Phonak hEARo and deaf vlogger Mario Afonso, released a video sharing a message about hearing loss, to help others understand what it means to live with hearing loss.
If you have hearing loss, then it’s likely that you are familiar with the communication obstacles that occur in everyday life.
“Every day, I face obstacles in communication,” Mario says in his video. “Listening, noises, interpretations, and conversations.”
Mario told HearingLikeMe that when he is environments where it is hard for him to hear, he advocates for himself. He will ask the person speaking to repeat themselves or he will move away from a noisy area so he can hear better.
He asks for others to be patient with him when it is more difficult to hear. Also, to speak normally and carefully.
“My mother bought me hearing aids not only just to hear, but to listen,” he says. “People’s voice, laugh, music, the sound of the water, movements or silence. I don’t define myself as “the hearing aids guy” but as a normal person living with a hearing loss.”
Mario doesn’t want to be defined by his hearing loss. Although it is a large part of his identity, it isn’t everything. He doesn’t want to be labeled and would like people to see his qualities as anyone else would.
Mario says he made the video to spread awareness about how hearing aids work and the realities of hearing loss. He wants the world to learn the challenges the hearing loss community faces, why some people in the community are grateful for their hearing technology.
“I believe that I have a different story to share, not just only for people with hearing loss, but with the world,” he says. “Because stories are what move the world forward.”
Mario says he is grateful for his Phonak hearing aids and all the sounds he can hear with them. He shows his gratitude by explaining how appreciative he is of the sounds around him.
“The best feeling ever of using the hearing aids is between the moment you are in the silence mode and suddenly you click on the button to turn on and you start to hear the movements,” he says.
He hopes his video will impact many others and looks forward to continuing to tell his story on his YouTube channel.