Starting College with a Hearing Problem
We all look forward to the day when we can finally be free as we head off to college to fulfill our dreams. We take extra care to pack our bags and make checklists so that we do not leave anything important behind. However, people who have hearing loss may need to take a few extra measures in order to make the most out of their college life.
Universities are thankfully well aware of students with differing hearing needs. In 2010 the Equality Act enabled education to become widely available to each and every student, despite their physical disabilities. Many universities design their lecture halls and classrooms to accommodate for those with hearing difficulties. This includes having sound dampening panels fitted into the walls and ceilings to prevent reverb, and visual signs indicating various facilities throughout the university.
If you have hearing loss, consider researching your university of choice to ensure that they offer sufficient facilities for those with hearing impairment. This includes finding out whether assistive listening devices are offered, if real-time captioning is accessible, and whether note-takers or sign language interpreters are available.
Take a trip to the student services when you visit the university campus to see whether a disability office is present. If so, you may be able to utilize assistive technology free of cost or at a discounted student rate.
Always take a trip to the university of your choice so that you can familiarize yourself with your surroundings before you actually join. It can already be intimidating trying to figure out where your classes are in an unfamiliar campus without adding hearing loss into the mix.
Also take a moment to find out about any available audiology service centers within the vicinity. In addition, ask your friends about the nearest store where you can purchase hearing aid batteries and other hearing aid accessories.
Once you settle into your new room on campus, take a moment to introduce yourself to your fellow residents, classmates, and faculty members. Make sure to mention that you have a hearing problem and how best they can help you. Also let them know that you may be unable to respond quickly sometimes due to your hearing disability. As long as you are casual about it, before long your friends and instructors will be more than happy to help you out.
Your college days are going to be some of the most memorable days of your life, so take ownership of your hearing loss and take steps to excel despite of it. No matter what, always remember to have fun and be open and direct about your hearing needs. Your hearing loss need not get in the way of you leading a successful college life. All the best!