Nominated by: Stephanie Long of About Better Care Audiology
One of Colleen's earliest memories is touching the TV/stereo cabinet in order to feel the noise she couldn't hear. After receiving her first pair of hearing devices at the age of four, Colleen's life blossomed to include sounds she never knew existed. Determined to accomplish all of her goals, Colleen focused on her studies and earned several college degrees in various concentrations. "My hearing loss never stopped me from continuing my education," she said. Currently, Colleen works as a trainer/installer for the CaptionCall telephone for the hearing impaired.
Colleen is a dedicated member of her Appleton, WI community. She spends many hours assisting her local homeless shelter, soup kitchen and Lion's Club by doing everything from cooking to office work. She also spends time at the Appleton Area School District and was awarded the Volunteer Educator of the Year Award in 2007. "Without my hearing aids, I don't think I would be able to accomplish any of this," Colleen said.
Colleen is the mother of four children, three of which have moderate hearing loss and wear hearing devices. Like any parent, Colleen is always encouraging her children to pursue their interests and work hard, but she also has the task of inspiring her children to overcome their hearing loss and teaching them how to live happy and successful lives in spite of it.
Because of her perseverance, community activism and willingness to encourage others to address their hearing loss, Colleen is a HearStrong Champion. "I don't see my hearing loss as a disability—I think it's a gift," she said. "I have had many people come to me for advice about hearing loss and assistive devices, and I encourage them to get tested because it will change their life."
In November of 2014, Colleen Van Rooy was elected president of the Fox Valley HLAA chapter.
On May 31, 2014, Colleen participated in the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk for Hearing in Milwaukee. As a member of the HLAA-WI team alongside Dr. Stephanie Long (center in photo), Colleen helped raise over $20,000!
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