Welcome back everyone! Today we have a new Blog post from Wayne Roorda. Wayne is an active member of the deaf and cochlear implant community. He works with the Walk 4 Hearing and runs a support groups for folks with CIs. Wayne has been an excellent friend to Henry and has a wealth of information to share just by telling you a bit about himself. Here is Wayne's introduction of himself and we can look forward to hearing more from him!
My Hearing Loss Story
by Wayne L Roorda – 20 August 2016 - 1
I was diagnosed with a hearing loss when I was in the 4th grade. That was the first time everyone had a hearing test in the public schools.
By the time I was a senior in high school my hearing loss had dropped to where I needed a hearing aid. After graduation with the assistance of Vocational Rehabilitation I got the 2nd one.
Having lived on a dairy farm with all the noisy equipment (feed grinders, tractors, etc.) and the fact that we hunted all winter long didn’t exactly help things as no one wore noise protection back then.
After moving to Arizona with my family I tried going to ASU – Arizona State University. Naturally back then, there was no accommodations for anyone with a hearing loss. As a consequence, the grades suffered to the point where I was basically kicked out of school.
My Vocational Rehabilitation counselor suggested that I go to Gallaudet. My reaction was what’s Gallaudet? This is where I first learned sign language. I graduated from Gallaudet University in May of 1972.
Keep in mind that my hearing loss continued to drop over time. It seemed like every 3 to 5 years I had another drop and needed new hearing aids.
By 1992 the loss had dropped to the point where I no longer had any useful benefit from wearing a hearing aid in the right ear.
In June 1997 I had my initial visit at Johns Hopkins Hospital to be evaluated for a cochlear implant. I fast tracked through the process and had surgery on August 13, 1997 with activation September 8/9, 1997.
In a later post I’ll be expanding upon my experiences with hearing aids and cochlear implants.