Today is World Hearing Day, a worldwide educational campaign for hearing health care that’s being promoted by DTE. This year’s theme by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “Hearing Care for all. Screen, rehabilitate, communicate,” to encourage people to learn how to detect hearing loss and seek resources to support those who are hard of hearing. 

Daniel Wallace, splicer specialist leader, learned the value of nonverbal communication as a young kid born hard of hearing.  

“I was born with hearing loss, so I learned how to read lips as a kid,” said Wallace, “I also learned to exaggerate my facial expressions when speaking with others who are hard of hearing.” 

Wallace wears a hearing aid at work and in his personal life. “Hearing adds a lot of richness to life,” said Wallace, explaining why he wears a hearing aid and encourages friends and colleagues to also.  

“People don’t always know when they’re hard of hearing. It’s not as easily recognizable as some other disabilities,” said Wallace. “I’m open about my experiences to inspire people to get their hearing tested and check into a hearing aid.”   

“Wearing a hearing aid allows me to experience life more wholesomely and helps me do my job the best I can,” said Wallace, and says the process of getting your hearing checked and getting a hearing aid is easier than people think, and says, “if the resources are accessible to you, use them!” 

Wallace says his hearing aid is important to him because it allows him to experience some of the most precious moments in life. “I want to be able to hear the birds chirp, babies giggle or even know when my kids wake up in the middle of the night.” 

About 38.2 million Americans and 2.7 million U.S. veterans experience hearing loss. If you’re a veteran and think you may be experiencing hearing loss or auditory damage as a result of your military service, please contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs medical hearing loss hotline at 800.799.889, or reach out to your local Veterans Service Organization’s Service Officers for resources and instructions on filing a VA Service Connected Disability claim. 

Visit the Hearing Loss Association of America website for more information and resources, and learn how to detect if you’re experiencing hearing loss.