“See the opportunities”
Being young and having impaired hearing isn’t necessarily a problem
Viktoria is like most young people. She enjoys meeting new people, travelling and seeing the world, working out, spending time with her friends, learning new things, developing and dreaming of the future.
And that’s exactly why she does all these things. The fact that she has congenital hearing loss is no hindrance to her.
Make the most of your life
“There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, but it’s also up to everyone to make the most of the opportunities available. To make the most of their lives.”
Grabbing opportunities with both hands when they arise is good advice for everyone. Being young and having impaired hearing isn’t necessarily a problem, reckons Viktoria.
“Attitude is very important. It’s entirely normal for a 23-year-old to study at university. So why shouldn’t I do that? I have impaired hearing, but there’s nothing wrong with the rest of me.
My advice to everyone who wants to study at university is to get their head down and work at upper secondary school and then apply to whatever university they like.”
Acoustics in lecture halls
Viktoria reckons that as far as society’s concerned, everyone with hearing loss should be able to continue their studies, just like everyone else – and that this should be the norm. And hence all universities and colleges should be kitted out with the right technology and expertise right from the outset.
Since Viktoria started studying at Karlstad University, one lecture hall has been renovated to include permanent induction loops.
“You have to talk to the college or university and be open about your hearing loss. Do it early, though! It’s not something that can be implemented overnight.”
“Attitude is very important. It’s entirely normal for a 23-year-old to study at university. So why shouldn’t I do that? I have impaired hearing, but there’s nothing wrong with the rest of me.”
New town, new opportunities
Viktoria is currently studying at Karlstad University. If everything goes according to plan, she’ll be completing her Masters in marketing in about five years’ time.
“I was born in Lund and that’s a university city as well, but I applied to Karlstad so that I could gain new perspectives, and because I wanted to meet new people. And I’ve definitely done that.”
Clear sound from far away
Karlstad University also has a contract with Comfort Audio, so it’s equipped with modern technology that eliminates disruptive background noise and gives clear sound even from far away.
“Lecturers aren’t generally used to using microphones, even though they lecture to large groups of students.”
New law, better support
Viktoria also has access to what’s known as notetaking support. This involves a classmate writing down everything that’s said at the lecture so that she doesn’t miss any information.
“It makes life a lot easier for me. I can compare these notes with my own notes and see whether I’ve missed anything out. And the university pays him a small salary for his work!”
The new Discrimination Act, which came into force in late 2014/early 2015, means that it’s now easier to get access to aids and as a result people with hearing loss have the same opportunities as people with normal hearing in various contexts. But even so, attitudes are still a major sticking point in a variety of situations in society, reckons Viktoria.
See the opportunities
Viktoria will have gained her Masters in marketing in five years’ time, but she’s not sure what’ll happen after that. She wants to see how things go.
“I want to work with marketing, but I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do that. Maybe I could give lectures and try to influence things in some capacity. You can certainly live your life, no matter how good or bad your hearing. Be open, meet new people, try things out. If music in clubs is too loud for you, have a party at home instead. See the opportunities.
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