My name is Hannah Wade. I graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with an Honours in Psychology degree. I am currently in my final year of my Bachelor of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University and in the process of applying to the Masters of Deaf or Hard of Hearing Education program. My career goal is to become a DHH itinerant teacher.
I was identified with a moderate bilateral hearing loss at the age of three. Throughout my schooling years, I was the only student who was hard of hearing. Outside of school, I attended speech therapy. At a young age I was taught by my Mum to self-advocate. As a child, I felt awkward advocating for myself as I felt I did not have the place or authority to tell an adult what I needed. However, as I have grown older, I have learned, and still am learning, that this is my hearing loss and I know best what I need and what works. I remember my first year at university approaching a professor to request a note taker. I was told, “You’ll be okay, just listen and pay attention”. New to university, I was very intimidated and didn’t know how to challenge this. I had to read the textbook for that class in great depth in order to learn the information I missed during my lectures. The extra stress and effort I had to put in was a lesson to me- I own my hearing loss.
As HoH young adults, it is my opinion that our hearing loss should not be used as an excuse. However, it equally should not stop us from accessing the same material other students receive. Self- advocacy is an important tool we all use throughout different stages of our lives and is undoubtfully easier with the encouraging support of our HoH community!