A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Working on the Radio

In Employment, Hearing aids, Hearing Loss on August 17, 2015 at 11:28 pm

By: Sara Lundquist 

I recently applied, interviewed and was offered a job as a radio operator and on air announcer. I was so excited to try something different and completely new so I took the job. 

During my interview I blurted out I was hard of hearing. I immediately thought I had shot myself in the foot. Not that I wanted it hidden the fact I am hard of hearing and and wear hearing aids but I didn’t want the persons interviewing me thinking that I couldn’t do the job. To my amazement I landed the job and it has been a huge learning experience. 

There is so much to learn!!! Learning computer programs and sound boards to tower transmitter logs. Lots of things I had never experienced before. Training was one on one so communication was good. On day 2 of training my hearing loss was brought up. I was asked the severity of my hearing loss. I am at a moderate severe loss. I was asked about my hearing aids. I was shocked. Instead of feeling like I was going to lose a job here is an employer that wants to learn and accommodate. The engineering staff was told and they offered any help with the headphones working with my hearing aids. 

One thing that was shown to me is how much of the radio is visual. Not what you think an audio thing as radio. If someone is at the door a light flashes on the wall. If we get a severe weather alert, which we did when I was training, first an alarm sounds. I was asked if I could hear it, I had to admit no I couldn’t. I was told don’t worry now watch. Right then a large orange strobe light went off in the studio area. Wonderful no stress if I can’t hear the siren watch for an orange flashing light.   Fire alarms are all flashing lights also. 

 One issue I have is monitoring the volume of my voice. My husband often will tell me to lower my voice. I worried when doing the news or weather what if I am to loud or soft. Again visual, there are meters. I know where I am suppose to be at so I can just watch the meters for the right level. 
So stress has been high from learning the business but I feel so relieved that I don’t feel that hearing or lack of hearing will affect my job. 

I just completed my first night on air. I did it with No major incidence. My husband tuned in at one point in the night and heard me and said I sounded professional. Great to hear some feedback. 

It feels good to learn something new.  It feels great to have an employer that is accommodating. 

Now to develop my on air personality, I say just be yourself. 

  1. Everyone is disabled. It depends on the degree of disability.” The physically challenged have their scale tipped more towards inability. Yet every last one has a duty to perform.

    In some countries, persons living with disability are considered disgrace and shame to society. In such cases, disabled persons are kept away from the public eye.

    The world truth, you won’t find answers to challenges in life any other way except look inside for solutions. You alone hold the key which unlocks doors of opportunity in life, disability notwithstanding. That’s what daring is all about.

    Sara thanks for sharing this. I used to work as a sound engineer before I turned deaf. Then Boom! My whole world was turned upside down, so I thought at the time. Today, I’m glad am deaf. But that is a different story altogether.

    Sam Midigo

  2. Congratulations! It appears you were destined to have that job!

  3. How wonderful to find such accommodating employer, the whole world could take notes. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Good luck to you! It’s your “15 minutes claim to fame”!

    I was a DJ years ago before I had to get hearing aids. Even then, with an “ancient” control board, I relied on visuals for a lot of things … as you probably know by now, there will be several “pots” (potentiometers, i.e.: volume controls) for several things: your headphones, the sound that goes out to the listeners, the sound that goes out there into the radio offices … the “on air” light, the silent door bell … I did a 2-hour once-a-week bluegrass music show for 13 years on public radio in Florida, then a few months on an old AM commercial station for awhile when I moved back to Birmingham (the station was bought out while I was there, and went to all-talk), and filled in a couple of times on a university station (really too far to drive). I really miss it. It was a LOT of work, but also a lot of fun. I made a lot of friends and a few enemies!

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