Technology - Archive

These Headphones promise protection- noise-induced hearing loss

January 21, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



Puro Labs Bluetooth headphones review:
These cans promise protection from noise-induced hearing loss
by Theo Nicolakis
Jan 21, 2016

Hearing is a precious gift. And while everyone’s hearing declines naturally with age, our lifestyle choices can be a key factor in noise-induced hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, as many as 16 percent of teens (children aged 12 to 19) have reported some hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise—including listening to music while wearing headphones.

Prolonged exposure to loud noise—especially at higher volumes—can cause permanent hearing damage in a surprisingly short amount of time. Puro Sound Labs promises its Bluetooth headphones can reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss while listening to music. The company sent its model BT-2200 (for kids) and model BT-5200 (for adults) for this evaluation.

Read full  . . . . Review

ARLINGTON VA, Text-to-911 – Coming Soon

January 19, 2016 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology



In an emergency, we always want you to call 9-1-1, but for those instances when you’re unable to call, Arlington County will soon offer a text-to-911 capability. You’ll be able to send a text message to our Emergency Communications Center if you can’t call 9-1-1.

When is texting helpful?

The new service allows people who are unable to speak to reach 9-1-1 and request emergency services. This might include those who are:

  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • unable to speak
  • in a situation where it’s unsafe to speak

When is this available?

We’re working now on implementing this capability in Arlington; our target timeframe is early 2016.

FCC selected VA Dept. DBVI – for certification to participate in Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution

January 19, 2016 in Community News, Technology


Released: January 14, 2016


Washington, D.C. – The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has selected the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) for certification to participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) for the state of Virginia, effective January 1, 2016. . . . .

page 3  . . .

The Bureau has determined that DBVI meets the Commission’s qualifications for certification to operate the NDBEDP in Virginia. Since 1982, DBVI has offered a comprehensive program that provides deaf-blind individuals with specialized services in the areas of communication, education, assistive technology, independent living, and rehabilitation.13 DBVI currently has two staff members who provide statewide consultation, training, and technical assistance to other DBVI staff and outside entities, ensuring that deaf-blind individuals of all ages have full participation in various programs and services within DBVI and in their communities.14


Links to the Public Notice:


Change comes to hearing aid market due to big box stores

January 8, 2016 in Hearing Aids, Technology



Change comes to hearing aid market due to big box stores, Internet sales and technological advances

Times Free Press, Chattanooga, TN
by Tim Omarzu
December 27th, 2015

Change is the new normal for the U.S. hearing aid industry.

The majority of hearing aids are still sold at brick-and-mortar stores by independent hearing aid dispensers and audiologists, and by large hearing aid chains and franchises.

Hamilton County is home to nine hearing instrument specialists and 19 audiologists with active licenses, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Neighboring counties in Tennessee have 10 audiologists and five hearing instrument specialists.

But big box retailers, Internet sales and technological advances are making inroads in the industry.

Local audiology businesses say they provide personalized service and help those with hearing problems find the right equipment. Although consumers can buy cheaper hearing aids online, hearing aid providers say, they may not be the right type or fitted properly without some expert advice. Hearing tests also can uncover medical conditions that cause hearing loss, they say, from ear wax build-up to serious problems.

Read More  . . . Internet sales and technological advances

FDA is extending public comment time for Hearing aids

January 8, 2016 in Hearing Aids, Legislation, Technology


The Hill
By Tim Devaney – 01/06/16

Hearing aids: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying new guidelines for hearing aids.

The FDA issued draft guidance for “hearing aid devices and personal sound amplification products” in 2013 but is now reopening the comment period to give the public more time to discuss.

The public has 120 days to comment.

Source The Hill

Learn about Hearing loops at ” Get In The Loop!”

December 22, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

People with hearing loss can dream of a future when hearing aids might also serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, customized sound from inside their ears. They can dream of communities where worship places, auditoriums, business windows, and home TV rooms all broadcast their sound through these in-the-ear loudspeakers. Thanks to the refinement of “induction loop” systems–which magnetically transmit sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils (T-coils)–that future can be now!

Learn more at

GLIDE – With Captions – YouTube message

December 16, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



Published on Dec 29, 2014

Youtube videos are not accessible to everyone, adding closed captions to videos will make them accessible to millions of more people. Share this video on social media, tag your favorite creator and help make your favorite videos enjoyable for everyone! #withcaptions

Thank you to everyone that participated:
Rikki Poynter –…
Jason Listman –…
Jules Dameron –…
Nyle DiMarco
Sandra Frank
Amber Zion
Laurel Silverstein
Dickie Hearts
Leila Hanaumi
Daniel Durant
Sean Forbes –
Treshelle Edmond
Amelia Hensley
Heidi Branch –…
Erik Wittborg –
Joshua Castille

Keep up with us:
Download Glide –

Hamilton Relay – Your New Virginia Relay Provider

December 16, 2015 in Community News, Technology



Dec 16, 2015

As of July 31, 2015, Virginia Relay welcomes Hamilton Relay as the new Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider for Virginia. To help you understand what to expect with this transition, here are responses to a few Frequently Asked Questions.

DOWNLOAD – VARelay_Hamilton_FAQ

Three Challenges For The Hearables Future

December 10, 2015 in Technology



by Ruochen Huang

“Hearables companies are currently developing products that aim to both supplement and augment hearing.”

In Spike Jonze’s Her, Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his earpiece — or rather, the female voice inside it. The film depicts a society in which artificially intelligent hearing devices serve as human companions.

A cliché for the hearables futureHer nonetheless raises several key issues regarding the increasingly saturated industry of ear-worn wearables that must be resolved — not only to prevent an isolated world in which people become increasingly obsessed with their trinkets but also to herald the advancement of hearable technologies that will perhaps even be capable of their own self-reflection and introspection.

