Hearing Loss Changemaker Joanna Białasz

Joanna Białasz Student Poland

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“My name is Joanna Białasz and I come from Poland. I am 17 years old and I study journalism at a local public high school.”

“I was diagnosed with profound bilateral deafness just before my second birthday. My parents soon agreed to the doctors’ proposal to a cochlear implant in the left ear. Thanks to this decision, I was opened up to the world of sounds.”

“In kindergarten I met several children with hearing impairments. Our parents founded an association of children with hearing impairment. I started rehabilitation (classes with a pedagogue, speech therapist, and psychologist) and learned to communicate with words. Then, in a private, primary school, taking into account my needs, classes were organized to improve reading and writing, speech therapy and psychology classes, as well as learning sign language. I took contemporary dance classes and learned to play the piano, which strengthened my auditory training and verbal memory. With great passion I started learning foreign languages: English and French. Thanks to various classes at school, as well as workshops and rehabilitation sessions, I am a typical teenager who enjoys life, loves theater, music, drawing and swimming. ”

“I don’t like it when people talk about me (us) – “disabled”. I prefer “person with a disability”, a cochlear implant user. Thanks to the processor and the kindness of other people, as well as my perseverance and family support, I know that nothing is impossible for me. I have been exploring the secrets of the Japanese language for over a year. It gives me great pleasure. I am fascinated by the culture of Japan and I dream of traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun.”

“My advice is: “If you have barriers, don’t cry, just dream. And make your dreams come true.”