Listening from the Heart

Sarah’s Speech

It is is June, 2010. The scene is an all-student assembly where faculty and proud parents join for a wonderful year-end elementary school tradition called “The Moving Up Ceremony.” Having now completed 6th grade, my then twelve-year-old daughter was chosen for the high honor of giving her class’s year-end speech. Sarah’s purpose: To share her veteran 6th-grade wisdom with underclassmen who would soon be “moving up.” Read more


CART Enhanced Communications

Equal Listening Opportunity

If you are a public speaker committed to equal listening opportunity for all, then you gotta have Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART)With CART, everything that is said is “captioned” live for deaf and hard of hearing folks. Think of CART as closed captioning for non-broadcast settings, such as classrooms, churches, training meetings and conferences, and, don’t forget, for all inspirational public speaking engagements by Brian Patrick Jensen

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Avoid Isolation and Live!


Lifelines for People with Hearing Loss is a worthy read in the New York Times which did well to raise awareness about the extraordinary challenges faced by millions of people who are hard of hearing.  It parlayed to medical evidence correlating progressive hearing loss and dementia; and it theorized that those who suffer gradual auditory decline may have “diminished cognitive reserve” due to “overworked brains” as they struggle to accommodate.

I was fascinated. I could relate, for example, how my mind goes into overdrive attempting to interpret visual cues all day. This new way of “listening” to you takes considerable mental effort to ascertain even a fraction of your abundant vocal eloquence now denied.

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Inspired by True Success

I am so grateful for the insights bestowed by my deaf adventure. I am a better man than I have ever been because of it.


“ALDA” is the Association of Late-Deafened Adults—a global membership of people who are deaf or hard of hearing; and most who, like me, lost the gift of crystal sound in their adult lifetime. Their, er… our  2012 International “ALDAcon” annual conference was held in Columbia, South Carolina.

On Friday, October 19on my 51st birthday it so happened— I presented as Keynote Speaker at the kickoff luncheon.  I also gave a workshop on “Perseverance” later that afternoon.

And so I stood, giving a speech to an audience who mostly couldn’t hear me, but who understood every word I said; and imploring triumph over disability, isolation and prejudice to courageous fighters who know far more about those subjects than I.

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