Tag Archives: Cochlear implants

Cochlear Hearing Health Fair

Hello All

Do you want to learn more about Cochlear Implants?   Houston is having a cochlear hearing health fair on January 29th.  I will be there to share with others the delights and joys of being a bilateral cochlear implant wearer.

  

“My hearing was

restored with a cochlear implant!”

Meet cochlear implant users

Attend education and information sessions

Meet with doctors and audiologists

Struggling with

your hearing aids?

Learn how cochlear implant users have

gained more than just their hearing!

Cochlear and the elliptical logo are trademarks of Cochlear Limited.

Call for more information or to register:

1-877-HEAR-THIS (432-7844)

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Facts about Deafness

Hello

These are some serious facts about deafness. It is downright depressing. We need to educate everyone that their is help for their hearing loss and deafness.  Wow, I guess I must be a success story because I have been gainfully employed my whole working life and I make a very respectful salary.

I have to admit it has not been easy, because the telephone has always been a challenge.  However, I prevailed.  I have a successful career in retail management and I am growing my professional speaking career.  As a result of my sudden deafness 5 years ago, I discovered my life’s purpose is to educate others that we can have fulfilling and rewarding lives in spite of our deafness.

I speak to groups, schools, and corporations about Positive Mental Attitude, Overcoming Adversity, Success, Change, and Hearing loss.  Go to www.susannamdussling.com to book me. 

FACTS ABOUT DEAFNESS

1. There are 31 million individuals with hearing loss in the United States.

 2. 4,000 children in the United States are born with hearing loss each year. 3. 90% of children with hearing loss are born to normal hearing parents.

4. Parents with normal hearing communicate through speaking, and most do not know how to use sign language to communicate with their deaf child.

5. Deaf education programs in the public schools usually teach some form of sign language in order to communicate with and educate the students. As a result, few deaf students become proficient in the English language.

6. An average reading level of 3rd grade is typical of graduates of deaf education programs in the U.S.

7. 45% of deaf individuals do not graduate from high school and only 5% graduate from college.

8. A small minority of deaf students complete deaf education programs prepared for independence in adulthood; 60% face either unemployment or severe unemployment.

 9. Deaf individuals earn only 50% to 70% of what their hearing peers earn, losing an average of $320,000 in earnings during their lifetime.

10. Over 50% of deaf adults earn less than $25,000 per year.

11. 42% of deaf adults between 18 to 44 years of age are unemployed.

12. Deafness is the most costly single disability in terms of special education costs, averaging $25,000 per year per child, compared to $5,100 for a normally hearing child. 13. The average lifetime cost to society of a child born deaf in terms of medical, educational, and productivity losses is $1,020,000

As always, Have a sunny day.  Susanna

Susanna’s new book:  www.sunnyandhercochlearimplants.com

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Cochlear Implant Travel Tips

Hello Everyone!!!

Hope everyone is in good spirits for the 2010 holiday season!

I work full time in Retail Management, thus this is our wild,crazy time at the store.  I am excited about Christmas so I can have a day off!!

I know many of you traveling to be with friends and family, have a great time and be safe.

I will be sharing some tips that Cochlear Americas published to make travel a little easier for those of us that have cochlear implants.

Travel Tips

The holiday season is here and for many of us that means trips and family get togethers. If you are traveling long distances you may want to plan ahead.

1. If you would like to find a clinic near your destination please review the list of worldwide Nucleus® clinics.

2. You might also ask your audiologist for a paper copy of your current MAP(s). Make sure you have a copy with you on your trip. If for some reason your implant needs to be programmed while you’re away, just visit, or call a Nucleus® clinic with your MAP copy in hand. It is also possible for your audiologist to send your programs electronically if it is needed.

And don’t forget to pack:

  • Nucleus ID card
  • Back-up sound processor with back up coil and cables
  • Accessories and accessory cables (i.e. personal audio cable and Hi-Fi cable)
  • Rechargeable and disposable batteries (p675 Zinc Air)
  • Battery charger (with international plug packs if you need them)
  • Remote Assistant – for our Nucleus 5 customers
  • Dry & Store and/or Dry-Aid Kit

Are you traveling by air? You should know that
1. It is okay to walk through the metal detectors and full body scanners with your sound processor on. You may want to turn off your telecoil to avoid any potential buzzing sounds as you walk through.

2. Your implant can not interfere with the plane’s navigation or communication systems. Although your implant transmits radio frequency (RF) signals, they are very short range and would be limited to a distance of less than five feet from the external coil. However, if you are a Nucleus 5 recipient, your remote assistant needs to be turned off.

