Professor Establishes Community for Hearing Impaired Students

Photo Credit/ Max Augugliaro

Note: As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no physical meetings for the remainder of the spring semester. However, feel free to contact Dr. Susan Dillmuth-Miller at sdmiller@esu.edu for more information.

Max Augugliaro

Staff Writer

Dr. Susan Dillmuth-Miller established the campus club, Hear 4 U, for students who are hearing impaired to interact and for others to learn.

Four years ago, communication sciences and disorders faculty member, Dr. Dillmuth-Miller, was approached by an ESU sophomore, who suffered from hearing loss, mentioned that she had never met anyone with the same condition as her. 

Within the same week, she was approached by a freshman who said the same thing. 

“I thought I should introduce the two students and start a conversation”, said Dr. Miller. “I opened the group to the whole campus and the next week we had four more students show up.” 

Hear 4 U has been, just four years after it began, Dr. Miller is dedicated to letting students with hearing loss know that they are not alone, and educating students with hearing loss about technology, communication strategies, their rights as a disabled person, sharing experiences, and building friendships, as well as educating others. 

Having gone to a meeting before the Spring Break, I was able to get a glimpse of how normal meetings played out.  Students met up in the lobby of the second floor of Monroe Hall, where members were then escorted, by Dr. Miller, to a room at the end of the hall. 

The meeting started with an ice breaker, in which someone pulled a sentence out of a bag, and each member took a turn answering the questions.  Then, we did an activity that leads to a discussion that reminded people about their rights, and what options they have if they needed assistance. 

The activity for this particular meeting was a game of Jeopardy. According to club member and junior Joe Scioscio, his favorite part of the meetings are the discussion, and especially the pizza.

 “I enjoy getting to hear about other’s experiences with hearing loss and it is always interesting to learn their experiences are similar to my own”, added Scioscio. 

And it is not just open to people who are hearing impaired.  If you have a similar disability, then it can be very helpful to be informed about your rights as well, since most fall under the same anti-discriminatory laws. 

It is also a very enriching experience to hear how others deal with their disabilities, as well as share your own experiences, as I did. 

Although not yet an officially recognized club, Hear 4 U has had a positive effect on campus for the past four years, and hopefully for many more!  This club has left a great impression on me, and it will hopefully leave a great impression for you! 

“In Hear 4 U, you will meet other students your age that has had similar experiences”, said Dr. Miller. “Hear 4 U will prepare you for the transition to college and for your future.”

Email Max at:

maugugliar@live.esu.edu

1 Comment

  1. Susan Dillmuth-Miller March 30, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for a great article! We will continue to meet through Zoom until the end of the semester. Please contact sdmiller@esu.edu if you are interested.

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