Points Of View
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We Would Like Your Point Of View...

Do you have a Point of View to express on how circumstances can be improved for people with hard-of-hearing (HOH) issues? Situations such as visiting a physician, dentist, attending a church service, going to a theater or being involved in any kind of social activity creates many communication challenges for HOH people,  to the point that they often feel and become excluded.You may have formed a point of view from your experiences at programs, trainings, etc. which could be of benefit to others. By sending in your point of view and suggestions on how you feel organizations and professional people could do a better job at making provisons for HOH people, you would be taking an active step towards helping improve the quality of lives of the many people who daily have to deal with their hearing-loss issues.

Please send in your Point of View to info@hearinglosskentucky.org for us to give it consideration for publication on this website for others to see and benefit from. Thank you! 

Living Skillfully With Hearing Loss: A Conversation With Gael Hannan And Shari Eberts

Host Dave Kemp chats with Gael Hannan and Shari Eberts about living well with hearing loss. They discuss the motivation behind their new book, Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss, which they wrote as a how-to-guide for living successfully with hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Can Hearing Loss Be Mistaken For Unfriendliness?

"I could see the rest of the group drawing closer together, with me on the outside. I knew it was going to be a tough four weeks if I did not nip this trend in the bud." Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Hearing Aid Industry Scam?

Doctor Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, explains why people with hearing loss think that Audiologists are just taking advantage of them. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Aid Industry Scam?

I Am Risking Everything! Dr. Cliff Olson Describes A Project With Audigy

Please CLICK on the following link: My New Project

It's Confusing And Difficult To Shop For Hearing Aids. Here's How To Figure It Out

With so many options for devices that offer help, how can you decide which one is right for you? Here, expert advice on what’s available now and what to expect when over-the-counter hearing aids debut. Please CLICK on the following link: Expert Advice

Are Over-The-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids Right For You?

Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are hearing devices that you can buy without a prescription. While they’re more affordable than prescription hearing aids, they do have some drawbacks. Please CLICK on the following link: Are OTC Hearing Aids Right For You?

Best Places To Buy OTC Hearing Aids

OTC hearing aids are now becoming more available in drugstores and beyond. Here are the best places to buy OTC hearing aids: Best Places To Buy OTC Hearing Aids

OTC Hearing Aids At The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023

Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona discusses his experience at CES 2023. Please CLICK on the following link: OTC Hearing Aids At CES 2023

Socialising: A Christmas Survival Guide

The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of social interaction, yet the anxiety hearing loss creates can take away the pleasure of looking forward to and engaging in social events. Whilst there is no magic formula, there are coping strategies. Please CLICK on the following link: Survival Guide

Do You Dread Going To The Doctor?

It turns out you may have good reason to be worried. A study published in October in the journal Health Affairs, based on interviews with doctors from a variety of medical situations (primary care doctors, specialists, doctors from cities and from rural areas) found some pretty shocking attitudes about patients with disabilities. As an article in The New York Times reported, sometimes they really wish you weren’t there. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Long Last, OTC Hearing Aids. How Do You Choose? - By Katherine Bouton

I’ve already written a lot about OTC aids, including What Do Over The Counter Hearing Aids Mean For You? and Over The Counter Hearing Aids: Coming Soon To A Store Near You. So I don’t have a lot new to say today, as OTC aids finally go on sale at pharmacies, Walmart, Best Buy and others. But the market can be confusing — to the point of overwhelming — for first time buyers, so here a couple of important reminders (below). And here is a link to a good Washington Post article laying out the basics: Hearing Aids Are Now Sold Over-The-Counter. Here’s How To Pick One

It’s Official: OTC Hearing Aids Are Here!

Just like with traditional hearing aids, a one-size-fits all approach is not likely to work. Some people may be looking for all-day wear, but at a lower price point. Others may need hearing aids only situationally meaning audio clarity and ease of use may be more important than battery life. The market will eventually dictate the features that consumers want most. Please CLICK on the following link: OTC Hearing Aids Are Here!

What Do Audiologists Think Of OTC Hearing Aids?

As a Doctor of Audiology myself, I was curious to see what my colleagues thought of OTC hearing aids as they become widely available. What are the primary risks to consumers? And, do audiologists plan to support the hearing health of those who purchase OTC hearing aids? About a week after the FDA announcement, I ran a quick survey to better understand the primary objections held by audiologists. Please CLICK on the following link: What Do Audiologists Think Of OTC Hearing Aids?

Consumers Still Need Telecoils And Hearing Loops–Even If They Have Bluetooth Hearing Aids

As an audiologist with over 40 years of experience, I have published numerous articles on the effectiveness and popularity of telecoil-enabled hearing aids and hearing loop systems that make them so valuable to consumers with hearing loss, particularly in public venue applications. More recent media attention has highlighted the development of new Bluetooth technologies, like Auracast, with a veiled implication that the venerable magnetic induction hearing loop systems are on the road to obsolescence. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

How To Perform Real Ear Measurement (REM)

Real Ear Measurement is the only way for your Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed correctly. However, performing Real Ear Measures and performing them well are two entirely different things. So in this video, find out how I implement Real Ear Measurements in my clinic. Please CLICK on the following link: Real Ear Measurement

Want To Hear Better? Read These Books! - By Katherine Bouton

Books are no substitute for a good audiologist, but they can be very helpful in learning how to live your best with hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: Read These Books!

