Welcome to the 7th and final part of the Changing Cochleas blog series – my journey with a cochlear implant.
Service, as defined by online dictionaries, with my additions in italics:
A valuable action, deed, or effort performed by a hearing care professional to satisfy a need or fulfill a demand by a person with hearing loss.
To perform routine maintenance or repair work by assistive hearing technology geniuses on something like a hearing aid, cochlear implant (CI), and other assistive devices.
There it is in a nutshell—what we, the people with hearing loss, need to move us from exclusion to inclusion: competent and caring assessment, support, reduction or elimination of negative emotions, assistive technology and improved communication skills.
The heaven of good service is in the additional details: the technology type, style, cost, and ease of use, along with training on assertiveness, speechreading, and emerging tech stuff, etc.
Family and friends are our communication partners and allies but they aren’t at our service. That’s the role of the hearing specialists and technical geniuses—the professionals, many of whom go far beyond what they’re paid to do. In return, I help them out by being a person on which to practice their trade, showing up for appointments, usually on time, and being honest about my needs so that we can mutually decide the course of action going forward.
I’ve been receiving services and ‘treatments’ for hearing loss since I was two years old. Doctors examined, prodded, scoped, diagnosed, and prescribed (or not). Various hearing professionals put me in the torture chamber…oops, I always get this one wrong…I mean the sound booth…to test my hearing and then make recommendations for hearing aids which they then sell to me.
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Thank you to Cochlear Americas and to HearingHealthMatters.org for their support in the development of the “Changing Cochleas” series.