Why subscribe to my Deafness Newsletter? It is my aim as Deafness Editor for Bellaonline to provide timely information to those who need it; the deaf, their friends, family and colleagues. When I went deaf there were no resources available. The world wide web had not been invented, there was no captioned tv and no alternatives such as cochlear implants. I had no idea where to turn for information and support. It was a very frightening and lonely time so I hope the information I provide in my Newsletter will help people avoid the isolation that deafness so often causes.
The information will be timely, researched and available to you through my regular Deafness newsletter. It is free, easy to subscribe (note the subscribe boxes on the right and bottom of page) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Your email address is private, is not seen by me, is kept secure and will not be sold so you will not receive spam.
The newsletter will cover current world wide issues and discuss the important role hearing has as a foundation sense, which together with vision is our primary means of interpreting and interacting with the world around us. Losing this sense can have devastating consequences. We feel grief, anger and loss of self-worth as many of us lose our jobs, become isolated from family, friends and colleagues, and lose our ability to function in the world we understand, a world predominantly geared to the hearing. Most of us do not have the resources, skills and knowledge about how to maintain quality of life as we struggle in a world which no longer makes sense to us.
When I lost my hearing I was working in the music industry as a piano teacher and entertainer. I was forced to change careers and develop ways of coping with isolation. Fifteen years later I regained hearing when I had a successful Cochlear Implant. I have first hand experience of living deaf and the frustrations this brings and together with the complete turn around to hearing again has added another dimension giving me the experience and understanding to be the Deafness Editor for Bellaonline.
My situation is far from unique. More people are living longer and because the most common cause of deafness is aging, deafness is an increasing problem. Age-related deafness is sensorineural, which, simply put, means the hairs or neural transmitters inside the cochlea are dying. These hairs perform the important function of changing sound vibrations to the electrical impulse which travels along the hearing nerve to our brain where we experience sound. For some people wearing a hearing aid will help them make better sense of speech. However, for many others, as their hearing loss worsens, hearing aids become less effective. More and more people will demand answers, seek alternatives or need help in living with this disability.
It is my aim, as the Deafness Editor for Bellaonline, to, in many cases drawing from my own experiences, provide information to facilitate those who need it. I will cover the consequences of deafness which affects more than just the people deafened. Their families, friends and colleagues need to understand the problem so they can be supportive. I will discuss special situations and ways of coping and will look at alternatives such as sign language, hearing aids and newer implantable technologies like cochlear implants, baha and other types of implantable aids.
There are many other technologies which help the deaf and these will be included in newsletters and articles as well as discussed on our forum. Closed captioning for television, movies, theatres and dvds means the deaf do not need to miss out on entertainment and news. Telephone relay services, faxes, hand held mobile phones, which will soon be available captioned, and of course email can provide help to make an important appointment or can be a social outlet.
If you believe the Deafness Newsletter will be of benefit for you then fill in the sign up section on this page. If you know someone else who would be interested, let them know so they too can sign up (do not sign up for them please!). I will look forward to discussing these issues with you.