Arlene Romoff
a dynamic speaker
with an uplifting story

Reviews and Comments
What They are Saying about Arlene's
Books, Speeches & Advocacy Work


About Arlene
Public Speaking


eviews of Arlene's latest book, Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing, as well as her powerful key-note speaking message and tireless efforts for those with hearing loss, have been uniformly filled with praise. Here are just a few reviews and comments:

Words of Praise

 “This volume will serve to help many people struggling with the decision of whether to get an implant, or a second implant. I think that after reading this book, the answer will be obvious. But perhaps most significantly, even the casual reader will appreciate the experience of witnessing a true miracle in our lifetime ─ allowing people who are deaf to hear.” — Laurie Hanin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center for Hearing and Communication. 

“Arlene Romoff has detailed her journey through hearing loss and hearing gain through cochlear implantation in great detail with honesty and accuracy. I highly recommend this book to patients and practitioners alike.” ― J. Thomas Roland, Jr. MD, Co-Director, NYU Cochlear Implant Center.

“Bravo – another winner! Listen Closely is the personal odyssey of a brave woman embracing the latest cochlear implant technology. Her story reveals the true, incessant nature of progressive hearing loss.  We travel with her through the frustrations of a world without sound to an enveloping sound landscape as she joins the increasing number of people who are realizing the benefits of ‘going bilateral.’" ― Brenda Battat, Executive Director,   Hearing Loss Association of America

“If you have ever wondered why cochlear implants are referred to as “miracles” this book is a must read.   In her second book, Listen Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing, author, Arlene Romoff provides practical information and inspiring real-life examples of the potential of modern cochlear implant technology.  Simply put, this is a story of an amazing journey to rediscover the world of sound!” ― David C. Alexander, Ph.D. – Cochlear Implant User.

"I finished the book last night.  It is remarkable!  I love the spiritual dimension (Eli Eli was very moving).  It was sweet of you to mention how we were cheering you on in services.  Also, the chapter on days of silence was riveting.  Your fear became my fear.  Finally, there is a real Jewish story here about miracles and faith and b’shert. Arlene, this book will do very well and should be read by all.  Good luck with the publishing." ― Rabbi Peter S. Berg, The Temple, Atlanta, GA. 

“Listening Closely is a book that every audiologist and auditory scientist should read.  Arlene provides us with an engaging description of her transition to binaural hearing and the process of “going bilateral”.   The book is full of insightful analogies and reminds us as professionals that clinical tests do not tell us everything we need to know about the experiences of an individual adapting to using cochlear implants.” ― Janet Koehnke, Ph.D., CCC-A, Professor  & Chair, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Montclair State University, Bloomfield, NJ  07003

I have to tell you how much I appreciated reading your book Hear Again. It gave me so much insight into your world. You gave me an inside feel. As a speech therapist doing auditory rehabilitation/training, it is a tremendous gift to get a deeper perspective. When I met you I told you how rewarding I find my work. Listening to you and reading your book reinforced my love for what I do - I feel blessed to be in a position where I can be a resource and guide to people facing the challenge of hearing loss. I want you to know that although I have not struggled with hearing loss - there are other ways I've been forced to grow as person. I related to many of the feelings you expressed. I realize over and over that struggles/difficulties are universal- although they present in many different forms. I was so happy to be part of learning about how you face and triumph in your personal journey. It was a joy to experience your joy and I also felt your pain. I was moved and touched with your words ... and I thank you for sharing your story. ― Judy Elk, Speech-Language Pathologist.

I want to thank you, along with my associate Brigid Cahalan of Outreach Services, for your wonderful talk at the Author @ the Library program on cochlear implants. Your talk reminded me of what I loved best about your book, how you express your feelings and illustrate so poetically what it is like to be cut off and unable to communicate because of a hearing loss.... Thanks again for the great presentation! ― Dana Simon, Disabilities Planning Committee and Senior Librarian - New York Public Library, Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library.

