Here at UpState Hearing, all of us try to understand the challenges endured by a person with hearing loss, even if that means simulating the experience. Our office was recently featured in an article by the Red Bluff Daily News about this very practice. Enjoy reading!
UpState Hearing: Raising awareness of hearing loss
A Redding CEO, whose company is also located in Red Bluff, has made hearing loss a job requirement.
All new staff members of UpState Hearing are required to complete a hearing loss exercise as part of an orientation to their new positions, which entails wearing a customized set of earplugs while continuing normal daily activities.
Ken Wood, the CEO of Upstate Hearing in Redding attempts to instill compassion, understanding, and a personal experience for his employees to draw from when working with clients.
“Hearing loss is very difficult to understand,” Wood said. “Most people kind of understand blindness, or being with limited use of a leg from having a cast, but unless you have experienced hearing loss or lived with someone with hearing loss it is hard to understand the frustrations and energy required to communicate easily.”
In an effort to reduce the a long-standing stigma of hearing instrument use and correct a national epidemic, Wood requires his employees to “walk in the shoes of his patients”.
The CEO has lived with hearing loss since he was eight-years- old and has been in business now for over 22 years; there is certainly a method to the unusual business practice he employs.
Hearing loss is a nationally unaddressed issue that affects over one-third of the population. Marketrac has identified that early detection has been significantly reduced with the omission of hearing tests during physicals from physicians. The month of October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, an effort to raise awareness of hearing loss on a national level by using celebrity ambassadors such as Maggie Gyllenhal and Sting to draw attention to the issue.
“The first steps to early detection of hearing loss are knowing your numbers and protecting your ears,” Wood said.
Hearing loss could affect more than just your ability to hear. It affects the ability to live a completely fulfilling life and communicate effectively with family and friends.
“Imagine walking around with earplugs and trying to communicate,” UpState Hearing office manager Donna Spoon said.
That’s what life is like for the severe hard of hearing without hearing aids. Unfortunately, hearing loss affects over 36 million Americans and over 75 percent of them do not know they are experiencing subtle changes in the brain to adapt to the unknown hearing loss. Ken Wood has been the CEO of UpState Hearing for over 22 years.
UpState Hearing operates in four locations: Redding, Red Bluff, Susanville, and Weaverville.
The article can also be seen here. For more information, contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org.