Welcome Message

Cochlear Implants, hearing loss and more! I carry an interesting perspective: someone who had normal hearing growing up, lost it all slowly as an adult, then regained it with cochlear implants. So I'm deaf, but I can hear - a true miracle. If you'd like to know more about me and my bilateral cochlear implant experiences right away, my two books have a wealth of information - see the links below. Check out the list of upcoming events too - perhaps one day we'll get to meet!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shakespeare Captioned (All's Well that Ends Well)

Shakespeare - with captions.  That's just the way Shakespeare should be experienced -  seeing and savoring every word.  It seems that only people with hearing loss get to do this, however.  A little poetic justice, I guess.

We just saw "All's Well that End's Well" last week at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series of the Public Theater - a summer tradition.  The Theatre Development Fund's Theatre Access Program arranges the captioning, done by C2 Caption Coalition, including the distribution of tickets, ordered online (free of charge, so they "sell out" fast!)  The captioning LED screen is set up above the entrance staircase, providing good sight lines from a section of the open-air theater.  Speakers are strung above the audience, providing good sound coverage as well.

The setting is idyllic (unless it's raining or unbearably hot!)  And for last week's performance, the surroundings were perfect.  The captioned performances bring out a crowd of "regulars" with a varied assortment of hearing loss and equipment: some hearing aids, some cochlear implants (bilateral and singles) - senior citizens, sign language users - all there to soak up the Shakespearean experience with one HUGE advantage: we don't miss a single word!  One almost feels sorry for the hearing mortals. 

It makes one wonder why captioning isn't provided routinely for all audiences. "What fools these mortals be!"  (Opera companies do supertitles, even for English language operas.)  For now, it's the best kept secret.  For those of us with hearing loss, captioning ensures that no matter what the Shakespearean production, all's well that ends well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LaRueList: Bilateral Cochlear Implant networking at its best

My book, LISTENING CLOSELY, was just featured in an article on LaRueList, a dynamic newsletter produced by a dynamic woman, Jeannine Larue.  Take a look at the article first - and then I'll tell you how my bilateral cochlear implants helped to make this happen.


A few weeks ago, I attended the NJ Governor's Conference for Women - a great place to network and learn - definitely an empowering experience. The first event was a Networking Reception, an opportunity to "meet and greet" some of the hundreds of women at the conference.  That was a pretty daunting challenge for someone with a hearing loss, but I went in there confident that my bilateral cochlear implants were up to the task of "working the room."  And they were!  It was there that I saw Jeannine, whom I knew from a previous conference.  I updated her about my bilateral CI's and my new book.  People are always interested in learning about this miracle that allows deaf people to hear. 

We both agreed that more people should know about cochlear implants - and my book.  And that's how an article about LISTENING CLOSELY ended up in LaRueList.  Social networking at its best - both live and online.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cochlear Implant Book Review: "fascinating memoir"

I'm still a novice at this social networking explosion, but I'm having a wonderful time navigating its pathways nonetheless.  My book, Listening Closely, seems to be a welcoming ambassador, opening doors I didn't even know existed. That's how I met Melissa Amster, the Chick Lit Central blogger, who found my book listed on a book-lovers' website, and related to it because of her own family's connection to hearing loss and cochlear implants. She interviewed me on her blog (if I were really savvy, I'd put the link here - but for now, take my word for it!)  And now she's written this review of my book, with an enlightened, fresh perspective:

Chick Lit Book Review

We both know that people in the mainstream, who never usually give much thought to hearing loss or deafness, need to read this book to understand the sense that connects them, invisibly, to the world.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sturbridge Convention - where it all began

The Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention 2011 is coming up next week, being held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Convention Center in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on July 8 - 10  http://www.neci2011.neciconvention.org/
This year, I am one of the presenters - doing a session on bilateral cochlear implants on Sunday, July 10 at 9 AM. 

The history of this convention runs deep for me - I was at the very first one, held  in June of 1997, researching my own cochlear implant options.   I wasn't alone, either - it was there that I met many of what became a close-knit group of "first generation" cochlear implant users.  We weren't exactly pioneers, but cochlear implants weren't exactly commonplace yet either. 

Those were the days when you had to have very little hearing left to qualify - about 20% using hearing aids.  I didn't have to worry, though - my hearing at that point was just 8% in my "better" ear.  I met people like myself, researching their options - and I also met people who had already gotten their CI's.  I didn't have to be sold, though - I was desperate - my long journey from normal to profound deafness had reached its ultimate destination.

I made a return visit to this convention in 2001, to sign copies of my first book, Hear Again - Back to Life with a Cochlear Implant.  And now, in 2011, I'm looking forward to talking about bilateral cochlear implants, and signing copies of my second book, Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing.  

I have to smile at the thought of returning to my "alma mater" this year, as a member of its original graduating class.