Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Wilbur Cross High School’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ accessible to sight and hearing impaired

March 27, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



New Haven Register
By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register

NEW HAVEN >> Wilbur Cross High School senior Brianna Rigsbee has never experienced a viewing of a live theater performance.

That’s because she is legally blind.

But on Saturday, Rigsbee, 18, will have her chance to enjoy an audio description performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“Youth with exceptional needs will no longer have feelings of isolation, they can create meaningful connections with their family, friends, and school community,” said Rigsbee’s mother, Angela Russell.

“And for the first time for most, they will able to follow a live performance and enjoy it for themselves,” said Russell.

The high school’s drama class is presenting the play at 7 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Saturday’s performance will have a certified American Sign Language interpreter and audio descriptiopns for those with visual and hearing disabilities.

Creating Kids Connecticut Children’s Museum Director Sandra Malmquist said the inspiration for Saturday’s performance came from Rigsbee.

Read entire Article . . . . Fiddler

VAD Legislative Committee Report

March 27, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness


Thanks to: Virginia Association of the Deaf and Arva Priola.

VAD Legislative Committee Report

March 25, 2015 

The VAD Board were in favor of three bills below as noted at the VAD Board meeting in Roanoke, Saturday, January 24, 2015.

  1. There was a group of deaf people led by Arva Priola of Fredericksburg last Monday, January 19, at the General Assembly Building on the Capitol Square in Richmond.  The purpose of the visit was to meet some delegates or their legislative aides (about 14) for support to the House Bill 1956that involves hospitals in the Commonwealth.  The bill requires the Board of Health to include in regulations that each licensed hospital (1) develops a process for identifying patients who are deaf or hard of hearing and (2) takes steps to ensure that patients who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to effectively communicate with health care providers involved in their care.  We discussed with Delegate Robert Orrock, Sr., the patron of the bill, and asked him to include the deaf or hard of hearing caregivers in the bill. We also met Delegate Jennifer McClellan urging her to support the bill.  Supporters involved were Arva Priola, Tom Dowling, Star Grieser, Sallie Mae Pauley, Kathy Mutter, Otis Hill, and Gary Viall.

Updated:  Passed in the House 99 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/6/15 .
Passed in the Senate 38 –Yes, 0– No on 2/16/15.
Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/23/15; final Governor’s action by midnight on 3/30/15.
Approved by Governor on 3/16/15; the new law will become effective on 7/1/15.

  1. The second one is HB 1679by patron Delegate Richard Bell for information on services for students identified as hearing or visually impaired on the school division website.  The bill requires each local school board to annually post on the school division website information describing the educational and other services available through the VSDB, VHHDD, VDBVI and inform parents of its availability.  Current law requires distribution of physical copies of such information.

 Updated :  Passed in the House 98 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/5/15.
Passed  in the Senate 38 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/16/15.
Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/23/15; final Governor’s action by midnight on 3/30/15.
Approved by Governor on 3/10/15; the new law will become effective on 7/1/15. 

The third one is HB 2156 by patron Delegate K. Rob Krupicka for health insurance coverage for hearing aids and related professional services.  The bill requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and other services prescribed or provided by a licensed audiologist. Past efforts to require insurance companies to provide coverage for hearing aids have not been successful.

Updated:  Left in the House Committee and Labor – no further action.

Hearing Health Foundation – March E-News – Closed Captions

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


HHF March E-News

Where in the World are my Closed Captions?

Have you noticed the recent buzz about closed-captioning? Just last week, the FCC introduced quality rules for closed captions (CC) on television: TV broadcasters and other video programming distributors now must ensure that captions meet the following quality standards:

  • Accuracy: Captions must be grammatically correct and provide essential non-verbal information.
  • Synchronicity: Captions must coincide as closely as possible with the audio.
  • Completeness: The entire program should be captioned.
  • Placement: Captions should be viewable, legible and not block important on-screen information.

While a great step forward for TV, the Internet still lags behind. In a recent Time article, Steve Friess a hearing impaired journalist wrote a complaint against the Internet’s inaccessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing. As Steve watched the live-stream unveiling of the new Apple Watch, he realized there were no captions and was frustrated because Apple is often admired for creating devices that break down barriers for people with disabilities. By not providing CC, millions of people with hearing loss could not watch the event in real-time. Next month, HHF is meeting with Apple executives to discuss ways they can offer support for people with hearing loss and promote prevention. If you have a message you would like us to share directly with Apple, please email us.

