Conference Call Focuses on Supporting Wounded, Ill, and Injured Soldiers with Hearing Loss

By SSG Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
The AW2 Community Support Network held its first 2012 quarterly conference call. During the call, more than 35 organizations and an additional 30 participants from across the country listened and discussed the resources and best practices to help Soldiers, Veterans, and Familiy members with hearing loss.
AW2 Director COL Greg Gadson facilitated the call and provided insight into working with Soldiers and Veterans with hearing loss and asked Community Support Network organizations to continue to focus their efforts to our population living with hearing loss.
Callers were also treated to remarks by representatives from Gallaudet University, the only university in the world in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.
“It’s important for these Soldiers and Veterans to understand they can function in the hearing world with loss of hearing,” said Dr. David Barclay, Chair of Gallaudet’s Social Work Department. “They just have to understand their new roles as Family and co-workers.”
In addition, callers enjoyed stimulating dialogue with two Soldiers who sustained hearing loss, AW2 SGM Robert Gallagher and AW2 Soldier Danny Hill. The final panel member included Dr. Luzmira Torres, the brigade surgeon for the Warrior Transition Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia , and Hill’s supervisor.
During the call, panel members spoke about how those who are deaf or are experiencing hearing loss may feel more isolated. The panel also advocated for peer mentoring for those with hearing loss and encouraged organizations to teach Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families to learn about their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In conclusion, Gadson said, “There are great resources available to assist wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families. Our goal is to help them connect.”
If you know of an organization that also supports wounded warriors in their local communities, please point them to the AW2 Community Support Network webpage or email recommendations to [email protected]

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