Episode 40: Traveling with Hearing Loss
Episode 40 Show Notes
On today’s episode of All Ears at Child’s Voice: A Hearing Loss Podcast, Wendy and Colleen are joined by guest Scott Murray. Scott is a member of the MED-EL HearPeers family, receiving his MED-EL implant in 2015. Scott's professional background includes a wide range of experience in aviation, airlines, and construction. Personally, Scott is an avid traveler with 30 countries visited, and experiences ranging from a solo trip to the Taj Mahal to a backpacking excursion deep into the Alaskan backcountry. Scott loves to share his passion for travel and expanding one's perspective. Scott lives in Colorado with his fiance Emily.
Where to Find Us
Special thanks to John McCortney for his work recording All Ears at Child’s Voice episodes. Episodes of All Ears at Child’s Voice are graciously edited by John McCortney.
Episode 40: Traveling with Hearing Loss featuring Scott Murray
On today’s episode of All Ears at Child’s Voice: A Hearing Loss Podcast, Wendy and Colleen are joined by guest Scott Murray. Scott is a member of the MED-EL HearPeers family, receiving his MED-EL implant in 2015. Scott’s professional background includes a wide range of experience in aviation, airlines, and construction. Personally, Scott is an avid traveler with 30 countries visited, and experiences ranging from a solo trip to the Taj Mahal, to a backpacking excursion deep into the Alaskan backcountry. Scott loves to share his passion for travel and expanding one’s perspective. Scott lives in Colorado with his fiance Emily. Wendy and Colleen talk to Scott all about traveling with hearing loss: the challenges, the joys and the hacks he’s discovered along the way!
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Colleen: [00:00:00] Welcome to All Ears at Child’s voice, a podcast discussing all things hearing loss. We aim to connect parents of children with hearing loss with the professionals who serve them. This is your co-host, Colleen. And I’m Wendy, this week on all ears at Child’s Voice. We’re talking to Scott Murray. Scott is a member of the MED-EL HearPeers Family, receiving his MED-EL implant in 2015.
Colleen: Scott’s professional background includes a wide range of experience in aviation, airlines and construction. Personally, Scott is an avid traveler with 30 countries visited and experiences ranging from a solo trip to the Taj Mahal to a backpacking excursion deep into the Alaskan backcountry. Scott [00:01:00] loves to share his passion for travel and expandings one’s perspective.
Colleen: Scott lives in Colorado with his fiance, Emily. Today we’re going to be talking about traveling with hearing loss. Scott, thank you for joining.
Scott: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. It’s a treat to be here. I always appreciate the chance to contribute to child’s voice. Great organization. I’ve got a number of friends there, so I wanna make sure I say hi to my Child’s Voice friends, and yeah, I’m thrilled to be here.
Colleen: I’m excited to get to sit down and chat with you. Scott and I actually became friends as both of us are, were MED-EL HearPeers, mentors, and he was one of those adults that I looked to when I had questions about what Liam’s experience is gonna be like. And he has just been a good buddy in our lives and he’s moved to Colorado, so I don’t get to see him as much.
Colleen: So this is very fun little reunion. Yeah. Thanks for being here. Absolutely. So Scott, tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us about your hearing loss. I know you’re bimodal, you have one hearing aid and [00:02:00] one implant, so we’d love to hear a little bit about that. Just give us a, a little, who is Scott?
Scott: Absolutely. So I guess a little bit about me as an intro. I am 37 years old. I live in northern Colorado. Been here for about two and a half years, and prior to that I was in Chicago for nine years and originally from a small town in Ohio. So I’ve kind of been all over. My time in Chicago is how I got involved in the Chicago hearing loss community and crossed paths with Child’s Voice.
Scott: As far as my hearing story goes, yes, I am bimodal. I actually was born with normal hearing, grew up with normal hearing until about age 13 when I started to have what I refer to as episodic fluctuations. I started noticing my hearing going up and down a little bit, uh, first in the left ear and then later in the right, and it was kind of a gradual decline in hearing over the years, uh, after that.
