Yat is born with bilateral microtia, a condition which the outer and external ear canals are fully formed. Yat cannot wear conventional hearing aids and has profound conductive hearing loss. Despite a physical disability, he has overcome barriers to inspire others in the community. Wearing prosthetic ears and a bone anchored hearing aid, Yat is a communication accessibility advocate working at the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the past 3 years, Yat has spoken at over 100 national and local events about communication accessibility.
Outside of work, Yat serves on the Board of Directors of Assist List. This organization promotes public health by empowering the community to buy, sell, or donate health medical equipment. He also sits as the advisory committee member for The Access Transit User’s Advisory Committee, advising TransLink on improvements to the accessibility to our conventional transit services. Yat also mentor new and existing Cochlear hearing aid recipients, inspiring users with best practices.
“We are living in a political climate where issues related to BIPOC are at the forefront of movements, including ongoing calls to action and protests for accountability and justice. Do you have any experiences engaging in these movements and any recommendations for making them more accessible?”
Yat Li: “There should be zero barriers to receiving treatment. Just like the current pandemic landscape, COVID-19 does not discriminate. Neither does mental illness or communication accessibility. We’ve seen from numerous data that some populations are more susceptible and likely to be exposed to factors that develop symptoms that go untreated. We need to see more diversity in all fields – from health care practitioners to psychologists. Cultural competency training in health care is essential to remove systemic discrimination.”