Thursday, 1 June 2017

Hear By the Sea

Five days ago we wrapped up CHHA's 35th Anniversary in Sidney, BC, a mere 15 minute drive away from our home. With approximately 130 participants, it was a great opportunity to network, meet new (and old!) friends, and listen to a presentation with minimal difficulty. Captioning and hearing loops were provided for all sessions!
I did not see whales... but thankfully we see them for free on our many ferry rides!
Many of you know that I also met my husband at the very first Canadian Hard of Hearing Association's (CHHA) National Conference that I attended in 2008. That conference was also in partnership with the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People's Congress. In a way, CHHA has become a part of our lives.

A number of the older "folks" are my mentors and friends. I was absolutely thrilled to see two of CHHA's founding members, Dr. Marilyn Dahl and Dr. Charles Laszlo. Both are in their 80s and looking fabulous. They are part of my inspiration to pursue advanced education a.k.a. my Masters' Degree. 

Another surprise was seeing Dacy Zacharias from Cochlear. When I first met her, I was a quiet 22 year old. Over the span of nearly 10 years, she has personally seen me grow up for most of my adult years. I was over the moon to introduce my daughters to her!
Dacy with my girls!
The Young Adults Network, as usual had a great presence at the conference. It is always great to meet new faces and learn more about their backgrounds. Though it made me realize that staying up until 3am didn't appeal to me anymore... While everyone was wide awake at that hour, I was fast asleep in my cosy bed! #Adulting
The 2017 Young Adults Group! Let's keep growing and working together :)
My husband Curtis also had the rare opportunity to take a photo with former hard of hearing peers. It's amazing that even after 17 years, they reconnected with no difficulty!

Socialization aside (which is probably the #1 reason why I enjoy these conferences...), I actually did attend a few sessions. Two of them in particular stood out to me as a relatively young person. Michael Currie and Dean Olson's presentation on Succeeding in the Workplace got me thinking about how I can Network more effectively, even though I'm currently a stay at home parent (not that easy for me to just get out and meet new people!). Elissa Robb and Jo DeLuzio's presentation on new frontiers in audiology made me realize how much audiologists really do care about our hearing health - they're not there to just test your hearing, but also to make sure you get the best hearing care available

I loved Gael Hannan's (read: author of The Way I Hear It) performance with Patrick Godfrey I'm Hearing as Hard as I Can! She pretty much covered hearing loss from the time of finding out one receives a hearing aid(s) to living life in general. I cried (not joking!). I laughed. And, I even got to congratulate her Hearing Husband Doug when she mentioned their 26th Wedding Anniversary. 

For us, CHHA means a place to reconnect with others in the same boat as us. A place to learn about new technology to help us hear better in our day to day life. In essence, it is all about improving our hearing health. Get involved with CHHA if you want the same for others living with hearing loss!

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