This issue’s interview is with Fay Roseman, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Barry University.
Fay considers herself a New Yorker. However, she was born in Miami, FL, and returned to Florida from New York in 1990 where she remains. Fay began to notice a very slight hearing loss in her mid 20s, but it was so mild that it was not something that she felt required further treatment at the time. In fact, the ENT was surprised that she even noticed it. She related to the ENT that she noticed it when she was on vacation with her daughter and another friend. Her friend was sitting across the room, and she was holding her daughter on her shoulder when her friend asked, “Do you hear her? She’s talking to you.” That was the beginning of her journey.
Fay was diagnosed with a bilateral conductive hearing loss in the early 1990s. She began wearing hearing aids and has been fortunate that they work well for her. Without them, she hears nothing. Fay recently learned that she now has a mixed hearing loss. Fay told me that she and her husband were married 27 years ago, after not seeing each other for about 15 years prior. After earning her Ph.D. and serving as an adjunct faculty member and visiting professor for two years at Barry University, she became a full-time faculty member. She then spent about ten years preparing undergraduate students to become K–12 educators. For the last 9 years, Fay has been working with masters and doctoral level students earning their degrees in counseling.
KK: What book or books do you recommend others to read?
FR: I am currently recommending Atomic Habits by James Clear. I’ve been reading books mostly about making the online learning environment a positive experience for my students, since Covid began.
KK: You simply cannot live without…..
FR: Disney and sushi, not necessarily in that order.
KK: Your little known talent is:
FR: I’m a research junkie. I love to find information on all types of random things.
KK: Hardest thing you’ve done is:
FR: Earning my Ph.D. while parenting two young children.
KK: Your funniest hearing loss moment is:
FR: I have two of them. The first happened many years ago when I explained to students in my class that I was deaf without my aids and how that might impact them in the classroom. No one believes me because my speech recognition is good, and I can pass as hearing as long as I can read lips and the acoustics are OK. I could tell the students were having a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea so I demonstrated. I told them that I would turn my hearing aids off and turn up the volume on the computer until I could hear it. Needless to say, the sound was quite loud to them, and I still couldn’t hear it. I enjoyed watching them “get it.”
The second happened fairly recently when both of my hearing aids stopped working. I texted my husband to let him know about the problem and he promptly called me on the phone (I don’t use captioning).
KK: When and how did you learn about ALDA?
FR: I was looking for information on hard-of-hearing and deafness and came across a site that listed ALDA. I don’t even recall which one it was. I was a member for a while and then let my membership lapse. I think getting by was sufficient at that time. As I experienced my hearing loss differently, I reconnected with ALDA.
KK: Do you belong to an ALDA chapter or group?
FR: Not at this time. There is no chapter in my area. I wanted to be part of ALDA in a more meaningful way and asked to be part of the Bylaws Committee when the call went out for members.
KK: Have you ever attended an ALDAcon? (If so, which ALDAcon was your first conference?)
FR: Yes, my first conference was the conference in Orlando in 2017. It was an incredible experience, although a bit of an adjustment. I’m used to attending professional conferences for my field and had never been to a conference outside of that framework. It was also the first time I was with other people with hearing loss.
KK: In what ways has ALDA enhanced your life?
FR: My first ALDACon was very normalizing, because I am the only person I know with hearing loss among my family and friends. Being at the convention with other people who experienced hearing loss in a wide variety of ways and communicated in different ways was so uplifting. The ALDA motto of “Whatever Works” truly demonstrates the respect that ALDA has for all of its members.
KK: Who or what inspires you the most?
FR: I’m inspired by people who genuinely enjoy helping others.
KK: People would be surprised to learn that you…..
FR: …were married at Disney and our guests still talk about the experience, 27 years later.
KK: Your biggest pet peeve is:
FR: I am frustrated by people who think their experiences are the only experiences out there or people who believe that what we know now is all there is to know.
KK: Your favorite childhood memory is:
FR: I was fortunate to have parents who traveled a great deal and wanted me with them when they traveled. I have many wonderful memories of those trips.
KK: Your favorite saying is:
FR: “If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.” – His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
KK: The bottom line is:
FR: Re-set, Re-adjust, Re-start, Re-focus as many times as you need to.
One of Us is a series of interviews with ALDA volunteer Karen Krull.