Seen & Heard: Jeff Bonnell

14 05 2012

Jeff Bonnell, a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), made his Seen & Heard profile debut in the May/June 2012 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which just arrived in member mailboxes. Seen & Heard is a new column I developed for the magazine in 2011 and we had 48 members get enthusiastically involved in our first outreach effort! We’ll be publishing one or two profiles (as space allows) in each issue of the bimonthly magazine. Other members previously profiled were Danielle Nicosia, John Kinstler, Judy Martin, Anne Taylor and Sam Spritzer,

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
Do you have a hearing loss or know someone who does? Consider membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. Student annual dues are $20, individual annual dues are $35, and family/couple annual dues are $45. Fees outside the U.S. are slightly higher. All memberships include discounts on hearing-related products, convention and special event early bird discounts, AVIS and Alamo car rental, and the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. Sign up for membership here.

My favorite response from Jeff? “I simply cannot live without… air.”

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

JEFF BONNELL  Born 6.15.1948 in Worthington, OH / Resides in Atlanta, GA

MY HEARING LOSS… No one knew I was totally deaf in my right ear until my first grade teacher noticed I had to turn my head to hear when we were playing “Pass the Secret” game. She called my folks; I was tested right away. My left ear compensated for my hearing loss until a minor stroke 12 years ago left me with only 5 percent hearing in my “good” ear. My hearing aid restores my sanity!

SAGE ADVICE… Know you are not alone; more than 36 million Americans have a hearing loss, too. Hearing loss can certainly be frustrating, but advocate for yourself and your hearing loss. Help educate those who can hear how to best communicate with you (e.g., look directly at me, don’t cover your mouth when talking, etc.)

FUNNY HEARING LOSS MOMENT… I tried to get my 96-year-old mother to use closed captioning on her TV. She finally relented to using it when Victor, her soap opera star, was using a voiceover while he was ‘thinking’ instead of moving his lips. After just a short while, Mom exclaimed, “Do you know sometimes the words appear on the screen before the person actually says them?!” Go, Mom!

WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WANTED TO BE… an English teacher.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY… I loved teaching neighborhood kids in our basement classroom, complete with a large blackboard!

FIRST THING I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY… A bright orange Plymouth Barracuda!

CRITTERS? I had two cats who lived to be 14 and 21. We had a coming-of-age party when Julya turned 21!

THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE… Console the family of a suicide victim (I work part time in a funeral home.)

I LOVE THE SOUNDS OF… birds chirping, clocks ticking, waves pounding the surf and chimes.

HOBBIES? Gardening, traveling, reading, hanging out

MULTILINGUAL? Je parle un peu de Français und Ich spreche Deutsch.

PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED THAT I… had open-heart surgery.

MY LITTLE KNOWN TALENT IS… singing in the shower.

I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR… anything chocolate.

I COLLECT… airline memorabilia.

WORKING NINE TO FIVE… cleaned school houses, taught 7th and 8th grade English, and English as a Second Language, reservations sales agent and supervisor for Delta Air Lines, and funeral assistant in a funeral home

I AM… liberal, caring and outgoing.


I HAVE UNCANNY ABILITY TO… make people smile.


THREE FAVORITE POSSESSIONS… My liberty, my family and my free time

LONG-TERM GOAL… peer mentor for hard of hearing folks

SHORT-TERM GOAL… Consoling families after they experience death in the family

I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AS… loving, kind and thoughtful.


I enjoy the variety of articles in Hearing Loss Magazine and wish it came out monthly! Encourage articles from frontline folks like us.



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