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Archive for the ‘Accommodations for Deaf’ Category

Amplifiers, Flashers and Meters, Oh My

In Accommodations for Deaf, ADA, Employment, Hearing Loss, Uncategorized on May 1, 2017 at 8:26 am

By: Sara Lundquist

When I started my new job at the radio as the program director and a morning show host I didn’t ask for any accommodations. I had this feeling I had it all under control and I can make it work. I had this notion in my head that if I asked for any accommodations it was like I couldn’t do the whole job.  The more I worked the more I loved my job but the more I hated the phone.

I don’t spend much time on the phone but each day I have a trivia question on-air so I have callers call in with their guesses. I have asked these poor callers WHAT a few to many times, and I can’t hear the phone ring. It was time I ask for what I need. Also there are a few phone calls that enter into the program director part of my job.  I do feel fortunate that so much communication has now gone to email.

It took some real courage even though I know the law backs me asking but it is still is unnerving. I was met with an immediate positive response. I wasn’t shocked just overly excited. To have an employer who understands and I can have an open dialog with is priceless.

The next day the flasher was installed. What a great little gadget. The flash gets my attention and I don’t have the need to worry I am missing calls.

Well now I can get the calls but had to address the volume of the phone issue. Again I was met with, “if it will help we will get it”.  Now the phone is amplified!

So between the flasher, amplifier and watching the meters I can be successful in a job I absolutely love everyday.

Getting accommodations and allowing one to succeed in a career is a very freeing feeling. One so much that I decided to come out of the “hearing loss closet”. Last week when I was about to do my segment called “time-travel” I talk about what has happened on that day in history. On the particular day I noticed that the first event was the first electric hearing aid was patented. I decided this was a sign. I did disclose my hearing loss on-air. I hope it reached even just one listener. Just one that maybe can relate, maybe one that needs a hearing test and have been putting it off.  I have been urged to be myself and that is exactly what I was, it feels good. It feels good to love what you do everyday.



In Accommodations for Deaf, advocating, Coping Skills, Life, Uncategorized on August 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

By: Sara Lundquist

Each summer we have family reunion for my paternal grandfathers side of the family. We had not attended for over a decade until the past 2 years. The reunion is held at a casino. A casino to me is an over stimulus of noise, bright lights, and a major headache. We concentrate so hard to hear and understand that we or myself don’t need these extra distractions. 

Last year was my first year there with children. It had been a very long time since I attended. There were a few people around my age who I was talking to. I had never met these people. I did a horrible job of self advocating. I told no one of my hearing loss. My immediate family of course knew but not anyone else. I was miserable and I really think I kinda made a fool of myself. A few people talked to me with their back turned. I had no idea what they had said, I answered with inappropriate responses. By the look on their faces I made no sense at all. We ended the weekend and I felt like a failure and a fraud. Why couldn’t I be true to myself?  This past year has been one of discovery and meeting others with hearing loss and learning the importance of speaking up for yourself. I ended up contacting a few people from the reunion to tell them of my hearing loss. 

The reunion was held again a month ago. I was looking forward to the time away but kinda dreading the interaction. I knew I could do better. I was going to be true to me. We arrived mid-day took the kids right to the pool. Then one relative I had written was in the pool. I saw her get up and walk up to me and face me as she talked. It was amazing. Why didn’t I say something last year. She asked if that is what I needed. The whole reunion was like this. I spoke up and I had a great time. I even tripled my money at the casino. 

So why do we do the fake nods, answer with generic answers and try to hide. I think we don’t want to seem different.  We don’t want to put people out. In all reality this is crazy everyone want to communicate. They want to be heard and understood. I took that little leap out of my comfort zone. I let people know what I needed and I had a wonderful family reunion. I have learned that this baby steps, and I am getting there. When I look at last year to this year it is completely night and day.