Questions for Audiologists

Questions for Audiologists

I was born deaf and have worn hearing aids since I was 2. I’ve had a cochlear implant for the last 10 years as well.

As far back as I can remember, EVERY audiologist I’ve been to didn’t know how to sign. Even the audiologist that was at my School for the Deaf didn’t sign!

One would think that there would be deaf and hard-of-hearing clients who use sign language in need of hearing tests, hearing aids, and repairs.

So my questions for you audiologists:

1. Why didn’t you learn sign language when you entered a “hearing loss” field of work?

Is it from the medical standpoint of “deafness needs to be fixed”?

Or the old outdated (and false) claim of “if the deaf learn to sign, they’ll never learn to speak”?

2. Why is it so hard to contact your office?

I use a relay service to contact my current audiology office. The secretaries at the front office who answer are often flustered in using it, and I’ve been hung up on once or twice before. Again, you’d think in dealing with deaf and hard-of-hearing clients you’d be used to this method of communication.

I used a hospital’s online system to make a follow-up appointment to their ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) Doctor’s office. I entered the dates and times I was available and emailed it off. I get an email reply “call the office to make an appointment.” Seriously? I used the online system because it’s accessible and easier for me than through a lengthy relay call. You can’t be that inconvenienced by this as you typed that reply to me, you certainly can type in a date and time I had picked, or say “they’re all taken.”

I’m really curious to know what the reasons are!

As a client, being able to sign to an audiologist when you don’t have your cochlear implant on would be so much easier! Sure, I sometimes get an interpreter for these appointments, but it feels redundant to need one.

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