This year, we’re focusing on communicating more fully with our friends, colleagues and loved ones. Here are our New Year’s Resolutions for people with hearing loss in 2021.
2020 gave us numerous challenges when it came to socializing. From social distancing, face masks as a barrier, and virtual communication challenges, socializing with others was extremely difficult. While we still await some of these challenges of Covid-19 to be lessened, we’ve found some ways to make communication easier.
We’ve created this list of Accessible technology for people with hearing loss so we can take advantage of the tools and resources available to help us communicate.
Video conferencing platforms – such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts – have especially been a necessary means of communication. While our social interactions continue to be online, we’ve outlined the best group video calling apps for hearing loss.
We’re also staying connected as a group with the Phonak hEARo program. Participate in monthly chats, gain access to a private online forum and exclusive community events.
Socializing with others not only relates to what tools we use, but also what language we use. Sign language is a great way to expand your social group and better communicate with people with hearing loss.
Many people who wear hearing aids are also turning to sign language.
“My decision to learn sign language wasn’t because I disagreed with my parents’ choice to raise me with oral communication,” says HearingLikeMe contributor Ellie Parfitt, who decided to learn British sign language. “Like learning any language, sign language is an investment, but I personally think it’s worth it in the long run, especially if it leads to a job or better connecting with family or friends!”
Sign language can be a benefit for infants and children with hearing loss, as well as adults.
HearingLikeMe writer Isabella Candanosa says learning sign language helped her accept her hearing loss.
“While my devices helped me navigate the world of sound, I wasn’t connected with my deaf identity,” she says. “I noticed how sign language broke down barriers and opened up doors for me, both in professional and social settings. Just like my hearing aids did years ago. The first time I worked with a sign language interpreter opened up a new world for me. I was able to participate in discussions, events, and lectures with full confidence.”
Read more: How to learn sign language
This year, we’ll also be focused on being an advocate for our hearing loss. With face masks causing barriers for deaf people, as well as various challenges for travel and communication, we’re focusing on spreading awareness and advocacy for the deaf community.
When flying, we’ll be sharing these airlines:
Until we break down all the misconceptions about hearing loss, we’ll be doing our best to continue to share stories and tips that help us all live more fulfilling and accessible lives.