Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to School (Part 1)

It’s that time of the year again. I personally think this is second busiest time of the year because of all the school shopping that needs to be done, especially for college because you need to get more than just supplies, you also need to get books and if you’re going away to college, possibly stuff for your apartment or dorm.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to be an advocate. I had to learn for myself how to advocate for myself or be assertive early in life. Because of this, I’ve made sure I had what I needed and over the years, I’ve been somewhat an advocate or mediator for others.

One of the things I had to advocate for myself about was my hearing impediment. I have a moderate to severe hearing impairment and I’ve had it since birth and yes, I wear hearing aids. So, being hearing impaired on top of having a disability was very difficult. I think I annoyed the other classmates when I raise my hand to tell the teacher to repeat what they said or speak a little louder and sitting in front of the class. My choices at seating were somewhat limited, depending on how the classroom was set up. The trick is to learn which area you think you would hear best at. This is tricky and it’s a trial and error process, but having done this for years, I’ve learned exactly where to sit right when I walk into the classroom for the first time. If you are unsure of where to sit, try to visit the classroom beforehand or try to get to the classroom early so you can figure out where you need to be. Also, you should always talk to the teacher. Communicating with the teacher can be a big help, especially if you don’t want to feel like you’re being a jerk if someone sitting in the one seat that would be best for you. I’ve been there, done that, it helps, trust me.

There are two things I absolutely hated about school, taking notes and having to change my hearing aid battery right in the middle of class. Fortunately, I was able to eliminate taking notes. In middle and high school, I had a friend who took notes so well it looked more like what a detailed lesson plan was. And she always let me borrow or copy them. Thank you, my friend! During college, I didn’t have that type of friend, but at least the college was willing to hand out written notes for those that needed it, so I requested that accommodation, so I would at least have notes.

The other thing I hated, I don’t think that can be helped at all and personally, I dread having to do it when I finally get a job. In class, my hearing aid battery would go dead and I’d have to change it. I didn’t want to go to the bathroom to change it because I didn’t want to drop it. The thing cost a fortune! I didn’t want to risk breaking it! The only option I could see was to do it right there in my seat where others can see. It was either that or not being able to hear the rest of the lecture. So, I did it right there. Yeah, there were a couple of times one of my classmates who saw me doing it asked what I was doing, but after seeing me do it a few times, they just didn’t ask anymore. I’ve even had a few teachers who were nice enough to stop the lecture for the few minutes when they saw me changing my hearing aid battery, and it really does take just a few minutes to do it. They would watch me and look at me when they think I was done for confirmation that they can continue. No, they didn’t think I was disrupting the class, I didn’t even expect them to, but sometimes, teachers can surprise you with how understanding they are.

For those that don’t know what a hearing aid looks like, here’s a model I found at

These are the different models. I’ve had two of these shown in the model, B and C. Personally, I like B the best. Taking care of a hearing aid can be a pain but it’s worth it.

There are other ways I’ve had to advocate for myself, but I think I’ll continue this in part two, coming soon!

Until next time, God Bless.
- MissNiChloe

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