Find Your Way Back to Full Communication
MEET YOUR EXPERT:
Cynthia Compton-Conley, Ph.D.
Welcome to our website, SoundStrategy.com. My name is Dr. Cynthia Compton-Conley. I am an audiologist with specialized expertise in assessing people’s listening needs and helping them find solutions to meeting those needs – at home, at work and while engaging in leisure activities. My bio can be found here.
For many years I practiced and taught audiology in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Gallaudet University, in Washington, DC. Gallaudet afforded me the opportunity to work with people from the DC metropolitan area, from all walks of life and with all degrees and types of hearing loss – from mild hearing loss to profound.
While at Gallaudet, I also began working with the consumer advocacy group, the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). My patients and the volunteers at HLAA taught me what people with hearing loss really want: They want to be able to function independently and with dignity. To accomplish this, they deserve hearing enhancement and hearing protection technologies that are dependable, affordable, and as high-fidelity as possible.
We created this website to help people better understand the impact that hearing loss can have on communication and to share strategies that facilitate listening and understanding in everyday life.
There are so many hearing enhancement technologies available that it can become quite confusing. Our goal is to assist you in navigating this confusing maze of choices by teaching you to be your own advocate so that you can make wise decisions for yourself and for those you care about.
We all know that hearing difficulty can create misunderstanding. It also can cause frustration and, at its worse, isolation. It can interfere with the educational process and can stand in the way of gaining and retaining employment. It can interfere with the enjoyment of leisure activities. Finally, it can be dangerous, especially if it causes you to not be able to hear important warning signals.
Let’s assume that you that you have some hearing issues. Let’s also assume that you have had your hearing tested and it has been determined that your hearing difficulty cannot be treated medically, but that you might benefit from some sort of technology. Before you decide whether or not you want to purchase any technology, the most important thing you can do is to develop a full appreciation of what your listening needs happen to be. You need to see the “big picture”, the “30,000 foot view.”
For many years I worked with patients who had hearing difficulty. When they would come to see me, the first question I would ask them was not “Would you like to buy some hearing aids?”, but “What kinds of situations cause you difficulty?” I wanted to know what type of communication access they had (or didn’t have). This access can be classified into four universal listening needs. All of us, whether or not we have hearing difficulty, share these needs.
THE FOUR UNIVERSAL LISTENING NEEDS
- We want to engage in face-to-face communication, whether it be one-on-one or in a group conversation.
- We want to enjoy electronic media, whether it’s listening to the TV, a radio, our stereo system, the sound track in a movie theater, or listening to a concert or play.
- We want to understand our family and friends and do business over a landline phone, a cell phone, or when conferencing on a computer.
- We need to be aware of important warning sounds such as a doorbell, a telephone ring, a smoke alarm.
We are committed to helping you meet these needs – at home, at work, at school, or when engaging in leisure activities. These needs can be met with a variety of technologies and communication strategies. In order to help you better understand these needs and how best to meet them in your daily life, I have written a number of tutorials focused on a variety of topics. Some of these tutorials go into great detail and may require a cup of coffee before you read them. But if you take the time to do so, you will be much better equipped to understand the technology that can be used to help you as well as to appreciate why not all technologies help in all situations.
To access the tutorials, click here or on the tab above.