Hi, it’s me again. You should remember me because you probably don’t get too many letters from Canadian HoH (hard of hearing) kids who transform into Canadian sixty-somethings who are deaf without their hearing devices. Ring a reindeer bell?
Firstly, thank you very much taking my suggestion to trim your moustache a titch – the elves with hearing loss will appreciate being able to speechread you better.
Once again, I’m writing on behalf of people with hearing loss – all of them, not just the Canadians. Hearing loss is universal and online stores don’t yet carry what I’m asking for – which won’t weigh your sleigh down. These gifts are weightless and priceless.
An ounce of sound sense. An ounce of prevention is worth way more than a pound of cure – because there is no cure for hearing loss due to noise damage. People who hear well don’t understand what they stand to lose; they have no idea of what it would be like to live with hearing loss. People who go to clubs where the music can be a brain-bruising 115dB are at risk of destroying their inner ear hair cells. They will be listening to Christmas bells inside their head for a long time – and chronic tinnitus is no picnic.
Affordable hearing help for those who need it. Hearing aids are amazing, but not everyone can afford them. Over the counter (OTC) technology is becoming available in the US, but nowhere else at the moment. This is a global problem, Santa, and you’re an international kind of guy. I’m asking you to work your magic so that our governments, hearing health providers and people with hearing loss can together to make hearing health a priority, and accessible for all.
Enable hearing care professionals to make a difference. We respect and need the expertise of our audiologists and hearing instrument specialists. But they can’t always afford to offer what they could and should provide, such as counseling. They need more affordable health plans as well, including fair compensation for the life-changing support they give us.
The confidence to express our communication needs. I want this one so much for my friends, Santa. For a smoother hearing loss journey, we need skills – and the self-confidence to learn them, apply them, and to reject the negative stigma of hearing loss. It’s all about communication, Santa, which is a fundamental of life right up there with food, water and air. Also, wine.
Once again, Santa, thank you for your service. Every single one of us needs hope and cheer, so throw that in the sleigh too!
Thanks for reading and have a blast on Christmas Eve!
With hope and affection,
Gael Hannan (the Canadian HoH)