Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Deaf doctor makes patients feel heard

May 21, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Ann Arbor, Michigan (CNN) When I was 4 years old, my mother and father received devastating news — I was deaf.

It was the 1950s, a time when people with disabilities received few accommodations or support. A time long before any legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act was conceived, let alone passed.

I am the first and, to date, only person in my family with a profound hearing loss. While I will never know what caused my hearing loss, my mother didn’t have a normal pregnancy.

I was born five weeks past my expected due date. I was “floppy” and very sickly from the beginning. Today, my mother would have been induced much earlier and I would have been placed in a neonatal intensive care unit. My parents, both physicians, watched me 24/7 for two weeks, shaking me every time I stopped breathing until I started again. Gradually, I became healthy and thrived like any other child.

Read more see pictures  . . .watch un-captioned video . . . Dr. Philip Zazove

Kenya: Nonini Records Song With Hearing Impaired Singer

May 21, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



May 20, 2015
By Elly Gitau

Rapper Nonini has hit the booth to record a collabo track with a hearing and speech impaired rapper. Describing how it all happened, Nonini says that the “mystery” project has really changed his perspective on life.

“I have done lots of projects in my life but this one really showed me a new perspective to life and it’s a mystery to me how I connected with the project on so many different levels. So one Saturday I am chilling and I get a call from producer Bruce Odhiambo to come to his studio Johari Cleff. Once I got there he gave me a story of how a rapper came to the Youth Fund offices not to ask for money but request for an opportunity to get into the booth and realise his dream and passion of becoming a musician,” he says.

He continues, “The rapper’s name is called Lal Daggy and he described me as the best guy he would love to work with. Then Bruce broke the news that Lal Daggy had a hearing and speach impairment. So how was the song going to work? Apparently, Lal Daggy can feel the beat/metronome although he can’t hear the sounds. So I had to be his voice in a song he had written in English which I had to take, consume and translate it in a genge manner without losing the meaning. Basically, I was just a vessel passing through Lal Daggy’s message to the world. Never experienced anything like that. Humbled and thank both Bruce and Lal Daggy for giving me the opportunity!”

See original article . . . hearing and speech challenged rapper



Biology Professor’s Calling: Teach Deaf Students They Can Do Anything

May 21, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



MAY 20, 2015

To get a really good sense of why Caroline Solomon is a great teacher, you have to go into the field with her. On this particular morning, that means a boat on the Anacostia River.

We’re about 4 miles from the campus of Gallaudet University, where Solomon is a professor of biology. She and a student — Anna McCall — are heading in a small boat to take water samples.

The Anacostia is no more than 8 miles long, but it meanders through and around Washington, D.C., past a naval yard, a golf course and I-95, the busiest interstate highway on the Eastern Seaboard.

For months now, Solomon and her students have been dropping probes testing for oxygen, salinity and chlorophyll. It’s data that help gauge the river’s health, which is not very good right now, Solomon says.

“I know what’s in this river,” she says, laughing. Her voice is audible as she speaks with us, but she communicates with students in sign language.

Read more  . . . See Pictures  . . . Caroline Solomon

Improved cochlear implants could be developed based on hearing loss study

May 19, 2015 in Research, Technology



International Business Times
By Jayalakshmi K

A landmark study that unveils the biological process of how the brain balances the hearing between two ears to localise sound and hear in noisy conditions could help improvise cochlear implants and hearing aids.

University of New South Wales researchers have discovered the crucial role played by a group of auditory nerve fibres in the hearing process.

The “olivocochlear” hearing control reflex links the cochlea of each ear via the brain’s auditory control centre to help discriminate between noise and sound.

When sound intensity increases, the olivocochlear reflex turns down the “cochlear amplifier” to balance the input of each ear for optimal hearing and to protect hearing.

“Our hearing is so sensitive that we can hear a pin drop and that’s because of the ‘cochlear amplifier’ in our inner ear. This stems from outer hair cells in the cochlea which amplify sound vibrations,” says UNSW Professor Gary Housley.

Read More  . . . Improved cochlear implants

KSD kids make musical highlighting deaf culture

May 14, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Thursday, May 14, 2015

A class project has become an opportunity for middle school students at Kentucky School for the Deaf to introduce deaf culture on a wider scale.

The students have created “KSD Middle School Musical,” which follows the story of middle school students Sharpay, Troy, Gabriella and their friends through the halls of KSD, highlighting deaf culture and middle school angst with musical breaks.

“We would really like for the community to see what deaf culture is like. There are some people who aren’t even aware of deaf people, much less the culture,” said Parrie Kay Herring, an eighth-grader who plays the character of Sharpay.

The movie will be shown in two theaters Friday morning at Danville Cinemas 8. It will be free to the public. While the entire movie relies on sign language, it also will be captioned for those who do not know sign language.


