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Rebecca, Archaeologist

Kent  |  Profoundly deaf  |  Two cochlear implants

My job

I am a self-employed archaeologist who as well as excavating also undertakes the writing of archaeological reports from home. I have had the pleasure of having a complete career change and being able to make what was my hobby into my job. I love researching and finding out about the archaeology in Kent and also the joy of finding artefacts and features that tell us so much about life in the past. The excitement is not knowing what will be unearthed.

My technology and equipment

My role means I am required to call and speak regularly with clients about their reports and arranging to visit sites. For that, I use the Cochlear Phone Clip, which I received through the NHS when I got my first implant. It connects wirelessly to my cochlear implants and my phone. It then streams telephone calls wirelessly and handsfree to my cochlear implants. I have the option to completely remove all background noise or, for safety when I am on building sites, have a mix of surrounding environmental sounds and the telephone call. Having the call streamed wirelessly to both implants gives me a greater opportunity of being able to follow the other person on the call. If I do struggle on a call for whatever reason, I am always open and upfront as to why. Due to the success of my cochlear implants, I have not needed any other additional equipment.

When I am excavating on construction sites, I am required to wear a hard hat. This presented a challenge as the cradle for the hard hat passes over where the cochlear implants are held in place on each the side of my head. This meant having to visit a specialised shop in order that I could try on as many hard hats as possible in order that I could find one that was most comfortable. Sometimes to assist wearing the hard hat, I wear a headband in order to make it more comfortable and prevent the hard hat knocking the implants out of place.

How I got here

My previous job involved commuting to London. I used the commuting time to study for a distance learning degree in Archaeology. In addition, I have spent many years excavating as a volunteer on local archaeological excavations when possible in my spare time to gain as much excavating experience as I could.

My advice

Find out what technology works for you. There is no one single solution that suits everyone. We are all different.