Patricia Kricos and Lynn Rousseau: Spirit of Gainesville nominees


Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.

Patricia Kricos and Lynn Rousseau have assisted those in the community who live every day with hearing loss of various degrees. Kricos offers workshops on "learning to live with hearing loss" and Rousseau, as the Gainesville chapter leader of Hearing Loss Association of Florida offers her support and resources for information. Both work together on the workshop giving attendees points of view from an audiologist (Kricos) and Rousseau (hard of hearing). Acknowledgement of all Kricos and Rousseau have offered many in our community would be rewarding in itself.

Facts

Category: Community Service

About Patricia Kricos and Lynn Rousseau

Occupation: Patricia Kricos (past president American Academy of Audiology, UF PhD of audiology). Lynn Rousseau (hearing loss association of Gainesville, past chair, CDAC board, Oticon focus on people award for advocacy, featured on cover of May/June HLAA magazine).

Years in Gainesville: Kricos (40) / Rousseau (35)

Spouse: Bill Kricos / Joel Rousseau

Children: Kricos (3) / Rousseau (3), (8 grandchildren)

This has been offered to the community free for over ten years. As an invisible condition, it is important to allow those with hearing loss to find effective ways to communicate . . . so to be healthy and productive in the workplace, at home or in social situations.

The impact is clearly seen on attendees at the workshops held at United Way each week. They walk out not feeling alone and with a new sense of control over their hearing loss. An unseen group of people to most of society but nevertheless an important group. It is not spoken about . . . but the support is there.

People form new friendships and participate more in daily activities. It may not be visible . . . but then hearing loss is invisible!

Assistive devices at the theaters (PAC) captions at the movies and on TV news offers access to everyday activities.

This is all volunteer work on the part of Kricos and Rousseau . . . yet it takes time and money to provide info that can be kept by individuals. Online support through the hearing loss association of Gainesville is always available.

More support from the community in acknowledging that there are so many people with hearing loss is needed. Protecting our children's ears is important too.

Acknowledgment that Kricos and Rousseau have given to the community can be seen when Rousseau visits retirement communities and shares helpful insight to coping skills. Also information about free amplified and captioned phones is also shared. Effective communication is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Both Kricos and Rousseau offer their expertise on their own time . . . free.

With hearing loss being an invisible condition and affecting more than 200,000 . . . it is important to address the situation so all have a chance to be part of their community and family structure. Again, it is invisible, not everyone can afford hearing aids . . . so other ways to cope is very important.

Those who have attended sessions at the United Way Conference room leave with more confidence in themselves and learn to speak up in doctors' offices, at home and express their needs in social situations. A quiet majority for sure but largely impacted at best. Both strive to erase the age old stigma attached to having a hearing loss. Value to the community means a healthier lifestyle, more outings, friendships formed with others with the same concerns . . . and happier all around. Being part of the community means more revenue in the long run. At the PAC, there are new assistive devices, captions at the movies, and captions on the news allow one to be part of Gainesville!

Submitted by Joe Rousseau (Lynn's husband)

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top