My hearing loss had a great impact on my career decision. I considered majoring in audiology or speech pathology, however, my love of children led me to major in deaf education. During my studies, a whole new world and identity opened up for me. I came to understand my own hearing loss and needs and learned how to help others with hearing loss. I now use two hearing aids as well as various assistive listening devices. Learning sign language came naturally to me, although I still choose to use my oral skills with sign language when needed.
I have taught deaf/hard of hearing children for 19 years, working in both self-contained classroom and itinerant settings. I really love both positions. As an itinerant teacher, I feel I touch more lives than I do within a self-contained setting. Many parents have shared that I am an inspiration to them
.. they see that their children will be okay when they grow up. I can inspire my students, too. They know I have had similar experiences and can truly understand what they face on a daily basis.
The staff that I work with is extremely understanding of my hearing loss, and they provide accommodations as requested. Because I chose a field which embraces hearing loss, I have had few barriers to overcome. As an itinerant teacher, I am accustomed to educating others about hearing loss and needs. I never tire of teaching. Each day brings new experiences, and I look forward to them all.