Ashamed of Using Disability for Advantage

<p>Am I the only person who's ashamed to using my disability for my advantage and other's possible disadvantage? I have a hearing deficiency and I'm always hesitant to tell my school and teachers because I don't want to be treated differently just because I can't hear as well. Maybe it's stupid, but I'd prefer to be disadvantaged than have an advantage over everyone else.</p>

<p>I'm also hesitant to tell people about it. Mainly because I'll ask "What?" a lot and people will get fed up and annoyed and I'll answer "I'm sorry, I have a hearing problem," and it just makes the situation awkward. My mom wants me to write on college apps that I have a hearing disability, but once again, I'm hesitant because I don't want something as minor (at least to me) to give me an advantage. I want to get into a college because of my stats, not because of my stats with my disability.</p>

<p>Is this weird?</p>

<p>I would not say that acknowledging and receiving services for your disability will give you an advantage. I believe it just levels the playing field. If your leg was broken and you needed to use the elevator to get to class, you would. So needing to get the required info in class is also needed, be that through seating placement, peer notes, etc.</p>

<p>I am not advocating for or against disclosure on your applications, that is none of my business, but I do hope you seek services whereever you attend college.</p>

<p>You don't have to tell the colleges about your hearing disability until you are admitted. Then you really do need to. There will be an office on campus that is responsible for providing services to students with identified disabilities. One of my hearing impaired classmates last semester carried an FM receiver with her which she used in class regularly. Her biggest problem was managing to arrive on time so that she could hand the microphone and transmitter off to the professor before class started. I noticed that on days she was able to do just that, she was able to participate more fully in the class discussion. At the end of the course (Educational Psychology) she gave a presentation about the system she was using. One thing she talked about was how in high school she hadn't wanted to be different and use an assistive device, but now that she is in college she said "I'm all over that business. I just want to learn, and this helps me."</p>

<p>Even with the system she was using, she still missed out on some of the class discussion because not all of us were sitting close to her, and only the professor had a transmitter. The playing field was never completely level for her. My advice is that you do whatever it takes to make your field as level as possible for you.</p>

<p>Just as people with vision problems wear glasses, you need accommodations to compensate for your hearing difficulty. This is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, in my experience as a college Learning Specialist, I have found that students who explain their situation to others are treated more kindly than those who try to hide it. My son lived in a suite with a boy who was anti-social and had some unusual habits. My son thought of him as an "oddball", until he found out he had Aspergers syndrome. Simply knowing the boy couldn't help his behaviors made my son interact with more patience and kindness. </p>

<p>If you say "what" frequently, the instructor or students may come to the conclusion that you are an attention seeker or slow. Wouldn't you rather be up front about your issue? I guarantee that most will be patient and even give you added assistance, say with notes you might miss. This assistance is NOT an advantage; it places you in the same position as other students in the class.</p>

<p>You want to set yourself up for success from day one in college. If you're struggling to hear, your GPA could suffer unnecessarily. Get those accommodations NOW!</p>

<p>lilygraces, please check your inbox for a PM from me.</p>

<p>Hm, for a hearing disability, I imagine you'd just need to be seated toward the front of the class, right? I don't think that would disadvantage anyone--maybe just ask your teacher at the beginning of the year.</p>

<p>lily, I understand where you're coming from. I am deaf in one ear and have hearing loss in the other. You're not using it as a disadvantage to others, you're using it to keep yourself on the same playing field as every one else. And with other students, I am just very up front with them about my hearing loss so that they don't get fed up and annoyed with me. If you do that, you'll very rarely have to apologize for not hearing them.</p>

<p>You have no need to tell a college though until after you're admitted. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Get a hearing aid.</p>

<p>Oy vey. My hearing isn't that bad Angel, you know that.</p>

<p>I'm in close to the same predicament with my vision. Classes, corrective surgery, contacts...none of it helps. My vision isn't horrible. At school I'll test out at 20/60, but it's just bad enough not to let me see the board from about the third/fourth row and farther in the average classroom at the school I attend. Overheard projectors are especially irrating since I have pale blue eyes that are especially sensitive to light. </p>

<p>Most of my teachers don't know about my vision. For me it's about accomodations. I think, even with eharing it's alot the same. Getting the hearing device the happymomof1 was talking about and just be discreet about it, or, like I have to do with my vision, just go grab an empty seat in the front of the classroom or sit on the floor. If the teachers asks, just explain briefly that you were having a hard time hearing and then after class explain about your issue. </p>

<p>I don't think it's bad or over-using your disability if you get the extra help you need. Just don't over use it or be overly obvious about it. I think it's up to you really and what you feel is right about what to put on your application.</p>