Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Webinar – Instruction of Deafblind Students-Oct 14th

October 6, 2015 in Community Events, Education & Outreach, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Instruction of Students Who are Deafblind: What is the State of Our Evidence?

A webinar presented by Dr. Susan Bruce, Boston College

October 14, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

What evidence do we have to support many of the common instructional practices used to teach students with deafblindness? Dr. Susan Bruce of Boston College, co-author of “Innovation Configuration for Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Sensory Impairments” (2014), reviews findings in 12 areas, including communication, social-emotional, literacy, life skills and transition and their application.

Target Audience: Educators who work with children with deafblindness (teachers, related service providers, instructional assistants, interveners, special education directors) and parents.

Please register for “Instruction of Students Who are Deafblind: What is the State of Our Evidence?” at:   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1774176730308654337

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing connection information to join the webinar on October 14.

This one hour webinar can be accessed from any location. A certificate of participation will be provided for those who complete a short survey at the conclusion of the training.

Wednesday Webinars are sponsored by Outreach Services of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, through grant funding from the Virginia Department of Education.

We hope you can join us!

DOWNLOAD – Instruction of Deaf-Blind Students_flyer

Younger Adults More Likely to Use New Gadgets for Hearing Loss

October 6, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology



Consumer Reports
by Sue Byrne
October 01, 2015

If you have hearing loss, like one in six adults in the U.S., you probably haven’t done anything about it: Less than half have gone to a doctor or audiologist about the problem in the last five years, perhaps because they don’t want to wear a hearing aid or try a different technology. But that may be changing.

A new report on hearing trouble in adults released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people age 18 to 39 with hearing loss are more likely than people age 40 and up to use some sort of assistive technology to cope with the problem, such as headsets, FM microphone systems, text messages, amplified telephones, or live video streaming.

Room for Improvement

“There’s a lot of untreated hearing loss in this country,” says Carla Zelaya, Ph.D., a survey statistician for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the report, which surveyed more than 36,000 U.S. adults.

“We found that people of middle age were the least likely to use assistive technology, perhaps because their hearing loss is not that bad yet and they are uncomfortable with using the newer devices. But the younger adults seem to recognize their hearing limitation and are using new technology to help themselves.”

Read more Younger Adults


Trix Bruce’s Evening Performance ~ Adventuring in ASL: Trix’s Travels- Nov 19

September 29, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Adventuring in American Sign Language: Trix’s Travels

Trix Bruce’s newest show, Adventuring in ASL: Trix’s Travels, features hilarious true tales. Trix has documented years of journeying and now she’s ready to share these stories with you. As a Deaf person traveling among hearing people, Trix has experienced incredible ups and downs, adventures, crazyeling crazy–making moments, and eventual happy landings. Trix draws you in as she encounters misunderstanding, missed flights, embarrassing time, exciting challenges, and a growing sense of travel flights, travel–savvy. Take a ride with Trix, and see for yourself!

November 19, 2015
Thursday Evening ~ 7 pm

Lord Fairfax Community College, William McCoy Theater
173 Skirmisher Lane
Middletown, VA 22645-1745

DOWNLOAD – Flyer November 19 2015 Middletown VA

Older Adults’ Hearing May Be Tied to Earlier Death

September 29, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Findings don’t prove that impaired hearing is to blame, but draw attention to quality-of-life issues

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Older adults with impaired hearing may have a shorter life span than their peers without hearing problems, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 1,700 U.S. adults aged 70 and up, those with hearing loss were 21 percent to 39 percent more likely to die over the next several years.
Experts stressed that the findings, published in the Sept. 24 online edition of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, do not prove that hearing impairment, itself, shortens people’s lives.
“This is an interesting observation, but it also needs to be taken with a grain of salt,” said Dr. Ana Kim, director of otology research at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, in New York City, who was not involved in the research.

