YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We’ve heard struggles from the deaf community regarding the pandemic and wearing masks. Now a Youngstown man is making videos about his challenges and sharing them online.
Justin Loncar is sharing his new normal with the world.
He has cochlear implants — a type of advanced hearing aid — but even with them, Justin relies on lip-reading to communicate. The pandemic has made it nearly impossible to do that.
“It’s very frustrating to communicate with people with masks on. It’s exhausting,” he said.
Justin knew he wasn’t alone, so he wanted to share his experiences while bringing some laughter to the world.
In May, he started making videos explaining what it’s like to be deaf. He had no idea that in just a few months, his videos would have millions of views or that he’d get more than 100,000 followers online.
“People are saying, ‘Wow, I didn’t expect something like this. This helps me. This helps me not to say this to deaf people, this helps me to know more about deaf people,” Justin said.
He loves knowing he can spread hope by making people laugh, while teaching them what deaf people really go through.
“I’m trying to educate the world that being deaf is not so sad or depressing, it’s just part of life.”
Justin said he’s so grateful for his cochlear implants. “Everything is just really, really beautiful with sound — music, birds chirping, people talking.”
He’s found a way to share his voice with the world. “I just can’t imagine not being able to hear again because it’s a beautiful sound of life.”