a personal blog where
hearing loss and real life meet


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Welcome to the You CI Can Hear Now blog! My name is Samantha and I am a Pediatric Audiologist helping little ears one at a time. I was identified with severe sensorineural hearing loss at 18 months old and was immediately fit with hearing aids and attended a Total Communication program where I learned both sign and spoken language. I now wear a hearing aid and a cochlear implant.

In medical terms I'm hard-of-hearing - in audiology terms I'm bimodal - in cool terms I'm bionic!


I enjoy drinking fancy coffee, trying new foods, and traveling the world. I have many other side hobbies that I can't wait to share with you. The purpose of this blog is to have somewhere to share information and resources that would be useful for YOU as well as a place to share my day to day adventures to hopefully inspire you.


No matter where you are in your journey I hope that my journey will inspire you to reach for the stars. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog! Feel free to reach out or send some love in the comments. I would love to shine a light on those who have a small business related to the hard of hearing world or those who have stories that must be shared to spread awareness. If you are interested in collaborations or working together, please email me at Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter too!

P.S. - Be sure to check out my book, Rapid Audiogram Interpretation: A Clinician s Manual which provides a methodical, step-by-step approach for interpreting audiograms. Training and experienced clinicians, as well as non-audiologists in related fields, will benefit from this unique workbook and easy-to-remember interpretation process.

I'm Samantha


the Blog


How To Master College and Graduate School with Hearing Loss

Updated: Jun 22, 2019

Do you want to know how to succeed in your college classes? Good, I’m here to share with you how I mastered college and graduate school with hearing loss.

First, it is not easy. I was an above average grade student. I worked hard listening to important details from professors, while following along with the powerpoint presentations, in conjunction with writing everything down and processing new information. Exhausted yet? I was.

By your first college exams, you should have an idea of what kind of college student you are. Some can study last minute and ace the tests, while others have to study days before and still stay up late to cram all the important details of the anatomy of your inner ear.

The purpose of this article is to help you, no matter what kind of student you are, learn tips and tricks to be a successful college student with hearing loss.

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to get your FREE download!

#1 Know When to Ask For Help

The following tips are from personal experience, not necessarily required by the college to provide, but just some other helpful tips that may not otherwise be mentioned by professionals.

  • Use office hours! Use this time to clear up any misunderstandings or to ask for help understanding a topic. Don’t abuse it though. There was one time I didn’t feel my alarm clock go off and I woke up late. We had an assignment due at 7:30 am at the start of class. I arrived late and he would not let me turn it in. I sought him during office hours and explained my situation. Fortunately, he was understanding, but he never missed a chance to give me a hard time about it after that. He treated me like a normal college student and maintained his expected standards whether I had a hearing loss or not. I’m glad he did that. I was never late again.

  • Find a study buddy. One that does well in the class. What you missed in class they will likely know the answer to, because they likely heard it.

  • Reach out to a mentor or your advisor. These people genuinely want to see you do well and succeed. They usually have your best interest in mind. Use them to help guide you where you need to take your next steps with whatever it is you need.

#2 Utilize Hearing Assistive Technologies (HATs)

College students with hearing loss are usually familiar with the Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) route by the time they reach college. These days, starting from an early age, FM systems are introduced. Does this continue into college? Absolutely! It’s even more crucial. When you think you don’t need it, that is when you do need it.

Elementary classrooms generally have poor room acoustics and are noisier than we would like. Research shows noise levels ranged from 34 to 66 dB(A) in elementary classrooms. The strong push for FM use is clear in the research that it is beneficial to the hard-of-hearing elementary child. But what about in college classes? Much quieter right? Sure, with 299 other students!

HATs provide access to speech by placing a microphone on the talker, transmitting the signal directly to a receiver worn by the listener. With hearing aids including BlueTooth technology, a student can take advantage of remote microphones that allow the user to stream the professor’s voice straight to their devices.

#3 Utilize the College Disability Center

Your child must register as a student with disabilities to receive accommodations. Very important to understand that colleges don’t fall under the IDEA, therefore no IEPs. They do have to follow federal civil rights laws, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After evidence is submitted and approved, the student may have access to accommodations. The list below consists of the accommodations I used to help me in both undergraduate and graduate school.

  1. Hearing Assistive Technology; remote microphone or FM (Digital) Systems

  2. Notetaker for each class or as needed

  3. Access to early registration for classes (this is huge!)

  4. Extra time on tests if needed

Graduation Reflection

As I write this post and see all the new graduates on Instagram and Facebook I’m reminded of my own journey. Not just my journey with hearing loss or with my cochlear implant, but with my life. I’ve had many obstacles to overcome and was able to get through them no matter what happened. It may not have been the path I expected, but sometimes those are the best realizations that the previous journey was not for you. When one door closes, another one opens. Check out the link to my graduation speech at UNC Chapel Hill. Get your tissues out, it’s a tearjerker. I hope this will inspire you to make the most of what you are given in this life and to bring joy to others.

So, you made it this far, you must really like my stuff! Do you have any tips & tricks to add to this post? If so, please share in the comments. Here is the link for the FREE download.

I would love to hear what you used to help you advance in your career so I can be sure to pass it on to my patients.

Thank you for reading!



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