Read Article  . . . Hearing Loss

Why Some Parents Choose to Have a Deaf Baby

September 29, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Written By Rich Wordsworth
September 29, 2015

In 2002, Sharon Duchesneau and Candy McCullough, a deaf lesbian couple from America, made headlines when they chose to conceive via a sperm donor. It wasn’t the procedure that drew the attention of the press, but the choice of the donor.
After eight years together, Duchesneau and McCullough approached a friend with five generations of deafness in his family with the explicit goal of having a deaf baby.
“A hearing baby would be a blessing,” Duchesneau told the Washington Post. “A deaf baby would be a special blessing.”
Thirteen years later, there’s a more scientific approach to choosing the sort of offspring you want,

Read Article  . . . Parents Choose

A City Built for the Deaf

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



by Aarian Marshall

Gallaudet University, the private school for the hard of hearing located in Washington, D.C., is a haven for the deaf. The school is officially bilingual, which means students are taught in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). It also has the same sorts of extracurriculars you would see at any liberal arts university, like Greek life, a football team, and a campus television station. Still, a specific deaf culture flourishes in Gallaudet, defined by the school’s unique history, literary traditions, and behaviors.

Read more  . . . Gallaudet University


Left speechless Everything has changed for deaf visitors at Yosemite

September 25, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



by Claire Trageser

Editor’s note: In this story, we have capitalized Deaf when a person identifies himself or herself as a member of the Deaf community, or in instances when we are referring to the community.

When 11-year-old Lily Molina visited Yosemite National Park for the first time, she was stunned to meet a park ranger who spoke her language.

Lily is Deaf, and usually relies on her mother Kristal to interpret for her when she visits museums or other attractions. But that means her mom can’t fully engage in the thing they’re seeing, because she’s worried about keeping up as an interpreter.

Read entire Article . . . Yosemite National Park

What You SHOULD Say to People with Hearing Loss by Gael Hannan

September 24, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



Hearing Health Matters
By Gael Hannan 

Recently several articles on what NOT to say to deaf people have been floating on Facebook. I understand the writers’ exasperation, having been on the receiving end of many of the comments. Although I’m no longer insulted by most of them, once in a while I have to grab my chin to keep my jaw from dropping to the floor.

The inane remarks usually just reveal a profound ignorance about how hard of hearing or deaf people communicate. This is not their issue;

 . . .  Read More . . . Gael Hannan

MWADB – Butler’s Orchard: Pumpkin Festival! RSVP by Oct. 3rd

September 24, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Come to Butler’s Orchard and pick your own fruit and pumpkins! Enjoy Hayrides, Corn and Straw mazes, petting farm animals, and more!

Date: Saturday, October 10th 2015

Time: Come anytime between 11:00am-3:00pm or until close! The farm closes at 5:00pm!

Location: 22200 Davis Mill Road Germantown MD 20876

Cost: DB participants : $11.00     SSP’s: Free!
(If you want to participate then you must pay for yourself.)
Deadline to RSVP:  October 3rd, 2015!

More information will be provided in the registration system and also in the confirmation email.
Share with your friend and ask them to RSVP here


Fairfax County – Public launch of Text to 911 – on Tuesday Sept. 22

September 22, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology


September 22, 2015

Fairfax County’s Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) now accepts text messages to 9-1-1 for reporting police/fire/medical emergencies.

See TEXT-TO-911_Post Card

Was publicly announced at the Board of Supervisors meeting. – September 22

(The following is the text from the DPSC Post Card)

Fairfax County Emergency 9-1-1


Text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in 3 Emergency Scenarios:

  1. For individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing or has a speech disability.
  2. For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  3. Medical emergency the renders the person incapable of speaking.
Only Text 9-1-1 In An Emergency (English Only)


How do I text to 9-1-1?

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “TO” or “RECIPIENT” field.
  • The first text to 9-1-1 should be short, include location of the emergency, ask for police, fire or ambulance.
  • Push the “SEND” button
  • Answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words. NO abbreviations or Slang.
  • Keep text messages short.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are in a roaming situation.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1. Standard text messaging rates apply.
  • Photos and Videos CANNOT be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • Text to 9-1-1 CANNOT include more than one person. Do not copy your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.
  • Prank-texters can be identified and possibly prosecuted according to local laws/regulations.
  • Text to 9-1-1 is available in Fairfax County beginning Tuesday September 22, 2015

More information can be found at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911/text-to-911.htm

(END of the DPSC Post Card Text)

