Kimberly Erskine is a Web Content Coordinator II at Penn Medicine and a PhD in Communication student at Liberty University Online. She is expected to graduate in the fall of 2022. Her research interests include examining the connection between social media and communication accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing users. She hopes to land a full-time teaching position post-graduation. She has previously taught Composition I and II courses at Rowan University.

Kimberly was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss when she was two and wore hearing aids in both ears from ages 3-24. By the time she was 24, her progressive hearing loss had become severely profound, and she was no longer benefiting from hearing aids. She received her first cochlear implant on November 17, 2014, and the second one almost exactly a year later, on November 30, 2015.

Kimberly currently wears Advanced Bionics Naida Q90 cochlear implants in both ears, but she is in the process of upgrading to the new Advanced Bionics Marvel Sky processors. With the help of her cochlear implants, she now has above-average hearing and a speech recognition score of 93%.

When Kimberly is not working or studying, she enjoys spending time with her family and boyfriend. She currently lives in Runnemede, New Jersey with her parents and tuxedo cat, Picasso. She also enjoys collecting rare or old editions of classic literature. Her favorite books (after the Bible, of course) include The Catcher and the Rye and The Great Gatsby.

Kimberly’s goal with Confessions of a Def Deaf Girl is to share her experience with hearing loss and cochlear implants with others that may be struggling and considering receiving cochlear implants. She aims to increase awareness about hearing loss and cochlear implants and advocate for the rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.