Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Six World Records Down At Halfway Point Of World Deaf Swimming Championships

August 27, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness




By Jared Anderson
August 19th, 2015

Three days into the World Deaf Swimming Championships, six deaf world records have fallen, including one to American Marcus Titus in front of his home nation’s crowd.

The World Deaf Swimming Championships are taking place in San Antonio, Texas this week, the same facility that hosted U.S. Junior and Senior Nationals earlier in the month.

Swimming for a home American audience, Titus broke his own deaf world record in the 100 free, going 51.22 to win gold. Titus’s old record was a 51.42 from 2011; Russia’s Vitalii Obotin was also under that mark in taking silver (51.35).

Apart from that race, it’s been the 50-meter events where records have been most on the chopping block. The men’s 50 back and women’s 50 fly records were broke twice apiece over the first three days, and the women’s 50 breast record also fell.

In the men’s 50 back, Japan’s Yoshikazu Kanaji broke the deaf world record in both prelims and finals. The 21-year-old Kanaji went 27.35 in the morning, then 27.06 at night, dropping the world mark previously shared by John Kealy and Ryutaro Ibara at 27.90. Ibara, also representing Japan, was second in the event in San Antonio, also bettering his old world record with a 27.69.

Read more  . . . World Deaf Swimming Championships

Hearing Loss Drug Trial Takes Place at Firing Range

August 27, 2015 in Research




DRUG – Discovery & Development
Tue, 08/25/2015
By Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor

An experimental drug trial is underway at the Fort Jackson military base in South Carolina.

Soldiers are taking a liquid micronutrient called d-methionine to see if it can potentially prevent hearing loss, writes The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Methionine is an amino acid that is typically found in meat, fish, and dairy products.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine professor and audiologist Kathleen C.M. Campbell developed this compound as a drug. She’s working with the Army to find a way to help military members dealing with noise-induced hearing damage as a result of constantly-firing loud weapons.

A randomized Phase 3 Food and Drug Administration sanctioned study began in late 2013. It was designed to enroll up to 600 participants over three years, according to the WSJ report.

Read more  . . . Drug Testing

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

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



National Public Radio
JULY 31, 2015

To Haben Girma’s grandmother, back in East Africa, it “seemed like magic.” Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

It’s easy to understand why the grandmother feels that way. Years before, she had tried to find a school in Eritrea for Girma’s older brother, who was also born deaf and blind. She was turned away. There were schools for blind children and schools for deaf children. But no school would teach a child who was deaf-blind (that’s the preferred terminology in the disability community). Girma describes that brother as “brilliant.”

Girma told the story last week at the White House, when she introduced President Obama during a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By the time Girma was born in 1988, six years younger than her brother, her mother had made a refugee’s journey from Eritrea to the United States. And in California, a deaf-blind girl like Girma had a legal right to an education.

In public schools in Oakland, she was educated alongside other students, leaving her mainstream classes for an hour a day to learn Braille.

Read more  . . . See Pictures

Watch captioned – Video


Direct Video Calling Increases Access for Deaf Citizens

August 18, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



White House – BlogWhite House
JULY 28, 2015

Summary: As the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology.

Technology has given us incredible new tools to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues, and all Americans should enjoy these benefits — including, and especially, those with disabilities.


For those with hearing or speech impairments, digital video and other tools have helped these communities stay connected and working, rather than isolated. So, as the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology.

We are pleased to announce that two agencies that routinely interface with the disabilities community — the U.S. Census Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — will soon be taking up direct video calling technology to allow Deaf citizens to communicate directly with American Sign Language (ASL)-fluent call operators there. This work responds to the President’s 2011 executive order calling upon agencies to use technology to improve customer service, and is another step in the right direction.

Why? In general, citizens who are deaf reach federal agencies via third-party interpreters who facilitate their conversations by interpreting to those on the other end of the line. But broadband and faster connections have made direct video calling not just possible, but commonplace. With this technology, the result can be a call that is direct, clear, and can allow Americans who are deaf to communicate in American Sign Language.

Read more  . . . White House Video Calling

New Generation Hearing Aids & Technologies Help To Reduce Anxiety & Depression

August 18, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



Medical Daily.com
Aug 7, 2015 01:00 PM
By  Susan Scutti

About one-third of American adults between the ages of 65 and 75 have some degree of hearing loss, while for those who are even older, that number rises to nearly one in two, the Mayo Clinic notes. A new study suggests hearing loss — or hearing less — is under-treated despite evidence that the latest generation of hearing aids may help to lessen depression and anxiety while also improving mental functioning.

“Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing,” Dr. David Myers, a psychology professor at Hope College in Michigan, stated in a press release. “Getting people to use the latest in hearing aid technology can help them regain control of their life and achieve emotional stability and even better cognitive functioning.”

Heredity and chronic exposure to loud noises are the main factors that contribute to hearing loss, scientists say. While people commonly fear excessive earwax might contribute to their hearing loss, it usually does so only temporarily. A 2011 study investigated hearing loss and its relationship to dementia and found the risk of all-cause dementia increased with hearing loss severity. Since social isolation has been linked to dementia (and other cognitive disorders), this result makes intuitive sense.

Read More  . . .  New Generation Hearing Aids

Deaf gymnast’s journey to compete for BYU, UCLA inspires others

August 18, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness



KSL Broadcasting Salt Lake City UT
By  Natalie Crofts
Aug 17th, 2015

SANDY — Aimee Walker Pond isn’t one to let excuses get in her way.

