearing loss? Tell us how you cope and the treatment you’ve taken to cure it. Come join us at this week’s Open Chat Night. Stay warm!
Looking back, I have an interesting story to share for my Valentine’s Day memory.
During last year’s week of Valentine’s Day, I went out with a woman I met online for my first date ever. That night, we had a great conversation over dinner. She seemed interested to hang out again, but, unfortunately, I was never able to get her contact information. Even though this story ends without my getting a girlfriend, or even a friend, I look back on it as a positive experience. I got out of my comfort zone and did something challeninging that I normally don’t see myself doing. This shows how much progress I’ve made. I want to encourage myself to keep trying new things and not give up on myself. Someday, I may find myself meeting someone really special on Valentine’s Day.
Tell us your Valentine’s Day story that’s a good memory to look back on at this week’s Open Chat Night. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!
Last summer, I attended the HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) annual Hearing Loss Convention in Portland, Oregon. Although I met many wonderful people and made some new friends there, being around all the new faces created a great social challenge for me. As many of you know already, I am shy and soft-spoken.
For the first time, I would like to vent about a particular social challenge I encountered at the convention. I had connected with a few people and was hoping to do something fun with them on Friday night. Unexpectedly, though, things didn’t work out as planned and I lost touch with them. Since I hadn’t been personally notified about the changes, wasn’t invited to a group of “cool” friends at a bar, and didn’t have the courage to go out to a bar downtown and meet even more new people, I felt isolated and returned to the hotel with a heavy heart. Still, the story has a positive outcome. That night I met a few others who also didn’t join the party. Reaching out to them was a rewarding experience. I didn’t feel alone. This experience proves to me that anywhere, even at a hearing loss convention, you can still feel like an outsider among your own group. The important thing is reaching out to the right kind of people who have similar interests as you and who truly want to be your friend. They are out there; you just have to find them.
I’m planning to attend this year’s convention in Austin, Texas, in June. Share with us your social interactions at previous conventions and how they had an impact on you. Are you planning to attend the convention in Austin? Tell us at this week’s Open Chat Night.
This past decade has flourished with the development and widespread usage of mobile devices, such as the popular iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices. These advances in technology are convenient because they allow us to instantly connect with one another. However, I know using these mobile devices can cause obstacles for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Although I own a cell phone, I don’t like to use it as much as my landline speaker phone at home. With cell phones, I often have difficulty hearing or understanding the other person. There may be background noise in the area I’m calling from, there may be signal static, or the person calling may not speak clearly. Increasing the volume on the phone doesn’t always help. So, I always feel more comfortable using my speaker phone, especially for important phone calls.
Some other mobile devices, such as caption phones, are ideal for people with some degree of hearing loss. Though I’ve personally only used video chat a few times, I’ve heard members of the deaf community also rely on video phones.
What’s your preferred method to communicate with people on the phone? Which do you rely on more: mobile phones, landline, or other devices that accommodate the deaf community? Share with us at this week’s Open Chat Night!
Senthil: I was enthralled to see a Duracell commercial featuring Derrick Coleman, a hard-of-hearing running back for the Seattle Seahawks. I loved the story and thought it was inspiring. When I shared it with Hannah, a DeafandHoH contributor who is also deaf, she had reservations about the ad and brought up a term, “inspiration porn.”
Hannah: I have noticed a tendency to idealize those with disabilities, including hearing loss, for performing normal, everyday tasks; or for accomplishments that have little to do with their particular disability. There’s a rather crude term for this: inspiration porn. This commercial bothered me because Duracell used Coleman’s story to advertise their product, painting hearing loss as this great obstacle to overcome. Obviously, communication is a challenge, but other than that, I didn’t see how hearing loss alone was supposed to hurt his ability to play football.
As for me, I’ve been praised for things like art and good grades, “despite” being deaf (and yes, some people have made it a point to mention my hearing loss in conjunction with these accomplishments). I never understood that, because my skill in those areas had little or nothing to do with my hearing loss. In fact, as I got older, I became more and more uncomfortable with the emphasis on my disability rather than me, as a person. I don’t know how Coleman personally feels, but this commercial reminded me of that odd focus on the disability rather than on the accomplishment.
Senthil: I personally found the commercial on Derrick Coleman very inspiring. Moreover, it brought attention to the challenges that people with hearing loss often face, such as bullying and rejection. The commercial clearly sent out the message that deaf people can do anything; Coleman proved that by becoming the running back for the Seattle Seahawks. I think his example will encourage other deaf and hard of hearing people to follow their dreams in sports and not give up because of their hearing loss.
What do you think? Tell us at this week’s Open Chat Night.
2013 has been an amazing year for the DeafandHoH community. Our Facebook group has grown to almost 3,000 members. Our wonderful contributors have helped expand our community through writing, marketing, and social media.
2014 will be an extraordinary year for DeafandHoH.com. Among other things, we plan to start a resource center for parents and children with hearing loss, called DeafandHoHKids.com. Our main goal is to create a safe place for youth to explore how much there is to offer, regardless of their hearing loss.
On a personal level, I slowly moved out of my social comfort zone with new people, especially at this year’s HLAA Convention in Portland, Oregon, and made some new friends along the way. Even though I still experience ups and downs, I plan to keep connecting with more people. I have definitely made much more progress this year. I’m learning that it’s important to stay positive and believe in yourself.
What have you accomplished in 2013, and what are your plans for 2014? Come join us at next year’s first Open Chat Night!
I mentioned in a previous post earlier this year that I had been diagnosed with a mild case of retinitis pigmentosa, which means I cannot see as well at night or in low light. It started happening five years ago. Although my vision hasn’t worsened over the years, lately I have gotten more nervous about driving at night, especially at this time of year because it gets dark earlier. In places with low lighting, I also worry about bumping into people or not seeing someone talking to me from a distance. That’s another reason, in addition to social anxiety, why I avoid nightlife outings.
Despite this new fear in my life, I still have confidence in medical research and faith in God that this condition will be treatable in the near future. In the meantime, I need to find ways to overcome this fear, take minor precautions, and enjoy what I have now. Stressing out about the unknown can only make things worse, even affecting your well-being and health.
Have you experienced any condition besides your hearing loss that had a major impact in your life? Do you have a fear of the unknown? Tell us at this week’s Open Chat Night.
You can leave a comment here or discuss Fear of the unknown in the forum.
As the holiday season approaches, I thought it would be nice to share thoughtful gift ideas. What have you given or gotten for Christmas? Was it bought or handmade? What made it special? It can be something related to your hearing loss, or anything that’s important to you. One member in our Facebook group posted that she couldn’t find a necklace that was Deaf or ASL-related. So, a designer who does custom work made a necklace just for her that featured the handshape for “I Love You.” I thought that was a very thoughtful and unique gift idea.
What are your gift ideas for the holidays? Share your suggestions at this week’s Open Chat Night!
You can leave a comment here or discuss Thanksgiving in the forum.