Nominated by: Atlanta Hearing Associates in Atlanta, GA
From: Gray, GA
When Javarous was just three years old, his mother noticed the initial signs of hearing loss. While he utilized hearing devices and an FM system throughout elementary and middle school, Javarous went through most of his life without hearing aids that best fit his needs and often found communication difficult.
“I believe I am suited to overcome many obstacles, but when it comes to speaking and listening, it drained me of energy,” he says. “It drained others because they were always repeating over and over to help me understand.”
After attending many football tryouts without proper hearing aids, Javarous knew he needed to “step up his game.” A former teacher connected him with the team at Atlanta Hearing Associates, who fitted him with the technology he needs to truly be successful in football and other pursuits.
“A few days later, I went to a tryout for the first time [with hearing aids] and I didn’t miss out on communication from coaches and other players,” he remembers. “A few hours later, the coach offered me a contract to [play] for the Professional Indoor Football League Columbus Lions.”
Javarous feels that his relationships have become better since he received his hearing aids. He says that he can now find a connection to words as they’re used in context, and his vocabulary has increased as a result.
“If I don’t have the vocabulary, I won’t go far in the world,” he says. “[Hearing better] has helped me gain confidence in whatever I am striving to do.”
As a professional football player, Javarous has achieved a life-long goal.
In his free time, Javarous helps a local family learn sign language so they can communicate with their child, who has hearing loss and autism spectrum disorder. He has also volunteered with the Boy’s Club Organization.
To those who are living with hearing loss but have yet to address it, Javarous urges them to do so soon. He says that otherwise, “…You won’t be able to live your life to the fullest. There are countless resources and technology and it is growing, so take advantage of it.”
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