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  • Kathleen Wallace

The Value of Firsthand Experience

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Recently, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the resources available to those with hearing loss and I have come to appreciate how invaluable the first-person perspective is. This, of course, is not unique to audiology:

▫️New parents want to hear from other parents, not just pediatricians

▫️Athletes want to hear from other athletes, not just physical therapists

▫️Those who are grieving want to hear from others who have experienced loss, not just bereavement counselors.


There is no substitute for lived experience! If you are looking to connect with others who have hearing difficulties, here are a few incredible resources:

  • Hearing Loss Association of Americal (HLAA) has local chapters across the United States. On a national level, HLAA is a powerful advocate for those with hearing loss and boasts an impressive membership and advisory board. It is perhaps the most valuable asset to those with hearing loss, fostering a sense of community, networking, and support. Here in New York City, HLAA hosts a wonderful lineup of guest speakers at their monthly meetings.

  • Shari Eberts is an advocate and author. Her blog, Living With Hearing Loss, has thousands of followers and offers practical and convenient tips for everyday situations with hearing loss.

  • Gael Hannan is an advocate and author. Her blog, The Happy HoH (hard of hearing), has a strong following as she approaches her hearing loss with humor. She also authored the book The Way I Hear It.

  • Eberts and Hannan coauthored Hear and Beyond, now the go-to recommendation for anyone with hearing loss. This book is full of useful guides and tips that only people with hearing loss would be able to offer.

  • Nancy Williams is a hearing loss consultant and author. Her website, Grand Piano Passion, compiles useful recommendations for musicians or music lovers with hearing loss. She compiles guides and interviews for people to share what works for them.

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