3. If you wish to listen to the music and/or TV provided by the airline, use your TV/HiFi cable to connect. This cable directly connects directly to your sound processor and has surge protection built in.

Book Susanna to speak at your next event www.susannamdussling.com

As always, have a sunny day!
Susanna

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Tomball Potpourri

This is my first newspaper article about my new book.  I was so excited.  Anna-the reporter did a great job covering it and her photographer captured some great images!

archives|Tomball Magnolia Potpourri News

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Twice-deaf woman uses challenges to teach through childrens’ books

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Susanna Dussling, who got cochlear implants after experiencing sudden hearing loss, is now raising awareness for cochlear implants through a book series she’s written.

Find Sunny

The first book in Susanna Dussling’s ‘Sunny’ series is available for purchase online through her web site, www.susannamdussling.com, and through the publisher, at www.authorhouse.com/bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=71912

By ANNA SCHUMANN
Updated: 07.18.10

When her parents realized she was deaf at three-years-old, they had to decide whether Susanna Dussling would grow up hard-of-hearing in a hearing world, or deaf, in deaf culture.

Growing up in deaf culture would have meant not hearing, not speaking, and learning sign language. Growing up hard-of-hearing meant hearing aids, struggles with hearing and speaking, and being teased by classmates.

She has nothing against deaf culture, she said, but Dussling can’t imagine growing up without sound. She got hearing aids as a child and said all things considered, really had great hearing and speech.

She made great grades through elementary school and Klein Forest High School, and succeeded at what was then called Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.

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–>She went on to work in retail management, and though tasks such as answering the phone were difficult, she made it through and has been successful in the field ever since. She never disclosed her hearing loss, but she suspects now that people could tell.

In June 2005, when Dussling had just gotten new digital hearing aids, she realized she couldn’t hear with her left ear, her best ear. She just figured it was her new aid acting up, and made it through the rest of the day.

She came to her parents’ Tomball home very upset, tried on her old hearing aid, and still couldn’t hear. She realized she’d become deaf a second time after sudden hearing loss syndrome.

Many thoughts ran through her head: she’d been supporting herself for years and now she’d lose her job. She wouldn’t be able to support her expensive hobby, training Arabian racehorses. She wouldn’t be able to hear and now would have to learn sign language and other elements of deaf culture.

She went to the audiologist the next day to confirm the diagnosis. When she walked up to the receptionist to pay for her appointment, she got her first taste of what life was like without hearing. She couldn’t communicate and got by only by reading lips.

The next day, she returned to work depressed. Her speech got worse and her duties were cut back.

Though she’d explored the possibility cochlear implants before, she hadn’t needed them before her sudden hearing loss and hadn’t been eligible to get them.

Cochlear implants are electronic hearing devices implanted into one’s head to produce hearing sensations. One piece of the device is worn on the outside of one’s ear, like a hearing aid.

“With implants you lose all hearing in your ear,” she said. “I thought, ‘What do I care?’”

The implant in her left ear became active in February 2006, and at first she was disappointed in the results. She couldn’t hear sound right away and had to retrain her brain to adapt to this new object.

She also had extreme tinnitus, which she explained as a symphony going off in her head. The sound in her head was competing with the outside sound and it was frustrating.

She did hearing exercises, and in Summer 2006, one year after her loss, she began to really hear again. In December 2006, she got her other ear implanted, and she said the transition for her right ear was much easier than with her left ear. She could hear better than she ever could before.

Cochlear implants changed her life in more ways than just being able to hear better.

“I was in denial my whole life about my hearing loss,” she said. “I didn’t want to hang out with other hard-of-hearing people. I didn’t want to be seen as different.”

Once she got her implants though, she joined the Hearing Loss Association and served as the organization’s co-president in 2009.

She didn’t like the way cochlear implants and hearing loss were portrayed on television and in the hearing world, and she wanted to do something about it.

She is a member of Toastmasters and hopes to grow her speaking skills. She’s passionate about speaking and often speaks on goal-setting and overcoming diversity when she’s not working her full-time management job.

Another new passion of hers is writing.

In June she released the first book in a series about eight-year-old Sunny, a happy-go-lucky girl who gets cochlear implants. The book, Dussling said, is semi-biographical, but from a child’s perspective.

The book is available through her web site, www.susannamdussling.com, and through her publisher, www.authorhouse.com.

“My goal, Sunny’s hope, is to show that no matter what challenges one faces, they can still have a purposeful, meaningful life,” she said. “The ‘Sunny’ books are about hope, acceptance and positivity.”

Dussling hopes to place the books in hospitals, doctor’s offices and schools and hopes to open conversations between adults and children. She hopes to fight what she considers a hearing loss stigma.

