Terry Stortz

Terry Stortz Pic1.pngHow long have you been a client of Deafblind Services?

"2 years."
How has being Deafblind impacted your life?
"Throughout my life I managed to get along pretty well – notwithstanding my hearing loss – relying on my excellent vision, keen observation and dogged perseverance in paying attention. I even had some intermittent success with hearing aids. Although I managed, I am sure I didn’t fare as well as I like to think I did."

How has intervention impacted your life?

"When I started to lose my sight and came to CNIB for assistance, I was introduced to Deafblind Services about 4 years ago. Because I had been so reliant on my vision to compensate for my poor hearing, when my vision started going it was like losing the other half of my buddy-system.  And frankly, I was terrified. I was paired with a great intervenor who helped me with grocery shopping, attending important appointments and managing some routine paperwork, etc. Mostly though, in working with intervenors, I figured out that my world had not changed; just my perception of it. At that scary time in my life, Deafblind Services was critical to my coping with this double whammy.

Me being me, after some time and with some encouragement from a friend, I wanted to re-challenge myself to use the skills and confidence I had gained to get on again without an intervenor. I am fortunate to have a decent level of residual vision and the best (and most expensive) hearing aids I’ve ever owned. From a career in surveying and land use planning, I have a strong sense of spatial awareness, and from decades of hiking around southern-Ontario, I love figuring out my way around. Deafblind Services and I parted in a friendly way with mutual respect…on a three month trial…seven months ago. Although I’m happy to be faring on my own again, I was so grateful Deafblind Services were there as a bridge at a difficult time. I know that both my vision and hearing will continue to decline as I have more birthdays, but I don’t know how quickly that might happen. I am happy that Deafblind Services is out there for people like me and those with much more severe hearing and vision loss. And I am happy it will be there for me if and when I might need its service again."

Why is Deafblind awareness important to you?

"There is a popular misconception that as people lose their vision, that their hearing somehow improves to help compensate. Don’t I wish! As someone who has been severely to profoundly hard of hearing all my life, and whose vision has been rapidly declining over the past few years, I can only say: ‘That would be handy.’ But, it ain’t so."

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