Similarly, The New York Times thinks requesting CC for NYT.com’s videos is “an extremely reasonable request” and plans to roll out CC in the coming months. To read about one person’s recent challenge with CC at the movies, check out a blog post
written by HHF Board Chair, Shari Eberts.

Other Articles In This Issue of HHF March E-News

The “Designer” Mouse
Where are my Closed Captions?
Make Listening Safe
HRP Transitions into Phase II
Use It Or Lose it!
Kidneys and Hearing Health




A Sign of the Times for Hearing Impaired Patients

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



March 23.2015

Newswise — Harris Health System is now using sign language video technology to better communicate with its hearing-impaired and hard-of-hearing patients. Connecting patients with physicians and nurses in a timely and convenient manner is one of the driving forces behind the new portable interpretation service.

New iPad®-equipped wheeled carts (similar to rolling blood-pressure stands) act as in-person translators of American Sign Language for patients and staff at a moment’s notice. The program has four such carts complete with speakers and audio enhancement capability at Harris Health’s Ben Taub, Quentin Mease and Lyndon B. Johnson hospitals.

“One of the greatest advantages of using this new technology in clinical settings is its on-demand availability,” says Graciela Zozaya, manager, Harris Health Interpretation Services. “This means less waiting time for patients and better time management efficiency for providers and staff.”

In the past, Harris Health used a service that provided in-person interpreters at a cost up to $105 an hour. The higher cost was assessed for calls requested urgently, during off-business hours or on weekends. All requests were charged a minimum of two hours.

Read More  . . . Hearing Impaired Patients

Deaf man says jailers held him incommunicado for six weeks

March 20, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness



March 19, 2015

A deaf man able to communicate only with sign language has alleged in a federal lawsuit that he was held for six weeks in the Arlington County jail last year after jailers failed to provide an interpreter or allow him to call attorneys or a friend by videophone.

The suit alleges that Abreham Zemedagegehu was held for more than 24 hours before he knew why he had been arrested. He was administered a tuberculosis shot without his consent, often went hungry because he couldn’t hear alerts for mealtime and was unable to call friends or an attorney because of inadequate technology in the jail — all of which violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the lawsuit said.

“The lack of access to communication during the booking process exacerbated the feelings of frustration, humiliation, anger, anxiety, isolation, confusion, and loss of dignity that Mr. Zeme­dagegehu otherwise would have experienced as a result of his arrest and detention,” said the lawsuit, which was first reported Thursday by the Associated Press.

Read More  . . . incommunicado

Related Article WJLA Ch 7News – Deaf immigrant jailed 6 weeks for I-pad theft with no access to interpreter


NYPD agrees to reform policy banning cops from wearing hearing aids

March 20, 2015 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



Wednesday, March 18, 2015


The NYPD finally listened to its officers Monday and agreed to reform a policy banning cops from wearing hearing aids.

The change is the result of a settlement reached in Manhattan Federal Court between the city and attorneys for hearing-impaired NYPD cops forced into retirement by the rule.

Disability Rights Advocate lawyer Rebecca Rodgers estimated “several hundred” cops would benefit from the agreement, though the actual number is unclear because many are likely deterred from coming forward due to the policy, she said.

“Cops did not want to disclose that they used hearing aids because they did not want to lose their jobs,” Rodgers said.

Read More  . . . . Police – hearing aids

Related Article – NY Post –  By Rich Calder – March 17, 2015


Sinbad: The Untold Tale – ASL interpreted performance at Imagination Stage!

March 19, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness



April 26, 2015
By Charles Way; Directed by Janet Stanford
ASL  Interpreter: Gerard Williams

Date and time of interpreted/captioned/described event in this format:

Sunday April 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Assisted Listening Devices available upon request.

Imagination Stage (4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814) Lerner Family Theatre

To Purchase Tickets: Call the box office at  301-280 1660 or visit

Sinbad the Sailor has retired from his notorious adventures. He tries to keep his feisty daughter Ittifaq safe from the sorceress Jan Shah. But when a mysterious cloud descends upon Baghdad putting all of the adults to sleep, proud Ittifaq must enlist the help of Sinbad the Porter, a street orphan whom she despises. A quest full of humor, genies, sword fights, diamonds, magic boats, and flying carpets ensues! The two young explorers cross the chasm of their differences to become fast friends and fellow adventurers for life.
Best for Ages 5-12.


