Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Can YOU Hear a Burp? By Gael Hannan

November 19, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Better Hearing Consumer
By Gael Hannan

I have a small bone to pick with people who can hear well. It’s not that I begrudge them their hearing—but do they have to be so show-offy about it?

These people let you know when they hear a pin drop. They can understand what’s being said way over there. They can understand speech in noisy situations—on a roller coaster, for example. And that’s all very nice but why do they need to ask me—a certified HoH (hard of hearing person), the crowned Queen of Pardon?—if I hear that itty-bitty chickadee on top of that tree half a mile away. Why even bother excusing themselves for a burp? There’s no way I would hear what must be all of 15 decibels, hardly a Richter-scale vibration.

In those moments, in the grip of a secret fit of hearing-envy, I have to remind myself, who really wants to hear all that stuff? Pretty birdsong is one thing, but when  it comes to indelicate sounds, people with high frequency hearing loss

Read More  . . .Burp?

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

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)

Spotlight On Deaf-Blind Runners – Buff & Blue

November 17, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness





Ivy Sahneyah is from Arizona, and she is a sophomore and she’s in her second year of GU cross country and Track & Field.

Kevlasha Humphrey is from Jackonsville, Illinois. She will graduate this May with a Bachelors in Social Work. She’s in her third year of GU cross country and track & field.

LaQuita Carroll is born and raised in Alabama. She’s currently a junior, and studying a degree in social work. She’s in her third year of GU cross country and track & field.

All three ladies are Deaf-Blind, and they all love to run. Cross country is their thing, and they’re not afraid to say so. To look into the minds of these great runners, I sat down with them for an interview.

Read more  . .  Deaf-Blind Runners

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

National Motorcycle Safety Fund to Help Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Take Motorcycle Courses

November 12, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Motor Cycle & Power Sports News

The National Motorcycle Safety Fund has created a new grant program to help rider training sites cover the costs of hiring sign-language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing students. MSF expects MSF-recognized Rider Training Sites across the nation to make reasonable accommodations for people with physical disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state laws. A common accommodation is for a training site to hire, often at its own expense, sign-language interpreters.
There are many deaf and hard of hearing car drivers and motorcyclists on the road today. To compensate, drivers and motorcyclists typically employ risk-reduction strategies such as Search/Evaluate/Execute (SEE), maintain longer following distances, make better use of peripheral vision, and check their mirrors more frequently.

Increasing awareness of the deaf experience: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia

November 12, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Nov. 4, 2015

Los Angeles, CA (Nov. 4, 2015) Since its start in the 1960s, Deaf Studies has been impacted by the political activism of Deaf communities, significant advancements in technologies and medicine, and broadened knowledge in interdisciplinary disciplines such as Deaf culture, signed languages and deaf bilingual education. Now a developed field of study at many colleges and universities, Deaf Studies is taking its place among other critical disciplines in the social sciences. Dedicated to the scholarship of Deaf people and Deaf communities worldwide, SAGE today announces the launch of The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. With 350 entries, the three-volume set applies a Deaf-centric perspective on a range of multidisciplinary academic fields and combines research with political and cultural inquiry.

Editors Dr. Genie Gertz and Dr. Patrick Boudreault of Gallaudet University commented, “This new encyclopedia shifts focus away from the medical model that has viewed deaf individuals as needing to be remedied in order to correct so-called hearing and speaking deficiencies for the sole purpose of assimilation into mainstream society. The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia endeavors to carve out a critical perspective on Deaf Studies with a focus on the Deaf as members of a distinct cultural and linguistic group defined by a unique and vibrant history, community and way of being.”

Read more . . . Deaf Studies

Deaf small business owners thrive after overcoming obstacles and prejudice of hearing people

November 12, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness


By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG, AP Business Writer
Nov. 11, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Soon after customers arrive at Mozzeria for the first time, they notice something’s different about the restaurant: Virtually every staffer is deaf.

Owners Russ and Melody Stein are also deaf, and have run their San Francisco restaurant since 2011. The business is thriving because customers love the food and the Steins have overcome obstacles deaf people can face when they become small business owners — particularly lingering stereotypes and prejudice, and fewer resources than hearing entrepreneurs have.

“We have the same skills as a hearing individual,” Russ Stein says.

Running Mozzeria comes naturally to Melody Stein, whose family is in the restaurant business.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says.

Deaf people have the same ambition and ability to be entrepreneurs and business owners as those who hear, says Tom Baldridge, director of the business administration program at Gallaudet University, the largest educational institution serving the deaf and hard of hearing. There’s a growing interest among Gallaudet students in entrepreneurship, matching the increase in business schools across the country. The university is expanding its entrepreneurship offerings beyond courses, and giving students experience in running businesses like campus coffee shops.

Read More  . . . . Deaf small business

Hearing loss affects 40% of musicians, says survey

November 12, 2015 in Research



by Matthew Hemley

Four out of 10 of musicians in the UK – including those who work for stage productions – have suffered hearing loss, a survey has claimed.

