From: San Anselmo, CA
Nominated by: Jessie Johnson of Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California
"At age 3, I had no language and was babbling. When they put a hearing aid on me, I loved it. However, when they took it away, I cried."
At the age of 4 in the 1950s, Barbara’s mother and family friend started an oral program for the deaf in Orlando, FL, at Forrest Park School.
"Even though I was the only deaf person in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, my hearing aid helped me to hear even though I had a severe to profound hearing loss."
Barbara recalls the difficulties of hearing loss and how a hearing aid has immensely benefited her life.
"I learned to talk, speak, and read. Got into choir, girl scouts, horseback riding, and ballet. While I attended college, I got involved in my sorority. Without my hearing aid, I wouldn’t be able to hear anything."
Barbara has had many situations where her life has been positively impacted by hearing aids. However, Barbara says, "Getting a cochlear implant was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have worn hearing aids since the age of 3, but I finally got a cochlear implant at the age of 54 after not benefitting much from a behind-the-ear hearing aid. I heard wonderful stories about how cochlear implants can help one hear better."
"I have high hopes that there will be better devices for us in the future that will help us hear and listen better."
Barbara Bell, now employed as a clinical social worker, has spent more than 35 years working personally and professionally in the field of deafness.
She actively pursues innovative ways in helping those with hearing loss, providing psychotherapy for the deaf to adults, teens, and youths within the San Francisco area.
In her spare time, Barbara hosts a cochlear implant support group for those who are interested in a cochlear implant or whose family members are affected by hearing loss.
She continues to support and be active in the hearing impaired community.
Join our champions and take control of your hearing health! Click here to find your local hearing healthcare provider.
Receive word of new champions, special events, and more!
Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.
A HearStrong Champion is an individual who refuses to let their hearing loss stand in the way of living a successful, well-rounded life. If this sounds like you or someone you know nominate them today!
The HearStrong Foundation depends on donations large and small from people like you who are passionate about hearing loss and the individuals affected by it.
Are you a HearStrong Champion who is passionate about educating others about the importance of taking control of their hearing health?
Click here to access exclusive tools to support your community outreach efforts.