I want to send a message to all the other deaf/hard of hearing people out there that nothing is impossible. Just because you are deaf doesn’t mean you can’t achieve goals and even your dreams. Don’t let other people define you as a person. You have to want to be better and show them that just because you have a ‘disability’ doesn’t mean you can’t stand out and be great!
Discovering Hearing Loss
Blane got his first pair of hearing aids at the age of four when he entered foster care.
“I never really knew I was deaf until I got hearing aids,” he said. “I never realized how high I had to turn up the TV or how many times I had someone repeat something to me.”
Blane’s parents, who adopted him at the age of six, say that Blane was born with hearing loss and his hearing aids have been a great asset to him. This became very clear when Blane was in a car accident in 2018 and damaged his hearing aids.
“He had to go a few weeks without his hearing aids while he was waiting for an appointment,” says his mom, Sara. “When he finally got them he said, ‘Oh gosh, it feels great to hear again. It was so hard reading lips for so many weeks!’ He has no problem wearing his hearing aids and is grateful to hear. He does so much better in school, work, church, and activities because he can hear so much better with his hearing aids!”
The Importance of Advocacy
Blane is proud of his hearing aids and he never shies away from an opportunity to teach someone more about them.
“When people ask me about my hearing aids, I just tell them, ‘I am deaf and these are what help me hear better,’” said Blane. “There have been times when teachers or coaches didn’t know about my hearing aids and they would get aggravated thinking that I wasn’t listening to them or paying attention. If that happens, I just speak up and advocate for myself and tell them what my situation is or I ask them to repeat their instructions.”
Why Blane is a HearStrong Champion
Blane is a HearStrong Champion because he knows how important it is to advocate for those with hearing loss and he never gives up! A student and a three sport athlete, Blane is a great role model for others.