Hearing loss blogs we (still) love
There’s no better way to understand what someone is thinking than by (figuratively) taking a walk in their shoes. That’s why we love our hearing loss bloggers so much. Through their passionate, honest and informational posts, we learn what it’s like to live with hearing loss in today’s world and parent children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the bloggers we’ve highlighted in the past and what they’re talking about now.
Living with a hearing loss in London, UK
British blogger, Tina, says she is “profoundly deaf with speech so good I fool most people into thinking I’m hearing.” A lip reading tutor and deaf awareness trainer, she still writes with clarity and humor.
In her July 2015 WordPress blog, she writes about an unfortunate lip reading translation of an archived video of the Queen and Queen Mother, which simultaneously gives her audience a brief lesson on lipreading.
“Lipreading is a difficult skill to learn however it is subject to misinterpretation,” she writes. “When lipreading, only up to 30 percent of speech can actually be seen on the lips. The rest is inferred from the context of what is being said, therefore an excellent knowledge of the language is required.”
Hearing loss didn’t stop Nancy Williams from pursuing her passion of playing the piano, in fact, you might say it propelled her. Now a public speaker, writer and hearing loss advocate, her website is “an oasis of articles, essays and original videos for studying the piano as an adult, making music despite hearing loss and claiming your passion, whatever it may be.”
There, Nancy posts her piano practice notes and writes about how to listen despite hearing loss. Other articles include best books for piano practice and how to find a piano teacher as well as inspirational videos and essays about her journey back to the piano despite her hearing loss.
You have to love an authentic person and Jennifer Gibson definitely fits that bill. She writes about growing up with severe hearing loss with honesty, passion and clarity. Her latest post about traveling with hearing loss not only gives hearing individuals a glimpse into what that might be like, it also gives those with hearing loss a few great tips for navigating on their own.
Did we mention she is also a published author, graphic designer and illustrator? Her trilogy, "Sway, Compass and Destiny," follows the adventures of Jessie, a teenager with hearing loss. The award-winning books can be purchased on her website.
College student Meghan Watt, who wears a cochlear implant in each ear, is still busy working, attending school – and blogging about the experience. In her latest post, she writes about the struggles she encountered during a recent job search and her hopes for finding the funds to live on campus at Gallaudet University. Knowing Meghan, we’re sure she’ll find a way.
Parents of children with hearing loss will enjoy reading Kristen Johnson’s musings. Her posts are full of everyday realizations parents have as they raise their children. She has three, by the way. When you visit her blog site, be sure to scroll down and read her Jan. 7, 2015 post. It’s about her son, Henry – the one with hearing loss. You’ll appreciate the quote about stumbling blocks versus stepping stones.
Raising a deaf or hard of hearing child
This group blog, facilitated by Karen Putz, is still going strong, with touching posts from parents with deaf or hard of hearing children. Recent topics include the difficulty of “letting go” as children grow up and how our jobs as parents are never really finished.
You may remember that both of Val Blakely’s kids, Gage and Brooklyn, have cochlear implants. In her latest post, she humorously writes about how carelessly noisy she is in the mornings because she doesn’t have to worry about waking the kids – until one of their hearing friends spends the night.
“The problem with hearing kids is they hear,” she writes. “I “shhhhed” myself this morning when making breakfast as the two deaf ones slept soundly and the one hearing friend (also out cold) was at risk for being awakened.”
Two of Jennifer Wallace’s three triplet sons have hearing loss and her youngest daughter has a host of health problems, but this mother of four chooses to focus on the bright side. Her children obviously provide the light, as you’ll see from the cover photo on her blogspot – all four of them are smiling from ear to ear on the beach.
Jennifer started the blog to keep friends and family updated on the progress of the triplets when they were little. Even though she says their life seems “just so normal now” with her son’s cochlear implant, she vows to chronicle his adventures as a young, active child who occasionally has to stop play to have magnets or batteries replaced. She considers herself a mentor for parents beginning similar journeys and hopes her experiences help make the process a little less scary.
Since we last touched base with Shanna Groves, she has decided to scale back her book writing and public speaking activities. Thankfully, her faithful readers can still hear her strong, passionate voice about being a mom with hearing loss in her blog posts.
“LipreadingMom.com is not about being an author or speaker,” she writes. “It is a connection with other people who may live with hearing loss. It is a connection with other parents and grandparents. Through the sharing of our everyday experiences, we can inspire, inform and entertain. In other words, we can make the world of parenting with a hearing loss not such a lonely place.”
Thank goodness! Recent posts include news of a dad who received a tattoo to match his daughter’s cochlear implant and a post by guest blogger Heather Jensen on five tips to better communication with those who cannot hear.