Your story is remarkable and inspiring. I know it will move mountains, it moved me in the short time we spoke.... ― Gladys Bensimon, President, HBR Production Company

. . .all I can say is that Arlene Romoff is a ball of energy and somebody I wouldn't say "no" to - great advocate. Alex Varley, CEO, Media Access Australia

The collaboration workshop was terrific and long overdue.  Thanks again for speaking about forming coalitions and using networking to identify talents and put them to work for the state association. I consider you the best networked person I know – and that says a lot coming from the D.C. area! ― Elizabeth LeBarron, National States and Chapters Coordinator, Hearing Loss Association of America

I was very moved by your talk on your new book, it was hard to hold my tears so it wouldn't show, many of your descriptions were so apt, so many of the situations I faced & so many of my frustrations. . . . .   You are truly an amazing person. ― Denise Rubens, Member, Hearing Loss Ass'n of NJ - Bergen County Chapter.

Consumer Reviews―Amazon

When I read Arlene's first book (HEAR AGAIN) I was in the throes of deciding whether to get my first CI. That book helped me make the decision that has changed my life! Now I am considering my second CI and once again Arlene's book is so helpful. Sharing her journey, her frustrations, her proactive attitude and her triumphs is very heartening. I highly recommend this book, not only to the HOH and deaf, but also to their partners. The insight is invaluable. Thank you, Arlene! ― Joan E.

"Listening Closely" is a valuable book for CI candidates and recipients alike. Join Arlene Romoff on her hearing journey as she relates her personal CI experiences with feeling and sensitivity, and shares her expertise as she weaves metaphors and analogies into the tapestry of her tale. You will find many of your CI questions answered in her inspirational and moving odyssey.― Barbara

Arlene Romoff inspires and uplifts with her new biography of her personal journey in and out and back into the hearing world. She chronicles clearly and honestly her panic and disconnect when her first cochlear implant "died". Arlene offers a detailed narration of the process she went through being tested, preped and undergoing frightening surgery and then emerging joyfully into the re-discovery of the nuances of sound, music, laughter and sharing that hearing people simply take for granted.
    The eyes (and ears!) of hearing readers are opened. The hesitations and questions of people with diminished hearing are addressed. Parents and family members of those considering cochlear implants will glean encouragement and a new understanding by reading this valuable book. ―

"Listen Closely" is very well written. Arlene strives for perfection and with this book she has certainly hit the mark. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. For me it was a page-turner. I could feel the emotion as I read about her journey; from the highs to the lows, Arlene takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. All the while, she explains the technology involved in cochlear implant usage in simple every day terms. Her wonderful sense of humor made me chuckle. I am a cochlear implant user myself, and am bilateral. I agree completely with what she has stated in her book on the improvements in hearing with bilateral cochlear implants that can't be documented in hearing tests. - A must read for anyone considering bilateral cochlear implants. ― Nancy D.

My friend has worn a cochlear implant for 10 years and I wanted to research the use of two cochlear implants. This book explores the degradation of the author's initial implant and ultimate failure. She explores her family and social commitments and how her hearing loss affects all of the people she encounters in her busy lifestyle. She gives detailed information about the actual activation and adaptation to her replacement cochlear implant, as well as her thought process about undergoing another surgery to become a bilateral cochlear implant user.

The book was easy to read and understand. The chapters were short enough to keep my attention, with just the right amount of personal emotion to make me feel as if I were reading and exploring a friend's journey.

I would highly recommend this book to any friend or family member of an individual who's considering cochlear implants. It will give you insight into the thought process of 1, deciding to implant; 2, adjustment to new hearing; 3, the blossoming world that opens for someone who is newly implanted; and 4, another level of hearing for a bilateral cochlear implant user. ―
Patti White

I laughed and cried with her the whole way!, April 18, 2011

I am also a very lucky AB cochlear implant bilateral recipient so I closely identified with Arlene every step of the way. After suddenly losing my hearing overnight in 2000, I was immediately a CI candidate. I had never heard of CI's back then and had to do some fast research. Looking back, I sure wish I had Arlene's book then. Today there are many educational resources and books available to someone who loses his/her hearing. "Listening Closely" is one of the BEST! ―  Barb

Arlene's describes her awesome journey, going bilateral, in her latest book. Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing, will make one feel the struggle and then know the joy of once again having bilateral hearing.
Arlene's latest book will catch your attention at the beginning and hold it to the finish. A very good read.
I recommend Arlene's book to anyone interested in getting cochlear implants, they are truly a man made miracle that allows the deaf to hear again. ―

Read and Rejoice!, March 28, 2011

Thirty years ago, when I sought information about cochlear implants to help me with my bilateral hearing loss, there was little information and much of it was negative. I was told, "It will never happen in your lifetime!"

