June 25, 2019

Helping People with Hearing Loss

Photo of award presentation

Stacy Gibson receiving award from Hal Moffat, President – Woodmen Valley Sertoma

Stacy Gibson, IL Specialist with Hard of Hearing Emphasis at The Independence Center was recently honored with the “Service to Mankind Club Award” by Woodman Valley Sertoma for her work connecting people with hearing loss with the help they need, through the Sertoma HEARS program. The HEARS program helps people with hearing loss, who are in need of financial assistance, to purchase hearing aids.

Stacy’s award stems from her work with two local men who were having a difficult time and needed help with their hearing loss. One was a man experiencing homelessness, and the other was an elderly man with cognitive disabilities living at a local assisted living facility. The man was about to be thrown out onto the street because of the inability to control his behavioral issues. They contacted The IC’s Hard of Hearing department and Stacy made arrangements for a visit.

In preparation for the meeting, she brought a pocket talker, an electronic device similar to a hearing aid, but hangs around the neck and amplifies sound into a pair of earbuds. The man put the pocket talker on, and was able to have a conversation with the Director of the facility. They explained the rules and their expectations, and the man immediately understood. His behavior has improved drastically. It turns out he was acting out because of his frustration from not being able to communicate. Through The IC’s Assistive Technology Program, Stacy was able to get the man his own pocket talker, and since then, he has been a whole different person.

Congratulations to Stacy Gibson for this well-deserved award. To learn more, visit The IC’s Hard of Hearing department webpage at http://bit.ly/TheIC-HoH.