It is one thing to write blog posts about communication strategies and research, but we also want to share stories. This is a guest blog post kindly written by a university student:
My name is Tyler Magwood, and I am a second-year university student studying Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology at the University of Calgary. I have moderate-severe hearing loss in both of my ears and was diagnosed at 3 months of age. I grew up in a small town outside of the Calgary area called Strathmore and attended Holy Cross Collegiate High School.
From a young age, I received intense speech therapy and other services to improve my integration into the classroom. I spent almost every waking minute of my life either in school or at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary—and yes, to the amusement of my friends one of the services I received was learning how to use scissors. It is in this environment that I was determined to become a doctor. The Alberta Children’s Hospital seemed to me an oasis to which I could escape, and the impact that each individual at this institution had on the lives of so many seemed unbelievably tangible.
Now as a university student, studying the exciting field of cellular biology, I understand the vast importance of my younger years in shaping me and giving me the tools I need to succeed in university.
University has definitely been both an amazing and challenging experience for me. As a hard of hearing student, there are a lot of adaptations that I must make to ensure that I succeed in the competitive university environment, and actually it is a lot easier than one might think if you find the right group of friends, seek the accommodations that you require, and persevere in the face of any set- backs you may face (and there will be a lot, it is completely normal!).
Life as a student is both exhausting and rewarding, and allows anyone despite their disability to succeed and achieve the career goals that they want—the sky really is the limit!