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What It's Like, #2
What It’s Like provides members of the Dal community with an opportunity to share their first-person perspective on living with a disability. People are welcome to share with their name or anonymously.
Submitted by James Wilson
Tell us a little about yourself and your role here at Dal.
My name is James Wilson. I work in MedIT and have been employed at Dal since 2010.
In 2016, Dr. Michael Kiefte from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders encouraged me to take advantage of the free hearing test his students provide. I thought it would be an interesting experience but it turned out to be a turning point for me. I discovered that I was living with a loss of hearing in the frequencies that human speech occupy. I was told if my hearing continued to decline, that I would need hearing aids in 10 years. Two years after my initial test, I went for a follow up and the issue was worse. Another two years later they explained that if I didn't get hearing aids, I was at risk of losing the ability to hear certain letter sounds and I would never get them back. I took their advice and purchased a set of hearing aids. I'll never forget arriving home and putting my hearing aids in and suddenly hearing the sounds of birds and other noises I didn't realize I had been missing out on.
What do you wish people knew about your disability?
I wish people understood that even though I wear hearing aids, it doesn't mean that my hearing issues are solved. Yes, they help but I still have difficulty in certain situations hearing what people are saying because the hearing aids amplify other sounds too.
What accessibility changes would have the biggest impact on your experience here at Dal?
For me, being honest with people and telling them that I am having a hard time understanding what they are saying has been very helpful. Also, the fact that Dalhousie has classrooms equipped with assistive listening devices gives me hope that positive changes are being put in place that will help people in my shoes hear and comprehend what information is being shared.
Previously in this series:
You can find all entries collected here.
Interested in sharing your own experiences?
We'd love to hear from you. Please take a look at our questions below and how to submit them. Please note that you can choose to remain anonymous if you wish. (Note: names will be visible to individuals receiving submissions by email).
Our questions for you:
- Tell us a little about yourself and your role here at Dal. (Note: If remaining anonymous, this prompt can be skipped — or, simply share as much detail as you feel comfortable doing).
- What do you wish people knew about your disability?
- What accessibility changes would have the biggest impact on your experience here at Dal?
If you’re interested in sharing your experiences navigating university life with a visible or invisible disability, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with answers to the above questions or to set up a short interview.
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