The former Brigham Young University gymnast rose to the level of international elite, was recruited by the best collegiate gymnastics programs in the country and even made an appearance on “Baywatch” with David Hasselhoff, all despite being completely deaf and blind in one eye. The road to her achievements is shared in the recently released book “No Excuses: The story of elite gymnast Aimee Walker Pond.”

“No person with comparable disabilities has ever achieved the level of success that she has experienced in gymnastics,” said author Adam Kempler. “That’s in the history of the sport. I don’t mean just right now, or just for women.”

The goal of the book is to promote awareness about what it is like to live with a disability, in addition to providing hope to people of all abilities, according to Kempler. Pond, who now runs the Champions Sports Center in Saratoga Springs with her husband and is a mother of four, almost didn’t get the chance to learn gymnastics.

Read more  . . .  

It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.

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


Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is 100 percent preventable. Yet approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss from overexposure to loud noises at work or during leisure activities. More than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on a regular basis1. Children also are frequently exposed to noise levels that could permanently damage their hearing. Noise levels generated by activities as common as doing yard work, playing a band instrument, and attending sports events can result in NIHL. Research suggests that NIHL experienced at an early age may accelerate age-related hearing loss later in life.


In October 2008, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launched It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing. The Noisy Planet campaign is designed to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 (“tweens”) about the causes and prevention of NIHL. With this information, parents and other caring adults can encourage children to adopt healthy habits that will help them protect their hearing for life.





NIDCD is focusing its campaign on the parents of tweens because children at this age are becoming more independent and developing their own attitudes and habits related to their health. They also are beginning to develop their own listening, leisure, and work habits—or soon will do so. Consequently, the tween years present an open window of opportunity to educate children about their hearing and how to protect it.

Parents still have a great deal of influence over their tween’s behavior, and the Noisy Planet campaign provides them with resources that they can use to educate their children about the causes and prevention of NIHL. The campaign Web site at noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov provides parents with facts about NIHL, tips on how to encourage their tween to adopt healthy hearing habits, and other steps they can take to protect their tween’s hearing. The site also offers information specifically for tweens, such as interactive games about noise and hearing.

Silently Suffering From Hearing Loss Negatively Affects Quality of Life

August 12, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research


American Psychological Association
August 7, 2015

New hearing technologies can help, studies show

TORONTO — Hearing loss in adults is under treated despite evidence that hearing aid technology can significantly lessen depression and anxiety and improve cognitive functioning, according to a presentation at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd Annual Convention.

“Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help,” said David Myers, PhD, a psychology professor and textbook writer at Hope College in Michigan who lives with hearing loss.

In a National Council on Aging study of 2,304 people with hearing loss, those who didn’t wear hearing aids were 50 percent more likely to suffer from sadness or depression than people who did wear them, he said. Additionally, hearing aid users were much more likely to participate in social activities regularly.

Although a genetic condition caused him to start losing his hearing as a teenager, Myers did not get hearing aids until he was in his 40s. Like many hard of hearing people, he resisted hearing technology. People wait an average of six years from the first signs of hearing loss  . . . .

Read More …. Silently Suffering

Man’s tattoo supporting deaf daughter goes viral

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



August 06, 2015Tattoo

A photo of a New Zealand girl wearing her cochlear implant sitting with her father, who has a tattoo of a cochlear implant on his shaved head, has gone viral.

Alistair Campbell, of Taupo, New Zealand, shaved his head completely and got the tattoo to show support for his daughter Charlotte, 6, who received her first implant at age 4.  Charlotte recently had her second cochlear implant put in.

The New Zealand Herald reported that after Charlotte saw her dad’s version of a cochlear implant, she giggled, touched it, and told him it was “cool.”

Alistair told the newspaper that he would be growing his hair back, but would shave it to show off the tattoo for special occasions or if his daughter wanted to see it.

Charlotte was initially diagnosed with a mild hearing impairment, but her family learned she was profoundly deaf

Read More  . . . tattoo

Antibiotic could cause hearing loss in preemies, study indicates

August 4, 2015 in Community News, Research



The Oregonian/OregonLive
By Lynne Terry
July 29, 2015

The drug that cured Peter Steyger of meningitis as a toddler also made him deaf.

Now a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University, he just discovered that the the class of drugs used to cure him can strip away hearing.

They’re often given to infants in neonatal intensive care units.

Those drugs, broad-spectrum antibiotics, are designed to kill a wide range of bacteria. These medications are routinely given to infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units to clear up any infection or prevent one, Steyger said. Life-threatening bacteria can kill preemies in 24 hours.

But here’s the rub: These drugs are toxic to the ear. They pose the biggest threat of hearing loss amid inflammation during an infection.

In research, Steyger gave a broad-spectrum antibiotic, an aminoglycoside, to mice. Healthy rodents prescribed a low dose suffered relatively little hearing loss. But that was not the case with infected mice, whose hearing was more severely affected.

“If you give a healthy animal, or healthy human, an aminoglycoside for long enough they will go deaf, Steyger said. “If they have an infection that induces an inflammation response, they will lose their hearing much, much faster.”

Read more  . . . Antibiotic

Who Are the Role Models Since Helen Keller?

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



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

…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

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?


What did you do on the weekend?


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

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