Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Who Are the Role Models Since Helen Keller?

July 29, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

HUFFINGTON POST 
By Janice S. Lintz

South Africa’s Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990. The United Kingdom followed five years later with the Disability Discrimination Act. Yet where are all the great leaders championing access for people with hearing loss?

Nelson Mandela wore hearing aids but he is only known for overcoming apartheid in South Africa. Malala Yousafzai wears a cochlear implant, but she never mentions it when she speaks about educating girls. Academy Award Winner and actress Jodi Foster stood up at the Oscars to declare she was a lesbian but never mentioned that she wears a hearing aid despite its prominence in a Daily Mail photograph.

There are 360 million people worldwide with some form of hearing loss. How can an issue be so pervasive but with no recognizable role models or leaders? There are great advocates within the insular hearing loss community but no person who captivates the world.

Why are people willing to discuss their race, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation but unwilling to discuss their hearing loss? Is hearing loss so stigmatized that we have created what Dr. Julie Gurner, a leadership consultant, calls a “culture of shame”? She explains: “Prominent figures hide their hearing loss so perhaps other people feel maybe they should hide theirs as well.” The press ridiculed Prince Philip when he was first seen wearing hearing aids.

Read more  . . .  Role Models

 

When I Say I Want Telecoils…

July 27, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

 

Hearing Health Matters
By Gael Hannan
J

…I mean it.

It wasn’t just an opening line to my hearing aid provider, so that she could come back with, “That’s old tech. Your hearing aid manufacturer has a great in-home kit, and a streamer, and lots of other neat stuff for just a few hundred dollars extra.”  Although, that’s pretty much what we said to each other.

I said I wanted telecoils so that I could use them with the phone and in looped environments. I had seen how much my friends benefited from the system and I wanted what they had—and I got it.

It’s only been five years since embracing telecoils and hearing loops. In those new (and soon to be retired) hearing aids, I had to choose between telecoils and Bluetooth. I couldn’t have both (which apparently I can in my upcoming set) so I opted for telecoils.

In The Way I Hear Itmy book on living with hearing loss, I talk about the wonder of it all.

But today, for the first time, I have telecoils in my hearing aids and I know how to use them. When I use the phone, I push a little button (which may look as if I’m poking myself in the head) and BOOM! I can talk on the phone without feedback. I use a neckloop that attaches to my cell phone or iPad, and when I activate it, POW! The music comes directly into my ears. Listening to a speaker in a room that has a hearing loop around the perimeter of the room, I just hit those T-switches and KABAM! The speaker’s voice fills my head. (Page 75, soft cover version)

It’s a simple system that delivers sound directly to my hearing aids. Let me define ‘simple’. It’s scientifically simple if you are scientifically minded—which I am not.  But it’s simple to use.  All I do is poke myself in the side of the head and voilà!  I hear voices directly . . . . .

Read more  . . . T- coils

How to Irritate People (With Your Hearing Loss)

July 27, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Hearing Health Matters
By Gael Hannan
J

Some of my personal favorite, sure-fire ways to spark irritation in other people:

  1. Choose not to wear your hearing aids or cochlear implant and then struggle to communicate with someone. I’m giving my ears a break and I want to save money on batteries. But c’mon, talk to me, I can read your lips. (Like this ever works.)
  1. Bluff. Just pretend to understand what’s being said. Nod like a bobble head. Smile vaguely. Use a variety of interested facial expressions that, while they may fool strangers or casual acquaintances into believing you’re with them all the way, to anyone who knows you, it’s clear that you’re in high-performance faking mode.
  1. Repeatedly ask for repeats without doing anything to improve the situation.

What did you do on the weekend?

Pardon?

What did you do on the weekend?

Huh?

Saturday! Sunday! You!  WHAT?

Well you don’t have to get snippy, I am hard of hearing, y’know.

Read More  .#4 – 10 .Gael Hannan 

Participate in an Online Survey about VRS Phones and Software

July 27, 2015 in Research, Technology

 

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Video Relay Service (VRS) Users Invited to participate in an Online Survey about VRS Phones and Software

Your opinion counts: The Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University, in partnership with the Video Access Technology Reference Platform (VATRP) team is conducting an online survey to learn about your wishes and needs for video relay service (VRS) software.The VATRP project is a contract awarded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop new VRS software. It is a partnership among VTCSecure, TCS Associates, Gallaudet University, and RIT/NTID.Our goal is to understand what features you would like to see in the new VRS software. To do the best job possible, we also want to understand what you currently like about your videophones, and what you currently dislike.