Through Sunny, she hopes to draw attention to different aspects of hard-of-hearing culture, such as assistive devices including flashing lights on phones, doorbells and smoke alarms.

She continues to lead a normal life: horse racing, snow-skiing, and being outside. She will write more Sunny books in racing season’s downtime, she said.

“Everyone has challenges in life whether they have a disability or not,” she said. “I’m not going to let life be stopped just because I have cochlear implants.”

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Sunny and her Cochlear Implants

 

This is my first children’s book.  I just published it this summer at Author House. 

I am excited about this story.  It is a story based on my life as a deaf child, who was a lifetime hearing aid user, until I suffered sudden deafness in 2005.  Then, I became a successful bilateral cochlear implant wearer.

Sunny is about a happy-go-lucky deaf girl, who lives her life in a hearing world, with hearing aids.  Then her life changes when her aids no longer help, but there is a solution.

Sunny in an educational book about hope, acceptance, cochlear implants and a positve “can do” attitude. 

To learn more about Sunny go to www.sunnyandhercochlearimplants.com

Go to http://www.authorhouse.com/bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=71912  to order or contact me directly at susannadussling@yahoo.com to order in volume bulk.

I discoved my life’s purpose is to share my story with others to inspire hope that we all can overcome our personal setbacks in life with lots of hard work, perserverance and a positive attitude.

Not only do I help others with my book, I also speak to groups, associations, school groups, etc with my uplifting motivational messages.  Go to my speaker website at http://www.susannamdussling to book me for your next event.

In additon, please forward this blog entry to others who might enjoy this book or enjoy an inspirational presentation.

As Always, Have a Sunny Day.

Susanna

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The Nucleus 5

Hello Everyone!

Spring is here! Which means we are in contest season in Toastmasters.  I had participated in a contest and I had a blast.  I also had a chance to enjoy several contests as an audience member.  It is a real learning experience to hear great speakers and learn from them.

Well,  I presented at the CyFair SuperSpeakers this past Monday.  I gave a speech titled, “The NUCLEUS 5”  In this speech, I shared many features and benefits of the Nucleus 5 and I involved the audience.  It also had humor and was conversational.

I enjoyed presenting and I was delighted when I received many compliments afterwards on the presentation.  The icing on the cake was my “Best Speaker” award.

Cochlear Implants are the best thing that ever happened to me!  As always, Have a sunny day.  Susanna

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An Update: Long time, no write

Hello Everyone!!

I know it has been way too long since I’ve blogged.  6 months has gone by.  I have been as busy as ever.

Still working at Academy, I am thankful to be employed during these trying times.

On the other hand, I have been as busy as ever, when I am not at work.  I am still involved with the horses.  Megiddo is happy and well with LRPH in Buda, Texas.  I still visit him often.  He is paired up with a young lady and they have been doing great.  He is still winning at the young age of 23.  Jackie, is his youthful partner.  She is learning and they go to schooling shows together and win. 

Chance and I are still at Goslin-Nix’s.  It has been just a little over a year since I have moved Chance here.  We are learning so much together with Jennifer patiently teaching me  how to improve my riding.    We have been very successful in the ring already this past Xmas.  Chance and I were the Champions in the AOTR Half Hunter Division.  We went on to the HAAS Show, where we competed only in the Open division, competing against several heavy hitters, i.e Wendy Potts, we placed right behind the trainers in all the classes.  It was fun.  Thanks Jen!  All your hard work with us is paying off!!!!!!!

Now, we are prepping for the San Antonio Fiesta Show in May.  We are ready to claim our Championship in Half Arabian Hunters AOTR.  Then on to Region  9 Regionals!  Once again, ready to win!  I can’t wait.  I am looking forward to it.

I am still very involved in Toastmasters, now I am involved in 2 clubs instead of 1.  CyFair Super Speakers and Laffmasters.  I have been having fun honing my speaking skills, participating in contests and attending conferences.

In addition, I have a big suprise coming out this summer!  It is another project I have been working on.  You’re just gonna have to wait.  I will give you a hint:  It is related to cochlear implants.  Stay tuned!

As always, have a sunny day!

Susanna

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“The LifeSaver”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP8TTMI0OkU

Hello Everyone!

I can not believe Summer is almost over.  Where did the summer go? I guess that what happens when you keep yourself busy.

Well, the above is yet another video that I created for another video contest.  This contest was presented by ATIA – Assistive Technology Industry Association. www.ATIA.org   This organization is all about creating awareness of Assistive Devices for those that have physical disabilities.

Many people  are not aware that their are all kinds of awesome devices to make one’s life a little easier, no matter what kind of physical disability one has.

