Accommodations and Modifications with Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Support' started by twa, May 16, 2021.

    1. twa

      twa Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      In education we have accommodations and modifications for students with a learning disability, condition or deficit. Although on the surface an accommodation and modification seem very similar, but they are fundamentally different. An accommodation helps a student access the information so they can master the content of what is being taught, generally in the least restrictive environment. A modification is just that, a modification to the content taught in a particular subject. So with an accommodation everything remains the same for the student except for how they obtain the material. With the modification what the student learns is altered.

      I have thought about this approach to learning in a student's academic life to life with hearing issues, specifically tinnitus and hyperacusis. Over the last few months I have grieved for all the things I have lost with my hearing conditions. I thought about the soccer games, movies, concerts and vacations I would miss with my family. I thought about the doors closing to new work opportunities and volunteering at church. My ability to volunteer as a translator would be greatly diminished.

      I started thinking about looking at my hearing in terms of accommodations instead of modifications. I needed to be creative and show ingenuity so that I could still participate in the things I enjoy in life with accommodations. I didn't need to alter most activities in my world, just change the way I participated in them.

      The very first activity that was a non-negotiable was walking in my neighborhood. I wear earplugs when I go on my daily walks and I have found the quietest time of day. Some of these changes require research with trial and error. I started writing on my calendar not to walk on Friday mornings because of the trash trucks making their weekly routes. Church on Sundays was another activity that I had to adjust by sitting in the family room during the music portion of the service. I also wear earplugs the entire time at church because of random loud noises, people talking loudly or microphone feedback. I have been able to go to the Arboretum for lunch to celebrate a friend's birthday and Mother's Day wearing earplugs without issues. Because of the pandemic I have only eaten outside at restaurants where sound from dishes and hard surface flooring is not a problem. My husband asked me to go to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. I agreed knowing it would be inside. When making the reservation he asked to be seated in a quiet area and the restaurant gladly accommodated the request.

      Sure there are bridges yet to be crossed. I have not considered going on vacation, much less flying at this point. Perhaps travel will be possible, but not for the moment. I try to look at each activity as an increment of progress. My goal is to look forward to the possibilities in life and look for accommodations instead of modifications.
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    2. Robster

      Robster Member

      South Gloucestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma - MRI
      Great post. I have three hobbies, two of them - golf and yoga - are very quiet, while the third - Karate - is quite noisy (but not overly so). Due to COVID-19 restrictions my Karate club has been closed the last year, but will soon be reopening.

      Your post has reminded me that I need to start thinking about the best way to accommodate my Karate practice in terms of my tinnitus & hyperacusis.
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    3. Mystery Reader

      Mystery Reader Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still Under Investigation
      This is a terrific post. Thanks for putting it up. Hope you are doing well!

      Mystery Reader
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