I am a hearing-impaired young professional. It is an interesting world. I can read very fast, thanks to captions. I often laugh at inappropriate times because I mishear someone. However, I do not know sign language.

I am a member of the young professionals. I have my entire life in front of me and the world is my oyster, as long as I do not say “what?” too often. However, hearing-impaired young professionals have tough choices to make. A decent hearing aid can cost thousands of dollars and people are often stuck in a difficult situation when it comes to paying. I have a mortgage, oil, food, gas and other bills in my life.

I am lucky because I have parents who help me out and I am married. However, many are not as lucky as I am. There are wonderful altruistic clubs such as the Lions Club and a group called Hearing Pro. Nonetheless, Maine lacks a support system for hearing-impaired professionals who do not know sign language.

There are many issues our wonderful state addresses, but this is a much-neglected one. Let us follow our state motto and lead the nation in hearing issues.

Joel Simons, Auburn

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