As most of you know, I was born deaf and now I wear cochlear implants.  I love using Assistive Listening Devices, they come in all shapes and forms.

In this video, I share my personal favorite Assistive Listening Device and how it helps me to compete at horse shows.

I hope you enjoy the video, even if you don’t have a physical disability.   I encourage you to watch it, because you will be learning some great information, that perhaps you could share with someone in your life!

Here’s a little more information about ATIA direct from their website.

About ATIA
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) is a not-for-profit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of technology-based assistive devices and/or services. ATIA represents the interests of its members to business, government, education, and the many agencies that serve people with disabilities. Its mission is to serve as the collective voice of the Assistive Technology industry so that the best products and services are delivered to people with disabilities. For more information about ATIA’s educational opportunities and conferences, visit www.atia.org.
Since 1999, ATIA has held an annual conference that provides a forum for education and communication to professional practitioners serving those with disabilities. In conjunction with its conferences, ATIA holds a Leadership Forum and Workshop on Accessibility which provides corporations, government agencies, and higher educational institutions with the information needed to expand their accessibility efforts. In addition to the Chicago conference, ATIA Orlando will be held January 27-30, 2010.
 
Goals of ATIA
ATIA’s goals include:
  • Establish and manage an annual Assistive Technology (AT) conference. The conference provides a forum for education and communication to professional practitioners serving those with disabilities (teachers, occupational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, physicians, psychologists, etc.), with the overarching goal of providing enhanced benefits and opportunities to people with disabilities. The ATIA Conference has been held every year since 1999 and is now established as the largest, broad-based AT conference in North America.  In 2009, ATIA added a second AT conference to be held in the Midwest in the fall, (October 28-31), at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. The ATIA 2009 Orlando Conference had over 2,300 attendees, more than 300 educational sessions and 125 exhibitors.
  • To “speak with a common voice” for the AT industry, and work closely with Electronics & Information Technology (EIT) companies and government, on matters of common interest such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and comparable continuing issues.
  • Support publications of itself and in conjunction with non-profit partners.
What is Assistive Technology?
·         Assistive Technology (or AT) is any item, piece of equipment, product or system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

As always, Have a sunny day!  Susanna

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The Cochlear TV Show

Hello Everyone!

Tiffanie, Teri, Karen & Sons, Susanna, and Paula

Tiffanie, Teri, Karen & Sons, Susanna, and Paula

 

A fun time was had by all last night.  It was the live taping of the Cochlear TV Show.  It was a blast.  The show was produced by Houston Media Source.  Tiffanie was the host.  She is a Cochlear Implant Wearer and Hearing Aid user.  She only had her cochlear implant for 2 months.  Since, she has worked in media productions for many years, she decided to use her experience in media and her personal hearing story to create this unique show.  The tv show consisted of footage of Tiffany  before, during and after surgery.  This video was interwoven with live questions from the panel  which consisted of Teri Wathen, Paula Holzband and I, who all have Cochlear Implants.  In addition, Karen L was the mom of a child, Seamus, who wears a CI.   Some of the questions related to surgery, Mappings, and our CI experiences. 

I am so thankful for my Toastmasters experience.  Why, because one of the things we do in Toastmasters is have weekly table topics.  Table topics is when they give you a question and you have to answer it immediately in 90 seconds.  Th goal is to be able to put together an organized and well constructed “off the cuff” speech.  I will never forget my early “Table Topics”  speeches, they were not great, but the more I particpated in them, the better I was at them.  This experience came in handy, because we were “live” it really felt good, when afterwards one of the members of the production stafff gave me a hug and said I was “articulate, well spoken and very clear!”   It made my day. 

 After it was done, we all commented that we had enjoyed the experience.  I thanked Tiffanie for letting me be a part of the show.  She had mentioned that last night’s show will be the first in a series about Cochlear Implants.  I am also looking forward to my copy of the show.  I have not seen the finished results, but I have been told that we all did great.

As Always, Have a sunny day! Susanna100_0210

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California Dreaming

Hello Everyone

Hollywood Walk
Hollywood Walk

The following flikr link is for a bunch of photos I took in California in March 2009.  There were several ladies, I took the trip with, we were all together in California to go sightseeing and most importantly attend the Cochlear Celebration.  They are a truly phenomal group of ladies.  Thanks ladies!  I had a great time getting to know y’all.  It really was neat to hear all their stories.  Even though we all have cochlear implants, everyone’s story was different.  I was truly amazed!

100_0174The ladies include Teri Wathen, Ester Kelly, Lydia Cruzen, Paula Holzband, Ann Boyd and I.
California surely is a beautiful place with lots of people and traffic! The weather was awesome!
Here’s the photo link
As Always, Have a sunny day.

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