During our conversation, Dr. Ashley Walker talks about her online classes. One is called Speed Signing. The other is called Preparing for OTC Hearing Aids. If you’re interested in discovering how learning American Sign Language will benefit your patients with hearing loss, you need to listen to this episode. We also talk about OTC hearing aids, deaf culture, inclusion, and more. Ashley is deaf, but she can speak. You will hear Ashley’s voice in this episode.
My Back-to-School Series features interviews with 9 pharmacists who teach online courses. Since it’s back-to-school time for my kids, I created a Back-to-School series for my podcast! Check out the series, and get inspired to either learn or create!
Bio (August 2022)
Dr. Ashley R Walker is a pharmacist, entrepreneur, and an advocate. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Bachelors of Science in Biotechnology from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been a pharmacist for 6 years and recently transitioned into full time entrepreneurship. Prior to her transition, she has had experience in retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, and long term care pharmacy.
Her recent educational pursuits have been completion of a Pharmacogenomics Certificate from the University of Florida. With this certificate she aims to help patients of Med Max Consulting, LLC maximize and optimize their medication therapy specifically to their genetic profile.
Since her high school years, Dr. Walker has been an advocate for members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. She spends time speaking to students in elementary, middle, and high school encouraging them to never let their hearing loss be a reason not to dream big and go after their dreams. As a deaf person herself, she also helps business owners and healthcare professionals make their businesses/practices inclusive to members of this unique community.
Dr. Walker enjoys reading, traveling, going on walks with her family, and attending festivals.
With her personal experiences as a deaf pharmacist and advocate for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community she aims to remind the world that deafness should not be viewed as a DIS-ability but rather a UNIQUE-ability.
Links from this episode
Preparing for OTC Hearing Aids Sept 9, 2022, 6:00 PM CST (Registration is required)
Highlights from our conversation.
A note to the reader: Variations of identity-first language and person-first language are used throughout today’s show notes. “Deaf person” and “person with hearing loss” hold the same meaning.
An interpreter named Jennifer from Resolute Interpreting (Toledo, OH) joined us for this conversation. Jennifer communicated my questions to Dr. Ashley Walker. Thank you Jennifer!
Dr. Ashley Walker is my first podcast guest with hearing loss. I would highly encourage other podcasters to invite deaf podcast guests onto their podcasts too. Ashley fit the criteria for my Back-to-School Series perfectly, and I’m so glad we could have a conversation about her online classes! If you would like to reach out to Dr. Ashley Walker, please connect on LinkedIn or email her.
Dr. Ashley talked about her two online classes
- Speed Signing
- Monthly ASL (American Sign Language) online class $29/student, length is 60-75 min.
- Taught by Dr. Ashley and two interpreters.
- Words from previous classes are reviewed first. Then, new ones are added. Students rotate among three rooms every 10-12 minutes. There’s a quiz at the end.
- Words I learned when I took the class include: the alphabet, numbers, colors, family members, and short phrases, for example, “Nice to meet you.”
- The goal is to improve communication between healthcare providers and deaf patients.
- “Finger spelling” words is an alternative to using a full vocabulary of ASL.
- Practicing between classes is encouraged.
- Ashley and her team of interpreters [for the class] take requests. If you want to learn how to say something, they can accommodate your request(s).
- Speed Signing is a safe space to ask questions about the deaf community.
- Future classes will be posted on Dr. Ashley Walker’s LinkedIn page each month.
- Preparing for OTC Hearing Aids Sept 9, 2022, 6:00 PM CST (Registration is required) $99
- Ashley’s class/webinar “Preparing for OTC Hearing Aids” is a proactive .
- Why is it important? A variety of hearing aids will be available OTC in October 2022.
- Why is Ashley an expert on the topic? She has worn a variety of hearing aides for over 30 years.
- Participants will learn about hearing aid features, cost, and expectations for insurance billing
- Not all deaf people can read lips.
- Many healthcare professionals don’t know how to identify individuals with hearing loss.
- Many healthcare professionals find it difficult to engage deaf patients.
- Many deaf people avoid healthcare due to misunderstandings and communication barriers.
- According to Ashley, there is a BIG need for ASL interpreters today.
- Dr. Ashley’s advocacy on my podcast is meant to help the hearing loss community feel seen, heard, and understood by the hearing community.
- Ashley’s 3 young children are learning American sign language.
- Advocating for the deaf community is one of Ashley’s passions. She believes that medical professionals who offer healthcare services should offer an interpreter to their deaf patients at no cost.