Guidelines for  TEXTING  to 9-1-1

  • Stay calm – dispatchers can’t help you if they can’t understand you. Take a deep breath and think before you text. TEXT slowly and clearly. The first text to 9-1-1 should be short, include location of the emergency, ask for police, fire or ambulance.
  • Know your location and text the dispatcher the exact address (apartment/suite number, intersection, interstate mile markers) where the help is needed.
  • Answer all questions. The call taker will have questions for you and may even ask you to do something to help. It is important that you answer the questions as best as you can. DO NOT STOP TEXTING  unless you are in danger or the dispatcher tells you to do so.
  • TEXT the nature of the emergency. Stay on the line to answer further questions the dispatcher may have.
  • Send someone to meet the emergency equipment if at all possible. It’s hard to find an address on a dimly lit street in the middle of the night.
  • If you Text  9-1-1 even by mistake, do not hang up the phone.  If you call by accident, stay on the line until you can tell the call taker that there is no emergency, so the call taker doesn’t have to waste time sending police trying locate you.
  • Prevent prank Text to 9-1-1.  Prank-Texters  not only waste time; they are illegal in most states and endanger public safety.  If 9-1-1 lines or call takers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need.  Be sure all members of your household are aware that prank or harassing calls to 9-1-1 will be dealt with by local law enforcement agencies.


TEXT to 911 – Coverage Map as of September 22,2015 


Teens At Deaf Film Camp Put Soulful Sign Language Spin On Phillip Phillips’ ‘Home’

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



“Just know you’re not alone.”

The Huffington Post
by Cameron Keady

Teens at Deaf Film Camp, a two-week camp for aspiring filmmakers who are deaf or hard of hearing, have released their 2015 American Sign Language music video — for Phillip Phillips’ song “Home.”

“We picked ‘Home’ because the lyrics are simple, but heavy with soul,” Wayne Betts, Jr., Deaf Film Camp co-founder, told People.com. “The concept of translation is abstract, and we try to capture that in the sign language. Translating the melody of the song into a visually meaningful way was a challenge.”

Read entire Article

View Camp Video on YouTube


Loudoun County Public Schools is seeking – substitute teachers with ASL background

September 21, 2015 in Employment, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Loudoun County Public Schools is seeking individuals who are interested in becoming substitute teachers.  We are particularly looking for individuals have a background in American Sign Language.   While individuals with a current teaching license are preferred, minimum requirements to become a long-term substitute is a bachelor’s degree.  The rate of pay is $154 per day for long-term assignments and $110 per day for daily assignments.

Please contact Alisa Daniel, personnel specialist at 571-252-1100 for more information.

New Guide For Helping Students with Visual Impairments

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



Helping Students with Visual Impairments

The guide was created in part by four experts in the field, who lent their experience and expertise to help us provide students with visual impairments the tips and resources needed to succeed in school. Key features of our guide include:

 – Tips for choosing the right college
– An in-depth look at the top assistive technology and tools being used today
– Scholarships available for students with visual impairments

MWADB – RealFUN – September 26 – RSVP by Sunday, Sept 20th

September 15, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness




When: Saturday, September 26th, 10:30 am

Where: Terrapin Adventures in Savage, MD

Experience the thrill of gliding through the trees 30 ft. in the air at speeds up to 20 miles an hour as you travel on the 330 ft. long zip line!
Must weigh between 60 and 275 pounds and be at least 8 years old and 48 inches tall.

Cost: $15 for one ride, $25 for two rides for the same person.
5% discount if book two weeks in advance.

No charge just to come and watch.
Buy your ticket soon! http://www.terrapinadventures.com/book-your-adventure/?2015-09-26
If the 10:30 am time is full, book your ticket at 11:00 am.

If you have trouble booking your ticket, let me know and I’ll assist you.
Other adventures can be found on website if you want to do more than ziplining, i.e., giant swing. Try to book other adventures in morning so you can be close to the time of RealFUN ziplining.

After ziplining, everyone is invited to eat lunch together nearby.
Carpools can be arranged.

RSVP by Sunday, Sept 20th to let me know you’re coming.

Save the date for Oct RealFUN – October 11th!!!
Let’s have AirFUN!

MWADB Publicity Coordinator

Metro Washington Association of the DeafBlind

Advanced microscopy helps NIDCD pinpoint key proteins for hearing and balance

September 15, 2015 in Research, Technology




NIH – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
September 10, 2015

Using powerful microscopy techniques, a research team led by scientists at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has pinpointed in mice the precise cellular location of two proteins known to be important for hearing and balance. The discovery provides additional evidence that the proteins, TMC1 and TMC2, are part of the channel complex that is essential for the inner ear to process sound and the signals that are key to balance.

Read more  . . . key proteins 

Credit: Bechara Kachar and Andrew J. Griffith, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).