They were wrong. I received my first Cochlear Implant , the Nucleus 22 in 1990.

If you want personal information, professionally and wisely presented about the heartbreak and triumphs of the journey from hearing loss to the miracle of hearing again with bilateral cochlear implants, ask Arlene Romoff. Arlene's second book "Listening Closely" says it all. Read and rejoice. ―
By Charlotte (Florida, United States)

A must read, March 25, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Arlene Romoff's latest book, Listening Closely. She has a beautiful flair for writing about her feelings both positive and negative and I am sure many hearing impaired people can relate to this. Like Arlene, I too am deaf and I also am a bilateral Cochlear Implant user.

I had taken this book to Longboat Key last week where we spent a few days vacationing with our children and grandchildren who had rented a house on the beach. It was just a beautifully serene setting and reading her book in this setting made me so much more aware of the sounds I had so easily gotten used to and unfortunately, I must say, started taking for granted. It gave me a new awareness of all of the beautiful sounds which I so missed when I couldn't hear.

While sitting on the beach all by myself, I became more aware of the slapping of the fronds on the palm trees and the raucous chattering of the sea birds. How beautiful it all sounded.

Whenever I start to take this gift of hearing for granted, I will pick up this book and remember to listen closely again.

This book gives hope that the gift of sound with cochlear implants, is indeed possible.

Arlene has a gift of expressing herself and does it so well in Listening Closely. 
By Carol

A MUST READ!!!, March 24, 2011

Arlenes Book is a must read. I couldnt put this book down.If it wasnt for Her first book Hear Again I wouldnt be wearing my Cochler Implant right now. Arlene has Bilateral cochlear implants that helps her to hear. After reading Listening Closely about Her Journey with Bilateral cochlear implants she has given me alot of hope and strength now that I have a cochlear Implant. This book is amazing. Pick your copy up today. You will be glad you did. ― By Dani

Required Reading!, March 21, 2011

When I was researching cochlear implants for myself, I read Arlene Romoff's first book, "Hear Again". It was the inspiration for making the decision to go forward with the cochlear implant surgery. My life was changed forever!

The 'Listening Closely' sequel is the perfect companion book. Arlene went through 10 years of excellent hearing with her cochlear implant, only to have her device stop functioning. One minute she was hearing and living her life, and the next she was plunged back into silence.

This book takes the reader through the emotions and frustrations of being deaf again. The reimplanting surgery, learning to hear with more advanced technology, and then taking it all one step further and deciding to implant her other ear....being bilateral!

Most people take hearing with two ears for granted. I know I sure did! Arlene finally gets to hear in 'stereo' again, and thanks to Advanced Bionics and some very high tech software, she is hearing music like she can't believe.

This is the story of a true bionic woman. It's also a look into the life of someone with a hearing loss. Getting a cochlear implant is a choice. Not everyone will make this choice, but for those that do, the world can open back up in a river of sound and emotions. Let Arlene take you through her journey. Read this book, you will be glad you did. ―
By Debra (Southern California Desert)


Arlene's Latest TV Interview in 6 Parts



Books by
Arlene Romoff:

Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing (Charlesbridge/Imagine, 2011)

Hear Again: Back to Life with a Cochlear Implant (Sterling, 2002)

Books by
Arlene Romoff:

Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing (Charlesbridge/Imagine, 2011)

Hear Again: Back to Life with a Cochlear Implant (Sterling, 2002)




Review from Charlesbridge/Imagine Publishing

....Arlene's journey, however, isn't just about the magic of technology. What she endured reveals as much about the strength of the human spirit, about the wonders of chance and fate, and about making the most of what life dishes out. For Arlene, events seemed to unfold almost as if they were a part of some elaborate plan.... Read Full Review

