resources for young people with hard of hearing - chha-calgary  
The following are some of our suggestions for students and young adults dealing with hearing loss in Calgary:

  • The first step is to have your hearing tested. This can be arranged at no cost through your family doctor and the Calgary Health Region or through a private practice clinic (the Calgary Health Region and CHHA-Calgary have a list of private practice clinics, but we are not able to endorse any one provider). Hearing tests through a private practice clinic may be included in the cost of hearing aids. Your relationship with your hearing professional is an important one, so choose someone you feel comfortable and have a good rapport with. You may need to visit more than one hearing clinic to find the right person.
  • You may need hearing aids. Find out more about how hearing works and about hearing aids in our FAQ section.
  • Selecting the right hearing aids is very important, and represents a sizeable investment. (For those under 18 and over 65 yrs. there is some government assistance.) Depending upon the extent of your hearing loss, you may have a choice in styles. If your hearing loss is significant, and you are a student or are working in a job with high communication demands, you might want to consider hearing aids that are compatible with Assistive Listening Devices. So be sure before you buy that your hearing professional is very familiar with Assistive Listening Devices and come to a CHHA-Calgary meeting to find others who understand this technology first-hand.
  • There is a foundation in Calgary called the Campbell McLaurin Foundation for Hearing Deficiencies that can help those who in financial need with purchasing hearing aids and other hearing equipment. Find out more at http://www.burnsfund.com/hearing.htm.
  • Plan to attend a Speechreading class where you will learn a lot about hearing loss and how to manage a hearing loss. You will also practice speechreading (which you may already be doing) with other hard of hearing young people. This will help to give you confidence and hope.
  • The Calgary Board of Education has a variety of services for those who are hard of hearing. Visit their web site where you will find contact information for various consultants. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss and individual needs, the following services may be provided: audiology and hearing strategist support, assistive listening equipment, or special accommodations on exams and assignments. Most schools have a resource teacher who will be able to help to get these things into place and monitor how you are doing.
  • The Consultant for Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the Calgary Separate School District (Calgary Catholic) is Janet Bremner – e-mail address is janet.bremner@cssd.ab.ca or phone (403) 298-1620. The educational audiologist for the Calgary Separate School District, or Calgary Catholic is Sherri.Garries@calgaryhealthregion.ca.
  • If you are in high school, you and/or the audiologist and hearing strategist should set up a meeting each semester with your teachers to introduce them to you and your needs. Together, you can explain what strategies help you best in the classroom, such as being seated near the front, being in a carpeted classroom, having the door closed during class lectures, asking that only one person speak at a time, asking the teachers to repeat questions that other students ask before providing an answer. If you are using an FM system that will also be explained to them at this meeting. According to one young CHHA-Calgary member, “You need to take control over your learning and be a self advocate, because who else knows your hearing better than the person going through it. That is you.”
  • If you are considering college or university and will need special equipment or help, check out the Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities
  • The National Canadian Hard of Hearing Association offers a number of different scholarships for hard of hearing youth and also has a young adults group called “Young Adults Network“. For more information about the young adults network (YAN) and to receive their newsletter, contact Phillip Rogers at chhayarep@gmail.com.
  • The National Canadian Hard of Hearing Association also provides a number of publications and handbooks for you and post-secondary education students. See their youth publications and contact us for a copy or you can order here.
  • There is a disability services department at most post secondary institutions that can assist you in securing the funding and assistance that you may need. Set up an appointment with someone before the year begins and find out what technology support they might have for a person with hearing loss and what the qualifications for this support are. This might include having a personal note-taker (CART), speech recognition programs for a personal computer, or special accommodations for exams, assignments etc. And, as suggested above in the high school section, set up meetings with your professors or teachers so that they understand your needs. And don’t be afraid to remind them if they forget, for example, to repeat questions. As you become an adult, you will have to educate others about your hearing loss – that’s part of taking responsibility. “Ask for everything and anything that will help you excel in school,” says our young CHHA member.
  • University of Calgary Disability Resource Centre
  • Mount Royal College Accessibility Services
  • SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute for Technology) Accessibility Services.
  • Bow Valley College Accessibility Services


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