From: Smithtown, NY
Nominated by: Hearing Aid Center of Forest Hills in Forest Hills, NY
“I was born with a bilateral hearing loss,” said Scott. “I was never diagnosed with the hearing loss until I was in the 3rd grade. A teacher suggested that I was hard of hearing during a parent/teacher conference. My parents thought my twin brother and I used a special language to communicate. The reality was, we were speaking how we thought everybody else spoke to one another.”
Scott’s parents had him fitted with his first pair of hearing devices when he was in the third grade.
“I was so embarrassed that I needed a device to help me function daily. I broke them on purpose. When I returned home from school, I told my parents the hearing aids broke while I was playing on the playground. I was very introverted. I didn’t want to be a leader or inspire others to reach for their goals.”
It wasn’t until high school that Scott would learn to appreciate the value that hearing better could bring to his life.
“In high school I was encouraged by a teacher to run for a leadership position in a club. I told my teacher I did not want to run for the position due to my hearing loss. I felt I would not be a good leader and was not capable of completing the tasks required/assigned to someone in such a leadership position. She felt strongly otherwise and convinced me to run for the position. I ran and was elected by my peers into the role of treasurer for my club. I took my job very seriously. After the year ended, the only thing I kept thinking was, ‘If I could accomplish all of this without hearing assisted devices, just think of what I can accomplish with the hearing assisted devices.’”
Today, as a successful high school business teacher, husband, father, and hearing device user, Scott is serving as an inspiration in his own right.
“I am confident that without the hearing aids, I would not have become a teacher or become a leader in the lodging industry. I do not feel I would have the ability to collaborate with co-workers, work as an effective team, or contribute to my fullest potential.”
While empowering others with hearing loss is important to Scott, there is one person in particular he is interested in inspiring—his young daughter.
“I feel (overcoming my hearing loss) would show my daughter, who has a bilateral hearing loss, that one day she too can be a leader and a positive role model for others. She should never hold herself back due to her (hearing loss) like I once did.”
Throughout his collegiate and professional life, Scott has held many key positions, including:
“When it comes to hearing loss, I am a true advocate for spreading awareness. I participate in many events with The Cleary School for the Deaf and the Hearing Loss Association of America. The primary goal of these events is to educate all individuals about hearing loss (including myself). Even though I knew I had a hearing loss, I cannot believe I waited so long to finally get help. Nobody else should ever feel the way I did.”
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