Scott: I started using hearing aids [00:03:00] eventually, and then in 2015 I took the plunge and got a cochlear implant in my left ear, so I became a bimodal device user. So cochlear implant in the left ear and hearing aid in the right ear. As you mentioned, Colleen, and that beautiful intro, I am a passionate traveler.
Scott: Most of my professional background is in aviation. I started out in airport management and then spent those nine years that I was in Chicago at the headquarters working for United Airlines. So I was fortunate enough to be in the thick of the travel industry, fortunate enough to have flight benefits to fly all over the place, and in fact, still have those, which is a story for another podcast.
Scott: But beyond that, done a number of road trips, cruises, train trips, you name it, as far as travel.
Colleen: That’s really cool.
Wendy: So before we get into all the, the travel stuff with, which is the main focus of our episode, if you could go back just for a moment and you said [00:04:00] that, you know, you decided to sort of take that plunge and receive a cochlear implant.
Wendy: What helped you make that decision?
Scott: You know, I think the biggest, the biggest thing that pushed me to make that change or make that decision was I started to realize what I was missing. And I had medical professionals, you know, my doctors audiologists over time telling me that an implant was a good idea.
Scott: It was a good option. And frankly, I was resistant for a long time. I had, I had some apprehension. socially, personally, professionally, I, I realized there was just a lot I was missing and I knew that I needed a little more help and a little more boost, so to speak.
Wendy: And what was the initial sort of stages of having the cochlear implant?
Wendy: You know, I know that parents. Who have young children with cochlear implants want to know, like, what does it sound like? And your experience is probably very different than what a young, uh, baby who has [00:05:00] never experienced hearing has sounded like, but your specific sort of initial stages of the cochlear implant, what was that like for you?
Scott: Good question and, and it is something that I try to mention to, uh, cochlear implant candidates from a mentoring standpoint. And that is, uh, patience is hugely important. To be honest, my initial experiences were significantly less hearing and less comprehension than I had hoped. And a lot of that was because my expectations were really high, too high.
Scott: So I think that guidance could to parents as well as adult users. And that is don’t do too much too fast. You gotta run before you can walk and you just have to give the brain and and give the cognitive recognition time to happen. And for me that was a huge part of eventually being more successful was realizing like, this will happen.
Scott: And my audiologist was preaching. You know, it will happen, but I, I had to have patience at first. It’s not [00:06:00] like flipping a switch. It is like flipping a switch technically, but as far as the hearing comprehension, it takes time.
Colleen: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I think that’s, it’s easy for us to sort of forget that.
Colleen: Well, tell us a little bit about when you got bit by the travel bug. Tell us more about.
Scott: So I think it was at the earliest, kind of when I was a young child, my earliest memories were going to the airport in Toledo, Ohio. I guess when we were probably dropping off or picking up someone, my parents or family or friends or whatever for flights.
Scott: And, uh, I can remember like going into the lobby and seeing the model airplanes in the glass display cases and, and being outside and seeing the actual real air airplanes taking off and landing. And I thought that was, you know, cool from just a airplane standpoint, but also, I had a recognition even then that people were coming into this airport and, and traveling all over the place and, and you [00:07:00] can go to the airport and get on a plane and be in another state or another country or really far away in a matter of hours.
Scott: And, and even as an adult, I am still excited by that idea of. , like it’s this huge privilege to be able to travel and go places so easily and so quickly and cover such great distances in, in such a short amount of time, literally wake up on the other side of the world. So, um, yeah, that started, uh, that started out with just going to an airport as a kid.
Scott: That’s awesome.
Colleen: Well, when we talk about traveling, I think one of the things that I really learned from you and other deaf adults is that there are some really unique challenges for the deaf and hard of hearing when it comes to traveling. I remember just talking to someone about how basically in the, in an airport, any overhead speaker announcement is like, It’s garbage.
