Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hearing impaired legislator-elect hopes to be an inspiration

Oswego County legislator-elect Dan Farfaglia is ready to take office at the first of the year. He overcame what he thought would be a tough battle to win the District 24 seat from incumbent Republican legislator Mark Fruce.

Just nine votes shy of winning by 200 votes, Farfaglia, a Democrat, said he was surprised.

“I was expecting those numbers but I thought they would be the other way around,” he said.

After celebrating his victory, Farfaglia began the task of overcoming his next challenge — to be able to hear in the legislature chambers.

Farfaglia is 80-percent deaf in his left ear and 60-percent deaf in his right ear.

He utilizes hearing aids and lip reading. “I can read lips but I can’t do it without sound,” he noted.

Farfaglia said he has met with County Administrator Phil Church to discuss accommodations so he does not miss any part of the meetings. He said he will turn to those speaking behind him to allow him to lip read and better listen.

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