Santa – Can You HEAR Me?!

Dear Santa,

OK, Claus, this is IT!

Year after year I write you, asking nicely for stuff, mostly hearing loss-related. And it’s like I’m writing to someone who’s not real!

Have you been taking my gifts to someone else by mistake? I mean, how many people with profound hearing loss named Gael Hannan ARE there in this world?

Is this ringing any jingle bells with you, Santa?

I wrote you in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017. If you don’t mind, I’m going to remind you of some key things I’ve asked for in the past – not only for me, but for all the other HoHs of the world. And no, HOH is not short for HO-HO-HO!! It’s HOH as in Hard of Hearing, or person with hearing loss.

In 2013, I wrote that we all want toys. I said, “…and if that elf of yours is rolling around on the floor laughing, you just tell him to button it, because people my age are not too old for toys. You deliver battery-operated toys to kids, right? Well, that’s exactly what we want – technical toys to help us hear. You should be able to make ’em easily in your toy factory…just add a few elves to the smartphone production line and expand the assistive device products. Trust me, Santa, your customer satisfaction rate is about to go through the roof.”

2011 was the first letter I ever wrote to you as a person with hearing loss. The one thing I really wanted a round dining table, because you can everyone and that makes speechreading (part of the HoH language) easier. Especially the holiday dinners which are warm and fun for everyone except the poor HoH who can’t follow the conversation. Do you know that many of my people actually dread the holiday season? The noisy parties and music and dinners with family and friends have become challenging for them. So, if you can’t send the round table, please send the saw I asked for so I turn a rectangular tables into a round one.

Last year I asked if you could do a reverse gift; instead of bringing us something, could you instead take something away – our tinnitus. And, we are still waiting….while bells and whistles and drums play discordant “music” in our heads.

Oh, one last thing. Could you throw a few million hearing aids into your sack? There are so many people who can’t afford them and so go without.

I still believe in you, Santa Claus, and I know you can hear me. Maybe you move in mysterious ways. Maybe someday the world will be an accessible and affordable place for all HoHs.

 

 

About Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog for HearingHealthMatters.org, which has an international following, Gael wrote the acclaimed book "The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss". She is regularly invited to present her uniquely humorous and insightful work to appreciative audiences around the world. Gael has received many awards for her work, which includes advocacy for a more inclusive society for people with hearing loss. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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