Group for aspiring audiologists with hearing loss

Advocacy

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Photo: © malerapaso/iStock.com

An audiology student at the University of Texas – Dallas (UT Dallas) has started a group to support students with hearing loss who are in audiology programs or who plan to study audiology.

A former conference of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) included a session for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiologists. One of the delegates was Audrey Taylor, a third-year audiology student studying at the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. This is where she came up with the idea of putting together a nation-wide group to support audiologists with hearing loss. Interestingly, 30 out of the 35 attendees at the meeting were students.

Taylor was diagnosed with hearing loss when she was 4 years old and wears hearing aids. “It was an eye-opening experience to see how many other students with hearing loss are entering into the field of audiology,” she said. “Even though all of us had hearing loss, we were all very different from each other.” Taylor has never let hearing loss slow her down. “Sometimes people think that hearing loss defines them, and it doesn’t. It is a part of you but it is not your identity,” she added. “There’s so much more to people than just what people might perceive as limitations.”

The group recently held its first meeting at AAA’s annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It aims to provide students with hearing loss an outlet to openly discuss their unique challenges in their local academic and clinical environments. Another important aim is to help them develop strategies on how to best advocate for themselves as students and soon-to-be professionals. Taylor believes that self-advocacy is an important way for students to overcome potential difficulties.

UT Dallas News Center

C.S.