Deaf bloggers making noise | Featured bloggers
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! In this article we hear from deaf bloggers.
Living with a hearing loss is difficult, but for those who have had to face the slow descension into total silence, or who never had the opportunity of sound to begin with, the difficulty is infinitely tougher. When people don’t know how to communicate with someone who is deaf, the deaf individual can fall into an involuntary isolation, closed off from the world around them. These people, more than anyone, need the chance to be heard by the hearing public.
Luckily, you don’t need a set of functioning ears to read and write, and a slew of deaf bloggers exist to provide a little online support to the deaf community. Michele Bornert, for example, has faced some challenging situations as a deaf adult. Born partially deaf, Michele lost the remainder of her hearing through a failed cochlear implant (which was eventually removed) and complications from her third pregnancy. She also had the auditory nerve in her right ear severed in an attempt to cure her tinnitus symptoms (which didn’t work).
“I learned not to put all your eggs in one basket. I learned that what other people suggest I do and what I actually put effort into doing should be two different things...I can take their thoughts and comments into consideration, but I have to realize that it might not work,” she said. “The surgeries weren't a success. Any of them. I learned that the hard way. There's not a day that goes by that I wonder what I would be doing now if they had worked, but I have to put that out of my mind and just deal with it.”
Through it all, Michele has maintained a stellar sense of humor and a positive outlook, though that doesn’t mean she hasn’t experienced the dark side of deafness. Her blog, Deaf Expressions, serves as an outlet for both the good and the bad, as well as the funny. Michele’s blog chronicles her life with her husband and three kids, as well as incidents like her surprising experience at a deaf convention and news briefs from the deaf community.
“Get out there and don't isolate yourself,” Michele said. “That's the hardest thing to do. If you're newly deafened, find groups like ALDA (Association of Late Deafened Adults) and others who can put you in touch with others who are living the same experience (or similar) that you are. Don't shut yourself up. Learn sign language or take lipreading classes. Do something. It won't be easy and it will be lonely, but the harder you try, the further you will go.”
The only thing more frightening than facing the struggles of deafness on your own is watching your child face them instead. Elise Faucheaux’s three-year-old son Hunter was born deaf and has Usher syndrome, which will likely cost him his vision before he hits adolescence. Elise’s blog, Angelic Ears, is her story of how she and her husband deal with the challenges, joys and fears of raising a child with Usher syndrome and cochlear implants.
“The toughest part about being a mom of a child of hearing loss is probably just knowing that he’s different and being afraid that he will be singled out for having cochlear implants,” Elise said. “But we have met soooo many amazing people since he was born, I honestly think it has made me a more compassionate person and I have made friends and contacts that I never would have known before if Hunter weren’t born with a hearing loss.”
Elise encourages parents in similar situations to embrace the journey and not focus on the negative aspects.
“It’s really a beautiful journey,” she said. “Cochlear implants are truly a miracle. You will learn so much and broaden your horizons and be grateful for the growing experience in the end.”