Hi I’m John, I’m 33 years old and I’m profoundly deaf in both ears, with a cochlear implant on my left ear.
As a teenager I found it really hard to participate in (or feel totally comfortable with) group situations.
A turning point for me was when I first went to the Australian Deaf Games and met all these other athletes who were also deaf/hard of hearing. I could finally enjoy myself without having to worry about my deafness being a point of difference.
So that’s when I decided that I wanted to share my experiences of growing up as a profoundly oral deaf person in a mainstream hearing world.
I could finally enjoy myself without having to worry about my deafness being a point of difference.
My reality is that hearing people don’t have much experience with or understand hearing loss. I’m passionate about advocating for teenagers with hearing loss so that they might navigate teenage years more smoothly than I did.
The main challenges with my deafness have been:
- My own self-esteem and confidence
- My own self-awareness and how deafness has influenced the way I think and behave
- Answering phone calls!
But that hasn’t stopped me from achieving some pretty cool goals. So far in life, I have:
- Become the first qualified Tennis Australia coach with a cochlear implant and have coaching tennis professionally for almost 10 years
- Represented Australia internationally in deaf tennis
- Graduated from Macquarie University with a double degree of Social Sciences and Law.
I really became aware of myself and life changed for the better when I was about 20 years of age and settling back into life in Australia after spending years moving all around the world. I started to feel more settled and felt more self assured. I’ve been told I’m inspirational but to me, I’m just me.
I’ve been told I’m inspirational but to me, I’m just me.
I’ve adapted to my world and I’m happy. The world is made up of different kinds of people. I ask hearing people to and recognise that deafness and hearing loss is a challenge but not an obstacle we can’t get past.
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