Whatgirl.net is the web presence of Sara Laufer Consulting, an independent research firm specializing in disability research and policy analysis, with a special interest in the socioeconomic and health policy implications of hearing loss among the non-elderly population. Our readers are dynamic people of all ages with hearing loss, their families and friends, professionals and policy makers interested in hearing loss, educators, and diversity advocates.
The mission of Sara Laufer Consulting is to help people with hearing loss thrive, by giving them tools and real-life inspiration to succeed in the hearing world. We aim to show life management strategies by offering positive examples at home, in the workplace, in higher education, and many other venues in which a vibrant person experiences events and conducts activities. Whatgirl.net is not a source or a substitute for personal medical care, treatment, or advice, nor does Whatgirl.net dispense medical supplies or devices. The resources on this site are intended to complement professional hearing health care.
Whatgirl.net content includes findings from original data analyses and research conducted by Sara Laufer Consulting, to inform both grassroots audiences and policy makers about current statistics and historical trends in demographic, socioeconomic, labor force participation, and about health indicators pertaining to people with hearing loss in the United States and other countries.
Data sets used in analyses include the American Community Survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor and Surveillance Survey, the General Social Survey, the National Health Interview Survey, and Census files. Policy analyses and comments include evaluations of regulations, bills, Congressional transcripts, historical documents, external reports, fiscal impact data, and other materials to allow comprehensive reviews for further policy refinements.
A variety of non-technical and entertaining website material includes tips and strategies for managing hearing loss, hearing health care policy statistics and updates in easy-to-understand language, and reviews of closed-captioned home fitness workout DVDs. Except where otherwise noted, Sara Laufer Consulting authors all website content.
Sara Laufer Consulting accepts no advertising, and all Sara Laufer Consulting research posted on Whatgirl.net is prepared without external funding or influence.
Whatgirl is Sara Laufer , M.A., the owner of Sara Laufer Consulting. Ms. Laufer is a "rhetorical demographer" with over 15 years of experience in life-cycle disability and health disparities research, writing, and analysis. A consultant since 1994, her clients encompass businesses in a broad range of industries, including educational, legal, medical, and financial fields.
She is the sole author of Sound Sense: Living and Learning with Hearing Loss (Washington, D.C: Gallaudet University Press, 2010), a 244-page self-help book for working-age adults with hearing loss. This book is used in many college courses taught in the United States, and is in hundreds of libraries worldwide.
Ms. Laufer's previous positions include internal systems project manager and analyst for the @Home Network (later Excite@Home), disability commissioner for San Mateo County in California, demographer and project manager in Stanford University's Center for Health Policy (where she also served as co-project director of Stanford's Global Healthcare Productivity project), and principal statistician in the University of California, San Francisco's Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy.
Her authored and co-authored papers have been published in Hearing Loss and Medical Care, and she has co-authored posters and presentations for the American Diabetes Association, the International Health Economics Association, the Population Association of America, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. She was a contributing author for the Evaluation of the DOL Disability Employment Grants: Revised Final Report, June, 2001 (Oakland: Berkeley Policy Associates, 2001), and a data analyst for the Survey Report: California Statewide Independent Living Needs Assessment. An InfoUse Report (Sacramento: California Department of Rehabilitation, 1995). As a teenager, she was an associate editor of Listen to Us: The Children's Express Report (New York: Workman Publishing, 1978), an anthology of children's discussions about their lives.
She holds a bachelor's degree in rhetoric (Phi Beta Kappa), and a master's degree in demography from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Laufer has also completed the RAND Summer Institute on the Demography, Economics, and Epidemiology of Aging in Santa Monica, California, and many seminars on the protection of human subjects in research.
In 2005, she was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the UC Berkeley Demography Department. Her profile was featured in Open Futures: Role Models for Youth with Disabilities, produced by InfoUse in 2003. As a re-entry graduate student, Ms. Laufer was the recipient of a Hewlett Foundation Fellowship, and she served as a peer mentor in the UC Berkeley Disabled Students' Program.
An accomplished teenage saxophonist--she was awarded a music scholarship from Herb Alpert in high school--she began to lose her hearing in adolescence, and has been clinically deaf since young adulthood. She benefits from bilateral cochlear implants, and has chosen to remain culturally hearing. Ms. Laufer and her family live in California.
BY THE NUMBERS
People worldwide had received a cochlear implant as of 2010, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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Read our review of the closed-captioned Crunch Total Resculpt workout DVD