Karen Putz

Karen Putz

Blogger • Water Skier

You’re not alone! The hardest thing to do sometimes is to reach out for assistance and information, but by getting support on the journey, you can go so much further than if you attempted it alone. There are so many wonderful resources, groups, organizations, professionals, deaf and hard-of-hearing people to tap into. Technology today has made it so much easier to navigate life as a deaf/hard-of-hearing person.

Denial of Hearing Loss

“I was born with normal hearing and became hard of hearing in elementary school,” said Karen. “I received my first hearing aid when I was nine and I disliked it immensely. I hid it from others and never wore it during the summer. I struggled to fit in with others and was very uncomfortable dealing with my hearing loss.”

Acceptance of Hearing Loss

“When I was 19, I became deaf from a fall while barefoot water skiing,” said Karen. “I realized I could no longer hear anything without hearing aids. I struggled in my college classes and with every day conversation. One morning, I had an epiphany—I could choose one of two things: I could continue to mourn and battle this change, or I could accept it. I had a complete change of attitude—I embraced life as a deaf person and learned American Sign Language. The transformation helped me to embrace my hearing aids as well, and now I wear them with brightly colored glitter ear molds.”

Why Karen is a HearStrong Champion

Because of her tireless efforts to spread hearing health awareness, advocate for those with hearing loss and educate others through her writing and presentations, Karen is a wonderful example of what it means to be a HearStrong Champion.

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