COOMA woman, Betty Braden calls being hard-of-hearing, the 'invisible handicap.'
Mrs Braden's mother was profoundly deaf and some people treated her as if she was stupid.
"This really hurt me," Mrs Braden said. "I knew she was a very intelligent woman but people did not realise she was deaf and so she was treated badly, hence the phrase, 'the invisible handicap'."
Mrs Braden, herself, has been deaf since she was 40-years-old. After 30-odd years of wearing hearing aids, she was fitted with a Cochlea implant in August 2012.
She said the implant had made all the difference to being able to hear what people are saying and as a consequence she would like to share her hard-of-hearing journey by holding a one-day course, Managing Hearing Changes with Ageing through the Snowy Mountains University of the Third Age.
"I'm hoping this course will help people who may suspect they are experiencing hearing loss," she said.
"I want to pass on my knowledge of hearing loss and the resources of Australian Hearing, a Federal Government Agency of the Department of Human Services, and the Sydney Cochlear Implant Corporation.
"I want to talk about how hereditary has a bearing on being afflicted, and the funny side of it too.
"But most importantly I want to tell people how I have managed my invisible handicap."
On average it takes people seven years to do something about their hearing loss.
They learn to deal with hearing loss by doing such things as asking people to repeat themselves, complaining that people mumble, turning up the television and the radio, and sadly, avoiding social situations where conversations are taking place.
As one local lady said, "I put off doing anything about my hearing loss for 10 years before I had a hearing test. I didn't think I needed hearing aids or, to be honest I was embarrassed to wear hearing aids but when my grandkids came along and I couldn't hear their little voices I realised I did want hearing aids.
"They have made a huge difference to my hearing and I wouldn't be without them".
Mrs Braden is calling on anyone who is worried about their own or a family member's hearing loss to come along to her class and share and network to gain a better understanding of their needs.
She said she is looking forward to a lot of questions and she requests that people write their questions on a slip of paper and hand it to her as they arrive.
"We will endeavour to answer them at the end of the talk," she said.
Mrs Braden plans to hold her Hearing Management course in early October at the Polo Flat Lecture Room. Contact Robin on 6456 5313 or Betty at email@example.com for bookings and directions to the venue.