It’s the end of the year. And this year, many of us are hunkering down inside, nursing a cold or the flu (like the Hearing Husband), trying to find something good on TV that we haven’t yet streamed, and maybe even a backward glance over the past year.
It’s been a year of amazing additions to my Hearing Loss Champion list and I’m also giving shout-outs to those already on the list! I hope this will inspire you to review and acknowledge your own set of hearing loss heroes.
These are in no order of importance – they have all had an impact on my life!
- Kevin Liebe and his team at HearingHealthMatters.org, who continue to find new ways to share views and news of interest to the hearing health communities.
- Richard Pocker, Robin Chisolm-Seymour and Mary Grace Whalen for starting the fabulous and much-needed FaceBook group, Hearing Loss: The Emotional Side.
- The Hearing Husband, aka Doug Hannan, for being the best possible partner who also happens to hear. His patience knows no bounds, and his support of my work extends even farther into infinity.
- The Denmark-based Ida Institute for being the superlative resource for hearing health professionals in delivering client-centered care. It has been an honor to write for them. If you haven’t visited their site, people with hearing loss will learn much from this treasure house of information.
- Shari Eberts, my coauthor on Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss. Our joint journey, full of passion for hearing loss advocacy, continues.
- My personal audiologists, Glynnis Tidball, Martine Schlagintweit and Erin Wright, who helped me through a hearing and technical crisis this year. It has all come right in the end!
- My son Joel Hannan, who is the best communicator I’ve ever met. He’s absorbed every communication habit I taught him; when he’s talking to me and I happen to turn my head even slightly away, he stops talking until I turn back.
- My friends and passengers on a week-long trip to the magical Haida Gwai, who taught me to hear and identify a whale’s call as it breaches. I never missed another whale.
- The audiology students attending the Canadian Academy of Audiology conference, whose enthusiasm for their chosen profession and for my lecture on the patient perspective re-inspired me once again.
- The many audiologists who hosted Shari and me on their podcasts. It was a joy to share the message of taking ownership for our own hearing loss journeys.
- My friends and family members who don’t let me feel sorry for myself – and who have adopted TV closed captioning as non-negotiable.
- The many people with hearing loss who have started writing their own books about their own experiences. Keep writing.
And finally, thank you to everyone who has supported my work and shared it with others. I wish all of you a safe holiday season and new year full of hope and growth.