Aïda Regel Poulsen Educational audiologist, hearing consultant, volunteer Denmark
“I lost some of my hearing at age 26 after giving birth to my daughter by cesarean section, which involved anesthetics. A few months later, in 1985, I was fitted with hearing aids. Then in 1987, I lost further hearing due to another round of anesthetics during the cesarean birth of my son.
“I decided to become an educational audiologist in 1992, teaching hard of hearing and deaf pupils. From my students, I learned how to make the most of my hearing aids, including using the telecoil and loop to stream sounds directly into my ears.
“In many of my jobs as a hearing consultant for school children with hearing loss, I found that many parents and teachers found it difficult to understand the child and their experiences. To help, I was able to offer resources and information about audiology treatments and assistive listening systems along with appropriate pedagogical methods.
“I have often realized how what happened to me as a young mother became my force and my strength in my work.
“In 2007, I became a volunteer for the Danish Association of the Hard of Hearing, and in 2015, I became involved in the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People in the position of General Secretary. Among many activities, I became involved with the Live Text Access (LTA) project. In particular, I’ve contributed with online materials for speech-to-text interpreters teaching ‘Understanding Accessibility.’
“I also became the lead subject for a short documentary, ‘Hear There & Everywhere.’ It’s about living with hearing loss and was released on World Hearing Day 2022.
“This film, available on YouTube, is intended for LTA students, as well as people with hearing loss and their family members, friends, colleagues, and audiologists. It explains what it means to a hard of hearing person to ask for repetition, to give an incorrect answer to a misunderstood question, and to experience travel in a noisy station.
“At the same time, the film shows that it is possible to live a full and rich life as a hard of hearing person, just like anyone else.”
Aïda is a Changemaker who supports the call in the World Report on Hearing for hearing care for all, now. Help change the world for those with hearing loss by sharing her story.