Hearing Loss Success Stories of Psychologists
Dr. David G. Myers
Social Psychologist and Author
Social psychologist Dr. David Myers is a distinguished professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He is the author of fifteen books including a bestselling introductory psychology text, which has been studied by some eight million students in 1,000 colleges and universities and translated into 12 languages. His works have explored such diverse topics as: happiness, intuition, the psychology of humility, the impact of groups on behavior and attitudes, sexual orientation, spirituality and faith as well as living with hearing loss. Dr. Myers' articles have appeared in dozens of professional psychological periodicals including popular periodicals such as Science, Scientific American, Psychology Today and Saturday Evening Post.
Hearing Loss and Hearing Loss Solutions
Dr. Myers was first diagnosed during his teen years as having an unusual "reverse slope" hearing loss pattern (that is greater loss for low frequencies) which was also experienced by his late-deafened mother, who was completely deaf for the last twelve years of her life. His experiences growing up with hearing loss are documented in A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss. This memoir of living with hearing loss interweaves information about the psychology of hearing and hearing loss and new hearing technologies. After getting his first hearing aids two decades ago, he gradually incorporated being hard-ofhearing into his personal and public identity, especially after being challenged by hearing loss as a college teacher.
To remedy his hearing loss he has purchased several generations of hearing aids, and now uses a neckloop with separate directional microphones that he can use in noisy restaurants and other challenging listening situations. He also has inductively looped his home TV room, and his office telephone, and therefore enjoys the benefits of customized sound broadcast by his own hearing aids. Binaural (two-eared) telephone listening, he reports, is vastly superior to one-eared listening! He also has led the introduction of hearing aid compatible loop systems in west Michigan. In his own community of Holland-Zeeland, Michigan, most of the major churches and public venues—some eighty in all—are now equipped to broadcast sound directly to the telecoil-equipped hearing aids, which most new hearing aid wearers are now receiving from their area audiologists.
Dr. Myers has been a vocal advocate for the spread of "hearing aid compatible assistive listening." Through his articles for hearing professionals and for hard of hearing people, and through a website (www.hearingloop.org), he advocates the "Looping of America". "Having telephone, TV, and PA system sound transmitted wirelessly to, and broadcast by, my own hearing aids is a huge advantage! I first experienced this during my sojourns in the UK, where it is fast becoming commonplace. And now I am delighted to be experiencing it in my home, office, and community."
In motivating America's untreated 24 million people with hearing loss Dr. Myers states, "As a psychologist and a person who has lived with and who understands hearing loss, I want to convey to them that treatment early on in their life will have a significant positive impact on their quality of life. Delaying unnecessarily a solution to their hearing loss may seriously impact their professional and personal life, potentially leading to social isolation, underperformance, psychological and emotional difficulties, and relationship conflicts. I assure America's hard of hearing population that modern digital hearing aids can serve them not only as sophisticated microphone amplifiers, but also as personalized, hassle-free, in-the-ear loudspeakers for the broadcast of telephone, television, and PA system sound. When coupled with hearing aid compatible assistive listening, today's hearing technology can greatly increase quality of life for those of us with hearing loss."
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