Students began the project in January, as part of their arts and humanities classes. The middle school is on a three-year rotation for the class, explained Ann Arnold, a teacher who helped craft the KSD musical. Typically, they do a production, but this year, they wanted to try something a bit different that could incorporate more aspects of technology.


Read more  . . . See pictures  . . . KSD

Researchers discover how the brain balances hearing between our ears

May 14, 2015 in Research



Medical Press
May 12, 2015
Credit: Rice University

UNSW researchers have answered the longstanding question of how the brain balances hearing between our ears, which is essential for localising sound, hearing in noisy conditions and for protection from noise damage.

The landmark animal study also provides new insight into  and is likely to improve cochlear implants and  aids.

The findings of the NHMRC-funded research are published today in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

UNSW Professor Gary Housley, senior author of the research paper, said his team sought to understand the biological process behind the ‘olivocochlear’ hearing control reflex.

Read more  . . . Brain Balances Hearing

Osteoporosis Linked to Deafness

May 12, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



May 8, 2015

People with osteoporosis may be almost twice as likely to develop sudden hearing loss, compared to people without the bone disease, according to researchers in Taiwan.

The cause of this sudden deafness is unknown, but the rapid loss of hearing typically affects one ear, and it’s estimated to strike about one in every 5,000 Americans each year.

In particular, the researchers looked for sudden cases of so-called sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the inner ear is damaged, or when there is damage to the nerve pathways from the ear to the brain.

Typical risk factors include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes. The current study is the first to look at osteoporosis as a risk factor in Asian patients, according to its authors.

Read more  . . . osteoporosis

Texas-Commissioners approve written communication policy for hearing-impaired

May 7, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness



The Gilmore Mirror
May 2, 2015

Gilmore, Texas –  Upshur County Commissioners Court on Thursday approved a written communication policy for dealing with the hearing-impaired, a move which County Judge Dean Fowler said means the county will no longer “be under the hand of the (United States) Department of Justice, which is a very good thing.”
Fowler told The Mirror someone filed a complaint against the county under the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2009, and the Justice Department investigated in 2010, the year the county made an agreement with the department to resolve it. That led to courthouse renovations performed in recent years, he said.The new communication policy means county employees will be given instructions on how to communicate with the hearing-impaired, such as passing notes back and forth, Fowler said. If needed, an interpreter can be brought in, he said.

An unnamed Tyler source, which would be paid only when it renders service, would provide sign language when needed, Fowler said. He said the county has only dealt with one such hearing-impaired person in 12 years.

The Gilmer Mirror – Commissioners approve written communication policy for hearing impaired



Teen musicians: ‘Uncool’ earplugs may save your hearing

May 7, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Seattle Times
May 3, 2015

CHICAGO — For high-school sophomore Sophia Pellar, a pair of special earplugs recently donated by an audiologist has put an end to the pain she suffered when playing flute in the pep band.

Still, the Mozart-loving teen giggles nervously when she explains that the earplugs — tethered by a bright-blue string and designed to protect musicians from noise-induced hearing loss — have yet to become part of her regular repertoire.

“I wear earplugs during pep-band season, because it can be crazy loud,” said Pellar, 16. “But the thought of wearing them every day is a little embarrassing.”

With research indicating that as many as 1 in 5 teens suffers from hearing loss, much of it caused by noise damage, more doctors and school-band directors are urging kids to take precautions and, in some cases, are providing earplugs. Yet experts say their messages are being undermined by an “uncool” stigma similar to that which once impeded the use of bike helmets, shin guards and sunscreen.

Read more  . . .‘Uncool’ earplugs

Scottish scientists developing a lip-reading hearing aid

May 7, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology




SCOTTISH scientists are to create the first hearing aid that can read lips.

The gadget will use a tiny camera to identify the patterns of a speaker’s lip movements.

Cutting edge software will then translate the patterns into speech to be played in the wearer’s ear instantaneously.

The camera could be hidden discreetly in the earpiece itself or even in a pair of glasses or a piece of jewellery.

The camera will beam the words directly to the earpiece using wireless technology, switching between lip-reading and hearing modes depending on the acoustic environment.

Professor Amir Hussain from the University of Stirlingshire is leading the project, which is supported by Sheffield University, the Scottish section of the MRC Institute of Hearing Research at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and a number of manufacturers.

Read more  . . . Lip Reading Hearing Aid

Gary Viall, a Virginia Association for the Deaf member, sits down with Joel Barish – Video

April 30, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Gary Viall, a Virginia Association for the Deaf member, sits down with Joel Barish and gives advices to other state associations to think out of the box about fundraising. VAD travels out of the state to numbers of DeafNation Expos and other events to sell their popular 10 Reasons for Learning Sign Language t-shirts. (captioned)

Watch interview 

OSHA’s Occupational Hearing Loss Standard: How to Check if Your Workplace is Too Noisy

April 28, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



AMI Environmental
Aug 22, 2013

 What is ‘s Occupational  Standard?
OSHA regulations stipulate that if “any employee’s exposure equals or exceeds an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels, the employer shall develop and implement a noise monitoring program.”