Colleen: Like no, they don’t understand or hear any of it and so much important information is conveyed that way. And so I just would love to hear for you what you think [00:08:00] some of the unique challenges for the deaf and heart of hearing are when it comes to travel. Yeah,
Scott: PA announcements, public address systems. That’s absolutely probably the, the top thing on my list of unique challenges. And it’s funny because what I would call unique challenges as a person with hearing losses, maybe they’re things that would be considered routine or not really unique. They’re just run of the mill things to your everyday traveler.
Scott: But with hearing loss or deafness, , it becomes a different story. So PA announcements, absolutely, that’s, that’s an easy go-to as far as difficulties go. Not just in the airport, but you know, trains, buses, A lot of information is conveyed through audio, through having to hear things. So, and oftentimes, you know that people with full hearing are struggling to, to get those.
Scott: So you can imagine it’s gonna be a challenge with hearing. Another one is foreign accents or you know, international [00:09:00] English as a second language accents. And I would say we, uh, as Americans are extremely fortunate to be from an English speaking country and fortunate that the world in general is so welcoming and so accepting and there is so much English out there.
Scott: But it can be a challenge when it already takes some effort to hear and to, to communicate with language. It’s kind of another level to throw accented English, you know, accented language of what we know. It’s just, uh, a little bit of a escalated challenge there.
Wendy: Yeah. So you are talking about communication, which I know we’ll, we’ll get to more of.
Wendy: But what about the technology side of things? What do you have to do to, to prepare, and then what obstacles have you come up with while traveling with your technology? You’re, you come from such a unique perspective of having both the hearing aid
Colleen: and a cochlear.
Scott: [00:10:00] Definitely. I guess I would start with in terms of technology, just having a smartphone.
Scott: That in itself, even if you don’t bring the hearing devices into the picture, like what you can do with your smartphone and what you can find out and how you can prepare yourself. As far as you know, locations, maps, notifications now oftentimes, a lot of the auditory announcements that we’re getting will, will also come through as notifications on our phone, whether that’s text, email, especially with the airlines.
Scott: So that right off the bat, just using your phone as a tool, I think is hugely beneficial. And then there’s streaming, uh, different third party devices like I have used on planes, remote microphones. If I just want to use like entertainment on the plane, I can stream things from my phone and that will take out a lot of the background noise from an airplane or a bus or train for that matter.
Scott: So yeah, there are a lot of technology, I guess, assets [00:11:00] that we have now is travelers. Another thing, for example, and this goes into the accommodation space a little bit, but. Transportation hubs are getting a lot better, A lot better with visual painting, visual announcements. There’s boards you can read, so yeah, I can imagine 20, 30, 50 years ago. It was, uh, even a different experience traveling with hearing loss, and we have made a lot of progress.
Colleen: One of the things that I am really working on and have been for a long time with Liam is his own sort of ability to pack for himself and to think through all of the different things that he needs to pack, because when you’re traveling, you don’t wanna get stuck. My fear in life is always that he is gonna get stuck. Something’s gonna break, and he’s gonna be somewhere when we can and he can’t hear. And so we’ve talked through a lot of like what his packing lists are and he has thankfully become very responsible for himself cuz I, I need him to be able to think through all of these things.
Colleen: So I’m curious for you, when you are packing for a trip, [00:12:00] what kinds of, what kinds of things are you packing that you don’t necessarily carry around with you, you know, day in and day out, but that, when. Somewhere else you wanna be, make sure you.
Scott: Yep. It’s something that I think with enough practice, at least for myself, it almost becomes second nature.
Scott: But in the beginning, you’re right. Preparation and even like I used to have a packing list, to your point about making sure, uh, You remember everything or you have everything, and, and people do that completely aside from hearing loss as well. But organization and preparation is key. To answer your question about more specific things, I would bring, I, I almost always travel with a backup processor for my cochlear implant, especially if it’s gonna be a trip of any length of time.
Scott: I have spare batteries for my implant processor and my hearing aid. Pretty much always bring cases for those devices in case there’s some reason I’m gonna need to take them out for any length of [00:13:00] time. Chargers. I wanna make sure I have that if I’m gonna need my Roger Pen, remote microphone, accessories and these things.
