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Five online communities for individuals with hearing loss

Contributed by | Monday, September 29th, 2014

During the month of September, Healthy Hearing will be featuring different bloggers in the hearing loss community. From those across the ocean to parents of children with hearing loss, we'll take a closer look at some of the top blogs and resources available to you! For our last feature of the series, we take a look at online communities and news outlets for individuals with hearing loss. 

If you are deaf or hard of hearing — or love someone who is — consider visiting an online community to find others who share your experiences. Community websites about hearing loss are as close as a couple of keystrokes on your computer. Here are five you may want to bookmark for future reference.

Hearing Health and Technology Matters

The editors at HHTM encourage readers to “hear well, live well.” In order to help them accomplish that, they post “timely and lively insights for everyone who cares about hearing loss.”

hearing loss communities
In addition to a plethora of personal blogs, there
are numerous online communities and news
outlets available to individuals with hearing loss.

Contributors come from all spectrums of the hearing field including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators and consumers with hearing loss.

Editors have interactive blogs which cover a variety of hearing health topics. Marshall Chasin blogs about music and hearing loss in Hear the Music. Alan Desmond’s blog, Dizziness Depot, deals with issues of the inner ear. Holly Hosford-Dunn explores hearing healthcare markets in her blog, Hearing Economics. Gael Hannan blogs about living with hearing loss in The Better Hearing Consumer. Judy Huch and Robert L. Martin, both hearing healthcare providers, explore the relationship between provider and patient interactions along with pathologies in their blog, Hearing Health. David Kirkwood keeps an eye on developments in the hearing health arena in his blog, Hearing News Watch. Jane Madell’s blog, Hearing and Kids, covers handling hearing loss and other auditory issues in children and Wayne Staab covers hearing health history in his blog, Wayne’s World.

The Pathways tab focuses on Neuroaudiology and Central Auditory Processing Disorders. The Journal features peer-reviewed research that has been presented at the meetings of professional societies which deal with hearing health.

Hearing Journey

If you’ve received a cochlear implant or have hearing loss, you may want to join this community sponsored by Advance Bionics and the Bionic Ear Association. The web administrators host weekly web chats every Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you don’t feel like participating in a live discussion, you might be interested in following a variety of discussion threads.

Readers can learn about cochlear implants and hearing loss, post questions for other readers to respond to or share stories about their hearing loss journey. The home page lists the names of current conversations along with the top categories of discussions.

The Listening Room has online resources which encourage the practice of listening and language skills for people of all ages who have cochlear implants. Activities and ideas are organized by category: Infants and Toddlers, Kids, Teens and Adults.

Readers must register to view the content.

The Hearing Health Foundation

The Hearing Health Foundation’s mission is to prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus through research. They are the largest private funder of hearing research and have awarded millions of dollars since their organization in 1958.

They maintain a hearing health blog and write a free magazine, Hearing Health Magazine, which keeps donors informed of the latest hearing health discoveries and provides a directory of annual summer camps for children and adults with hearing loss.

Readers can learn about hearing loss, its prevention and current research on the site or get involved by sharing their hearing loss story and donating to the cause.

Hearing Like Me

This online community is sponsored by Phonak, a hearing device manufacturer. The corporate presence isn’t overwhelming at all, instead giving space to individuals with hearing loss who want to connect with others who are experiencing the same challenges.

Each page focuses on a different aspect of hearing loss. The Life tab offers suggestions and advice for living with hearing loss at home, work and play as well as what you can expect and how it affects relationships. Under the Raising tab, you’ll find resources focusing on deaf and hard of hearing children — from what to do when the diagnosis is new to how to enhance language development and advocate for your child with hearing loss. If you don’t have hearing loss, learn how to support someone who does in the Supporting tab. There you’ll learn about the challenges your friend or loved one is facing as well as the best ways to communicate with them. The Facts tab gives you answers to the questions you have about hearing loss and how to make a plan for treatment. Those with hearing loss may appreciate visiting the Forums, where they can share their story and participate in online dialogues about topics which encompass all aspects of hearing health.

Readers can view most of the information without registering unless they are planning to participate in the online forums.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The mission of this website, established in 2008, is to empower the hearing loss community by promoting confident social interaction and open communication. Readers can interact with the website’s founder, Senthil Srinivascan, through his blog or with others who are deaf or hard of hearing by participating in the Hearing Loss Forum.

An open chat night on Wednesdays from 8-10 p.m. EST offers participants the opportunity to hear from audiologists on hearing health topics, visit with friends in the chat room (members only), ask questions and share personal experiences.

The site also maintains a directory of summer camps and daycares for deaf and hard of hearing children, profiles a member of the month, and keeps a directory of audiologists, hearing care facilities and schools for the deaf and hard of hearing.

No registration is required; however, readers are encouraged to register and receive access to chat live with other members.

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