Charity Help Musicians UK’s survey found that 40.5% of the 692 respondents said they had experienced hearing loss, with 78.3% of these revealing that being a musician was one of the factors that had caused it.

The survey was issued to musicians across the UK, including those working for orchestras in organisations including English National Opera and the Royal Opera House.

Read More  . . . Musicians

Hearing loss may be hidden cost of military service

November 12, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Greensboro News & Record
by Doug Clark
November 11, 2015

My neighbor, Garrett Whitley, sometimes talks about his role in the war when I visit him at the care facility where he’s spent the past few months.

He’s 88 and doesn’t walk so well anymore.

As a very young man, almost as young as some of his great-grandchildren, he served on the USS De Grasse in the Pacific.

The De Grasse was a cargo/troop transport ship that saw its share of action during the last 18 months of the war against Japan.

He gets very emotional when he recalls the horror of seeing a Japanese fighter plane diving into a nearby ship, killing dozens of sailors.

“That could have been us,” he says.

He’s also grateful President Harry Truman gave the order to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, forcing Japan’s surrender. Otherwise, he would have been part of the invasion. Military planners thought such an operation could have cost a million American lives.

My conversations with Garrett are somewhat one-sided because he’s stone-deaf. Not that there’s much he needs to hear from me, but when I want to ask him a question, I have to write it down.

Read More . . . Military Service

‘Switched at Birth’s’ Impact on Deaf Culture + Common Misconceptions of Deaf People

November 10, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness




ABC’s “Switched at Birth,” is a show that many of us know as two girls who discover that they were switched at birth (hence the show’s title). Actress Katie Leclerc, portrays Daphne one of the show’s main characters who is deaf. Consequently, throughout the show, viewers are given insight on deaf culture.

Here are a few of the many interesting topics that “Switched at Birth” has helped shed light on regarding deaf culture:

1. Sign Language is NOT universal
On “Switched at Birth,” there’s an episode where Daphne encounters a deaf person who communicates in Mexican Sign Language. Just as every country has its own spoken language, each country has its own unique sign language.

Read more  . . . “Switched at Birth” 

Deaf Jazz Singer “All the right notes” – Walk the Moon Music Video

November 10, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness


NBC News

#1 Deaf Jazz Singer – NBC report (Video Top of page)

How do you make a music video for the deaf and hearing impaired? That is what AT&T and indie pop outfit Walk the Moon had to figure out for the band’s song “Different Colors.”

The two teamed up with the Deaf Professional Arts Network to create a music video using American Sign Language (ASL) for AT&T’s “Feel the Music” campaign.

As the director of the video, Jules Dameron, said in a “behind the scenes” video, deaf music fans have been making their own versions of popular music videos for awhile now.

The “Feel the Music” campaign is simply giving a professional sheen to what the deaf community has already been doing.

Read More  . . . Music watch captioned video

#2 Walk the Moon Music Video

“Dad, Wear Your Hearing Aids!” by Gael Hannan

November 10, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Better Hearing Consumer
By Gael Hannan

It’s probably not an easy thing to learn that your two year-old daughter has permanent hearing loss. You worry, because she is also a sensitive child for whom the sky will be always bluer and the grass always greener than for some other people.

That’s how my father, a few years ago, described my mother’s discovery that my willful behavior was actually hearing loss (the psychological analysis came from their close friend, a professional who worked children).

Several decades have passed; my initially mild loss is now severe to profound and I wear two hearing aids. I love the blue of skies and the green of grass, but I don’t know if they are any different than what you see, although I do admit to a tendency of being over-sensitive.

Read More . . . Gael Hannan

Silent Side Effect: Could Your Medication Cause Hearing Loss?

November 3, 2015 in Community News, Research


Certain OTC pain relievers, prescription antibiotics and other drugs may damage hearing.

US News – Health
By Michael O. Schroeder

Drug labels routinely describe myriad potential side effects stemming from taking a given medication.

Yet, one newly recognized risk usually goes unmentioned: hearing loss. “There are a number of common medications that are ototoxic, which means harmful to the ears,” says Dr. Sharon Curhan, a physician and epidemiologist at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. That side effect isn’t typically listed on drug labels, she says. “These are relatively new findings.”

Research by Curhan and others finds that some over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen (the generic name for Tylenol), ibuprofen and prescriptions, ranging from certain antibiotics to chemotherapy drugs, can damage hearing. In all, there are more than 200 known ototoxic medications on the market today, according to the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which can also impact the ear’s balance functions.

Read More . . . Drugs


UI Study Highlights Importance of Hearing Aids in Kids with Hearing Loss

November 3, 2015 in Research, Technology




The greater degree a child’s hearing loss, the harder it is for that child to keep up with normal-hearing peers. But a new study by the University of Iowa, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, shows hearing aids can make a big difference.

The study, published in the journal Ear and Hearing, looked at 317 kids with hearing loss. It found that hearing aids are important for the language, scholastic and social development of kids with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

“We have a lot of information on children who are deaf. But we really don’t’ know a whole lot about children who are hard of hearing.” says researcher Beth Walker.

Read More  . . . Hearing Aids