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Richard, audiologist

Derby  |  Moderate-severely deaf  |  Two hearing aids

My job

I test the hearing of children and teenagers to assess their hearing levels, and type of hearing loss. I then fit hearing aids and manage their rehabilitation. I also am preparing a clinic for teenagers to be able to transition over to adulthood in terms of their hearing loss. It is very rewarding to be able to help children achieve their full potential with their hearing aids. Also, it is incredibly rewarding to fit hearing aids to a child and see the positive reaction from them and their parents.

My technology

In the past, I used Disabled Living Allowance to buy myself a vibrating alarm clock and cabling to connect my hearing aids to my computer. Nowadays, I am in a fortunate position to be able to receive equipment directly from hearing aid manufacturers to try out and so I can give feedback from both an audiologist and a hearing impaired person’s point of view.

I work in areas where communication is fortunately not an issue. Because my department is already deaf-friendly, I didn’t have to ask my colleagues to make sure I’m looking at them when they want to talk to me, and other communication strategies. However, I can use a GN Resound Multi Mic that connects wirelessly to my GN Resound hearing aid to listen to music and also to let someone talk to me directly. This has been great when I’ve been in the car with someone or I’ve gone shopping in a crowded place. The Multi Mic also allows you to change the volume and frequencies of both your hearing aids and the microphone. As an example, if ever I want to get on with my own work, I’ll have some music playing into my hearing aids quietly, but have my hearing aids still on and I can hear my colleagues if ever I need to converse with them. 

In the past, when I had Oticon hearing aids, I used the Oticon Streamer Pro 1.3A that linked to my Oticon hearing aid to make phone calls. Normally, I would struggle greatly and I would hate having phone calls. The moment I used the streamer, it was bliss. I could have a normal conversation on the phone for the first time ever. 

How I got here

I took a BSc degree in Audiology at De Montfort University.

My advice

Don’t be afraid to explore any route of employment. Just because something seems like it is not suited to someone with a hearing loss, doesn’t mean that it is! There will be other very similar jobs or you might even be able to do that job, you just didn’t realise you could.