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3 Tips For Deaf Teens Preparing for University

Study: College students displaying signs of "hidden hidden hearing loss"

Boy, oh boy. What am I going to do? High School is coming to an end, and four years of my life have gone by. While I’m happy to be moving on, I’ve got a lot of worries about entering university as a student with hearing loss. 

By preparing myself for the transition from high school to college, I’ve learned (and am still learning!) some things to do and not to do.

If you’re also preparing for college or university as a deaf student, here’s my advice:

1. Get in contact with the schools’ disability office

Even if you aren’t sure you’re going to need any accommodations, it can still be helpful to contact the disability offices! They can provide you with free or discounted technology depending on their budget – such as hearing aid accessories for the classroom, like the Phonak Roger Pen, or laptops!

Read more: My 5 Favorite Ways to Use My Roger Pen

I did this at the college I’m going to attend, and the counselors introduced me to some assistive tech I’d never heard of. 

Read more: Teens with Hearing Loss: How to be an Advocate for your Education 

If you’re attending a campus visit, I’d make sure to visit the office on campus; it may even be an opportunity for you to meet other students with hearing loss.

2. Find local support 

As you familiarize yourself with the area, try and find where you can go for support if you need it.

If you’re moving far from home, consider finding an audiologist or hearing care professional near your university. 

Also, find a nearby place to buy hearing aid batteries. It seems pretty obvious, but in the rush of things you may forget to check around. If there isn’t a place where you can buy them, look into ordering them in bulk online. Talk with your parents about setting up a regular plan where you get batteries delivered as you need them. And a general warning- its a lot scarier being without hearing aid batteries on a campus than it is in high school!

Since you’ll be on your own, its up to you to keep up with your hearing loss needs.

3. Inform your roommates

Even though it would come up at some point, it’s important that your roommate know about your hearing loss: how you do things and don’t do things, and why you may not always respond immediately

If your college offers single room dorms and you feel more comfortable without a roommate, that’s definitely an option! 

But don’t base your housing decision solely off your hearing loss. I talked to a freshman who wore hearing aids at the college I’m attending, and he gave me some advice:

  • decide where you would like to live in first, whether that be single room or even a quad-room.
  • Then consider your hearing loss, but only after you’ve thought about what you like personally.

Also, make sure you talk with your roommates and new friends and let them know the best ways to communicate with you! If you start with good communication, it will definitely help your relationships!

Read more: How to Talk to People with Hearing Loss

College is a time to branch out and try something completely new! There’s no reason to prevent yourself from doing something you might enjoy just because of your hearing loss! 

Those are the main things that have stuck out to me in this confusing, yet exciting process. I know adulthood won’t be easy, but I’ll learn more about myself as I make mistakes and grow.

What are some things you guys think hearing impaired college students should know? Let me know! (I know I need all the advice I can get!)

Author Details
I’m Daysia, and I’m 17 years old. I have profound bilateral hearing loss and I wear Phonak Bolero Q50-P hearing aids in both ears. I am pursuing a career in rehabilitative engineering.