Hearing Loss Success Stories of Lawyers
Attorney, Wheaton, Illinois
Laura L. Scarry has extensive experience in all aspects of defending municipalities and municipal employees in federal courts in Illinois and Indiana and Illinois state courts. Ms. Scarry has represented a variety of public entities including school districts, public works, legislative bodies, pension boards and police departments. While working with school districts, she has represented school board members, superintendents, principals and teachers against claims arising under Illinois common law and federal statutes such as the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title VII and Title IX.
In the area of employment law, Laura has represented municipalities, school districts and other governmental entities against claims of discrimination and harassment. She has represented these types of clients in several venues, from the administrative level to state and federal courts. Her experience with and knowledge of policies and procedures of state and federal administrative agencies such as the Illinois Department of Human Rights, Illinois Human Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are an asset in her defense of employment litigation in state and federal courts.
The majority of Ms. Scarry's work has been in the representation of police officers, supervisors, administrators and the police agencies they work for against claims covering a wide array of law enforcement issues such as excessive force, deadly force, search and seizure, malicious prosecution, failure to train, duty to protect, police pursuit, employment discrimination, in-custody deaths and racial profiling. What makes Laura's experience unique is that she sees cases from a practical standpoint, having been a police officer for the City of Lake Forest from 1986-1992. She is most proud of being trusted and called on by police officers and the municipalities they work for to provide legal advice to officers within hours of their being involved in critical incidents such as officer-involved-shootings and in-custody deaths.
Ms. Scary received her law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL and her bachelors from Cathage College in Kenosha WI in Political Science and Criminal Justice.
Hearing Loss and Hearing Solutions
Laura has been diagnosed as having a moderate hearing loss. It is hereditary in her family affecting her grandparents, father, brother and oldest son.
She stated "hearing loss has been a part of me for as long as I can remember going back to first grade." Therefore, she always accepted it and never felt sorry for her self; nor did she ever think she was different from society.
Recently, she upgraded her hearing aids to include a tool that allows her to hear conversations while in a noisy restaurant or in an auditorium where she is answering questions during a lecture. She hangs a small contraption around her neck (it can easily be hidden under a blouse, sweater, or jacket) and places another contraption (the size of a small remote control) in an empty glass in the middle of a table at a restaurant, or on a small table in the middle of the auditorium, turn the units on, and "voila," she can hear the entire conversation involving a group of 10 people at a large table in a restaurant, and can respond appropriately to questions from people 20 rows back in an auditorium without having to walk right up to them. This tool also allows her to use her cell phone, hands free, and now she can listen to the other person on the phone through her hearing aids, much like those who wear those Bluetooth earpieces on their ears.
She stated "This solution has dramatically improved my personal and professional life. As an attorney, I no longer have to constantly ask a witness who is on the stand at a trial to repeat themselves when I ask a question (which could be viewed by a jury as a tactic to annoy the witness)."
Impact of Hearing Loss
Her hearing loss has caused her embarrassment from time to time, especially when she gives a response that is inappropriate to the actual question because of what she thought she heard. While she can poke fun at it with family and friends, it becomes a little frustrating in her professional life.
During her last two trials, she was having more difficulty than usual hearing the judge and witnesses on the stand. This concerned her because, as an attorney, her job hinges on the choice of words that are being used. As a result, she consulted with her audiologist to discuss the newest technological advances since being outfitted with more modern aides about 7 years ago. Technology has advanced exponentially within the last several years to the advantage of the hard of hearing community.
"I would tell those who don't yet wear hearing aides that they owe it to themselves to seek treatment. It will dramatically improve the quality of their personal and professional life."
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