Last week I went to my first HLAA Convention. I was so glad to finally meet many of you that read my blog. I was also glad to meet new friends as well as some young adults. Then finally I met my friend from the UK Katie. This was her first time in America!
When my friend and I first go to Washington D.C. we decided to tour the first day to get it out of the way. I saw the Capital and we even went to a few museums. Unfortunately my friend and I didn't get to see the White House it was just way to much walking. It was a great experience. I noticed alot of differences from NEW YORK to D.C.
1- Its very clean in D.C. No LITER ANYWHERE!!!!!! In NY there liter everywhere you go.
2- Security is crazy!!! Even for the smallest museum her and I went to you had to be padded down and go through a detector. They didn't believe I had an implant because I didn't want to go through the detector. I had to show proof of course. They are very strict. Even to go to a CAFETERIA to eat the security pats you down like crazy.
3- METRO train is very confusing at first because its not like NYC how everything is close in DC everything is in DISTANCE so looking at this tiny map we had in our hands we thought it was like three blocks away ended up being 8 blocks away.
4- NO CAPTIONS on the train in NY we have CAPTIONS ON THE TRAIN. ( I couldn't figure out what the speaker was saying.) If you look outside every stop said's where you are.
5- NO SIGNS! Signs are very difficult to find in D.C.
Then my friend I finally went back to the hotel to go to some workshops. I learned alot from them. I was happy I was surrounded by people just like me everywhere I went. I even saw people using ASL. I wasn't expecting ASL at all. It was awesome. I didn't have to explain that I was deaf and how I wear a Cochlear Implant in order to HEAR. All of them just understood.
The Exhibit Hall was nice many different booths such as : Cochlear, Ab
( Advanced Bionic), Harris Communications, ZVRS, Captioning, and so much more. Especially this one section called " The Hearing Aid Museum." I saw hearing aids from 1930's. Pretty interesting.
Finally I got to meet my NEW FRIENDS from COCHLEAR. I look forward to working with all of you and starting a young adult group as soon as possible. I will definitely be at the COCHLEAR 2013 CONVENTION!
About the Workshops: I wanted to share with you one of the many things I learned. The workshop was called " Mapping." I learned how every Implant has different channels to control frequency's ex: med-high. Base on what you hear your audiologist can control it. I also learned how to talk to your audiologist by using different terms to help your audiologist have a better understanding of what your hearing and what bothers you.
For example: " In the restaurant hearing speech very well but dishes are clanking really hard." Another example is " I couldn't hear what the waiter/waitress was saying to me."
During the workshops, for the first time in my life I was taking notes just like everyone else. I never done that before. When I'm in a classroom setting usually someone else is taking notes for me. I was so happy I was able to do this. I was able to hear CRYSTAL CLEAR what the speaker was saying because she had a microphone. I picked up most of the words. I realized I just wrote 4 pages of notes without even looking up ( maybe twice I looked up.) How cool is that? I never done that before!!!!It was a great experience. I was so happy and proud that I was able to do this. CART was also provided.
I had to look at the CART because I thought the audiologist who was talking said
" CHRISTMAS" but it didn't make sense to me then I saw what screen said "CRISPNESS." Thing like this you have to tell your audiologist so they can make a change for you.
ALSO- KEEP TRACK keep a pad/pen with you at all times. Write down things you are experiencing, what your hearing, even if a question comes to mind.
Then I went to one of my favorite places Gallaudet University which is a deaf college in D.C. About 5 years ago I toured this college and was the best experience of my life. I couldn't believe the change when I got there were more buildings. They are renovating. While I was there I saw a beautiful RAINBOW walking near the BISON field. What a beautiful sight. No one was around because the time we got there it was 5pm everything was closed.
I am thinking of going to Gallaudet as a student sometime in 2012. I feel that this is where I belong. People will get me there and people who are deaf will be there and this will improve my signing. Being in NY its not so easy finding deaf people or people with implants. It's time for a new change. I need to do this for myself. I already applied. To be continued...
Once again I had the best experience at my first HLAA Convention!
Have a wonderful Summer!