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Kirsten Brackett
Marketing InternPhonak
Kirsten is 23-years-old and originally from Denver, CO, but currently lives outside of Chicago, IL. She has a moderate hearing loss and currently wears Phonak Audéo B-R rechargeable hearing aids.
Outside of working for Phonak, she can be found planning her next trip, exploring the city of Chicago, trying out new recipes in her kitchen, hiking or doing yoga. She loves learning about different cultures and languages, and studies Arabic, American Sign Language and French.

Syrian refugees get hearing aids, hope from Deaf-led nonprofit

One in every 113 people globally is an asylum seeker or a refugee, according to the United NationsThose who flee conflicts in their home countries often face hardships and dangers as they search for a safer place. Once they escape, they confront a sometimes even more difficult challenge to re-settle; a process all made more difficult for refugees with hearing loss. 

The “invisible disability” is not usually thought of as a priority for refugees. Safety, food and serious health challenges often come first. 

But earlier this year, a team from a Chicago-based nonprofit, Deaf Planet Soul, declared hearing health a top concern among Syrian refugees, as they traveled to Lebanon – a county where an estimated 2.2 million Syrian refugees seek asylum – to provide audiological services to those in need.

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4 Benefits of Speech Pathology for Children with Hearing Loss

Finding the best way to communicate is an important part of better hearing and speech. Whether it is sign language, cued speech, oral communication or a mixture, communication is key for living with hearing loss.

My hearing loss was first diagnosed when I was five-years-old, so I was already behind in many areas involving speech. However, because I have a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, my family and I decided oral communication was the best communication choice for me.

Fortunately, I had a two speech language pathologists to help me get back on track. I know that without my speech language pathologists I wouldn’t have the oral communication skills I have today.

Here are four ways my speech language pathologists helped me as a child with hearing loss:

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3 Tips for Learning a Language With Hearing Loss

All my life I have been interested in different cultures and languages.

This stemmed from my passion to travel. When I go to a new place I am fascinated by the way people communicate. Despite my interest in languages, I have always  faced a fear of learning languages. When I took classes in school it was difficult for me to keep up with the curriculum and I couldn’t rely on other methods I use to listen in class such as lip-reading. The experience lowered my confidence and instilled a fear in me of learning a new language.

I didn’t want to give up, so after I graduated university I signed up for a French class. I chose a class that was specifically for continuing education meaning that it didn’t count as a credit or a grade. This took a lot of pressure off, but I was still terribly nervous! I have been in the class for five months now and it can be really challenging, but I still love it.

I feel much more confident now and even though it takes me longer to learn than the others in my class, I am still learning a ton.

Here are three tips for learning a new language if  you are hard of hearing:

Posted in Blog Education

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Connecting my hearing aids to technology

As a young adult, I’m constantly using my phone and computer to communicate and stay connected with the world, so of course I expect my hearing aids to be compatible with my technology.

Not too long ago I received new Audéo B-R hearing aids, and the transition to new hearing aids has been great. Each day I am grateful for all that they do. However, one of my main concerns when getting new hearing aids was how they would work with all the technology I use on a daily basis.

I’ve found one great solution with the Phonak ComPilot Air.

Posted in Blog Z-Products

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The most rewarding parts of being a mother of a deaf child

When a person has a hearing loss, they require support from those around them. The support role often falls on family members and this role can make a huge impact on the life of a hard of hearing person.

Being supported by someone who understands how to communicate with you, can accommodate their lifestyle to keep you involved with conversations and will stand by you throughout your hearing journey can mean the world to someone who is hard of hearing. That’s not to say, those are the only ways a person can be supportive, it is just a few of endless ways.

This Mother’s Day we asked mothers what the most rewarding part of raising a hard of hearing child is. 

Posted in Blog Parents

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My experience with Phonak Audéo B-R hearing aids

Recently, I got a new pair of hearing aids. Phonak Audéo B-R hearing aids to be exact.

This was extremely exciting for me because the hearing aids I were wearing, were five-years-old and starting to become outdated. I didn’t have any major problems with these hearing aids, but I faced the issue where I felt that the sound I heard from them was too loud. I had my audiologists lower the gain, but I still felt like sounds were just amplified and unclear. Due to this I usually wore my hearing aids only when I felt like I had to. After a long day of school or work, I couldn’t wait for the moment to take my hearing aids off.

This all changed with my new hearing aids. 

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