I’m a HoH. I like and use this term because it’s snappy and takes less time to say than “I’m hard of hearing” or “I’ve got hearing loss”. Problem is, not everyone understands this particular meaning of the word, which rhymes with ‘hoe’. If you’re not sure if someone is familiar with the term (which is almost anybody who doesn’t have hearing loss themselves), use a longer term for self-identification.
As a longtime HoH, I’ve learned to live by a set of principles and beliefs that make hearing loss life easier. I first offered this list in my 178th article for HearingHealthMatters. It’s now about 170 blogs later, but my the list of personal beliefs remains more or less the same (I’ve made a few very minor changes). This is the HoH’s Credo – what this particular HoH believes. Maybe you have more to add to the list.
I BELIEVE THAT:
Having hearing loss is just one aspect of who I am. It does not define me as a person or confine me to a single group (hard of hearing, deaf, etc.)
Living with hearing loss, while challenging, is not the greatest challenge I will face as a human being. (Right now there are far greater challenges such as achieving the return of world peace and human civility.)
My most important goal is not to hear better, but to communicate better. I must learn to listen with all of my gifts – my ears, my eyes, my heart and my mind.
By accepting my hearing loss, I am breaking down personal barriers.
By advocating for others with hearing loss, I am helping to break down public and societal barriers.
By being honest about my hearing loss and articulating my needs, I become a better communicator.
I need professional help from a hearing health care provider who works with me to find solutions that meet my needs.
Hearing technology helps me hear. When I stopped fighting it, I heard even better.
By connecting with others who have hearing loss, I am entering a circle of invisible and unbreakable supports.
The person who has the most power to hurt me because of my hearing loss – is me. There’s no shame in hearing loss, and even the best HoHs have bad hearing moments.
It’s not always easy to see the humor in awkward hearing moments—but it helps.
Hearing is precious, and I will protect what I have from noise damage.
My hearing loss affects my family and friends; I celebrate their efforts to communicate well.
Here’s another truth: I don’t always honor my Credo in those painfully embarrassing hearing moments. But I try….all I can do is try.