HoH = Hard of Hearing = Person with Hearing Loss = (Or, However You Choose to Identify!)
I’m a HoH. I like the term because it’s snappy and takes less time to say than “I’m hard of hearing” or “I’ve got hearing loss”. But I use it only with like-minded people, the ones with hearing loss, because other people (the hearing ones) wouldn’t understand my use of the term. So, most of the time I use a longer labe.
As a lifelong HoH, I’ve embraced a set of beliefs that make the hearing loss life easier. I first offered this list in my 178th article for HearingHealthMatters. It’s now about 385 blogs later, but my beliefs are more or less the same, with a few changes as my hearing loss journey continues. This my HoH’s Credo, what this particular HoH believes. Your own list may be similar or completely different.
I BELIEVE THAT:
Having hearing loss is just one aspect of who I am. It does not define me as a person or confine me to a single group (hard of hearing, deafened, deaf, etc.)
Living with hearing loss, while challenging, is not the greatest challenge I will face as a human being.
My most important goal is not to hear better, but to communicate better. I interact with others using all of my gifts – my ears, my eyes, my heart and my mind.
By accepting my hearing loss, I am breaking down personal barriers.
By advocating for others with hearing loss, I am helping to break down public and societal barriers.
By being honest about my hearing loss and articulating my needs, I become a better communicator.
I need professional help from a hearing health care provider who works with me to find solutions that meet my needs.
I use a range of strategies to communicate better: positive mindsets, technology, and communication game changers to improve my listening situations and interactions.
When I connect with others who have hearing loss, I enter a circle of invisible and unbreakable supports.
The person who has the most power to hurt me because of my hearing loss – is me. There’s no shame in hearing loss, and even the best HoHs have bad hearing moments.
It’s not always easy to see the humor in awkward hearing moments—but it helps.
Hearing is precious, and I will protect what I have from noise damage.
My hearing loss affects my family and friends; I celebrate their efforts to communicate well.
Here’s another truth: I don’t always honor my Credo in those painfully embarrassing hearing moments. But I try….all I can do is try.