It was a special morning over the summer holidays at Hear and Say, when a group of young adults took to the floor to present their personal stories about living with hearing loss.
The presentations formed part of the three-day Hear to Live workshop, a group social skills program run for young people aged 16 and over focused on building self-confidence, resilience and independence.
Sixteen-year-old Ruby was one of the participants who shared her journey with hearing loss. She spoke to an enthralled audience of other attendees, as well as clinicians who had known Ruby since she was a baby learning to hear, listen and speak with her then new cochlear implant.
In her presentation, Ruby shared the challenges and misconceptions she has faced living with hearing loss.
“People become so used to my processors and they often forget that I have a hearing loss. They sometimes think that because I have cochlear implants, I have top-notch hearing, which isn’t always
true, particularly in noisy situations as it creates a harder environment to concentrate in and to have conversations,” said Ruby.
In her down time, Ruby loves photography, baking and hanging out with her friends and family, and noted there were many upsides to having her cochlear implants.
“One of the positives about being deaf is when I can take my implants off when I need some peace,” she said.
“Being deaf has its challenges, but something cool is that you get two worlds: a world of peace and a world of sound. Having these two worlds always reminds me of how grateful I am to be where I am now, and where I could be.”