Hearing Loss In The Hospital Is Hell - By Shari Eberts

“My son is not reacting well to the pain medication. What are some other options?” I asked the pain team doctors on their daily visit to my son’s hospital room during his recent stay. “Mumble, mumble, switch to mumble mumble.” “Can you please speak louder and slower? Remember, it is hard for me to hear you.” I had mentioned my hearing loss the prior day as well. Please CLICK on the following link:Hearing Loss In The Hospital Is Hell

What Do CODA’s Oscar Wins Mean For The Hearing Loss Community?

It is wonderful to see disability stories taking center stage in mainstream media and Deaf actors playing Deaf characters. Beyond this, the movie helps raise awareness about the Deaf experience and illuminates the communication challenges that can often separate the Deaf and hearing communities. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

I Might be A Hypocrite about OTC Hearing Aids

Doctor Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, talks about the conflict of interest that exists between his support of Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids and his belief that everyone should receive Best Practices when being recommended and fit with hearing aids. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Trouble With Hearing? Proceed With Caution

At my annual physical, I told my internist about a new (albeit minor) annoyance: ringing in my ears. He referred me to an audiologist. “Just want to make sure nothing else is going on,” he said. Before my audiologist appointment, I was completing the new patient paperwork. There were a few questions about my overall health history, but an entire page focused on my attitude about hearing aids. I was asked about my willingness to use hearing aids, my level of interest in getting hearing aids and any stigma I attach to them. Rather than follow the instructions and rate my response to each question on a 1-to-10 scale, I kept scribbling “N/A”.
“I bet they’re going to try selling me hearing aids,” I thought, “even though my hearing is fine and that’s not why I’m here.” Please CLICK on the following link: Proceed With Caution

Dear Media, Stop Stigmatizing Hearing Aids - By Brandon Sawalich

I recently did an interview with a national news organization, about the stigma that persists around hearing aid technology. It’s this stigma that continues to be a major barrier around hearing aid adoption. The conversation was informative, and the reporter was surprised to hear that, on average, people wait seven years between noticing they have hearing loss and actually getting a hearing aid. However, when the story came out, I was a bit disappointed. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Reading Glasses and Hearing Aids. Smart Or FDA-Approved. Pick One. - By Joao Martins

For the past weeks I have been reading and taking notes, trying to gain some useful perspective regarding the updated draft guidance documents published October 19, 2021 by the US Food and Drug Administration for improved access to hearing aid technology. The agency proposed a rule to establish a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids - to be sold directly to consumers in stores or online without a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist. "The proposed rule is designed to help increase competition in the market while also ensuring the safety and effectiveness of OTC and prescription hearing aids,” the FDA announcement says. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Helping Ourselves To Hear Again - By Ed Schickel

It's November and 42 years ago on November 27, 1979, Rocky Stone founded our organization as Self Help for Hard of Hearing (SHHH). Rocky realized there were people who were "between two worlds" like himself -- not fully hearing but not deaf. He founded the organization we now call the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). It is amazing how one individual can impact the lives of many. If it weren’t for Rocky, Melanie Magruder* and her friends, there in Louisville would not be HLAA Kentuckiana chapter. Nor would there be HLAA KY Home chapter in Bardstown. Also, there would not be this website www.hearinglosskentucky.org .

Rocky’s dream and his efforts have fueled treatment, training, inventions, access, well-being, and us as individuals. He was a “walker” on a beach who picked up the starfish and threw it back into the water. It mattered to the starfish and it matters to us. Learning to communicate again is like losing weight or going to the gym. We have to decide how important it is for us to hear. How important is it to understand our spouses and our grandchildren? Do we love them enough to? Then, we have to set out to make ourselves better, heal ourselves. It’s work! We can learn new things. We can look to the new technologies. There are many.

The key is self-advocacy. The point is a body at rest tends to stay at rest. The non-hearing tend to stay non-hearing. They think there is nothing to do. HLAA is a self-help organization first. We have to help ourselves. Sometimes we help ourselves by helping others. Other times we help others because we are “paying it forward.” We are stronger because we join together. We are more knowledgeable because we share information. We can even have more fun because we are with others who understand us.

What have you done for your hearing today? What have you done for someone else’s hearing today? Have you commented on anything here today? Have you written your own Point of View? Have you shared something or learned something? Did you participate in October’s “The Walk?” This website has a head full of material, all of which can help. This is a starting point; but, to sustain it, it needs your comments, your input, and your contributions. I have said that because someone invented the wheel, we drive cars. Because Rocky Stone became hard of hearing, we have HLAA. Because Melanie Magruder and her friends were frustrated with their hearing, we have HLAA KY. Help yourself. Join us on www.hearinglosskentucky.org. Join us at an HLAA meeting.