Monthly Communicator - Publication of the NJ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

....Above all, Arlene tells us what it means to hear again with two ears. She writes these "chronicles" in a personal style as though talking to a friend. She is courageous and honest, unafraid to expose tears of despair or joy, her reactions to difficulties encountered and sheer delight in her success....Read Full Review

Chick Lit Central:The Blog!   Review

Ms. Romoff takes the world of a cochlear implant user and puts it into terms that are easy for a person who can't relate (or has never heard of a cochlear implant) to understand. Read Full Review

Review from Charlesbridge/Imagine Publishing

Imagine what it would be like not to hear a sound--no music, no friendly voices, no children's laughter. Arlene Romoff doesn't have to imagine how it would feel: She lived it. Although she was born with normal hearing, in her late teens it began to slip away, as if someone were lowering the volume of the world around her. Over the next twenty-five years, Arlene began a long, slow descent into deafness so profound that no hearing aid or assistive device could help. The experience was devastating.
But then Arlene opted for what she considers a miracle: She got a cochlear implant. Using electrodes threaded into the cochlea, an internal computer chip, and an external computer processor, cochlear implants bypass the damaged portion of the cochlea and stimulate the auditory nerve directly, allowing sound to reach the brain. Amazingly, she could hear again.
Arlene's journey, however, isn't just about the magic of technology. What she endured reveals as much about the strength of the human spirit, about the wonders of chance and fate, and about making the most of what life dishes out. For Arlene, events seemed to unfold almost as if they were a part of some elaborate plan: Just when she went deaf, her insurance company began paying for the implants. And ten years later, when her old cochlear implant finally failed, she received two new state-of-the-art cochlear implants - “going bilateral” - enabling her to continue counseling others with hearing loss.
Listening Closely will give you a chance to walk in Arlene Romoff's shoes, to understand the pain of her loss and the joy of once again being able to hear the music of the world. Those suffering from hearing loss--or who have a loved one who is—will also find Arlene's very special journey both inspirational and informative.   Back to Top of Full Reviews

  Monthly Communicator - April 1, 2011 – Publication of the NJ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Review by Karin N. Mango, MA, MLS - advocates for better communication (a.b.c.)

This is a unique book that raises both hopes and spirits. Arlene Romoff started to lose her hearing in her late teens, eventually becoming deaf. Powerful hearing aids no longer worked and she opted for a cochlear implant. Her first book, Hear Again, was the story of her first "CI." Now, she has chronicled her odyssey through total silence after the failure of the first implant, through re-implantation and finally a second, bilateral CI.
This is an odyssey of what Arlene terms, "biblical proportions." She describes clearly and in detail the technical steps: how a cochlear implant works, surgery, programming, mapping, and the recipient's efforts to successfully use two bionic ears. Above all, Arlene tells us what it means to hear again with two ears. She writes these "chronicles" in a personal style as though talking to a friend. She is courageous and honest, unafraid to expose tears of despair or joy, her reactions to difficulties encountered and sheer delight in her success. She has certainly worked hard enough, practicing, and using every opportunity to improve her listening skills.
Generously, she gives thanks to those who have helped her, and her expressed love and gratitude for her husband and family are unmistakable. She has a delightful sense of humor, lightening-up what might have been a purely technical and educational experience. Nature and its healing powers, her religion, and music, including a memorable carillon concert, sustain her. Arlene's joy is palpable: "I was just hearing...really hearing without effort" and "no longer an observer but a participant." She, and her brain, almost a separate character, learn the importance of directionality--recognizing the source of sounds, the "basis of safety and socialization"--and that normal-hearing people hear in "surround sound." "People treat you differently when they know you can hear them." She feels like a normal person.
While many, perhaps most, implantees are not as successful or fortunate as Arlene is, Listening Closely is an inspiring journey for all.
Back to Top of Full Reviews
  Chick Lit Central:The Blog! - July 5, 2011
Review by Melissa Amster

