As a Christian man, David Frazier likes to cite the Book of Genesis, Chapter 11, when discussing his passion for language. “It says something profound about the importance of language and communication,” says Frazier, a 32 year-old resident of University Park, IL. In the Old Testament passage, the Babylonians wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty city with a tower reaching up to the heavens. God disrupted the work by confusing the language of the workers.
“When they were unable to all speak in one accord, they were not able to complete their mission,” said David. “When people can’t communicate effectively together they tend to abandon each other.”
It’s a guiding principle that has inspired David’s career in audiology. A graduate of Thornwood High School, David works as an audiologist at Lucid Hearing Center and teaches classes in the Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SPA) Program at South Suburban College. “I just fell in love with the field. It is a balance of science and connecting with people. I want to invest my life in this field because I view it as more than just a job. It can literally change a person’s life.”
In the 21st Century, there have been significant advances in hearing technologies. However, David says there is still a myth that hearing loss is an older adult problem. As many as 16% of teens ages 12 to 19 have reported some hearing loss which may be caused by loud noise, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“Hearing is something that can greatly improve people’s quality of life,” said David. “We yearn as humans to be connected. Helen Keller said blindness separates people from things and deafness separates people from people.”
As an African American audiologist, David says he works both to help underserved populations and to bridge cultures. He has served as a commissioner for the Illinois Deaf and Hearing Commission to discuss issues for people who may be marginalized. In addition, he sits on the Illinois Hearing Society Board of Directors.
“There are less than two percent of audiologists who are African American, so I do stand out in a good way – I can advocate for people. If I can do something to help others, then I am fulfilling my mission in life.”