*(In case you didn’t know or forgot: In 1984 three Kentucky women got together to discuss living with their hearing loss. (Melanie Magruder is the surviving and continuous member) Eventually, they formed Derbytown SHHH, now known as HLAA-Kentuckiana. Over the years, chapters have developed in Northern Ky., Frankfort, Bowling Green and Lexington. However, the Louisville Chapter, Kentuckiana, continues to grow with members from the greater Louisville area, LaGrange, Fort Knox, Springfield, Bardstown, and Edwardsville, New Albany and Salem, Indiana. See: November 2015 My Story Article - Melanie Magruder)

Don’t Panic. It’s Not Good For Your Hearing

Sometimes, out of nowhere, my hearing loss catches up to me. My frustration about not hearing something important comes rushing back, a reminder of my difficult early days with hearing devices. It can quickly turn into panic. Please CLICK on the following link: Don't Panic

Are You New To Hearing Aids?

Many types of hearing aids exist. So which is best for you? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid. Please CLICK on the following link: How To Choose The Right Hearing Aid

What You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Aids On Your Own

Today, you have more options for buying hearing aids— online and over the counter (OTC). These options are called “direct to the consumer”—meaning without the help of an audiologist. Buying hearing aids on your own can be easy and private—and may even be cheaper. However, before you buy hearing aids without the guidance of an audiologist, here are some things you should know. Please CLICK on the following link: What You Should Know

Hearing Loss And The Plight Of Poor Television Captions - By Shari Eberts

“The television captions are ahead again” I told my family one evening as we were watching the PBS documentary "Frontier House". Since it aired originally in 2002, I had expected the production value to be high, but in several of the episodes, the closed captions ran 30-60 seconds ahead, making them unusable.  Please CLICK on the following link:Points Of View

The Mask Problem: Solved

No question about it, masks have been a pain for people with hearing aids. The elastic ear piece gets tangled with the behind-the-ear hearing-aid component and sometimes pulls it off. Wearing a mask has been not only annoying but sometimes disastrous when coupled with hearing aids or cochlear implants. I lost a cochlear implant (found by a neighbor, thankfully). Please CLICK on the following link: The Mask problem

Navigating the Pandemic With Hearing Loss - By Heidi Whiskeyman Carles

Fifty years later, I find myself thrown into a world where I fight to exist. In March of 2020, my world went downhill. Fast. The entire population suddenly became cut off to me simply because of the facial coverings. I could no longer understand the hearing world. I was completely taken by surprise, not only by the new virus affecting everyone, but by my inability to function. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Does Your Clinic’s Marketing Embody Person-Centered Care?

Many hearing aid adverts do not resonate with me. Pictures of smiling seniors without a hearing aid in sight. What does that have to do with helping me hear better at work or in a loud restaurant? Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

A Question About Sound - If A Tree falls And I’m Not Wearing My Hearing Aids, Does It Make A Sound?

Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

‘Reading’ the Eyes Above The Mask - By Gael Hannan

We’re doing a lot of eye-reading these days. Eyes and their eyebrows and forehead are all we can see on the face in these days of pandemic. And, as everybody should know by now, that’s a problem for people with hearing loss.   Please CLICK on the following link: "Reading" The Eyes Above The Mask

Who Cares What We Call Our Hearing Loss? - by Gael Hannan

Deaf – I’ve never used that term to describe my hearing levels – or lack of. For the first two thirds of my life, I described myself as hard of hearing. In the most recent third of my life, I use the term hearing loss, as in "Hi, I’m a person with hearing loss. I have hearing loss, please speak up." Please CLICK on the following link: Who Cares?

The Funny Side of Hearing Technology - By Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan offers a lighthearted take on life with hearing technology. Gael is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. Please CLICK on the following link: The Funny Side Of Hearing Technology

Me Vs. The Mask: A Pandemic Hearing Problem

People with hearing loss are not good at masked communication because it cuts off the vital information we get from lipreading. Before the pandemic, my suffering was limited to trying to understand a mask-wearing aesthetician giving me a pedicure. Now, masks are  everywhere. Please CLICK on the following link: A Pandemic Hearing Problem

Gratitude - By Katherine Bouton

I have my curmudgeonly side and I don't always like being told to see the bright side of things. I enjoy a good wallow in misery. But the misery of the Covid pandemic is sustained and severe. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

I Take It All Back!

Well, not all of it. But some of what I said last week — “Coronavirus Concerns for People with Hearing Loss. It’s not just the disease” — is already out of date. This is a very fast-moving story. Please CLICK on the following link: I Take It All Back!