What are some signs that your  has hazardous noise?

• If at work, you have to raise your voice for someone standing an arm’s length or less away to hear you.

• There is a ringing in your ears after you leave work.

• You have temporary hearing loss upon leaving work.

How can you test if the noise level at your workplace reaches dangerous levels?
You can’t be sure whether you’re being protected from hazardous noise or meeting OSHA regulations without completing an audiometric test. But you can compare your noise exposure levels at work to these everyday noises to get a vague idea of your risk level:

• 80 dB – Dial tone of a phone

• 85 dB – City traffic from inside a car

• 90 dB – Truck traffic or a train while at 500 ft

• 95 dB – Subway train at 200 ft

• 100 dB – Snowmobile or Motorcycle

• 107 dB – Power mower

While these comparisons can give you can vague idea of whether or not your workplace complies with OSHA standards, it is important to get a formal test done to make sure you and your employees are protected.

See resource article  . . . . Noise

ExposingHearingAids.org Reveals That Americans Who Wear Hearing Aids May Not Be Aware Of Special Tax Deductions

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


LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / April 22, 2015 / ExposingHearingAids.org has revealed that while one in eight Americans has hearing loss and usually wear hearing aids, may not be aware of their rights in terms of tax deductions that are permitted by the IRS. Hearing aids are expensive medical devices and many across America who could be taking advantage of the allowed tax deductions for such medical expenses as hearing aids, hearing aid repairs, hearing aid batteries and the corresponding maintenance costs, are not claiming them simply because they don’t know about this. Thus, those who have these medical expenses may want to research all deductions available at the moment for those who are hearing impaired or hard of hearing.

Another possible reason that some people are not claiming these tax deductions is that medical expenses must total more than 10% of gross income when adjusted, although there are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, repairs, batteries, and other additional requirements of hearing aid upkeep can be included in the costs. These can all be considered by the IRS along with telephone and television equipment that might be required to supply a normal range of hearing. ExposingHearingAids.org encourages hearing aid users to check this list of qualifying medical expenses to better understand their rights for such deductions.

Read more  . . . tax deductions

New study finds genetic predisposition for noise-induced hearing loss

April 22, 2015 in Research



April 16, 2015

In a new genome-wide association study, an international team led by Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) neuroscientists has found evidence that some people may be more genetically susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss than others.

Noise-induced  is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. At especially high risk are troops in the Armed Forces. In 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported hearing loss as one of the most common disabilities among veterans receiving disability compensation.

Those at higher, genetic risk for hearing loss may decide to take additional precautionary measures to protect their hearing prior to hazardous noise exposure, study authors say.

Read More  . . . noise-induced hearing loss

Related article  “Noise-related Hearing Loss Might be in Your Genes”



Opening Doors-Unlocking Potential 2015 Registration Open

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

Opening Doors-Unlocking Potential 2015! 
Dual Language and Transition Challenges
Charlottesville, Va 
June 24-25, 2015

DOWNLOAD – ODUP 2015 Brochure

Please see and share the attached registration brochure for the Ninth Annual ODUP Professional Development Institute for Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and all who work with students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

Featured speakers, Michael Douglas and Barbara Gerner de Garcia and additional presenters will provide teachers and educational professionals who work with  students who are d/hh with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills in developing multicultural sensitivity and learning to incorporate English language learning (ELL) theory and strategies in working with students who are d/hh of ethnically and linguistically diverse families.

Rachel Kolb’s keynote presentation and additional sessions will address the continuing need to provide strong self-determination skill development with students to ensure positive transition programming results.

To register, please go to: ODUP2015  and scroll to Registration Link.

Registration deadline is June 5, 2015.

Eligible VA Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing may receive lodging reimbursement for Wednesday, June 24.  A separate email will be sent to Virginia TODHH with further information.

Participants to ODUP 2015 may apply for one hour of graduate credit  through Radford University.

BUT WAIT. . .there’s more!  

#1  Participants interested especially in  Dual Language Learning for children who primarily communicate using listening and spoken language may continue with Michael for two in-depth sessions for an additional Short Course certificate which may be submitted by participants for ASHA and/or LSL credits.

#2 See information on the exciting Pre-session to ODUP 2015:

Opening Doors to Life Beyond High School 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

a premier event designed for Virginia’s rising 8th to rising 12th grade students who are deaf or hard of hearing, parents and educators  at    OD2LBHS2015

For complete details, please refer to the attached brochure and visit the ODUP 2015 website.  ODUP2015

Questions may be directed to Kristen Stahr (khstahr@vcu.edu) or Ann Hughes (awhughes@vcu.edu).

Hope to see you in Charlottesville!