by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
One thing I hear from parents of hard of hearing children is the lack of successful hard of hearing role models for their children to emulate.
Below is the story of one mother who decided to try to do something about this.
Hearing-Impaired Superhero for Child Who Refuses to Wear Hearing Aid
After her four-year-old son Anthony told her he didn’t want to wear his hearing aid to school anymore because “superheroes don’t wear hearing aids,” Christina D’Allessandro wrote Marvel asking if there was a hearing-impaired superhero she could use to prove Anthony wrong.
She received a response back from Marvel Entertainment editor Bill Rosemann, who pointed to Hawkeye as an example of a superhero whose hearing was destroyed, requiring him to wear a hearing aid. (His hearing was later restored.)
Realizing this was insufficient, Rosemann and others at Marvel set out to create a brand-new superhero who draws his power from a “listening device.” They named the character “Blue Ear” after Anthony’s hearing aid.
“When danger makes a sound, the Blue Ear answers the call. Anthony Smith is Blue Ear,” reads the cover of Blue Ear’s inaugural “comic book.”
“From here, anything is possible,” D’Allessandro told WHDH-TV. “And that’s the way he’s looking at it.”
The above story was written by Neetzan Zimmerman and posted on Gawker.com on May 24, 2012.