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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! 

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:Point 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: Point 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: Point 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: Point 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: Point 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: Point 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: Point Of View

Hearing Loss Threatens Mind, Life and Limb 

Poor hearing is not just an annoying inconvenience.  Now a growing body of research is linking untreated hearing loss to several costly ills, and the time has come for hearing protection and treatment of hearing loss to be taken much more seriously. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Loss Threatens Mind, Life and Limb

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: Point 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: Point 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: Point 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: Point 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?

Dear VODs: Stop Blindfolding Deaf People!

D/deaf people who sign have the right not to have their hands and arms restrained because it prevents them from communicating. What I discovered is that Video On Demand (VOD) providers might as well be blindfolding the D/deaf/hard of hearing. They can’t see the content [captioning] that isn’t provided for them. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Stop Blindfolding Deaf People

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 Accoustics 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

Changing Tax Codes May Impact Assistance Dog Services for People with Disabilities

Big changes are coming for the 2018 tax year after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and it may be impacting those organizations that need charitable gifts most—those charities like Canine Companions for Independence® that provide life-changing assistance dogs to children, veterans and adults with disabilities entirely free of charge. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Impact Of Changing Tax Codes

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: Point 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

Glasses Are Cool. Why Aren't Hearing Aids?

This article might actually change your life. More important, it might change the lives of the people you love. Please CLICK on the following link: Glasses Are Cool. Why Aren't Hearing Aids?

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: Point 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

What Is Your View About The Importance Of Back-To-School Hearing Tests?

Loss of hearing is usually a gradual process. Initially the changes may be so subtle that only a very keen parent would suspect something is wrong. More often than not, a parent may conclude that the child is being rude for not responding to instruction or maybe the child is branded ‘absent minded’ because of requesting for instructions to be repeated too often. When this happens at school, it can affect a child’s grades and subsequently their self-esteem. Please read the following article and let us have your views. Please CLICK on the following link The Importance Of Back-To-School Hearing Tests

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

No Hearing Aid? Some Gizmos Offer Alternative To 'Speak Up!'

In her New York Times article, Paula Span talks about PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products) and Hearing Aids. She names brands and gives examples of people who benefited from PSAPs. Again, audiologists tell us that PSAPs are not a part of good oral
therapeutic care and may trigger some issues. The debate is on! Please CLICK on the following link to read more: 
The Debate Is On!

The Results Are In! A message from Barbara Kelley, The Executive Director Of HLAA

Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability

The long-awaited report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division (formerly called the Institute of Medicine) was made public last month, on June 2. The Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults was asked to examine ways in which hearing health care (excluding surgical devices) could be made more affordable and accessible. Please
CLICK on the following link to read the outcome

The More We Talk About Hearing Loss, The More We Normalize It

Hearing loss itself is not an obstacle to communication. The failure in communication—in hearing—is a result instead of our personal and societal willful ignorance about hearing loss, our reluctance to acknowledge it and to treat it. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Let's Talk About Hearing Loss

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: Point 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

A Yearning To Communicate: Language Barriers Mirror Hearing Loss

The yearning and struggle to communicate is self-evident as we witness the plight of the many millions of people presently journeying from the Middle East to secure safety for their families in Europe. In this article, Judy Vinegar describes how she sees similar communication difficulties being experienced daily by many in the hearing loss community, and she goes on to explain how the ongoing improvement in communication technology is helping to mitigate many of these difficulties. Please CLICK on the following link to read her article: A Yearning To Communicate

Also, please enjoy watching the following helpful videoLet's Make It Clear

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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