Welcome to the first day of Hearing Differently! Thank you for taking the time to read this and joining me on this journey to see where this blog goes. In today’s post, I’m going to introduce myself, explain what Hearing Differently is all about and what I hope it accomplishes.
I’m Karina Cotran, and I have a hearing impairment. To help with this hearing impairment, I was implanted with the cochlear implant at seven years old. I grew up with a hearing family and a younger brother (who is also a cochlear implant user). In university, I took my experiences of growing up with a cochlear implant and published a book – Hearing Differently: Growing Up With a Cochlear Implant. In the two years after its publication, I learned a lot from my readers and it shaped my idea of where I want Hearing Differently to go (both the book and the blog).
Why Hearing Differently?
Coming up with my book title at the time wasn’t easy. I wanted a personal title that also implied that the book was about hearing loss, without it sounding too technical. It was only after someone had asked me how I hear with a cochlear implant, that I got frustrated and just burst out saying, ‘I don’t know…it’s just different!”
Hearing Differently: Growing Up With a Cochlear Implant was born. Anyone who wears a cochlear implant will say that the way we hear with a cochlear implant is not the same way hearing individuals can hear. Yes, we can hear conversations, music and noise…but differently. I will expand more on that in a future post!
As I mentioned above, in the two years after publishing my book, I learned a lot from my readers. I initially wrote the book for myself, because a book of personal stories about dealing with hearing loss was a book I wished I was able to read growing up.
I had readers reach out to me and share their thoughts. Some were fellow implant users, hearing parents with children that have hearing loss, and my own friends.
Those who had cochlear implants said that they loved hearing a personal recount of living with hearing loss. They appreciated how relatable it was, because they too, did not have a story to refer to growing up. They wanted to learn more about these experiences, and wanted to see more of them included, especially growing up as a teenager into young adulthood.
For the hearing parents with children that have hearing loss, they appreciated the personal insight of what it might be like for their children. They valued the firsthand, day-to-day account of experiences living with hearing loss and its technology. They wanted to see more parent-child interactions, with a better idea of how to help their child with their needs and experiences (especially if they are too young to explain it themselves).
For my own friends, they found the book educational. They said that it answered some question they felt too afraid to ask, or provoked questions they didn’t think of asking.
This made me realize that this personal account of living with hearing loss can be more than just a book, but can be expanded online with a blog.
What I want Hearing Differently to Accomplish
I want Hearing Differently to be a resource that I wish I had access to growing up. It will include posts about:
- Advocating – touching upon how those with hearing loss can advocate for themselves and how parents can advocate for their children
- Day-to-day experiences of living with a cochlear implant – experiences in school, work, dating and more.
- Opinions – any thoughts I might have on topics surrounding hearing loss, with education perspectives included.
At the least, I hope others with hearing loss find the blog relatable, and that parents. teachers and friends of those with hearing loss find it educational. If you have anything that you want to see included in this blog, let me know! You can contact me here.
Thank you for reading!