Meet Cal Carter, the Provincial representative on the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador (CHHA-NL) Board of Directors and current President of CHHA Gander Branch, both volunteer roles.
Cal is the fourth of 5 children (two brothers and two sisters) and grew up in Codroy on the West coast of Newfoundland. After graduating from high school, he worked for a short time in construction in Nova Scotia and then joined the RCAF and trained as a Radar Technician. After five years he left the RCAF and began working first as a Radar and communications technician in Northern Canada on contract to the American Air Force, and finally as a Electronics System Analyst with Transport Canada and then Nav Canada in Gander until his retirement in 2002.
Cal was volunteering as a Peer Advocate for the Newfoundland and Labrador Seniors Resource Center and was offered a chance to participate in the Seniors Helping Seniors Training with CHHA-NL. He thought this would be a good fit becuase of his own hearing loss, so took part in the training and became a CHHA-NL volunteer, and shortly after became a member of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Gander Branch.
Cal began experiencing hearing loss when he was approximately 45 years old. It was diagnosed as typical of noise induced hearing loss and was was fitted with hearing aids in both ears. Cal says that wearing hearing aids has had a minimal effect on his life. They work quite well for him and he can communicate normally, except for noisy environments, which can sometimes be a challenge.
He has always had an interest in helping others and, as a result, has been involved with unions and volunteer groups for many years. After experiencing mild hearing loss, volunteering with CHHA-NL offered the chance to learn more about hearing, and be able to help others at the same time.
The CHHA Gander Branch has been very involved in the community over the years. Some of the groups projected include:
- donated Hearing Assistive Technology equipment to seniors homes and hospitals in the Gander area
- donated funds and equipment the Audiology department of the James Paton Memorial Hospital to improve hearing loss diagnostics and treatment
- provided an equipment loan program for hearing technology
- advocated on behalf of the hard of hearing to improve listening conditions in public and private areas
- provided public and private information and education sessions about hearing and hearing loss
- worked with schools in the surrounding area to provide Hussh-ups for classroom chairs.
The Gander Branch plans to continue similar projects in the future. Being the Provincial representative on the CHHA-NL Board of Directors creates a focal point for rural members and branches to have input to the board of CHHA-NL, and as the role evolves, to become a source of information and assistance to the rural members and branches. Both roles also allow Cal to assist the CHHA-NL staff with the delivery of programs and services in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Cal is married with two children and one granddaughter. He enjoys travel, camping, ATV, snowmobiling, woodworking, reading and spending time with family.
His message to others experiencing changes to their hearing?
Acknowledge your hearing loss and take whatever steps necessary to minimize its impact on you life. Talk to the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association to obtain information on hearing, have your hearing tested early and take any recommended action as soon as possible. Inform friends and family what they need to do to communicate with you and use any communication aids available to improve your hearing.Share: