A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

2014 SayWhatClub Convention Survey Results

In SWC convention on September 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Thanks to all those in our email groups for taking time to answer all our questions.  The survey is now closed and here are the results.

survey image

Survey Report for SWC Conventions

61 people took the survey

Question 1 (59 people answered 2 skipped)

What’s most important to you, location, cost or workshops?

57% said location

35% said cost

6% said workshops

Question 2 (55 people answered 6 skipped)

We usually have our convention in either May, July or August to avoid conflicts with the other hearing loss conventions. How important is this to you?

12 people said it was very important because they attend other hearing loss conventions.

15 people said they would come no matter what.

28 people said it doesn’t matter to them at all because they only attend SWC conventions.

Question 3 (54 people answered 4 skipped)

We are looking at transportation issues. Please rank the following.

Direct flights are easiest and best said 34 people.

Change of flights is okay but no driving said 2 people.

I would go no matter what because I get to see new places said 18 people.

Question 4 (50 people answered 11 skipped)

Would you like to see the conventions grow?

22 people said they’d like it to stay as it is (60-80 people).

Ten people said they’d like to see it grow.

Fourteen people made comments such they were okay no matter what, have a convention every other year instead and flings between.

Question 5 (44 people answered 17 skipped)

If you have been to our conventions before, do you have any suggestions on how we can improve them?

We were thrilled with how many people stopped and offered suggestions. We are looking at them all. The main ideas seemed to be to find a way to keep track of all the different activities as in have a memo board attendees can look at and see who’s doing what and where after workshops so no one feels left out. Other suggestions were to keep the topics more hearing loss related, have more vendors, make sure the loop is working properly, more PR and much more. Thank you for your feedback, the convention committee appreciates it.

Question 6 (44 people answered 17 people skipped)

What workshops would you like to see at future conventions?

Again, we had some really great suggestions. Here’s some of what people said:

Lots of people want to learn more about technology, updates on what’s out, phone apps available. Other ideas in regard to hearing loss were; job training, college scholarships, CART services, advocating for ourselves, coping skills, the newest hearing aids, how to communicate in groups, speech reading, hearing dogs, traveling with a hearing loss, relationships and getting the police to come so we can find a way to better communicate with them. There were a few compliments for the Madison, WI workshops as well.

Question 7 (15 people answered 46 skipped)

Would you be willing to be a local chair?

Yes! We have people willing to be a local chair and we are thrilled. Thank you for leaving your names and contact information. We will get in touch soon.

Question 8 (17 people answered 44 skipped)

Would you be willing to be on the convention committee?

And yes again, we had some really wonderful people leave their name. While we can’t get everyone on the committee we so happy you submitted your names. We will be in contact with you soon. Thanks again!

Question 9 (21 people answered 40 skipped)

If you have any other comments, suggestions or constructive criticism, feel free to do just that below.

Again, many of you left your thoughts and ideas. Someone suggested creating spreadsheets with people’s names, text numbers, emails, and daily activities to coordinate. Keep the locations north, south, east and west. Add more days to the con. Have a cruise. People suggested places to hold a con and much, much more.

My Grandma’s Hands

In Deafness, Hearing Loss, Life, Partially Deaf, Relationships on September 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

By Michele Linder


I watch her from where I am. I see her smile while she is watching others, watching and waiting for someone to take the time to come and talk to her on her terms — one-on-one.

I see the light in her eyes when she speaks and listens to what they have to say, and in a little while they are gone.

She’s still smiling. I go to her and tease her. I tickle her neck, I whisper in her deaf ears knowing she can’t hear me, but also knowing she loves my taunts and teasing. She loves me like no other.

I speak to her. If she can’t ‘get’ what I’m saying, I finger-spell (she taught me) the sentence until she understands. I am patient and attentive… until I see a cousin or sister run by, and then I have to go. Child’s play is so alluring.

I’m still watching her. When no one takes the time, I see her focus on her hands. She turns them over, examining every crease, every line, every scar, and she feels the softness and roughness with her fingers.

