In grade 8 a classmate said to me, “You can’t even say your own name, can you even pronounce words with ‘s’ in it?” I still remember this comment 10 years later but through self-acceptance these words sting less. My name is Allison Lui and I have bilateral congenital mild-moderate sensorineural hearing loss and wear hearing aids in both ears. My main modes of communication are through spoken language and speech reading. I am a recent graduate with a BSc in biopsychology and I hope to pursue a career in healthcare.
It has taken me a long time (up until my early 20’s) to fully accept my hearing loss. I used a FM system in elementary school but since we moved during my Gr. 7 year I would be going to a new high school where I did not know anyone. In high school, I didn’t want an FM system and I would tell my audiologist that I wore my hearing aids all the time but in reality, I did not because I was too embarrassed. In first year university, I didn’t wear my aids in class because I thought sitting at the front would be good enough – I was wrong. Through self-acceptance and maturing in my early 20’s I finally realized that my academic and social life were suffering and started to wear my hearing aids all the time. In my spare time, I love to take on new challenges. I learned how to swim as an adult and now participate in open water swimming and triathlons. I am also passionate about youth empowerment and have been a Child and Youth Worker for the past five years and also help the CHHA-BC Youth Peer Support Program plan BC Buddies events. One piece of advice I would give is that self-acceptance of one’s hearing loss is an individual journey. Your hearing loss makes you unique and is something to be celebrated!