Champion - Dan Carione

Father • Deputy Inspector at NYPD

From: Massapequa, New York

Experiencing Hearing Loss

A uniformed member of the New York Police Department, Dan lost his hearing as a result of a line of duty shooting in his late twenties. After the incident, he tried to hide his hearing loss for 12 years and encountered many struggles along the way. Dan recalls what life was like before he addressed his hearing loss.

"I lived a lie," Dan says. "Each and every day I lost a small part of my being. Lost conversations and sounds disconnected me from the world… I became the master of generic replies when I could not understand what was being said. If I had to boil it down to a few words, I would choose: alone, sad, angry, and depressed."

Opening up New Doors

When Dan was promoted to a new position in the NYPD, he realized he could no longer deny his hearing loss. He made the decision to get a hearing aid, and began to reconnect to the sounds of his world and the people he loves.

However, his struggle didn't end there. After 22 years of loyal service, he was forced off the NYPD due to a hearing aid ban. Being a police officer was part of his identity and the only profession he had ever known. With the help of great lawyers from the ADA, Dan fought the ban, and is back to work at the job he loves. What's more, is now the NYPD has hired it's second police officer with hearing aids. Dan has opened up new doors for those with hearing loss who may want to pursue a career with the NYPD.

His own experience with hearing aids has been incredible.

"My three children and beautiful wife have never sounded so wonderful!" says Dan. "The subtle moments, the side bar jokes, the momentary vocalizations like, 'Love ya dad' or 'Can't wait to get out tonight for our date night, Dan' and the hundreds of small moments which brighten our days and bond our relationships are no longer lost. I can only liken it to being colorblind, and one day waking up to see in full HD color!"

Why Dan is a HearStrong Champion

Dan is a HearStrong Champion because his great accomplishments and advocacy have introduced the possibility of a new future for those with hearing loss. He is passionate, determined, and never gives up.

"As a hearing disabilities advocate, I am living the change I want to see," says Dan. "I will not stop advocating for the hearing disabled until the negative stigmas and discrimination ends, and until the dignity we are due is delivered to us."

When asked why he believes it's important for individuals to seek treatment for hearing loss, Dan says,

"To borrow a quote from the most unlikely of places, Ferris Bueller; 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.'"

Some of Dan's involvement includes:

  • HLAA Walk4Hearing in New York City
  • Disability Rights Advocates in San Francisco
  • The Center for Hearing and Communication in New York
  • HLAA convention in Washington DC
  • The Beltone national meeting in Dallas where he was awarded the first Beltone Safe & Sound Award for hearing health advocacy
  • In October 2017, he will be speaking at both the Disability Rights Advocates Inaugural New York Gala at the NYC Museum of Modern Art, and at the HLAA NYC chapter meeting.
  • He's given several interviews with NPR news radio, WCBS New York news radio (where he was named one of the 2017 (50) people to know), New York Times, WPIX New York channel 11 news, Brooklyn News Cable, the Brooklyn Courier newspaper, and USA today magazine.

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