From an interview with Canadian Hard of Hearing BC Youth Peer Support. Click here to see original interview.
How did you come up with the idea to create Acoustic Wear?
Yat: One day, I googled hearing disability youth one day, stumbled across the CHHA-BC Youth Peer Support Program, met Bowen & Joy, and they invited me to a public forum on hearing loss and aging in June 2018. At the time, I had little to no clue what the forum was about because up until early 2018, I did not have any hard of hearing friends or acquaintances alike. It’s been a very interesting upbringing for me. I was never adverse to making friends with anyone in the HOH community but I hadn’t met any!
At this forum, the topic of bridging the gap between youth and hearing health struck me. I felt that during the discussions, there weren’t much effort made to promote the importance of getting a regular hearing test let alone teaching the community an effective way to communicate to people with a hearing loss. This led me to ask the questions:
What is being done in the community to create public awareness about hearing health? We see the focus placed on mental health with local events like Bell let’s talk.. what about hearing health? It’s obvious from the studies that hearing loss can lead to isolation, exclusion and mortality.
The response was that our community is not big enough to compete with corporate sponsored events like Bell Let’s Talk to raise awareness for mental health. This hit me hard because I also think hearing health is just as important, especially the fact that it has mental health ramifications if not treated properly.
During the event, I spoke with Bowen about the need to create a platform for the hard of hearing community to effectively communicate in a fun and relaxed way that they have a hearing loss and they’re proud of it. Hence, Acoustic Wear was born.