According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders1 approximately 37.5 million American adults aged eighteen and over report some trouble hearing. Despite the number of people affected by hearing impairment, the hard of hearing and deaf population are underrepresented. The hearing-impaired community faces a myriad of challenges in their daily lives communicating and relating to others. Unfortunately, there is a lack of resources for the hard of hearing and deaf population in schools, and a lack of affordability for hearing aids in the healthcare field. In this critical autoethnography, the author focuses on her experiences of coping with and navigating her world as a hearing-impaired individual. The autoethnographic account explores the author’s face-to-face encounters with her peers, audiologist, medical practitioners, and personal relationships centering her research on the communication barriers that often come with hearing loss including adjustments to sound, relating to others, and overcoming obstacles due to the lack of resources. The stories shared aim to illustrate how those with hearing impairments are disempowered in a world that is geared toward the hearing abled.

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