Sharing Your LSL Story With StoryCorps

By Hearing First Team November 17, 2015

"Hearing First" | listening and spoken language, LSL outcomes, hearing technology, parent advice, LSL journey, LSL story, holidays

Your story has the power to equip, encourage, or inspire a family just when they need it most. This Thanksgiving weekend, there is a great opportunity to share your family’s LSL story through the StoryCorps “Great Thanksgiving Listen.” Find out how!

One of the biggest challenges the Listening and Spoken Language (Auditory-Verbal) world faces is the fact that so few people know the LSL story. We know that when parents of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing are presented with complete and accurate information, a majority choose Listening and Spoken Language. Many families are never given the information they need to make that choice. Last month we talked about Informed Choice and how much we believe that parents have the right to all the facts they need when weighing this important decision.

Many parents and professionals within the LSL community have asked us what they can do to help get the word out and we always tell them: one of the most significant things you can do is tell your story. You never know how much it might equip, encourage, or inspire a family just when they need it most. Stories are powerful things.

For the past 12 years, people all over America have been sharing their stories through a project called StoryCorps. StoryCorps’ mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs. These stories are sometimes recorded door-to-door, in touring airstream trailers, or in StoryCorps booths in New York, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Now the StoryCorps mobile app allows people everywhere to record their story and have it archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Why do we share all this? Because it’s one more way the LSL story needs to be told. Because there are families who haven’t heard these stories yet and do not yet know what’s possible for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. This Thanksgiving it’s easier than ever to use the StoryCorps platform to share your story. Here’s how it works:

The StoryCorps “Great Thanksgiving Listen”

When: Thanksgiving weekend
What: Students all across the country are invited to preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation by interviewing their elders.

How to participate:

  • Download the free app.
  • Work with your child with hearing loss to interview an adult about their experience with that child’s diagnosis, getting cochlear implants, attending weekly intervention, and the path toward Listening and Spoken Language.
  • The interviewee can be a parent, a grandparent, or a professional they meet with for intervention services.
  • Upload your story, share it via social media, and tag #HearingFirst #LSLStories.

If you’re a hearing loss professional, we think this could even be a great activity for your next intervention session. This experience can help students develop

  • Research, archiving, and planning skills
  • Speaking skills that enable them to express ideas clearly and persuasively
  • Listening skills that reflect increased comprehension, lead to critical analysis, and advance discussion
  • An increased connectedness to community
  • A deepened sense of social awareness, exhibited by appreciation for diversity and respect for others

StoryCorps can be used by youth ages 13 and up, using the app with parental consent. Learn more here.

To date, StoryCorps has recorded more than 45,000 interviews among more than 80,000 Americans in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several American territories. How amazing would it be if this Thanksgiving, stories poured in that highlighted what’s possible for children who are deaf and hard of hearing through listening and spoken language? Stories that helped families understand their options and possible outcomes — stories that helped parents and professionals feel less isolated on their journey. So join us in The Great Thanksgiving Listen and tell your LSL story!

USE IT

Download our interview handout to use as a guide for the kind of questions your child can ask.

"Hearing First" | listening and spoken language, LSL outcomes, hearing technology, parent advice, LSL journey, LSL story, holidays

About the Author

Hearing First Team At Hearing First, we want all children to benefit from the availability of newborn hearing screening, the advances in technology, and the early learning services in their communities. We want all children to have the opportunity to take advantage of access to sound – a critical building block for future success.