Canadian Hearing Services Offers $3,000 Scholarship to Students

The organization is granting scholarships to help deaf and hard of hearing students with their school and basic needs

(Kristen Frier)

Canadian Hearing Services is awarding $3,000 scholarships to eligible deaf or hard of hearing students.

The scholarship is meant to alleviate the financial stress that students who are deaf and hard of hearing face on a regular basis. Canadian Hearing Services has offered the scholarship for four years, and in the past three years, it has been awarded to 35 students across Canada.

The scholarships are available to Canadian residents who are at least 17 years old and deaf, deaf and blind, or hard of hearing. Scholarship grants of $3,000 for full-time students and $1,000 for part-time students may be applied to cover tuition, residence, and educational resources, as stated on the Canadian Hearing Services website.

Tammy Simon is the manager of fundraising for the Canadian Hearing Services. She says that not everybody who applies gets the scholarship because the applicants must have a document that confirms they are deaf or hard of hearing, with a hearing loss of 50 decibels or more in each ear.

Simon says that it can often take deaf and hard of hearing students more time to work through their studies compared to a student with full range of hearing, to the extent that it could delay their graduation.

KPU’s Accessibility Services department is responsible for providing accommodations for students with disabilities. This includes fulfilling services that meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students.

Some of these students need an FM system, which is a wireless microphone that teachers wear. It connects to the student’s hearing aids, making it easier for them to hear lectures.

Other students need note-takers with them to write down important information during class.

There are two different types of hearing loss: Bilateral, the loss of hearing in both ears, and unilateral, the loss of hearing in one ear.

Jaya Dhillon, Students with Disabilities Representative for the KSA, says that she has bilateral loss of hearing and that she depends on hearing through her left ear more than her right ear.

“It does help having that extra money to just put aside for extra resources, hearing batteries, and everything I need,” she says. “When we do hearing tests we have to get our hearing molds changed because our ears grow all the time and that costs money. We have to pay for that so that would help a lot.”

She explains that she always has to be sitting in the front of the class to be able to hear better or to lip read, especially if the instructor has a beard because it obstructs the view of their mouth.

Back in September 2018, Dhillon says she asked for a note-taker for one of her classes and the accommodations department didn’t get back to her until November. By that time, the semester was already ending.

“Our hearing aids and our other resources are not always funded or provided [by] the government, so for my hearing aids, I actually had to pay for it. It was quite a chunk of money,” she says.

Students can email KPU’s disability advisors if they have any questions or need accommodations.

“My goal is to literally say, ‘It’s okay. To be hard of hearing is okay, to be deaf is okay, to [live with] any kind of disability, because it makes you unique. It makes you stand out.’ I mean, the deaf and hard of hearing community is amazing. I love it,” says Dhillon.

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