I am probably the best and worst person to read "Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing" by Arlene Romoff. And it's for the same reason: I have two children with hearing loss. The part that makes me the best reader is that I have the interest and appreciation for what Ms. Romoff has gone through. The part that makes me the worst reader is that my insurance provider is going to hate me for wanting to get both children bilateral cochlear implants. (Although one kid has one already, I'd like him to get the other one as soon as possible, based on the information I got from reading this memoir.)
Arlene Romoff started losing her hearing in her teen years and it progressively got worse until she could barely communicate with anyone verbally. Then she got a cochlear implant and her whole world changed. Eleven years later, the implant broke and she was plunged back into silence for about a month. This is where her journey truly takes off.
I found "Listening Closely" to be a fascinating memoir. Ms. Romoff takes the world of a cochlear implant user and puts it into terms that are easy for a person who can't relate (or has never heard of a cochlear implant) to understand. She paints a picture of her situation through journal entries detailing her journey from silence to full sound. She uses a lot of symbolism and talks about some interesting coincidences that have happened in her life in relation to her hearing loss and receiving the implant. I was glad that she wrote this book, as it allowed me to understand what my kids are going through, as they can't put it into words as beautifully and succinctly as Ms. Romoff is able to. She allows the reader to feel her emotions along with her and I even found myself laughing and crying at times. I ended up e-mailing her after I read various parts of this book and I would ask her questions or tell her how I could relate in other ways to a concept she was conveying. Since she is Jewish, I'm able to relate on that level too. She doesn't shove religion down anyone's throat, but uses it as a tool to convey her spiritual journey that occurs along with her hearing journey. Anyone practicing any type of religion can appreciate it on that level.
This memoir does leave me with a concern though. Since Ms. Romoff was born with hearing and has been able to experience both hearing and deafness (or close enough to it), her experiences have given her a bias towards hearing, which is presented in this book. I feel it is a great tool for audiologists and ENTs (ear, nose and throat doctors, or otolaryngologists) as it would convince their patients to get a cochlear implant (or perhaps two). I also think it would interest anyone who has hearing and wants to know what it is like to lose that sense or anyone who has experienced hearing loss for themselves or someone close to them and remedied that loss with an assisted listening device. However, if someone has been deaf all their life and they choose not to even consider a cochlear implant (which is their prerogative and I would never fault them for it), they may want to take a pass on this book. There is always going to be some push-back on cochlear implants in the Deaf Culture in general. Since Ms. Romoff is very much "pro-cochlear implant," this may come off as frustrating to someone who feels that implants are taking away from their culture and community. I also felt that the comments about people needing to hear in order to function as "human beings" would bother someone who has always been deaf and feels they are functioning just as well as anyone else. I'm not saying there's a right way or wrong way to feel in regards to hearing loss, but I would still tell someone who is deaf to proceed with caution, should they be interested in reading Ms. Romoff's memoir.
I am personally "pro-cochlear implant," but if my kids had been born with hearing in the first place, I might not even have known this book existed. Therefore, I might not have thought to take the opportunity to read it, nor would I have had the chance to meet a remarkable woman (though online only thus far). And furthermore, I would not have introduced you to her last month so you could learn more about her and her memoir. Therefore, if you are open to reading about a different experience than one you take for granted, I would highly encourage you to read "Listening Closely." While I wouldn't categorize it as a leisurely "beach read," it is still very informative and easy to follow along with. You may even find yourself relating to Ms. Romoff in other ways, as she presents many facets of her life in this memoir.
Going forward, my only suggestion to Ms. Romoff would be to write her next book as a fictional novel with a heroine who has to deal with hearing loss and is perhaps stuck between two worlds, trying to figure out what is best for herself. She would be the best person to write this kind of novel as she has experienced both sides and has the whole gamut of emotions to put into such a lead character. She could also put in a lot of realistic facts, disguised as situations the character would have to deal with. I know I would definitely read this novel, were she to write it. With all the misconceptions of deafness and hearing loss out there, someone needs to set the record straight! Back to Top of Full Reviews

Copyright © 2011 by Arlene Romoff 

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