- “Think ability first” means focusing on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Ashley has a lot of unique abilities. Don’t underestimate people with hearing loss! She can read lips, speak English, use ASL, has a heightened sense of smell, and can read body language better than the average hearing person.
- When you interact with a person with hearing loss, remember The Golden Rule. Ashley’s hearing loss does not define who she is. We should treat others the way we want to be treated.
- ASL sentence structure is different from English sentence structure.
- Some high school students take ASL as a foreign language. Ashley took ASL as a foreign language in college.
- Ashley also offers consulting services to business owners and healthcare providers. She helps them make their businesses/practices inclusive to members of the deaf community. She will be on my podcast again to talk about her advocacy and consulting services.
- Many deaf individuals carve out their own niche in the workforce. We will also talk about that in our next podcast interview. Date TBA. Stay tuned!
- Ashley is a valuable resource about deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Tips for podcasters who interview deaf guests
- Do a pre-interview or communicate via written messages (email or LinkedIn). Podcast hosts, let your guest know what you need. For example, ask your guest about his/her experience with podcasting, headphones, microphones, reading lips, using the chat function of your online recording software (SquadCast, Zoom, etc), using their speaking voice, etc.
- Find out what would make your guest comfortable communicating with you so that the conversation is natural. For example, ask if an interpreter would facilitate the most natural conversation possible.
- Find out what would make the podcast episode accessible for deaf consumers. For example, put the podcast on YouTube with subtitles. I chose “auto-generated subtitles.” If you are a deaf podcast consumer, and you would like to provide feedback about this episode, please go to https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com. Click on the “Contact tab,” and type a message. I’d like to make this episode as accessible to deaf consumers as possible. I care about getting this episode right for you to enjoy!
- Find an interpreter who is ok with being filmed for the YouTube version of your podcast. Maybe your podcast host syndicates the audio only to YouTube. Or, maybe you video recorded your conversation, and you want to put the entire video on YouTube with auto-generated subtitles or custom subtitles. So, finding an interpreter who is ok being filmed is important. Ask your deaf guest if they would like to recommend an interpreter. I did not do this, but I wish I would have. I met two of Dr. Ashley’s speed signing class interpreters on August 21, after I had already hired an interpreter neither of us knew. Everything went well with Jennifer the interpreter, but I would like to hire Natasha or Keva (Ashley’s speed signing interpreters) next time. She has a great rapport with them, and they are a natural choice for our second interview. I wish I would have thought of this sooner. This is a great opportunity for you as a podcaster to learn from my experience!
- The podcast host pays for the interpreter. The interpreter serves a role as the host’s voice. Most podcast hosts do not know ASL. I don’t know ASL. I hired and paid for my interpreter.
- It’s 100% possible to accommodate a person with hearing loss to be successful as a podcast guest. Dr. Ashley Walker did a great job! This was her first podcast interview!
- Being able to get a deaf podcast guest’s attention is important. If you’re the host, you need to work out a signal with your guest before you press, “Record.” I did not, and we figured it out after we pressed, “Stop.” We will be working together in the future for another podcast episode. We’ll communicate more effectively next time.
- Ashley spoke a little loudly during the recording. We practiced before recording, but I still had to limit the loudness using a tool on my audio recording software. It’s called a “limiter.” That helped. Next time, we will experiment a little more with mic placement and volume (her voice loudness) before recording.
Thank you for listening to episode 173 of The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast!
Pharmacists and courses in the Back-to-School Series on The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast
- Dr. Beju Shah, Pharmacy Informatics Academy
- Dr. Blair Thielemier, Pharmapreneur Academy
- Dr. Jimmy Pruitt, Pharmacy and Acute Care University
- Dr. Asha Bohannon, Impact Pharmacist Online Program & PGX Ally Program
- Dr. Adam Martin, Script Your Brand Online Course
- Dr. Kelley Carlstrom, PharmD, Enjoy Learning Oncology Courses (ELO) (Note: there are three tiers of this course)
- Dr. Stu Beatty, The Pharmacist Provider (New online course coming out around Sept 2022)
- Dr. Ashley Walker, Speed Signing with Dr. Ashley R. Walker. She teaches American Sign Language
- Kim Newlove, RPh. A Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Pharmacist’s Voice Podcast
🖥Check out Kim’s websites, and connect with her on social media!
✅Business website https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com
✅The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com/podcast
✅Pronounce Drug Names Like a Pro © Online Course https://www.kimnewlove.com
✅ACX (Audiobook Narrator Profile) https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A10FSORRTANJ4Z
Thank you for listening to episode 173 of The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast!