NFL player, Derrick Coleman, came to the Minnesota Vikings this year as a rookie. What people may not know about him is that he is hearing impaired. At the age of 3, Derrick was diagnosed as being hard of hearing due to a missing gene. He wears hearing aids and relies on lip reading, especially when “in the huddle”.
Without hearing aids, Derrick can only hear the bass in people’s voices and in a situation with a lot of background noise, Derrick turns to lip reading, which he does expertly.
So how do the hearing aids shape up on the field? Derrick wears two skull caps under his helmet to protect them. The first one keeps them from getting wet from sweat and the other one keeps them from popping out when he gets hit.
Derrick’s story of overcoming his disability is inspiring for many. He regularly speaks at schools and uses his platform as a way to mentor kids, share his own experiences and offer support. He tries to remove the stigma of hearing aids by pointing out that people with poor eyesight wear glasses.
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