Young Adult Spotlight: Taylor Hallenbeck


My name is Taylor Hallenbeck.  I am 31 years old and am currently pursuing my Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Before moving to the US last summer for school, I worked for 6 years as a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing in Winnipeg.  When I’m done my Ph.D., I hope to come back to Canada to keep working as a Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

I was born with a profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, and grew up in Manitoba and B.C.  I received support in elementary school from an itinerant Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and was in a resource room program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing in high school.  I wear two behind-the-ear hearing aids and use an FM system.  I am fluent in English and strong in American Sign Language.  I have friends who are hearing, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing.

My hobbies outside of school/work include dance, architecture, and reading.  I currently play on my university’s Quidditch team as a beater.  I did ballet for many years and hope to get back into it once I graduate.  Architecture is an interest of mine and I love reading books, magazines, blogs etc. on the subject.  I also love reading in general, particularly fiction series like Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Chronicles of Narnia and such.

In terms of living with hearing loss, one piece of advice I’d give is to be sure to stand up for yourself and be your best advocate.  If you’re in a situation where communication is tough, let people know!  Sometimes this means bringing your FM, hiring an ASL interpreter, asking someone to switch seats with you, asking for the lights to be turned up etc.  No one knows your communication and access needs better than you!