To take this survey you:
1. must be an adult (18 years or older)
2. must be deaf, hard of hearing, or have another form of hearing loss
3. must use video relay services; and
4. must have access to the Internet in order to complete the survey.

Completing the survey will take up to 20 minutes by reading, and up to 40 minutes by using the available videos, depending on how much you use relay services. If you would like to participate in this online survey, please go to  – http://whatisvatrp.com/survey.html

Project Manager Shahzad “Shah” Merchant explains why it is important for you to take this voluntary & anonymous survey.

This study has been approved by the Gallaudet University Institutional Review Board.

 

 

 

 

VAD Leadership Training Program-Richmond & Hampton Roads

July 21, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

VAD Leadership Training Program Hosted by Greater Richmond and Hampton Roads

DATE: Saturday, September 12, 2015
TIME: 9:00AM to 5:00PM
AT: Tidewater Community College Virginia Beach Campus
1700 College Crescent Virginia Beach, VA 23453
ROOM: TBA

Tentative Topics:

  •  Leadership (different leadership styles)
  •  Board of Directors (board duties and responsibilities)
  • Legislative Advocacy (local state/delegate speaker on state government and General Assembly)
  •  Legislation (how bills are formulated, voted, and passed/failed)
  •  Interpreting, Interpreters, and Access
  • Financial report preparation

Light Breakfast and Lunch will be provided by Leadership Training Program Fund.
For more information, contact Sally Thompson ~ thompson0615@verizon.net (Email)

DOWNLOAD – VAD_Leadership_Flyer_2015

STARTING SOON-Summer ASL Classes @NVRC

July 16, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Beginner ASL (6 weeks) 

Beginner ASL is an introductory course to American Sign Language, the Community and the Culture. Students will learn fingerspelling, numbers, gestures, glossing and an introduction to ASL signs.

6-week Beginner ASL class – Wednesdays July 29-Sept. 2
DOWNLOAD Beginner ASL-July 2015 flyer


Conversational ASL (6 weeks)

Conversational ASL is a 6-week course focusing on fingerspelling, numbers, gestures, expressions and signs practiced through games, break out groups, role playing and songs.

6-week Conversational ASL class  – Thursdays July 30-Sept 3
DOWNLOAD – Conversational ASL- 2015 Flyer

No textbook is required

Classes will be held at : NVRC – 3951 Pender Drive,  Suite 130,  Fairfax, VA 22030

Learn More . . . Dates for ASL Classes

 

 

 

 

New findings hint toward reversing hearing loss

July 16, 2015 in Research

 

 

Medical Press
by Julia Evangelou Strait
July 16, 2015

Unlike birds and amphibians, mammals can’t recover lost hearing. In people, the cells of the inner ear responsible for detecting sound and transmitting those signals to the brain form during early stages of development and can’t be replaced if lost due to illness, injury or aging.

Studying mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified two signaling molecules that are required for the proper development of a part of the inner ear called the cochlea. Without both signals, the embryo does not produce enough of the cells that eventually make up the adult cochlea, resulting in a shortened cochlear duct and impaired hearing.

The study, available online in the journal eLife, contributes to the understanding of inner ear development, a first step toward the goal of being able to recover lost hearing.

Read More . . .

Photo Credit: Sung-Ho Huh

Accepting and Affording Hearing Loss: an Uphill Battle

July 2, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Treatment may be costly, but ignoring a hearing problem could be worse.

US NEWS & World Report
By Lacie Glover

Life can be difficult for the hearing impaired, and is often accompanied by isolation and increased social anxiety. Even though hearing loss is a common problem with many available treatment options, most people let it go for more than 10 years before seeking a hearing aid, according to a Health Technology Assessment out of the United Kingdom in 2007.

“Hearing loss is invisible and insidious. I don’t think people really think about that,” says audiologist Deborah Berndtson, spokeswoman for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. According to ASHA, about 17 percent of Americans report partial hearing loss, but only 1 in 5 seeks help for it.

Consequences

A hearing problem, whether you know about it or not, can often lead to unintended consequences, Berndtson says. Professionals in the workforce who don’t treat hearing loss “will often suffer financially. They won’t get that raise or promotion because they’re not hearing well,” she says. Whether the perception is that they don’t understand what’s going on or that they don’t address their communication strategies, “people will see that. They miss out.”

