Monday, June 18, 2012

Lip-Reading Mom

Shanna Bartlett Groves

Shanna Bartlett Groves is on mission. A mission to bring words into the world of the hearing impaired.

Shanna is deaf. She began to lose her hearing after the birth of her first child. She now has three children, and just as her family has grown, her hearing loss has also progressed. She wears aids, but not the typical kind. Even with those aids, Shanna read lips or uses closed captioning when possible.

Much of our society is oblivious to the struggles of the hearing impaired. Why? I think it is because the disability is invisible. We see when someone is missing a limb or in a wheelchair. We visibly recognize that person has limitations. However, we can't see hearing loss. I may eventually notice someone wears hearing aids, but I've made the erroneous assumption that aids negate the disability. That's just not true.

Yes, hearing aids help people hear better. In other words, even with the use of aids, hearing isn't perfect, and there are still challenges. My father wore hearings aids in both ears. He hated going to restaurants—all the background noise made it nearly impossible to understand the conversation taking place at his own table. My mother complains of the same thing. She also says her own voice sounds like she's at the bottom of a well. Yes, all of today's technology makes life better for those who struggle with hearing loss, but it does not remove the challenges.

Through her blog and speaking ministry, Shanna is ministering to those with hearing loss, bringing greater awareness of the challenges, and campaigning for change in arenas that have not been responsive to the needs of those with hearing loss. Thank you, Shanna, for your tireless work.

Read Shanna's blog:
Find out more about her novel Lip Reader:
Read about and join her campaign to bring closed captioning to the Internet:

Debra L. Butterfield © 2012

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