07 Sep National Hearing Aid Project Initiates New Beginning
It was a rare and life changing opportunity that sparked a new and bright beginning for a young aspiring writer.
After years of struggling to hear and find clarity, Brittany Schoen was given profound hope after becoming one of the first individuals to receive hearing aids through the National Hearing Aid Project.
Schoen was born and raised in West Babylon, New York, but the energetic 26-year-old currently resides in the fluorescent city of Tampa, Florida.
As a child, Schoen lost the majority of her hearing between the ages of two and three, but was fitted with her first pair of hearing aids at the age of five.
“While I was told I would be completely deaf by my 20’s,” Schoen said. “My hearing aids have helped maintain the small bit of hearing I have left.”
Schoen became involved with the Hearing Aid Project after hearing about the new program from her personal friend and audiologist.
Hearing Charities of America launched this project as a way to provide hearing aids to low-income individuals.
Schoen’s substantial hearing loss made her an ideal candidate for the program, and although her 8-year-old hearing aids work, the technology is vastly outdated.
“As someone who has profound hearing loss, I require considerable power to maintain sound,” Schoen mentioned. “Having new hearing aids will be a significant change.”
This new change will finally allow Schoen to pursue some of her dreams. Not only will she be able to listen and dance to her favorite music again, she plans to continue writing and working on her career.
“Getting new hearing aids is something I’ve agonized about for the last year or two,” Schoen admitted. “These hearing aids have allowed an expensive weight to be lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I can focus on my life and not my hearing.”
In addition to having excess stress removed from her life, Schoen believes her new hearing aids will help restore her identity and confidence.
“While I consider myself culturally Deaf, having hearing aids allows me to interact with individuals from both worlds,” Schoen added. “Hearing aids allow me to maintain a fluid identity.”
Thus far, the project has exceeded her expectations, and Schoen is excited to see how far-reaching and life changing this project can potentially be for others just like her.
“The ability to connect with others, whether they are Hard of Hearing or Deaf is essential to human kind,” Schoen concluded. “This (project) is just one way of making the connection more streamlined.”