Read more  . . .  hearing problem

 

DEAF AND THOSE WHO USE WHEELCHAIRS FACE ADDED DISCRIMINATION IN RENTAL HOUSING MARKET

July 2, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Research

 

 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Julián Castro, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
HUD No. 15-081                                                                                             FOR RELEASE
Elena Gaona                                                                                                   Thursday
202-708-0685                                                                                                  June 25, 2015
http://www.hud.gov/news/index.cfm


DEAF AND THOSE WHO USE WHEELCHAIRS
FACE ADDED DISCRIMINATION IN RENTAL HOUSING MARKET

National study finds deaf, hard of hearing, and those in wheelchairs told about fewer homes

WASHINGTON – Well-qualified homeseekers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as homeseekers who use wheelchairs, are told about fewer available housing units than comparable homeseekers who can hear and walk, according to a new study released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Urban Institute.  Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market Against People Who Are Deaf and People Who Use Wheelchairs finds that people who are deaf or who use wheelchairs are at a statistically significant disadvantage when it comes to the number of homes they are informed about.

“Every American deserves the opportunity to secure a home,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.  “But the evidence is clear: people who are hearing-impaired or in wheelchairs face unacceptable and unjust discrimination.  HUD will continue to work with our fair housing partners to protect the rights of Americans with disabilities and to promote opportunity for all.”

Key findings of the report include:

Discrimination against people who are deaf or hard of hearing

  • When well-qualified homeseekers who are deaf or hard of hearing contact housing providers and use assistive communication technologies to inquire about recently advertised rental housing, providers are less likely to respond to their inquiries.
  • The extent of apparent discrimination against people who are deaf or hard of hearing varies with the type of communication technology the deaf or hard of hearing tester uses to make contact with housing providers. Housing providers are more resistant to dealing with the older (but still widely used) telephone technologies which have longer communication delays.
  • When they do respond, the housing providers tell homeseekers who are deaf or hard of hearing about fewer available housing options than they tell comparable homeseekers who are hearing.

Discrimination against people who use wheelchairs

  • Well-qualified homeseekers who use wheelchairs are more likely to be denied an appointment to view recently advertised rental housing in buildings with accessible units than comparably qualified homeseekers who are ambulatory.
  • Those who do receive an appointment are less likely than their ambulatory counterparts to be told about and shown suitable housing units.
  •  When homeseekers who use a wheelchair ask about modifications that would make the available housing more accessible to them, housing providers agree in most instances. However in approximately a quarter of the requests, housing providers either failed to provide a clear response or explicitly denied modification requests.

The Urban Institute, which conducted the study, employed a “paired testing” methodology in which researchers compared the treatment of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who are wheelchair bound, against those who can hear and not wheelchair bound. The paired testing track for people who were deaf or hard of hearing included 1,665 remote telephone tests conducted in a national sample of 168 metropolitan areas that contained more than four-fifths (82%)of the population that is deaf or hard of hearing and that resides in rental housing. The national sample for people who use wheelchairs included 1,259 tests in 30 metropolitan areas containing almost three-quarters (73%) of the population that has a mobility disability and that resides in rental housing.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.  Discrimination complaints made on the basis of physical and mental disabilities have increased over time to become the largest share of complaints received by federal and local agencies and private fair housing organizations. In FY 2014, disability was the most common basis of complaints filed with HUD and its partner agencies, being cited as a basis for 4,606 complaints, or 54 percent of the overall total.

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing, or by downloading HUD’s free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, as well as Android devices.

###

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at 
www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.

 

DISCRIMINATION IN THE RENTAL HOUSING MARKET AGAINST PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF AND PEOPLE WHOUSE WHEELCHAIRS:  NATIONAL STUDY FINDINGS
DOWNLOAD HUD PDF COMPLETE REPORT 

 

What Did You Say? FDA Plans Study on How Hearing Loss Affects Drug Ad Understanding

June 26, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Regulatory Affairs Professional Society
By Alexander Gaffney, RAC
June 24, 2015

 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it is planning a new study to assess whether older Americans are able to adequately hear all of the risks presented in televised pharmaceutical advertising.

