Ashlee Rose:Tell us about yourself
Michael: For work, I am a substitute teacher for middle school and high school. I have a bachelor’s
degree in Mathematics Education with a minor in Art Studios from Humboldt State University. I
am currently in graduate school taking online classes through Black Hills State University. I am
working on getting a Master Science of Secondary Education in Mathematics. I plan to teach
Mathematics at either middle school or high school.
For fun, I live in the beautiful countryside. I am a lover of the great outdoors. Outdoors is my
best friend. I love to go hiking, fishing, backpacking, kayaking, camping, golfing, to the gym,
hunting, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Ashlee Rose:How old were you when you were diagnosed with a hearing loss?
Michael: I was a premature baby by two months early. I was around two years old when I was diagnosed
as profoundly deaf.
Ashlee Rose: What approach did your parents take?
Michael :Since I am the only deaf adult in my family, my parents did not have the resources like in
today’s modern world on what to except having a deaf child. Resources like social media,
technology, or programs were not available for my parents and me. My parents did their best
to gather information and found this "special" program. They enrolled me in a “special”
program where I could interact with disabled people. The "special" program was from pre-
kindergarten to second grade. After the “special” program, my parents and I moved to a
different city. They enrolled me in public school.
Ashlee Rose:How was your schooling experience with a hearing loss?
Michael:I attended public school, community college, and university. The schooling experience was
somewhat challenging. Some days were good, or some days were terrible. But I always
managed to overcome the barriers every day. I always reminded myself to take one step at a
time. I had a few speech-language pathologists. They helped with my homework and worked on
my speech discrimination. I had to work extra harder during my years of schooling. For
example, a professor was lecturing the class while I was looking at the back of the head. There
was some missing information that I did not gather. I would go to the library to figure out what
I missed or asked a friend that was in my class to help me out. I had some accommodations
when I was in college. I had notetakers, video transcripts typed, and double-time when I was
taking tests. The accommodations were a little helpful. It was mentally and physically
exhausting. I embraced the hardship daily.
Ashlee Rose: Since you are an adult, how has the job world been treating you? Did you face any difficulties or a moment to advocate for yourself?
Michael: I worked in the construction industry for ten years. I was an estimator. It was a job where I
spent a lot of time reading the blueprints, using my knowledge on mathematical performances,
and emailing with the clients. It was the only job that I can think of without using a telephone
for communication. Emailing was an effective way of communication. It was complicated for
me to stay on task and to keep up with others in a fast pace. Being an estimator required
submitting the proposals with the right number without checking your work twice before the
deadline. There were always pressure and high stress being an estimator. I just had to take one
step at a time and adapt to the difficulties.
Ashlee Rose: I see that you love spending a lot of time outdoors hiking and such, do you wear your hearingaids when hiking, swimming, out in the snow? Anything particular?
Michael: I carefully watch sweat when I am hiking or running. When I am running, I usually wear my
headband to avoid sweat. I take my hearing aids out when I am swimming or playing in the
snow, and I do not like that. Whether I wear or do not wear hearing aids, I get anxiety when
approaching to new people or worry about others negatively judging me.
Ashlee Rose: What made you look into a Cochlear Implant? What brand did you decide on?
Michael: I wore my bilateral hearing aids from age two to age thirty-seven. After college, I felt like I
needed to do something with my hearing. I was getting a lot of miscommunication. I was not
getting everything that I should be getting out of everything. I found the right time and opted to
get a Cochlear Implant in September of 2018. I decided to go with Advanced Bionics. I have
Naida CI Q90 Sound Processor.
Ashlee Rose: How is the process with the Cochlear Implant? Any regrets? Do you have anything that you like and do not like about Cochlear Implant?
Michael: The process with the Cochlear Implant is prolonged. Anyone who gets a Cochlear Implant is
different. I am wearing one Cochlear Implant with no other hearing aid. I hear more sounds that
I have never actually heard before but not entirely clear yet. It sounds like a robot voice or duck
quacking, and eventually, it will evolve into “normal” speech. It is a lot of work for the brain to
“retrain” new sounds. I do not have any regrets. I know I made the right decision and what to
expected after getting my Cochlear Implant. I did my research by interviewing different doctors
and audiologists. I found the secure connection with my audiologist and doctor knowing that
we will work hard together for my hearing to be successful. Advanced Bionics offers some great
technology accessories. I have Roger Select, and it is convenient. I can listen to my music
through Bluetooth using Roger Select from any devices such as smartphones, laptops, iPads, or
devices that are compatible with Bluetooth. With the excellent use of Roger Select, it would be
optimistic for my teaching.
Ashlee Rose: Do you have any advice for the parents of deaf/hard of hearing children and deaf/hard of
Michael:My advice is PATIENCE!!! We are human beings. Never give up on them. Do some research to
find essential information on what is best for you and others. You will be surprised by the
outcome from them to be successful when you give all your full support to them. Always
remind them to be loved.
Quote- "Deaf people can do anything hearing people can, except hear"-Dr. King Jordan
Hearing Impaired single mother and teacher aide at a hearing impaired oral preschool program. An author of "Turn The Lights On, I Cant Hear You".