The value of Peer Support

A grey-haired man shows a younger man how to access applications on a smart phone that help communication
We find ourselves pulled in many different directions at once, trying to meet the expectations of our families, friends, employers, and society, as well as our own expectations of ourselves. The stressors we encounter can cause us to become disconnected from our intrinsic qualities and our sense of who we are. If one adds to these normal stressors the additional load of challenges associated with hearing loss, it is often extremely difficult to stay connected to who we are.

As a peer supporter, I devote my skills and services to helping people with impairments come to terms with their challenges and move forward in life and their careers. The goal of peer support is to empower individuals to be happy with their lives and not let their challenges interfere with their potential, personal goals, or purpose. Peer support is an ongoing relationship that helps people with impairments rise to higher levels of fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

Peer support is centered on helping people discover exactly how they can best achieve balance in their lives, while encouraging new and alternative ways of thinking. Peer Supporters share honest, constructive insights and feedback to help you reach your full potential and enhance the quality of your life.

Peer Support is focussed on:
– empowering people with impairments to live a purposeful life
– being happy and content in relationships
– overcoming negative feelings about hearing loss,
– supporting the individual to understand disabling conditions/environments and reasonable accommodations,
– feeling comfortable telling people about hearing loss,
– feeling comfortable asking people to talk in such a way that you can hear and understand them better
– feeling confident as an individual in work, social, and personal environments.

And thanks to technology, we can now offer peer support via Google Meet, Zoom, WhatsApp, or face-to-face.

Where better to hear of the challenges and solutions of impairment than from someone who has walked the same path!

by Fanie du Toit NCPD Senior Specialist: Hearing impairment and deaf affairs

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