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Hearing loss a blessing?

My hearing loss began in my middle twenties. It is a genetic loss, with 14 people in four generations becoming either deaf or hard of hearing.

At first I was devastated. But as these forty years have gone by, I realize that many more doors have been opened to me as a deaf person than would have been if I had retained my hearing. I've also earned respect from almost everyone I meet because I refuse to let my deafness be a barrier in my life.

My Texas state VR sent me to Gallaudet where I got a BA in psychology and later worked as a disability consultant with businesses.

A move back to Texas four years ago presented another opportunity. Anyone who has hearing loss can go to a state school with tuition and fees paid. State VR pays for my gasoline and an overnight stay while I am in graduate school pursing a masters in social work.

During these past years I've learned much about hearing loss that is acquired by adults. My passion is to go into direct practice counseling this population. This is a wide open field because no schools are training counselors, except for those in rehabilitation. But hearing loss requires mental health, couples, and family counseling, because everyone is affected when a family member loses his or her hearing. I'm particularly burdened by our military, 70 percent of whom return with hearing loss, according to the Veterans Administration.

So many people don't realize there is help beyond hearing aids, and, in fact, not much help has been forthcoming. I hope to rectify that because I'm also trying to get University of Texas at Arlington to add a course in counseling adults with hearing loss.

Gayle Speegle

Dawn Irons
Can you email me privately? I would love to talk more to you. I am completing my masters degree in counseling and have also been battling a hearing loss in the process. It is uncertain as to whether i will be able to continue counseling with my hearing loss (at least with the hearing community)... your post gave me encouragement and i need some ideas of how to have a plan B to use my degree and still earn a living. I live in TX so I am expecially interested in the educational aspect that may help me learn sign language... email me at dawn at bradirons dot com1295571564
Vicki Bruening
Gale, What are you referencing to when you state VR pays for my schooling? What does VR stand for?1295644559
Sara Madden
hi Gail, same comment as Vicki what do you mean when you say VR pays for
your schooling?

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