Saturday, October 25, 2008

A busy week ahead!

Sorry I haven't updated in entirely too long. It has just been so busy here! I'll try to keep it brief (BWAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!) and just sort of let you know what's been going on!
My newest ear is staying busy. I still don't get a lot of volume with it, but I am wearing it faithfully...if I have on one ear, I have on the other. I don't have much comprehension with it, but I have faith that that will come in time. I'm used to the two of them together now...I don't have the stress of having two sounds coming from two different areas anymore...they work together, which is awesome! I go for my next mapping on Nov. 5th, but don't expect a lot of huge changes, since things are sounding pretty good now :).
*I* am staying busy...I'm leaving Tuesday for Chicago, and have been trying frantically to get everything done before I leave! I finally bought me a winter coat last night. I have put it off for several years...I am not a coat person. I like sweaters and layers but can't stand being bundled in something heavy. However, after being told repeatedly that I would need a coat in Chicago, I found one at Wal-Mart that will do the trick! Thanks to all of you who supported Abbie to go to the ALDA convention. Not only is she going, but we are going to be roommates. There was actually a big mix-up about roommates, and I found out two weeks ago that I didn't even HAVE a roommate (we actually had to call to confirm that I still had a ROOM...a big mix-up!). I asked ALDA if they would put Abbie and me together if she was able to go, and it worked out perfectly. You KNOW there will be pictures! :)
I don't know if I have mentioned it on this blog, but I am the chairperson for the Local Host Committee for the 2009 HLAA convention here in Nashville. I really kinda consider myself just the co-chair, because I have some AWESOME help and they know more about this kind of thing than I do :). We have started having monthly meetings about the best way to get publicity, delegating who's doing what, etc., and our first one was this past week. We had a great turnout of volunteers and a really good brainstorming session. The national HLAA office is doing all the actual convention work...our job is to spread the word as much as we possibly can and roll out the welcome wagon when the convention gets here! :)
Might as well get some free publicity here! Here is the link to all things convention. If you want to present, information is there for presenters. Hotel and registration information is all there. Registration is cheapest before Dec. 31st. If you want more information than is shown here, please ask and I'll try to get it for you! :)
I am still taking my ASL classes on Tuesday nights. I really love them and have learned SO much! I will miss this week's class as I will be in Chicago by the time class starts, hopefully. The next class will be a Silent Dinner at a mall in Nashville and we will have an opportunity to get together with native ASL users and talk to them and learn from them! It will be on my hubby's birthday so I have asked him to come along with me...we'll go vote, have dinner, and then muddle through a night of signing together :)! (Hubby gets a new president for his birthday this year! What a treat!) ASL 1 will be over the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I do plan to take ASL 2 if it's on a night I can go...I am really enjoying learning it. I make a lot of mistakes, occasionally some really funny ones...but I'm getting there!
If you're a person with hearing loss between the ages of 18-35, please go check out HearingLossNation. This is a new website that has been started by HLAA geared specifically towards young adults! The site has been up and running for several weeks now and we are trying to build membership now. I am TECHNICALLY too old for the "Young Adult" program but they are pretending not to notice for now, since I'm enthusiastic about helping them get it started :). If you've never joined HLAA, no matter what your age, it's a great organization...check it out. However, since more hearing loss is more common and therefore more accepted among mature adults, teenagers and young adults often feel much more isolated and different from their hearing peers. HLAA is trying to establish a community for young adults to hang out and get to know each other better and share their stories and experiences. Check it out! :)
Also, I thought this was noteworthy: (copied from HLAA's E-News)

"HLAA Members Lynn Rousseau and Cindy Dyer will be honored with the Oticon's 2008 Focus on People Awards in Denver, October 24, 2008. The awards are given annually to people with hearing loss who are voted exceptional among their peers.

Lynn Rousseau, Gainsville, Florida, won first place in the advocacy category for her work with HLA-Florida.

Cindy Dyer, Alexandria, Virginia, won first place in the Adult Category for her achievements in the field of photography and graphic design. Cindy is the graphic designer/photographer for Hearing Loss Magazine."

I got to meet Lynn when I went to Florida for the Walk4Hearing...and I am a huge fan of Cindy's blog. She is the one that took Abbie's pictures for the Hearing Loss Magazine...and her work is phenomenal! Check out her blog and congratulate her...tell her I sent you!!

Fall has definitely arrived in Middle Tennessee...I have been going through winter hand-me-downs, washing, shopping for necessities. I have GOT to take the girls shoe shopping when I get back from Chicago...they need new Sunday shoes. I love this time of the, but not cold...soup and sweater weather! It IS hard to get out of bed in the mornings but I swapped out our regular sheets for the flannel ones today and, while that won't make getting up any easier, it will sure be cozy sleeping at night!
OK...that's all I can think of for now...headed to bed! Will try to post from Chicago...if I don't manage to pull that off I'll fill you in when I get back! :)
Love you all! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Can you help?

The end of this month I am planning to be in Chicago for the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) conference. I have wanted to check out ALDA for over a year now and had a rare opportunity given to me this year...I obtained a scholarship and my expenses are all paid. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't be able to go. I am so grateful for the opportunity...these conferences are a gold mine of information and support. The workshops are SO educational and informative and the support and encouragement of being around people who have stood in our shoes and understand where we're coming from is just out of this world.
I love these conventions, but they're pricey. I actually went to work at Wal-Mart last fall to fund this summer's HLAA convention without taking any money from my family's pockets. Nobody ever complained about the money I spent on it...but I just didn't want to take my family's vacation money or the like just for ME...I would have felt too selfish. I felt that every hour I spent at Wal-Mart was worth it because I knew that the convention would be such a huge payoff for me...the boost I get from being with people that "get it" is just unreal. When I found out that I had been chosen for one of ALDA's all-expenses-paid newcomer scholarships, I was ecstatic...what a great gift!!!
Abbie over at Chronicles of a Bionic Woman is trying to raise funds to go to this same conference. Abbie wants to go for many of the same reasons I be encouraged and to encourage...but Abbie goes a step farther...she shares what she learns with us back at home. I've said before that of the Jen/Abbie duo, Abbie is the brains of the operation...she is able to break down some of the complicated information presented at conventions and bring it home and share it with the rest of us. She has posted on various topics on her blog such as Bluetooth technology, phone compatibility ratings, Web CapTel, and various bits of ADA information that I just can't wrap my brain around. She doesn't just take in this information for herself...she is out to share what she knows and help make the world a little easier for the deaf/hard of hearing people around her. Her blog is not only a fun read, but a wealth of information. She contributes so much to the deaf/hard of hearing world around her...and now we have a chance to give back! She is trying to raise 1,000.00 to cover her expenses to the ALDA far she is over halfway there. Her goal is to have it all by October 13th...we have a few more days...we can do it!!