Champion - Cathy Kooser

Social Worker • Innovator

From: Dayton, OH
Nominated by: Nicolette Raney


Accepting Hearing Loss

For many years, Cathy was not comfortable wearing hearing devices. Through her twenties and thirties she purchased multiple pairs, only to have them collect dust on her dresser. While she was aware of the emotional impact that hearing loss was having on her, she still chose not to address the issue right away. After receiving some short-term counseling, she achieved a greater understanding of the issue and began to feel comfortable wearing her hearing devices. Today, her hearing continues to decline, but she maintains a positive attitude and is even actively seeking cochlear implants.


Affects of Hearing Loss

Cathy understands on a deep level how seriously hearing loss can damage your relationships. "…having better hearing assists us to stay connected, in relationships with others and even in experiencing love!" She also realizes that hearing loss can also leave you feeling drained after social encounters. "Hearing better will also reduce fatigue, which has been a problem for me as active listening is exhausting."


Helping Teach Others

After her counseling, Cathy decided to go back to school and earned a master's degree in social work. With her degree, she began a program called The Kooser Program: The Hidden Impact of Hearing Loss. In this program, she teaches others about her own personal struggle with hearing impairment and encourages them to seek help. Thousands of people have utilized her program, and the states of Ohio and Michigan even use it to help those with hearing loss understand the importance of healthy hearing.


Why Cathy is a HearStrong Champion

Because of her hard work to overcome her fear, Cathy found her life's calling. The Kooser Program has touched thousands of people and has likely convinced many of them to seek the help of an audiologist. Cathy truly loves helping others and gets a rush out doing so, "I feel strongly that [the program] is a major part of my life's purpose and I love teaching it!"


DID YOU KNOW?

Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.

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