Dear Reader

This blog is no longer active as of 2017.

About Me

Hi, my name is Sarah. I'm a librarian hoping to create a more accessible, communication-friendly world. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that becoming hard of hearing would be part of my life experience. The stories in this blog describe what it's been like for me to come to terms with my hearing loss and adjust to life with hearing aids. Feel free to laugh along with me at some of the mistakes I've made. Perhaps you may also learn more about hearing loss and benefit from some of the resources I've discovered.

When I started this blog, the main subject was my adjustment to learning I was hard of hearing. When I was diagnosed with permanent hearing loss, I worried anxiously about what the future had in store for me. What kind of life would I have?

Well, it's true that acknowledging my hearing loss has definitely changed me. My family relationships and friendships have also been affected. This was not something I would have chosen for myself but I have found a way to live a fulfilling life and use my experiences to help others. A sense of humor is one way I cope and you will find that many of my stories include a touch of humor.

Over time the content of my blog has expanded to include my hobbies and activities as proof that life with hearing loss does go on. I enjoy gardening, photography, making videos, reading, and spending time with my golden retrievers, Blondie and Melody, who are pets and not hearing ear dogs. Occasionally, I've discussed how my hearing loss has impacted my job as a librarian and included some library related posts. A positive outcome of my situation is that I've made some wonderful new deaf friends online and in person and participated in events aimed at raising deaf awareness, all of which you will read about here.

The topics in the right-hand sidebar will help you find additional stories on the subjects of most interest to YOU. Blogs are conversational by nature. On Speak Up Librarian, I welcome comments, even on older posts. If you've never left a comment on a blog before, take a look at my comments policy which includes help for how to leave a comment. You will find this policy at the bottom of the page.

If you are new to my blog, you may want to start reading the beginning of my story by clicking on these links:
  1. My Last Day of Blissful Ignorance or How It All Began

  2. Speak Up Librarian is Born

  3. A Whole New World

This post may also be of interest to you:

Why I Blog

Personal Highlights

September 2016 - Newcomers Chair and Presenter for the national Association for Late Deafened Adults convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

May 2016 - Graduated from Governors State University with a M.A. in Communication and Training

February 2016 - Elected board member and Vice President of ALDA Chicago, in addition to my continuing service as Webmaster for the organization

September/October 2015 - Featured on the cover of Hearing Loss Magazine. To view the issue online, click here, and select Preview.

July/August 2015 - Volunteered as a Strategic Communications Intern at HLAA in Bethesda, MD.

April 2015 - Received ALDA Chicago's President's Award for my volunteer service. Featured in the Spring 2015 edition of ALDA Chicago Style newsletter with an article about my workshop.

March 2015 - Presented a workshop on How to Communicate Effectively with Adults Who Have Hearing Loss.

May 2014 - My hearing loss story was featured on Healthy Hearing.

April 2014 - Induction into National Communication Association's Honor Society

November 2013 - Update on grad school progress

October 2013 - ALDA Reader published one of my stories.

September 2013 - Speak Up Librarian blog was featured on Healthy Hearing.

August 2013 - Accepted volunteer position as webmaster for ALDA Chicago.

June 2013 - Stepped down as Social Chair for ALDA Chicago.

February 2013 - Agreed to serve as Secretary for ALDA Chicago Board.

November 2012 - Initiated a national theater advocacy campaign called Show Us the Captions! To learn more about how the campaign started and grew, please check out these posts:

August 2012 - Started graduate school for a MA degree in Communication and Training.

June 2012 - I was asked to serve as a Board Trustee (in addition to my
role as Social Chair) for Association of Late Deafened Adults, Chicago chapter.

May 2012 - My personal hearing loss story was featured on People Hearing Better.

March 2012 - Organized a fundraiser for Discovering Deaf Worlds (DDW).

October 2011 - Participated in Chicago Walk4Hearing.

In 2011, I won the Oticon Focus on People award for Advocacy.

The Oticon Focus on People Awards honors students, adults and advocacy volunteers who have demonstrated through their accomplishments that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a difference in their families, communities and the world.

I think winning this award is the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me. I'm incredibly grateful to Oticon for their generosity in giving me a new pair of hearing aids as part of this award. I am thankful for all those who took the time to read my story and vote online for me.

Hearing News Watch story about 2011 Oticon Focus on People Awards.

Also in 2011, I took a trip to Costa Rica with advocacy group Discovering Deaf Worlds. I am very proud to have traveled with one of the organization's founders, David Justice, and seen firsthand the work they are doing internationally to help the deaf in countries where opportunities and education are more limited. I'm also glad I survived the adventure travel that was part of the trip as well as improving my communication skills in ASL.

To learn more about this wonderful organization from Rochester, New York, please watch this video or visit their website.

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