If there’s one piece of advice I’d impart is that your disability is most likely not going to go away. You cannot keep hating yourself for being this way. Instead, do whatever you can do to embrace it, celebrate it, and learn to love it as a special gift. People with a disability are given a gift of looking at the world in a different way. We already realize this world isn’t built for all of us with different abilities. We can choose to get angry or we can choose to do something. Make something of yourself and don’t let anyone tell you can’t. If they are right and you can’t, know that you tried. If they are wrong and you excel, then know that you are stronger than many people know.

Melanie, 23


Speak Up
If you’re like me and you don’t show much evidence that you have a hearing loss speak up and tell them! Be yourself and don’t make a big deal about something that really isn’t that big.

Alicia, 10


It Will All Be Okay
If you are hard of hearing, I think you shoot for a cochlear implant. It’s okay to be totally deaf too. Do not let yourself get scared.It will be ok and you will make it.

Cristina, 13


Believe in Your Dreams
My advice is don’t listen to other people if they say, “you don’t have any abilities or anything.” Everyone has ability! Everyone is different! Don’t listen to them. Just do what you want to do. Do what you love to do.

Trista, 13


You Can Do Anything
You shouldn’t think that you can’t do something. Even if you don’t have good speech or fast speech, you can still do everything. For example, there’s this one girl who’s deaf and she’s proving to actors and actresses that deaf people can act. They think they can’t act because they’re deaf. So, this girl is popular now, and she got awards proving to people that deaf people can act, can talk, the whole world.

Nadir, 13


Dealing With Teasing
Sometimes, kids get teased. In that case, it might be a good idea for the child to do a presentation in the front of their classroom about their hearing loss and their hearing aid or “This is why I wear a cochlear implant” and the same thing with the FM system. I actually worked with a young girl who did not want to wear her FM system at school because the kids were always staring at her whenever she put it on or when she walked the big microphone up to the teacher. I told her that maybe if her classmates knew what it was and the cool things that you can do with a FM system that none of your other classmates can do, sort of like, “This is what I can do and you can not.” You have to make it look like it is a cool thing to do and it can be. I can take my hearing aids out and not hear anything. It can be a nice, quiet world especially when I go on airplane rides because I can turn off my hearing aids and I have it easier than all the other passengers. You have to teach them the advantages of having a hearing loss.

Jill, Audiologist