Tips for College Students with Hearing Loss

Tips for College Students with Hearing Loss

Are you planning on going to college for the Summer? While many may be planning time in the sun and swimming it’s a good choice to get a head start with extra credits so you can land running in the fall. Whether you are planning on moving into a dormitory or staying at home, college can be a really big life change.

Your brain is about to expand with new knowledge and ways of problem solving, while the relationships you form with peers may be some that you hold on to for life. However, you want to make sure you have an excellent foundation to start. If you are someone who lives with hearing loss, the idea of going to college can be even more intimidating. Hearing loss is often described as an invisible disability. While most of your teachers and classmates won’t visibly recognize your struggles, they are very real. To maximize academic and social success in college this semester, it means it is important to plan ahead. Here are some tips for making sure you have everything and more to succeed in school this next semester and beyond!

See if there’s a support group on campus

It can feel isolating to live with hearing loss. Even while actively treating your hearing loss with hearing aids, you may find that you have to pay attention a little bit more and you still struggle to hear in noisy settings. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. While hearing loss is more common as we age, people of all ages live and thrive with this disability. Before you get ready for your first day of school, do your research. There are most likely groups on campus of other students who have similar issues around hearing as you. You can talk to others about tactics they use to succeed as well as struggles they’ve encountered. This will not only help you to feel less alone but create a community of support where you all can help one another.

Become your own advocate

Hearing loss is a lifelong condition so it is important to do what you can to navigate it. It does not have to be the deciding factor that keeps you back from opportunities in life. Part of this process is learning to become your own advocate in educational situations and beyond. Hearing loss is a recognized disability which means that you’ll find that your college most likely has an entire staff and resources dedicated to accommodating your hearing loss in all classroom settings. Being open and asking for help may feel difficult at first but it is an important life lesson which you will find, will help you time and time again. Contact your school after you’ve been admitted and find out how to access resources to help you succeed. If you are not sure, the good news is that they’ve had some experience and offer ideas that may help you learn with more ease than ever before.

Introduce Yourself and Your Hearing Loss

Once you’ve signed up for classes, make sure you reach out to your professors. This will allow them to prepare for you and your hearing issues. Don’t be afraid to let them know what has worked for you in the past. In addition, it is likely that you are not the first hearing impaired person that they’ve taught and may have some really great ideas on how to help you truly enjoy the class. One study from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that college students that initially disclose their disability have a higher success rate than those who wait. With this information in mind, don’t wait to let your teachers and classmates know what to do to help you hear them the best.

Have fun!

Remember, college is not just for learning and studying but for emotional development as well. With your hearing aids and learning accommodations, you can discover how much is available to you despite living with a hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss which has not been diagnosed yet, don’t let it keep you from accessing the education and opportunities you need to truly get the most out of life. Contact us today to schedule a hearing exam and find out what we can do to help you succeed!