Reshaping The Stigma

The lonely future portrayed in Her is exactly what hearable technology should not evolve into. Yet, it reinforces how people generally perceive these earpieces — isolating and potentially embarrassing. We’ve already seen (and joked about) them with early iterations of the Bluetooth headset — this clunky, protruding device gave an almost comical impression that one was talking to oneself. It also attempted to standardize hearable technology, an effort to combat the existing stigma of isolation and introversion exuded through headphones and earphones.

Bluetooth headsets introduced the world to the potential of hearables, but the stigma is still there and especially present in health devices, such as hearing aids. They give the impression that the user is immersed in their own world; they’re perceived as socially awkward.

Read more . . .  Heartless Future

Hearing loop advocate coming to New Mexico

December 10, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

New Mexico will be the latest state visited by hearing loop advocate Juliette Sterkens, Au.D., when she meets with hard of hearing groups and also with hearing care providers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces in January of 2016. Her workshops on loop/telecoil technology will be jointly sponsored by the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons and the state’s three local chapters of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

Dr. Sterkens’ advocacy for this time tested but largely unknown technology began after attending a workshop on hearing loops conducted by Prof. David Myers of Hope College in Michigan. She went back to her home town of Oshkosh, WI and began promoting the the use of hearing loops with her patients, then in the community, and then throughout the state. She drafted her husband, a retired engineer, to be a hearing loop installer and, when that became a burden, coaxed audio visual firms throughout the state to learn the ins and outs of such installations. The result has been nearly 400 hearing loop installations in churches, theaters, council chambers, libraries and other public facilities in cities spreading from Lake Michigan to the Minnesota border.

Read more  . . . Hearing loop advocate


November 24, 2015 in Community Events, Technology

UPDATED 12/3/2015 –  The program previously announced for December 13 has had to be rescheduled because our presenter has unexpectedly had called out of town.  This program will be held on Sunday, January 24 at 2 pm. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

We will, however, meet on December 13 as planned.  Our program (which we originally planned for January) is described in the attachment.


There are countless free and low-cost applications that people with hearing loss can download and use in their daily lives. Everything from ordering a cab, to finding a health care provider, to finding that song people are singing on the radio and much more is just one click away. Come join us as we explore applications and websites that will make navigating the hearing world a better experience.

Our presenter, Mariella Paulino, has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University, and held a fellowship with Code for Progress where she learned to create software. She has a strong interest in building tools that combine resources for the hard of hearing, occasioned both by her own hearing loss and previous work at the Defense Department where she interacted with veterans, many of whom with hearing difficulties. She is currently in the process of building (which will launch in 2016) whose purpose is to create a consolidated database of tools, technology, and resources for the hard of hearing.

Date and Time: Sunday, January 24 at 2 pm

Place: DC Public Library at Tenleytown (large meeting room), 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 (less than a block from the Tenleytown Station on Metro’s Red Line)

Real-time captioning and a looping system will be available for all attendees.

     All are welcome. There is no charge

Wearable ASL Translation Technology

November 19, 2015 in Interpreting & Transliterating, Research, Technology



Language Magazine
by admin34
November 17th, 2015

Roozbeh Jafari, Associate Professor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University is leading the development of a tool for American Sign Language (ASL) translation. While previous attempts for automatic ASL translation have largely relied on cameras and visual tracking technology, Jafari’s project tracks muscle movement and external motion. “The sensor is based on EMG, or electromyogram technology,” Jafari said. “Combined with the external motion sensors, which show us the overall hand movement, the EMG allows us to discriminate between gestures,” he said. “A fine-grain of interpretation […] motion sensors give us the overall sense and muscle activities give us information about the fine-grained intent.”

The prototype was revealed this past June at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference,   . . .

Read More  . . . ASL Translation Technology

Related Article from DOGO News –  By Kim Bussing on October 30, 2015

Project AMP gives a voice to students hard of hearing

November 19, 2015 in Community News, Technology



PCAST Recommends Changes to Promote Innovation in Hearing Technologies

November 18, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



OCTOBER 26, 2015

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology letter report investigated age-related mild to moderate hearing loss.

Untreated, age-related hearing loss is a significant national problem. With the population 65 and older in the United States expected to reach 80 million in the next 25 years, the number of people with hearing loss will rise dramatically. Already, a quarter of adults between 60 and 69 years, more than half of adults between 70 and 79 years, and almost 80 percent of those older than 80 years have difficulty hearing – that’s almost 30 million Americans. Only a small fraction of this group seek out and use assistive hearing technologies, including hearing aids, and that rate is even smaller among low income and racial and ethnic minorities.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) believes there is an opportunity to enhance the pace of innovation, decrease cost, and improve the capability, convenience, and use of assistive hearing devices for individuals whose hearing has diminished in a mild to moderate way with age. Today, we delivered a letter report to the President, Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, that examines these issues and includes several recommendations as part of our larger study about how technologies can help Americans remain independent as they age.

Read entire Summary

Read Full report (pdf)

Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids Controversy

November 17, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology




In October 2015, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) delivered Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, which targets America’s worsening hearing loss epidemic. The report proposes a number of regulatory changes, at the level of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which PCAST believes will “decrease the cost of hearing aids, spur technology innovation, and increase consumer choice options.”

One of the most controversial proposals is the creation of a new category of “basic” category of hearing aids meant for over-the-counter sale. PCAST argues that this “would allow entrepreneurs and innovators to enter the market and open a space for creative solutions to improve mild-to-moderate, age-related hearing loss with devices that can be sold ( . . . ) at the local pharmacy, online, or at a retail store for significantly less.”

Read more  . . . Hearing Aids Controversy