Volume Control: Hearing In A Deafening World

In “Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World,” Owen starts with the basics – how hearing works and what can go wrong – and allows himself an entertaining and informative meander into a world that many of us veterans of hearing loss will recognize. But what a story he tells along the way. Please CLICK on the following link: Volume Control: Hearing In A Deafening World

Pathological Vs. Cultural Point Of View On Deafness

In deaf culture, people often talk about the "pathological" versus the "cultural" view of deafness. Both hearing and deaf people can adopt either point of view. The pathologic view tends to look at deafness as a disability that can be corrected via medical treatment so the deaf person is "normalized." In contrast, the cultural view embraces the identity of being deaf but does not necessarily reject medical aid. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

By the Way, She Has A Cochlear Implant - By Katherine Bouton

What if hearing aids were as unremarkable as glasses? This is an idea – a goal – that I and others have been tossing around for years. How to remove the stigma and lower the cost of hearing aids so that they are used as casually as glasses. Amazon Prime Video is showing an online series that does just that – and more. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Hearing Devices: When To Take ‘Em Off Or Leave ‘Em On

All day you’ve suffered the onslaught of noise – words, sounds and simply noise-noise. Your brain is fried, and you need to not be processing anything for a while. You yank off your hearing aid or cochlear implant sound processor and settle into the bliss of relative silence, cradled in the cocoon of your un-aided deafness. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Some Say That The ADA Applies To The Internet And Some Say It Doesn’t. Why Doesn’t The DOJ, FCC, Or Congress Do Something? (Published In The California HLAA Newsletter By John Waldo)

When Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the Internet was in its infancy—the World Wide Web was not introduced until 1991. So Congress did not and could not have anticipated the existence of the Internet at all, much less could it have anticipated how critical it has become to all manner of commerce and communication. Not surprisingly, then, the ADA itself said absolutely nothing about the Internet or about websites. What is surprising is that, 28 years later, we still don’t have a definitive answer to the question of whether the ADA requires websites to provide effective communication, or how that ought to be done.
This question is becoming increasingly visible and urgent. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has the power to resolve the issue, has withdrawn from the fray. So, as frequently happens in situations of this sort, the final answer is likely to come from the courts, not because they believe themselves most capable of solving the problem, but because courts are the only decision-makers that can’t say “never mind” and pass the buck—they must decide the case in front of them.
Here is the problem in a nutshell: The ADA requires “places of public accommodation” to provide us with effective communication through services like captioning. “Places of public accommodation” are defined as those private businesses that are open to the public, such as stores, movie theaters and restaurants. Since websites often serve the same or very similar functions, the legal question is whether they should play by the same rules as traditional bricks-and-mortar “places.” Different courts have come up with different answers, but the emerging consensus seems to be that websites operated by “places of public accommodation” are also covered by the ADA which requires that people with disabilities be provided with access to the goods and services of such a place, not merely to services provided on or at a physical site.
The practical question then becomes what, exactly, makes a website accessible. For people with hearing loss, the question is answered
relatively easily—put the aural content into written form through captioning. For people with vision loss, the answer is complementary—put the written content into audible form. But that process is considerably more complicated in practice than captioning aural content because it involves interpreting visual images other than text.
During the Obama administration, the DOJ began the process of developing regulations, which everyone welcomed. People with sensory disabilities were promised access and businesses were promised certainty in the sense that if they did what the regulations required, they would be immune from ADA lawsuits.
Then, under new leadership last year, the DOJ reversed its prior course and said it would not provide any regulations, a decision apparently based on a general policy disfavoring regulations in general. Unfortunately, in so doing, DOJ made everyone unhappy. People who wanted access had no alternative but to go to court and the number of website accessibility lawsuits has mushroomed, alarming industry as well as their allies in Congress. Businesses that might want to comply also want assurances that what they do will be sufficient to ward off lawsuits.
The problem is being squarely addressed in a California case currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The complaint is that the Domino’s Pizza website was inaccessible to a blind user because it did not incorporate software features that could enable the user to hear an oral version of the menu. It wanted Domino’s to create accessibility by adhering to standards, developed by a private group, called the Web Consortium Access Guidelines, or WCAG. Domino’s balked, and argued that private groups cannot set standards. It argued that requiring it to take action in the absence of regulations would violate its constitutional rights to due process. While these arguments have been made unsuccessfully in the past, Domino’s got lucky, and the judge dismissed the lawsuit. That decision
caused enormous consternation among advocates, because if the rule were to be that no action is required in the absence of regulations, the reluctance of the present DOJ to issue regulations would shut down access efforts altogether. The case was appealed, and was argued last month in Pasadena. The judges appeared to be highly skeptical of Domino’s arguments, and seemed to believe that if the ADA itself requires access, then it must be provided. While the judges agreed that it would be preferable for DOJ to act, they said that unlike DOJ, they could not just decline to address the issue, and that if the WCAG standards were the only game in town, those
might have to suffice. There is hope, then, that within the next few months, we can put the website issue to rest.

(Originally printed in the HLAA California newsletter and Courtesy of ccaxslc@googlegroups.com http://www.hearinglossca.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/THLC-2018-Winter-FINAL.pdf. John Waldo is an attorney whose practice focuses on advocacy for people with hearing loss. He is national Advocacy Committee Chair for the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), and consults with non-profit advocacy groups in Washington and Oregon.)

The Need For Transparency In The Hearing Aid Market - By Janice Schacter Lintz

The consumer has no idea what they are purchasing unless there is greater transparency. Trademarked proprietary names are used for features which makes it impossible to compare them. Generic names should be required. Hearing aid buyers are dependent on the audiologist/dispenser to provide information, which may present a conflict of interest because of the dispenser. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

The New Movie-Captioning Regulations And Open (OC) And Closed Caption (CC) Movies - By John Waldo

Dear Colleagues,

The new movie-captioning regulations require closed captioning for every showing of every movie distributed with captions, OR open captioning upon request. OC is not required when CC is available under ADA and its regulations. However, the ADA does not take precedence over any state or local law offering greater protection for people with disabilities. So some jurisdictions, like Hawaii, have laws or ordinances requiring some OC showings even when CC is available.

More theaters do seem to be voluntarily offering some OC showings, usually scheduled showings. (For example, my neighborhood theater, a Landmark, turns on the OC for the first show every Wednesday). I think the theaters are beginning to learn that OC showings aren't as much of a deterrent to hearing audiences as they thought.

Absent an ordinance or statute, I think trying to *demand *OC is a losing proposition if CC is available. If CC is available generally but inoperative, I think demanding OC would be a tough sell, because ADA excuses temporary non-compliance due to maintenance or repair of equipment.

Where I do think there is an opening is that if a digital theater has not yet purchased and installed CC equipment, that theater would then be out of compliance unless it offers OC on demand. I'd actually encourage some of the smaller theaters to at least try that option -- it might end up being easier than buying and installing CC equipment. And that could be a win-win, since OC on demand is certainly our preference.

I know one small theater chain in Western Washington State that is going the OC-on-demand route, at least for the time being. (The owner is a friend of mine from the old days on Bainbridge Island, and we've talked about this). They take strictly the requirement that OC be made available if a request is made any time prior to the start of the movie, and I gather that means even if the request is made during the previews of coming
attractions. They will not restart a movie that has begun playing, and I think they are right about that.

If patrons who are "ambushed" by OC complain, the theaters explain why they have turned on the captions, and if people still object, the theater gives them a free pass to come back another time. I love it -- for a change, it's the hearing folks getting a pass if they object to captions, rather than us getting passes when the captions don't work.

*John F. Waldo*
Advocacy Committee Chair and Counsel
Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA)

Comments On The FDA Approval Of An OTC Hearing Aid - By Katherine Bouton

For the past year or so since the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was passed, hearing-loss advocates have patiently explained time and again that right now there are no OTC hearing aids. That’s because the FDA approval process includes a three-year comment period before it publishes its final regulations. And until that time, only hearing “devices” can be sold over the counter - or at least that was what it was thought! Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Points Of View

The Lonely World Between The Hearing And The Deaf

Am I deaf or am I hard of hearing? How and with whom do I identify myself? At what point does a hard of hearing person become deaf? Is deafness a mindset or something physical? Is deafness a disability or an asset? This is a common struggle as a person lives between the two worlds of hearing and deafness. Juliet Corwin expresses her point of view in this article. Please  CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

Deceptive Hearing Aid Marketing Tactics - The Truth About Hearing Aid Marketing

In the early 90's the FDA issued warnings to several hearing aid companies for misleading claims over their products. Marketing is an essential part of any product or service offered by a company, but there are legitimate ways to market, and there are deceptive ways to market. In this video, Dr. Clifford R. Olsen gives his point of view. Please CLICK on the following link: Points Of View

What Shapes Your Point Of View?

According to the writer of this article, the phrase “point of view” does not literally mean sharing the same VIEW as another physically. The phrase itself means the mental position of considering something such as an opinion, a story, theory, or suggestion of another. Rarely will two people have the same point of view on every topic. Your point of view is often shaped by your life experiences. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: What Shapes Your Point Of View?

National Protect Your Hearing Month – Time To Fill The “Know-Do” Gap

When it comes to health, a large gap often exists between what we know (for example, we know that eating too much sugar is bad for our health) and what we still do. Hearing loss prevention is no exception. We have been aware of the harmful effects of overexposure to noise for over a century. Please CLICK on the following link: Filling the 'Know-Do' Gap

When Disability Is A Design Opportunity!

As at April 3 2018, the Cooper Hewitt museum in New York City is currently running a fascinating exhibition entitled Access+Ability. The exhibit features new and innovative products that help people with disabilities experience their world more effectively through design. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: A Design Opportunity!

A Need For Businesses To Make Communications Visual, Easily Heard With The Best Possible Acoustics For People With Hearing Loss - By Paula Esterle

Here are some possibly helpful notes as I am nearly deaf and have traveled a bit in recent years, sometimes unaccompanied. It would be amazing if all businesses would take steps to make their communications visual or easily heard with the best possible acoustics. From noisy restaurants to the pathetic microphones at some fast food drive thru’s, I have struggled with them all. From the doctor who hides behind his tablet to the friend with his massive moustache, I am frustrated. In airports, getting public address flight changes and updated gate announcements are tricky as are most auditory communications. We would ask for the maximum amount of visually displayed information which helps us as well as other travelers, right down to the captions on TV’s. LED screens today give more info quickly and I see Delta airlines using named flags for boarding line-up. In public places and especially in hotels, we desperately need visual smoke alarms. Large venues have huge obstacles but I must give a shout out to Stacy Ridgway, the access coordinator at the Ky Center for the Arts which offers infra-red head sets and has the most darling captioning machine which is operated by dedicated volunteers.

Other countries more frequently install an inductive loop of wire, which is a hearing assistive technology embedded in their customer counters which works with hearing aids-- which only partially compensate those of us with severe hearing deficits. (After a recent long flight, I was relieved to see the American Express counter had such a device as you can see in my  photo above.) The system helps eliminate the horrible background noise common in such environments. There are other types of listening technology which enhance the communication for deaf and hard of hearing people and I encourage you to include them in your research on accommodations. I am convinced that more access would increase customer understanding and demonstrate that Louisville is a city which caters to the best of possibilities.

For additional information on hearing accessibility technology, I refer you to our national consumer organization, the Hearing Loss of America Kentucky Chapters at www.hearinglosskentucky.org or the statewide agency, the KY Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing at www.kcdhh.ky.gov

Happy travels!

Paula Esterle

Stupid Things To Do With Your Hearing Aids

Gael Hannan sites a number of things that people do with hearing aids that in her view are not sensible. Please CLICK on the following link to read her article: Points Of View

Hearing Loss - A Load Of Laughs

Hearing loss isn’t funny. Not to the person who has it, anyway. Some hearing loss moments can spark a smile or a giggle or even a laugh–although most of us will laugh later—like two months or so. That’s when you’ll tell the story of being in a group conversation and someone says “I just hate bugs” and you put down your drink and reach across the coffee table with arms open, saying “I’ll give you one.” Eventually it becomes clear that you thought you’d heard, “I really need a hug.” Everyone else finds it hilarious, and although you may laugh on the outside, on the inside you are shriveling with embarrassment. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: A Load Of Laughs

Pathological Vs. Cultural Point Of View On Deafness: Is Deafness A Disability Or A Cultural Minority?

Is deafness a Disability or a Cultural Minority? Hard of hearing people are predominantly unaware of the issues of cultural deafness. In order that we advocate most effectively, we need to understand the various issues. Please CLICK on the following link: Pathological Vs. Cultural

Will You Be Able To Hear For The Holidays?

A recent survey found two-thirds of first time hearing aid buyers hadn't been told by their hearing care provider about hearing loops. What's a hearing loop? That's what far too many hard of hearing people ask because they weren't told about this time tested technology that works in places where Bluetooth and others cannot. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing For The Holidays

Two Perspectives On The Decision To Move From Hearing Aids To Cochlear Implants

View (1) From Pat:

Born with normal hearing, I couldn’t figure out why, when I was about nineteen years old, people started to talk softly and mumble.  It made no sense. Of course, this was the start of my bi-lateral sensorineural hearing loss. The cause was never determined but that didn’t stop it from declining gradually through the years. In my late fifties, my hearing took a steep drop and I was really challenged hearing. To boot, my hearing fluctuated, and without warning it would drop even further. It was an awful time. My life was based in the hearing world. What was happening to me? I was missing more of conversations than I was getting. I hated asking people to repeat themselves… that was ONLY for “old” people.  I stopped going to social events like joining friends at restaurants or parties. I also stopped going to public events; I could hear the words but couldn’t discern their meaning. I wanted to hide in my room. I became isolated and depressed. I begged my audiologist for stronger hearing aides – but there were none. I went to my ENT hoping for a magic cure. And there was – Cochlear’s cochlear implant.  I didn’t hesitate for a second. Today I am blessed with two cochlear implants.

Why blessed? Cochlear has allowed me to live a normal life again.  I can understand conversations, go to events where there’s a lot of ambient noise and speak on the phone. For any challenging situations I use Cochlear’s amazing wireless assistive listening devices. Cochlear has given me my life back. What more do I need to say? Today I give successful on-line workshops called Coming to Terms with Hearing Loss to help people live happy and healthy lives with their hearing loss. I accomplish the same through my one-on-one coaching. If I didn’t have my cochlear implants, I never would have had the courage to put these workshops together or confidence to do one-on-one coaching. Thank you, Cochlear.

View (2) From Barbie:

I disagree with your view that Cochlear Implants are a magic cure. I believe that CI’s are a tool, nothing more. I resent people thinking that my deafness is a tragedy, needing to be “fixed”. I lost my hearing at sixteen from an antibiotic. My hearing declined more with the passing years. I did wear hearing aids for thirty years. They ceased to help, and I now totally lip read when going out into the hearing world. All of my family and friends are hearing.

I’m constantly educating people about deaf life. I was a Dance and Fitness professional for many years. Yes, it was extremely challenging with my hearing loss. The CI does not tempt me at all. I do not want the robotic hearing it offers. After knowing real sound, I wouldn’t be able to accept the fake. And no, I don’t want my hearing back! The silence and stillness are absolutely beautiful. Sure, I miss some things. I miss birds singing, going to a movie(in a theatre), dinner parties, etc…. But the CI will not give me satisfaction. It’s a tool I do not like or want in my life. I’m really happy you enjoy it, and that it works for you. But again, it is NOT a cure! Do not promote it as a cure. There is no cure for lost hearing. And if it’s lost, not everyone wants to find it again.

Please talk about educating hearing people about deaf/HoH life. We need to talk about the ADA, and how to educate people and businesses about it. We need better access to everything a hearing person has! Open Captions in movie theatres, access to ALL public venues that refuse accommodations! This is what a meaningful hearing loss revolution means. Not the “magic cure” of CI’s. Getting accommodations for every single person, no matter what. That’s your revolution, right there. Thank you for listening.

How Can I Keep My Family Safe When I Cannot Hear The Danger?

From major disasters to local neighborhood, keeping safe is a growing task for hard of hearing people. Safety is always a concern when you have children, especially when hearing is an issue. We need to be more alert, plan more, and develop safety scenarios. Shari Eberts gives us a start in this article. Please CLICK on the following link: Planning For Safety

An Example Of Self-Advocacy Issues And What A Person Can Do

Our Editor came across this interesting article whereby an HLAA chapter member attended his niece's white coat ceremony that was held in the performing arts building at Kent State University in Ohio.  The ceremony was for students accepted into the university's audiology program.  The chapter member said he got there five minutes late and ended up near the back of the auditorium.  He had a difficult time hearing so requested hearing assistance.  He was told they did not have anything and that, in the past, they had tried to work with their administration to get something but was unsuccessful.  Please CLICK on the following link to read the full details: Self-Advocacy Example

My View On How To Choose A Cochlear Implant

Many individuals who are considering a cochlear implant look for help in comparing the different types of implants. They go to various internet groups to find out which implant is best. Comparing or recommending is not the place of CI users. Sharing experiences with what the implant user knows and experiences is. Sharing the websites that site comparisons only creates a false sense of what is true and what is not. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Choosing A Cochlear Implant

Why I Feel Movies Are So Frustrating for the Hard of Hearing - By Katherine Bouton

Hearing loss is an invisible disability. There's no white cane or wheelchair to tip off others to your condition. Most people would not yell at someone in a wheelchair for blocking the aisle in a supermarket, or at a blind person for accidently stepping in front of them. But every once in a while, I am gobsmacked by rudeness from people who think I'm deliberately trying to annoy them when I'm only trying to hear better. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Points of View

How To Serve Diners With Hearing Loss

For people with hearing loss, eating at restaurants ranks high on the list of challenging situations. Almost all restaurants serve up some background noise, and it’s a personal choice as to how much noise is acceptable. On the other hand, conversation can be just as strained in restaurants that are extremely quiet, because people use their soft-whisper voices, as if they were having lunch in a funeral parlor. Please CLICK on the following link to read more:How To Serve Diners With Hearing Loss

How Does One Plan For A Cochlear Implant?

Our April 2017 meeting had a presentation by MedEl. For those who are considering a cochlear implant, it might be helpful to consider the following information. Please CLICK on the following link: How Does One Plan For A Cochlear Implant?

Selecting A Nursing Home - A Personal Account

Our Point of View article digresses a little. Our March program talked about hearing loss in nursing homes. Since many of us will be facing nursing care for ourselves or other family members, this article does seems pertinent even if it doesn’t mention hearing aids! Please CLICK on the following link, and as always, your comments are welcome: Selecting A Nursing Home

Let's Hear It For Old Technology

According to John Woodgate, audiologists would be well-advised to see hearing loops as an opportunity to give a more comprehensive service, by recommending and providing hearing aids with telecoils, and having in their offices a simple hearing loop system fed from a TV set, so that patients can immediately experience the advantages. What do you think? Enjoy John's article that follows and if you wish to express your point of view then please send in your comments to info@hearinglosskentucky.org. Please CLICK on the following link: Let's Hear It For Old Technology

Outing Ourselves...

Are we willing to venture outside the bounds of extremely conventional and traditional expectations of behavior to do what we need to do in order to understand other people better? If not, what would help us take some small steps to do that? Please send your opinion to info@hearinglosskentucky.org after you have read this article: Outing Ourselves

The Austine School For The Deaf Closing Reveals Debate Over 'Mainstreaming' Deaf Students

For many of us, it is difficult to understand the debate between being Hard of Hearing and Being Deaf/deaf.  We even designate different types of deafness with either a capital or lower case “d”.  The Capital “D” refers to culturally deaf, often to those who attended or attend special schools, and sometimes to deaf people who sign.  More importantly, it refers to a “culture.”  Thus, we have a debate over what is the best education process for HOH and/or Deaf/deaf students.  Some new laws favor mainstreaming.  Culture prefers special schools.  Most of the time, when one reads “deaf”, one also reads Hard of Hearing—as in “deaf and hard of hearing”.  The assumption being that both are equal and what applies to one should apply to the other.  This is, hopefully, the beginning of a discussion about deaf and hard of hearing people.  We have many things in common as well as many attributes and needs that are not common to both groups.   Please CLICK on the link that follows to read the article about re-opening the shuttered Austine School For The Deaf in  Brattleboro.  More importantly, read the comments that follow.  What is your Point of View? Editor: Article

How Should A Hard Of Hearing Person Communicate With The Police?

The recent shooting and killing of a deaf and speech-impaired person by a North Carolina state trooper has raised questions on how better communications can be established between the deaf community and the police. Your views are important and we encourage you to watch this video statement produced by Virginia Moore, Executive Director of KCDHH: Video Statement

Self-Advocate By Being Part Of The Discussion of Hearing Health Care For Adults

The 2016 HLAA National convention seemed to have a theme of Healthy Aging and the two reports PCAST and Hearing Health Care for Adults formed the corner stone. We have asked a number of audiologists, instrument specialists, doctors and others if they would consent to discuss their opinions in this column and in our Guidance and Layperson’s Guide sections. Most of the discussions will be presented over the next few months. However, Jill E. Preminger, Ph.D. has informally responded, off the cuff, to get the discussion started.

Obviously one would need to become somewhat familiar with these reports to follow the discussions. Doing so is a form of self-advocacy that we all must learn to do. We know that this is difficult and time consuming but it is a requirement to be considered a good consumer. Please
CLICK on the following link for more details: 

Taking Responsibility For My Hearing Loss

Often it seems to be in our nature to advocate in all areas of our lives except in regard to hearing loss. It's as if hearing loss is our fault and for that reason we cannot impose on others to help us out. Please CLICK on the following link to read more of Ed Schickel's point of view on how to become a better advocate for your hearing loss: Taking Responsibility

Comments Submitted By Janice Schacter Lintz To The FCC In Response to Apple's "Made for iPhone (MFi)" Hearing Aid Platform

Cell phones have become an integral part of our global daily life. According to Janice Schacter Lintz, CEO of Hearing Access & Innovations (HAI), it is imperative that people with hearing loss be afforded the same options and opportunities as everyone else. In her view, Apple is welcome to include its new technology in addition to but not instead of telecoil access. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Comments by Janice Schacter Lintz

What You Need To Be Aware Of With ALD's, T-Coils And Loops

There is a good and positive movement throughout the country to loop all or most public venues.  This is appropriate in the writer's point of view.  However, the writer feels that the HLAA and HLAA Chapter Members need to be very careful with its promotion.  It is a mandate of HLAA not to promote one ALD, one hearing aid etc. over another.  It is important that HLAA maintain some neutrality. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Points Of View

A Question of Interpretation. What Do You Think?

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) recently sent out an e-blast which contained an announcement about a lawsuit that was pending against a hospital.  NAD’s article said the deaf family of a dying cancer patient was not given an interpreter as required by the ADA.  The patient herself had to interpret doctors and nurses for the family. Please CLICK on the following link for more information: A Question Of Interpretation

Learning To Communicate Again Is Like Losing Weight Or Going to the Gym. It Requires Work!

In this article, Ed Schickel describes what he feels all of us with hearing difficulties can do to help ourselves to become better communicators. Self-advocacy is the key! Please CLICK on the following link to read his point of view: Learning To Communicate Again

Sounding Out The New House!

They say that moving into a new house is high on the stress list—packing, physical exertion, excitement about a new place and yearning for the old, figuring out which way the cupboard doors open or what light a switch turns on, etc. And then there’s getting used to all those 'the new house' noises. A person with hearing loss needs time to ‘get sound situated’, as the writer discovers in the new house that she just bought and moved into near Victoria, B.C. Please CLICK on the following link to enjoy reading about her experiences: Sounding Out The New House!

Paying My Dues...

Anne Pope from New York writes about membership with the Hearing Loss Association of America and how she feels about ‘paying her dues'. Please CLICK on the following link to read her article: Paying My Dues

Choosing Civility: Viewpoints On Dr. Forni's Book - By Gerry Gordon-Brown

We as members of a civilized society need to demonstrate many more random acts of kindness.  People deserve respect for the most part, but sometimes it is very difficult to show respect because of the way we are treated. In this article, Gerry Gordon-Brown recommends we all take time to read a book written by Dr. Forni that she regards is a practical handbook on the lost art of civility and compassion! Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Choosing Civility

What is Your View Regarding Sending Your Physician A Letter About Your Hearing Loss Before A Consultation?

We eagerly ask for your point of view with regards to the following question: 

How willing would you be as a person suffering from hearing loss to send an explanatory letter to your physician before an initial visit to explain the communication difficulties that arise from your hearing loss in order to improve overall communication during consultation visits between yourself and the consultant?

During the “Healthcare Access Open Forum for Individuals who are HOH” at the recent HLAA Kentucky Chapters Regional Conference in Louisville, KY presenters Cara Martinez and Michelle Niehaus asked what attendees thought about giving a letter to their personal physicians on how best to communicate with them, the idea being that physicians should be taught how to communicate with their clients who are HOH, especially when hospitalized. The following draft letter has since been produced and we urgently need your input on:

(1) do you think it would be helpful to send such a letter to your physician before initial consultation?  

(2) if you do, what amendments would you make to make the letter even better? 

Please send your comments to info@hearinglosskentucky.org as soon as possible. Thank you! 

Please CLICK on the following link to view the draft letter: Draft Letter

Ensuring That People With Hearing Loss Hear In The Healthcare Setting: An Idea Whose Time Has Come ...

For all of us with hearing loss who have been (and will be) admitted into the nightmare of  the healthcare system without a better way to hear and understand healthcare personnel,  help is on the way!  Please CLICK on the following link to read Judy Vinegar's feedback of a meeting she attended during the  HLAA Kentucky Chapters Regional Conference in Louisville, KY on September 11-12 2015: An Idea Whose Time Has Come


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