Background

The study, announced in a 24 June 2015 posting in the Federal Register, is somewhat similar to other direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising studies proposed by FDA in the last few years, including studies on how adolescents understand risk in drug advertising and how one’s spouse might affect one’s understanding of drug risks and benefits.

As FDA explains in its Federal Register notice, the elderly often find themselves in a difficult situation: At a time when they are often taking an increasing number of prescription pharmaceutical products to counteract the effects of aging, their ability to understand the benefits and risks presented by those products is often diminished.

Read More  . . .  Drug Ad 

One day, you’ll fine-tune hearing aids yourself

June 25, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology

 

 

engagdget
by
 Jon Fingas
June 23, 2015

Hearing aids are supposed to help you resume a normal life, but they sometimes make things worse — and when most clinics aren’t prepared to calibrate the devices, it’s tempting to ditch them altogether. Norwegian scientists might give you an incentive to keep those earpieces in place, though. They’ve developed a touchscreen-based tuning system that lets you customize hearing aids largely by yourself. The technology asks you to pick a typical sound scenario (such as a busy office) and introduce extra effects until it replicates the situations where you have problems. After that, an audiometrist only has to adjust the hearing aid based on your feedback.

You may not have to wait long to see (or rather, hear) how well this works. AudioPlus Concept AS plans to use the system in one or two clinics in the very near future. You won’t have to rely solely on canned sound samples, either. The team has developed a mobile app that records problematic audio wherever you find it, so it should be easier to sort out your hearing aids even if you have unique challenges.

See picture  . . . research

 

Signs & Sounds – Summer Children Sign Language Groups

June 25, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Sessions available!

  • Age Groups: 7-10 & 11-14
  • Weekly 45-minute
    • theme based lessons
    • on Wednesdays
  • Hands on activities & group practice
  • Where: Northern Virginia Resource Center (NVRC) Pender Drive, Fairfax, VA
  • Registration, instructor bio, and information available www.signsandsoundsllc.com
  • No binding contract commitment
  • Cost $25.00 per session

DOWNLOAD – Signs and Sounds LLC Summer 2015 Childrens ASL Groups Flyer

Flyer_signs_sounds

 

 

 

#ShowYourAids Social Media Campaign Explodes Across the World

June 23, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

#ShowYourAids Social Media Campaign Explodes Across the World and the HOH/Deaf Make a Stand

 

SAN ANTONIO, June 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emma Rudkin knows from experience how tough it can be for a young person to have to wear hearing aids.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33997

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33998

That’s exactly why this year’s Miss San Antonio started the #ShowYourAids social media movement earlier this month, inviting fellow members of the deaf community to share pictures of their hearing aids.

“I started getting a lot of emails and text messages from high school and middle school students saying that they were being bullied, that they didn’t want to wear their hearing aids, that they were ashamed of having the stigma of being deaf and the physical things that came along with that,” Rudkin said.

“So, the idea behind #ShowYourAids,” she continued, “was to create a movement where the deaf community can be proud, and they can realize that being different is the most beautiful thing about them.”

 Read more …Social Media 

FCC Announces 2015-2016 Funding for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

June 23, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

On June 22, 2015, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released a Public Notice announcing the funding allocations for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) for the 2015-2016 Fund year.  The NDBEDP is a program mandated by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) that provides up to $10 million annually for the distribution of communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.

Links to the Public Notice:
Word:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-722A1.docx
PDF:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-722A1.pdf
Text:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-722A1.txt

For further information, contact the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office:  Jackie Ellington at 202-418-1153 orJackie.Ellington@fcc.gov; or Rosaline Crawford at 202-418-2075 or Rosaline.Crawford@fcc.gov.

Implants, signing let deaf kids be bilingual, experts say

June 16, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Fox News
June 16, 2015

Parents of deaf children face a critical responsibility to learn and use sign language, according to a majority of hearing experts quoted in the journal Pediatrics, although the question of whether or not to sign has grown increasingly controversial.

Ten thousand infants are born yearly in the U.S. with sensorineural deafness, and data suggest that half receive cochlear implants, small devices that help provide a sense of sound to profoundly deaf individuals.

While some specialists advise that all deaf children, with or without cochlear implants, learn sign language, others fear that learning sign language will interfere with the demanding rehabilitation needed to maximize the cochlear device. Still others worry that asking parents to learn a new language quickly is too burdensome.

Read More  . . .  Sign language