I always wondered why she was so interested in her own hands? What made them so mesmerizing? What about them demanded such attention? Her smile is gone, she has more of a contemplative look on her lips. I can see her thinking.

What is she thinking? I used to wonder, but now I know. When no one takes the time, you begin to feel the world shrink away, you need a diversion to keep the sadness at bay and to steer your mind away from how truly isolated you feel.

Now that I’m deaf, I find myself mesmerized by my own hands.

Does Blinging Mean Acceptance

In Assistive Listening Devices, Hearing aids, Hearing Loss, Life on September 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

By: Sara Lundquist

Bling: (Bling or bling-bling) is a slang term popularized in hip hop culture, referring to flashy, ostentatious or elaborate jewelry and ornamented accessories

2014-08-19 03.24.10 We are getting close to the year point that my hearing started dropping and hearing aids were purchased and worn. I grew up in a family that has a history of hearing loss this isn’t a new thing for me. I can remember sitting in the audiologist office in 7th grade and being told I should quit the swim team for fear of further damage on my ears. I can remember running from the doctor’s office crying and not wanting to talk about this information. Small tidbits of the given information from that doctor appointment never fully left my head but was pushed to the back recesses of my brain.

In college I majored in communicative disorders and took a lot of audiology classes. That tidbit would creep up to the surface every once in a while and I would think would this be me someday? Will I be getting fitted for hearing aids in my lifetime? Will I be honest about my hearing loss or try to hide it? Anxiety would creep in when us students would have to give each other a hearing exam. I know I wasn’t hearing the beeps. I never was in the normal zone. Many questions and then college came and went and it would get shoved to the back of my brain once again.

Little things would trigger this thought, walking behind someone and noticing hearing aids I would wonder will people notice me if I am wearing them? I knew my hearing wasn’t great. I had never heard my kids whisper to me or talk from another room everything I was used to from a young age. I don’t ever remember hearing a whisper to tell the truth.

So nearing a year of my hearing aids. When I picked up my first hearing aid I cried. I didn’t think it was going to be that hard. I had people who were sympathetic and then I had people who said I should move to the nursing home, do I get a senior discount now. I was ashamed and I didn’t want ANYONE to know. I wore my hair down and I didn’t want to let anyone in on this secret except family and a few friends and to be honest I had a very hard time with them also.

I researched and I gained friends that were also in the same “boat” as I was. I started to breathe again and was able to see this not as an end of the road but just a different road. I started writing and being a little more vocal about what was going on in my life. This past summer I received a gift of hearing aids that are much more powerful than the one I purchased and they seem to serve me well.

I come back to the definition of BLING. I have these great Starkey hearing aids and they are in a dark brown aka espresso color. I don’t mind them but they needed something more, some pizzazz. I sat down at the table a week ago with some paints and thought I would design them. That just seemed so permanent to me. So I went to my addiction of Pinterest and searched blinging hearing aids. I got the idea of using nail foils on the hearing aids. I bought a pack for $2 and I have enough to bling out the aids probably 4 times. I tried my first time with a butterfly design. I also bought a pack that looks a little like tie-dye. I like the fact that I can take it right off with no residue and start over with a new design. I love the look of them, I love that I am wearing something a little fun just like the bright blue glasses I picked out a couple years ago. In a year I went from scared and hiding to pulling my hair up and showing off butterfly hearing aids. What I loved the most is when I showed my husband he looked at them and said, “Hey those are really cute, great job”. My daughter gushed over them and can’t wait to help me redesign the next time. Am a complete open book, not even close. A few pages maybe have been exposed to some people for now. But for now I will wear my hair anyway I please, not care if people notice hearing aids or ear molds. I will design them and wear them and show them off.  I also have a remote and streaming device that just looks so plain and a solid color. Maybe that needs a little blinging out also.

2014-08-22 13.16.44

So maybe blinging means some acceptance. Showing something off instead of hiding it. Blinging lets the world see that you are in acceptance and even inviting a question or comment. If someone wants to ask me about them, that is just fine.

just be yourself



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