Archive for the 'Post your stories, articles, or blog links' Category

Apr 03 2012

Member Profile

Beginning April 2012, Deafandhoh.com will be publishing a monthly article on one member each month, starting with the current Miss Deaf America, Rachel Mazique.  We hope these articles will increase exposure for our community by giving members the chance to share their experiences with the rest of the world.

With the member’s permission, we’ll interview him or her and write a brief article based on the interview.  All articles will be sent to that member for final approval before publishing.  If you’d like to nominate a member or have a profile written on you, please feel free to contact us.

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Feb 08 2012

NBC Ousts Miss Deaf America

After hearing that Rachel Mazique, Miss Deaf America, was scheduled to sign the national anthem at Super Bowl 2012 as a representative of the deaf and hard of hearing community, I was so excited to see this momentous event; I even told my parents about it.  The big game had the largest audience (an estimated 111.35 million viewers) of any television program in US history.  What more could you ask for promoting awareness about the deaf community!

However, when the national anthem began, we watched 2002 American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson take the entire spotlight and Miss Deaf America wasn’t shown for even a second during her performance.  Moreover, she was not positioned anywhere near the other performers, and she was too far away from the stands for the audience to see her signing.  To add insult to injury, Ms. Mazique wasn’t even invited to stay for the rest of the game.  As Miss Deaf America, she has been working hard to make a difference in the Deaf community and she shouldn’t have been left in the shadows.

Unfortunately, these oversights happen all too often to the deaf and hard of hearing community.  However, I think we at DeafandHoH.com can do our part in changing this.  To help make sure that this particular incident doesn’t happen again, you can sign a petition at http://www.change.org/petitions.  Post, comment, and like this blog in Facebook, Twitter, everything you’ve got, and send it out to your friends.  The more people that know about this, the better.  Together, we can send a clear message to NBC, the NFL, and the world that the deaf and hard of hearing deserve just as much recognition as anyone else.

Senthil Srinivasan
(Edited by Hannah F. Mann)

One response so far

Nov 21 2011

“Opening Up” in the Hearing Loss Magazine

I am thrilled to announce that I will be on the cover feature of Hearing Loss Magazine’s November/December 2011.

I’ve always felt like an outsider due to my hearing loss.  So, one day in 2008, I decided to use my skills as a web designer to start a website where people with hearing loss could come together and form a community into which they fit.  A few months later, Cindy Dyer, who works as a photographer and designer for the Hearing Loss Magazine, found my blog and contacted me.  We’ve stayed in touch since, and last spring, she decided to feature my story on the cover of the November/December 2011 issue.  I flew to Washington D.C. this September and met Cindy in person for the photo shoot.  She and her husband were kind enough to show me around the D.C. area and graciously offered me a place to stay over the weekend.

Thanks to Cindy and the Hearing Loss Magazine, my dream of sharing my story with the world is finally coming true.  I hope my story will be an inspiration for people to pursue their dreams, regardless of whatever limitations they may have.  As Henry David Thoreau once said: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

Read my story by downloading the PDF version.

2 responses so far

Aug 04 2009

An Open Letter to My *Hearing* Friends

I am passing along this letter written by Shanna Groves. She sent the letter to me so I could share with my readers. I found it very interesting because it relates to some of the experiences I have been through.  I’d like to hear your feedback.

~~~

Dear Friend,

I want to discuss an important difference we have—something that can impact our entire communication from this point forward.

When you were born, your hearing was normal. So was mine. For years, I took the ability to hear for granted. I listened to my car stereo several notches too loud and sat in concert arenas filled with the shrill sounds of guitars, drums and vocalists belting out tunes. As a college student, I worked in a noisy printing press environment without wearing earplugs. All the while, my hearing gradually suffered.

For the past eight years, my life has differed from yours. It’s all because of a diagnosis I received two months after my oldest child was born: I have progressive hearing loss.

What does that mean? Imagine losing the sensitive hairs that line the back of your neck, one by one. You wait and wait for them to grow back, but they never do. For some unknown reason, the hairs are gone forever. That has happened to my inner ears. The nerve hairs in the deepest part of each ear have been destroyed permanently. Cause unknown. Without these hairs, my ears are not as sensitive to sound as yours.

The first part of my hearing that disappeared was with high-frequency pitches—birds singing, kids screaming, phones ringing, and all soft consonant sounds (f, s, t, v). Gone. Permanently. I am deaf to these noises.

The inability to hear high-frequency pitches affects all of my conversations with you.

You: “Is the baby sleeping?”
What I hear: “Ha! Baby leaping.”

You: “What time is it?”
What I hear: “Whoa, I’m in.”

I have worn hearing aids for six years to help with hearing better. But please repeat after me:

HEARING AIDS ARE A HELP, NOT A SOLUTION FOR HEARING LOSS.

With my hearing aids, I can hear the phone ring and the kids scream and soft consonant sounds—most of the time. Yet even with the aids, I still can’t hear robins chirping over me as I sit on my backyard swing. Do I miss that sound? Yes. Every day.

I want to ask that the two of us find a way to bridge the gap between our hearing differences, to understand each other. So, here are my suggestions…

~ Please face me when you speak. My eyes have become my ears. I watch your lips move and interpret your facial and body gestures. That is impossible to do when I am in the driver’s seat and you are talking to me from the passenger’s side of the car. Let me stop the car or come to a stoplight so I can give you my full attention.

~ Quiet rooms are always the best place for me to hear you well. When this isn’t possible, I hear better in a private booth rather than at a table in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Better yet, pull me aside, look me in the eye, and speak slowly and with good articulation. Doing this will decrease the chances of you having to repeat yourself three times before I get it.

~ I don’t expect you to walk on eggshells if you are unsure whether I have heard something you said. It is much better to tell me that I didn’t respond to your question, than to assume I am rude, dumb or zoned out for not answering.

~ If any of my suggestions seem too radical, I’d like you to try an experiment. Wedge two cotton balls in both of your ears, then try to carry on a conversation in a noisy room with your eyes closed. Difficult, isn’t it? Welcome to my world!

By writing to you, I hope to provide insight that will help when we have our next conversation. You are a good friend for taking the time to read this letter. You’ve shown support in my hearing journey by taking an interest in what I write. Thank you for that.

As your friend, here is my commitment to you…

~ I promise to give you my full attention when you speak to me.

~ I promise to politely ask you to repeat yourself if I have missed something you said.

~ I promise to care about what you have to say because I care about you.

Blessings,
Shanna
 
~~~
 
Shanna Groves is the author of Lip Reader, a novel about a family dealing with hearing loss during the early 1980s. She blogs and speaks frequently about hearing loss issues and is actively involved with the Hearing Loss Association of America. For information about her books, blogs and speaking dates, visit: http://shannagroves.blogspot.com.

2 responses so far

Apr 28 2008

Post your stories, articles, or blog links

Please visit often and participate by submitting your stories, articles, or blog links that could help you, me, and everyone else who has had similar experiences relating to hearing loss.  I would be happy to post them here.

2 responses so far



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