Scott: It seems like a lot to remember and it is, but I think over time, like when I go to pack for a. It’s almost like a, a, a mental priority list. Like I know my hearing stuff is like, if I travel without that, I, that’s a, that’s a game changer. And knock on wood, I’ve never forgot any of those really important things.
Scott: But when I go to pack, the first thing is like, okay, hearing stuff, what do I need to make sure I have?
Colleen: We’ve tried to have like a little bit of like a, a travel pouch for Liam, and so there’s some things he has like an extra battery charger that goes there and a couple of other things that are just sort of an easy thing.
Colleen: Do you have, do you have that set up for yourself or are you just, you kind of know now?
Scott: I kind of know, but I have specific, like I have a drawer at home where I keep all that stuff and then I have a specific place in my go-to travel duffle that that [00:14:00] stuff rests in. So I have systems. My mom always used to say, you know, systems use your systems.
Colleen: I, one of the things I also am aware of is we, when we’re going on bigger trips, we’ve started to do, he uses rechargeable batteries most of the time, but when he goes away for like a camp weekend or the youth group retreats, things like that. He has started to do disposable batteries and he just changes them out ’cause it’s easier to travel.
Colleen: Do you have a preference? Like do you prefer rechargeable batteries when you travel or disposable or it just kind of the same thing works for both.
Scott: So my preference is definitely, uh, using my Rondo, which is the metal version of the single unit off the processor and it is built in rechargeable and that.
Scott: That thing is fantastic and I love, it’s super easy to charge. I recently, this is a, a tangent, but I recently discovered, and I don’t know if, if this would be sanctioned by MED-EL, but I discovered by accident that the charging dock is interchangeable [00:15:00] with, with a lot of phone charging docks now because there was one time when I forgot my Rondo processor charger and my fiance is like, well, just try it on my phone charger.
Scott: And sure enough I put it on there and it worked. But, In any case, the rechargeable battery is hugely beneficial. When I use my Sonnet, which is the metal over the air processor, I do bring disposable. I do not use the rechargeable for that, mostly because of my perception of the longevity of the batteries.
Scott: But yeah, the Rondo is, is awesome for traveling, for, for reasons.
Wendy: Another specific travel question that um, I’ve gotten from parents is what is it like to go through, uh, security at an airport? I always used to get that one. So tell us about your experiences
Scott: I also, Wendy, have gotten that question. Definitely the most common question I receive about travel and for good reason. It’s a strange world out there in terms of security [00:16:00] screening, but it’s a simple answer and that is you can essentially forget about it. I’ve gone through all of those machines with both of my devices, none of my devices a, a combination, and I’ve never had any issue. There have been a couple of instances where the screener, after I come through the machine stops me and looks at my head and, and fortunately in 2023 or even in, in more recent past years, people are familiar. TSA is familiar enough with hearing devices that. They know and they don’t question.
Scott: I’ve never had any issue in terms of like being questioned about my devices or even my batteries in my bag. So the manufacturers will tell you, and I’ve read all of the, all of the websites, there’s no damage by any machine to any device, and there shouldn’t be any sort of special alarm or red flag. If anything, the TSA personnel might just stop and take a look and make sure [00:17:00] that’s what they’re seeing on screen, but that’s it.
Colleen: It’s a good reminder. I have been doing a hand check on Liam’s backup processors for years. I don’t know why. I think I just, somewhere along the way, someone was like, oh, the x-ray machines are not good for them. And so now I’m like, I don’t need to do that. And . Well, thank you. I learned something today,
Scott: Yeah, I think in general it’s fine and I think it would. Well, I don’t wanna speculate here or go off the rails, but I would imagine it would take so much exposure and so many times in going through that over so many years that we, uh, most of us are upgrading our processors periodically anyway, so, yeah.
Scott: One other thing I wanted to mention, Colleen, regarding what you said about potentially losing or breaking a device while we are traveling, I learned early on from MED-EL that their service and repair, how would I say their, the spread of people across areas is fantastic and they even, this is just for MED-EL [00:18:00] specifically, which is what I’m used to, but I’m sure the other device manufacturers have something similar.
Scott: They have a map on their website that you can go to and see where they have service and repair clinics in case you’re traveling. And I, I’ve looked at that map many times and it’s amazing. It’s pretty hard to go anywhere in the world without having a repair clinic or a parts place nearby. So that’s something to keep in mind for for device users. Even if you have some sort of disaster, and it, I’m sure would feel like a disaster, but it’s likely that your manufacturer or clinic can get you help pretty quickly.
Colleen: That’s such a good reminder. It’s also just for parents out there have up-to-date map with your manufacturer because if they have an up-to-date map, they can overnight a new processor to you wherever you are, but only if they have that up-to-date map. If you have to go through your home clinic to get [00:19:00] remapped or whatever, they can’t do that. We had an issue where it was like the night before we were supposed to be leaving his devices like weren’t working. And I, and I was like panicking about like, how am I gonna get a new device? And we ended up figuring out what was wrong and it was like troubleshooting was fine, but I had a real moment of like, oh, I need to have these maps on file so that they could have, I mean, they could have shipped something to me and it probably would’ve gotten there before we did, you know? So it’s always a good idea to be up to date with your manufacturer.
Scott: And I’ll, I guess clarify for you, just for all of the listeners out there. It’s easy to confuse, but map geographical Oh yeah. Is different than map for the programming of a device. So you were talking about the map for the device programming, not like where the countries are in the world,
Colleen: or, or where we’re going to be like a map of where we’re going to be.
Colleen: Just always send it to , your manufacturer. Good to have that too. Yeah. Share. Yeah. Right. That’s good information to have.
Wendy: And also, I think we’re lucky in Illinois that we’re a two [00:20:00] processor implant center where everybody receives their main device and a backup. I know that some centers around the country, you only get one, so it’s nice that in Illinois leave, people have backups. But I know that it’s hard when you, especially when you’ve got a young kid and you’re taking them to the audiologist to remember everything, so you can get those backup
Colleen: processors mapped as well. But that’s a good reminder. Yeah. Which I always forget to do, so that’s a reminder for me.
Wendy: Yeah. I can’t imagine. I mean, it’s enough to get a kid out of the house with their shoes on, so. Mm-hmm. . Mm. Exactly. So
Wendy: Scott, I’m sure you also get asked this question a lot. What are some of your favorite places to travel to?
Scott: Oh boy. I always have a hard time answering that. I think some of my favorites are sometimes the most remote. Like Alaska is one of my absolute favorites. It’s just so out. There really feels like another world. Uh, [00:21:00] Hawaii is a gym. You just can’t top it in terms of beauty and weather and all that sort of thing. Where else? There’s a, uh, one of my favorites, probably my top five, is, uh, an island called, uh, Majorca It’s a Spanish island, uh, in the, let’s see, Mediterranean. So that’s again, beautiful weather, beautiful beaches. That’s a few. There are many more.
Wendy:So it sounds like you’re kind of a beach person. How does that work with your devices? How do you do with sand and water, and what are your tips, especially for parents of kids going from, you know, Colorado to Hawaii?
Scott: Good question. And that goes for links as well. I’m a link person too. It’s really interesting. Even, let’s see, I’ve had my implant now for going on eight years, and even in that time, it’s really been interesting, the evolution of the [00:22:00] water aspect for implant processors. But to answer your question, in the early days, I was terrified, absolutely terrified of water, uh, wouldn’t go anywhere near water with my devices if I went swimming, which I, I’m an avid swimmer, I would just take my devices off and I would rather not be hearing at all than risk any sort of water exposure over time.
Scott: I’ve gotten more confident wearing them and the water resistance has gotten better. The processor that I have on right now, the Rondo 2 is waterproof. I don’t know if they use that term, but I could submerge up to, I think like 10 feet of water for something like 30 to 60 minutes. I’m kind of butchering the actual specifications, but I know I could, I could fall into the water and be in there and it would be okay.
