Hearing Loss

As a speaker, writer and pianist with hearing loss, Nancy M. Williams helps shape the dialogue on hearing health. She coined the term "listening profit" as a counterpoint to "hearing loss."

Nancy M. Williams helps shape the North American dialogue on hearing health through her work as a speaker, writer, and pianist with hearing loss. She is particularly concerned with alleviating societal stigma surrounding hearing loss and coined the term, "listening profit," as a counterpoint to "hearing loss". She served a four-year term on the board of the Hearing Health Foundation.

Personal Story with Hearing Loss

My hearing loss is genetic, a mutation of the Connexin 26 gene. Although I was diagnosed at age six with a high-frequency loss, I was not fitted with my first hearing aid until seventh grade. I have worn hearing aids ever since, although for many years, afraid of the social stigma, I tried to hide my loss, even from myself.

Not long after I returned to the piano, I started writing about the intimate relationship between music and hearing, sound and silence. The hearing community became an important part of my identity. Now my hearing loss is moderate across the board, dipping to severe in the high frequencies.  I hope that by openly speaking and writing about hearing loss that I will help alleviate the stigma.

Hearing Health Foundation

The Hearing Health Foundation is a national nonprofit organization seeking a biological cure to hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research. Nancy M. Williams served on the Board of Directors from 2011 to 2015. As the chair of the marketing committee, she spearheaded development of new corporate branding, public service advertising, and online and social media marketing.