Hearing is something most of us take for granted — so much so that we often don’t notice when someone else is deaf — and hearing is something we depend daily to communicate, participate in activities and enjoy cultural events.
For Stephanie Renass, the new audiologist at Ears to You Mobile Hearing Clinic, helping people enjoy the rich tapestry of sound is the most satisfying part of her job — and only a part of why she loves being part of the Ears to You team.
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Stephanie brings a unique perspective to her work — she was born deaf — which gives her a personal understanding of the barriers of connectedness that individuals can face daily and she is driven to improve quality of life for every client. Many people think of hearing loss as something that only happens to older people and yet in our ever-noisier world, more younger people are experiencing hearing loss than ever, and some people, like Stephanie, begin life non-hearing.
As a young person, Stephanie didn’t consider audiology as a career — it wasn’t until it was suggested to her that she realized that she could make a real difference within her community and that her unique experience was beneficial in so many ways that she hadn’t considered. Growing up deaf in a hearing world has made Stephanie adaptable and resilient — she is an excellent communicator too, fluent in both English and American Sign Language (ASL), and most importantly, she has real world experience in dealing with hearing loss.
Compassion and connection
After completing her Master’s degree in Audiology and Speech Sciences at UBC, Stephanie spent six years in private practice and non-profit organization settings focusing on aural rehabilitation, hearing aid tech, and community education. She has also spent time volunteering as a role model for d/Deaf youth and worked with families and individuals to improve their ASL. The Ears to You team is proud to have her on board!
Stephanie’s skill set is impressive, but It was being deaf that instilled in her a drive to connect with other people. As an audiologist, she has knowledge that allows her to help other people with hearing loss reconnect with their world. She says that it’s her favourite part of her job. “It helps that I am deaf because I get it, what they are going through, and I love being able to help!”
And what’s the toughest part of her job? “I know there is still a stigma around hearing aids — and it can be tough for some folks to understand that hearing loss affects all age groups!”
“My hearing loss is part of my identity — part of who I am. I can’t imagine what I would be like if I wasn’t born deaf!”
Like Jeff Campbell, owner of Ears to You, Stephanie is making house calls! Her new role means taking on the entire North Island from Courtney to Port Hardy. If you need a truly sympathetic ear, Stephanie can do better—she can give you two!
READ MORE: Island mobile hearing clinic goes the extra mile — and comes right to you!
Make your appointment today and find out what you’ve been missing. Find out more on the Ears to You website here. Call them at
Ears to You covers Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Courtenay and Campbell River and all the surrounding communities on Vancouver Island from Port Hardy to Victoria!