Scott: So now, If I’m gonna be swimming for a long period of time, I will often still take my processor off. I’ve [00:23:00] used water wear, uh, water wear’s metal’s version of like a waterproofing case. But oftentimes if I’m not gonna be fully submerged, like if I’m sitting in a pool or I’m just waiting in the ocean or something like that, I’ll leave my processor on, I’ll wear a hat and secure it.
Scott: There are also different, like, I forget, I just wanna call it like the fish line, but it’s like an anchor that you can attach it to the hair. So there’s ways to just make sure in those scenarios, it’s not even so much about avoiding water, but it’s just not losing the processor altogether. So I’ll, I’ll wear a hat or a headband or something and then I’ll, you know, go play catch in the water or whatever.
Scott: So it’s been an evolution from staying away completely to now. I’m much braver about getting in and potentially even fully submerging. .
Colleen: Yeah, we have, it’s called like a Nammu hat. It’s like a, it kind of looks like, not a ski hat, but it’s like this, this water material that he can wear in the water that he always wears.
Colleen: Not at the pool, ’cause at the pool, if [00:24:00] it falls off, he can get it from the bottom of the pool. But he wears a swim shirt and he links it to his swim shirt and then he wears one of these hats if he’s gonna be in the ocean or in a lake or someplace like that. I, my deepest fear in life is losing those processors in the ocean or something.
Colleen: I understand. I can link to that in the show notes. It’s been a good cap for us that keeps everything in.
Wendy:That’s super helpful. I bet some of our listeners have really creative and helpful systems for keeping their devices on. So if anyone has any of those good solutions that you’ve used for your kids or yourself, send them to sending an email and maybe we can make up a a list for our listeners.
Wendy: I think that’d be really cool because I am a big believer in parents. Figure things out and figure out the most creative and best solutions. And they’re the ones really informing the professionals on how to navigate sort of the, the world with [00:25:00] hearing loss. So that’d be great if, if people can send us their suggestions. Or two. Scott, my parents are both bilateral Cochlear implant users, and I remember when my mom got her first. And it would be raining. She wouldn’t walk outside the front door. She would take it off, she’d put it in her bag and you know, and now, you know, she goes outside and she can be in the rain and it’s, you know, it really has come such a long way.It’s, it’s pretty cool. Yep.
Scott: And I was the same way with the rain and the snow and it’s, it’s amazing how things change over time in a good way.
Colleen: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. Totally. Well, Scott, what are. Any other tips or tricks or advice that you have for our listeners about kind of traveling with hearing loss?
Scott: Sure. I would say I have a couple of big ones. Uh, number one for me is what I refer to as situational awareness. And really what I mean by that is just paying attention. [00:26:00] The reality, I think for me with hearing loss or with anyone with hearing loss is I try not to zone out too much when I’m traveling. I can’t really let my intention wander and just assume I’ll hear an audio announcement, so I’m always watching what’s going on, trying to know where am I, what stop is next.
Scott: Is my stop coming up? Are people boarding at my gate? Uh, I’m watching. I’m using visual as much as I can to supplement what I can hear or what I need to be hearing. And fortunately, we talked about tech a little bit already, but a lot of tech has come around that helps with that, especially apps, travel apps, maps.
Scott: I’m constantly looking at maps on my phone to make sure I know where I am. In case I’m not hearing location announcements. So awareness and paying attention is a, is a big one. And I think, you know, kids can be taught that over time. So, uh, another one is just basic self-advocacy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Scott: I can’t tell [00:27:00] you how many times, you know, sitting at the gate, at the airport or on a bus or trained. If I don’t hear an announcement and I’m worried that I’m gonna miss something, I’ll just ask someone next to me. And frankly, people ask me all the time as well, people with normal hearing, like it’s, it happens with the quality of these announcements.
Scott: Oftentimes people miss ’em. So the travel experience can be confusing to anyone. Don’t be afraid to, to ask for help. I think in the vast majority of cases, people are, are glad to help sometimes even without asking. I, quick story. I was traveling by myself one time in Munich and I got cash out of an ATM and I walked off with my card’s still in the machine. In this exterior outdoors ATM, I’m sure it was beeping loudly and I’m sure people were trying to get my attention, but I was zoned out in that case and didn’t hear them. And a German guy chased me down and was jabbering away in German and handed me back my card. [00:28:00] So, you know, advocate for yourself and don’t forget, a little bit of faith in humanity too.
Colleen: Yeah, I love that. Well, these are super, super helpful tips. As a parent, I just like, I just keep thinking, oh gosh, I gotta talk to Liam about that. Like I gotta tell him he can’t just zone out at the airport or whatever, you know, he’s so used to traveling with us, and so I’ve been trying to sort of point out all of the visual cues that are available to him and what they mean.
Colleen: But those are super helpful reminders, and even as an adult, like a hearing adult, I feel it’s a good reminder to pay attention if I see somebody who’s wearing at the airport, just like if there’s been some sort of a chaotic change where everybody’s going to a different gate or their flight’s delayed, like just kind of keeping an eye out and taking care of other people, making sure they’ve heard it’s a just a great way to take care of each other.
Colleen: So thank you for those reminders. Definitely. Yep. Absolutely.
Wendy: So Scott, it sounds like in the last few years of your journey as an individual with hearing loss, you’ve [00:29:00] also taken it upon yourself to help others. Through the HearPeers Mentor program, and um, some other organizations that you’re involved in. So tell us a little bit about that.
Scott: Absolutely. Thanks for asking. I would love to. I am involved with two organizations that work in the, uh, hearing loss, I guess advocacy and enablement space. One that Colleen had mentioned was the MED-EL Organization. I am a HearPeers mentor. HearPeers is, is essentially a social community. It’s a way to connect with other cochlear implant users, user families, to learn to make friends. And, uh, as a mentor, I’m able to help other CI users and candidates considering getting implanted, which is hugely beneficial for them to be able to ask questions and, and get ideas.
Scott: And it’s certainly rewarding for me as well as, you know, a [00:30:00] member of that community. There’s an online forum for that and a website, and that’s hearpeers.medel.com. And the other organization that I am involved with is called FHSR, which stands for the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Resources. That’s a Chicago based nonprofit and they, we are dedicated to supporting kids with hearing loss. Essentially. It’s an educational and advocacy organization run some fantastic programs and we certainly can’t do it without donations and volunteering, whether it’s monetary time or even just attending events and getting involved. So I would encourage anyone in the community to do that. More information is, that website as well at FHSR.org.
Wendy: Yeah, thank you. We’ve had a, a couple episodes on the podcast featuring individuals that are also affiliated with FHSR and they actually provide funding for our music program here at Child’s Voice.
Wendy: And they do [00:31:00] a lot of really cool events and programs around music and young children with hearing loss. It’s super great organization.
Scott: It’s a great partnership.
Wendy: Well, Scott, thank you so much for being with us today. We learned so much from you and you’ve given us a lot and our listeners a lot to think about and hopefully given them a lot of comfort in terms of how to be prepared for and to not be intimidated by traveling just because of, of hearing loss. So thank you for that.
Scott: Absolutely. My pleasure. I totally agree with you, Wendy. Get out there, don’t be intimidated and, uh, embrace it. Thanks.
Colleen: Well, thank you for joining us for another episode of All Ears at Child’s Voice. Be sure to join us for our next episode. We release episodes once monthly. You can find information on Instagram, just search for Child’s Voice.
Wendy: We love to hear from you, so please send us an [00:32:00] firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find episodes, show notes, and archived episodes at our child’s voice website, childsvoice.org. And if you’re interested in learning more about child’s voice, we are on Facebook as well as Twitter with the handle @child’s underscore voice, no apostrophe.
Colleen: And that’s all
Wendy: for today. Please be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you listen so you don’t miss any episodes. If you’re interested in supporting us in programs like this one, please visit us @childvoice.org and click on the donate now button. Thanks for listening.
Scott: Bye bye.