“My mom is my biggest role model because ever since a young age she taught me to be the best version of myself and to never feel down when it comes to my hearing loss; she ensured I understand and embraced the fact that hearing loss is part of who I am.”
Discovering His Hearing Loss
Alex was born with bilateral moderate-severe hearing loss. As an infant Alex failed his newborn hearing screening and was referred to an ENT and audiologist who diagnosed him with hearing loss. Alex’s parents advocated for him and ensured he was fit with hearing aids by time he was 6 months old. As a result, Alex cannot remember a time when he didn’t wear hearing aids.
The Importance of Better Hearing
“My hearing aids are part of me; they go on as soon as I wake up. Without them, I would not be able to connect with the world around me.”
Alex has been wearing hearing aids for almost his entire life and they have become a part of him. However, Alex doesn’t let this define who is nor does he let his hearing loss impact his life. Although Alex has not experienced any negative problems because of his hearing loss, he says his communication skills and ability to hear have helped him excel in his academics and vocational careers. He also imagines that without his hearing aids, he would be at a loss for connecting with those around him.
Why Alex is a HearStrong Champion
Alex is a HearStrong Champion because he is an advocate for himself in the public school system and he is a leader amongst his peers. Alex has made hearing loss an approachable topic and encourages others to ask about his hearing loss and hearing aids so everyone can feel educated rather than view it as a disability. Alex believes hearing and comprehension are vital pieces of communication between people. Just as people wear glasses to help them see, Alex wears hearing aids to help him hear.
“I believe it is important for individuals to seek treatment for their hearing loss because there is nothing better than being able to hear and understand your peers, family, and the world around you.”
Alex works diligently as an advocate for those with hearing loss so people can understand the importance of hearing and to normalize hearing aids. In addition, Alex has been an active volunteer at Lexington Hearing & Speech Center for almost 10 years. He has also been advocating for access to early intervention for infants and children with hearing loss and speech disabilities for the past three years, meeting with Kentucky legislators and showing them the impact of early intervention.