HLAA-DC Program on “Surviving and Thriving in the Workplace When You Have Hearing Loss”

March 19, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Employment, Hearing Loss & Deafness



HLAA-DC is pleased to present this program featuring Valerie Stafford-Malis, Business Development Manager at Alternative Communication Services (ACS) and member of the HLAA Board of Trustees. You may recall that this program was originally scheduled for early March, but had to be postponed due to snow.

When: Thursday, April 16th from 7:30-8:45 pm
Where: Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue Northeast,
Washington, DC 20002
I King Jordan Academic Center Building
Room: 1011


Further information is provided in the attachment.

DOWNLOAD – Workplace_Survival_Flyer


All are welcome!


Many thanks to Gallaudet University and to ACS for their support of this program.

Russell Misheloff
HLAA-DC Chapter
Washington, DC Area
Hearing Loss Association of America
Email: hladcchapter@gmail.com



Cochlear Implant Symposium-Washington DC – Oct. 15-17

March 19, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



For more details, visit http://www.ci2015dc.org/events/ci-2015-symposium/custom-18-4bdf462ac7594bc69980161defb888c1.aspx.

The Symposium is being hosted by the American Cochlear Implant Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing access to the gift of hearing provided by cochlear implants through research, advocacy, and awareness. 

Deaf photographer focuses on relationships

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



The Daily Reveille
By Gerald Ducote
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Baton Rouge, LA

When it comes to photography, Tate Tullier has always been able to turn a blind eye to his deafness.

For Tullier, Louisiana, known for its scenic rural areas and ghostly swamps, was the perfect place for an aspiring photographer to grow up. Living a silent life, his eyes were able to take in more than those of his hearing companions.

However, Tullier’s inspiration for his career came not from his home state’s beauty, but from magazines. After coming across a copy of “Vogue Paris” as a child, Tullier became enthralled with the glossy glamour shots of entertainment and fashion publications.

He describes his knowledge as “self-taught,” having worked on his school’s yearbook staff as an opportunity to take his own pictures. By the time Tullier headed off to college, he was sure of his future. After attending LSU, Baton Rouge Community College and Southeastern Louisiana University over several years, Tullier decided to enroll at Gallaudet University, the only American university for the Deaf and hard of hearing, located in Washington, D.C.

Read More . . . Tate Tullier

Dearborn closing program for deaf students

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



Press & Guide
By Katie Hetrick
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dearborn, Michigan – Dozens of parents in Dearborn and other communities are upset after learning the district plans to end its program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Parents inadvertently learned of the plans earlier this month when other school districts began contacting families who send their children to Dearborn to discuss making arrangements for next year.

“It’s horrible,” said parent Julie Long. Her son, Alex, has attended Dearborn Public Schools since preschool, and for years has been in the deaf and hard-of-hearing program.

Now, he faces the prospect of going to Stout Middle School next year.

“He potentially could be the only deaf child in the school,” Long said. Alex, who communicates through American sign language, could spend the day with no one he can talk to except his assigned interpreter.

“How is he able to socialize and grow,” Long said, noting that socialization is a key part of any school. Even his teachers will have to rely on the interpreter to talk to him.

Read More  . . . Deaf Program

More needs to be done to support the deaf community in the UAE

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



The National UAE – United Arab Emirates
By Asmaa Al Hameli
March 16, 2015

Shaikha Mohammed has some big dreams to chase. One day, she plans to pursue a degree in interior design. All the 28-year-old Emirati needs is a chance to prove herself.

That is not easy, however, as Ms Mohammed is almost completely deaf. She struggles to understand what others hear easily and must rely on lip reading and sign language.

Sipping a latte at a Pappa Roti cafe in Abu Dhabi, she explains through her signer: “I am not completely deaf, I can hear a little.”

Then she begins talking about her upbringing. “We are seven children,” she says in sign language. “Four boys and three sisters. Three of us are deaf.”

She learnt sign language at Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs.

She studied until high school but it was at this point that her formal education ended.

“I can’t go to university because there is none for people like me,” she says with a laugh.

“I would love to study abroad, but I need someone from [the] family to accompany me.”

Her deafness has left her speech impaired to such an extent that it deprives her of basic interaction with her compatriots and others at social gatherings.

Read more  . . . . deaf community EAU

Study: Earbuds can damage hearing permanently

March 17, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Medical officials suggest turning down volume, take breaks

KITV ABC – Hawaii
Mar 13, 2015
By Paula Akana

HONOLULU —It’s a common sight around town: People going about their daily routine wearing earbuds and listening to their favorite books or music.

But many people, especially young ones, may be listening to music too loud and putting themselves at risk for losing their hearing.

Watch Video-nocaptions with transcript 

“I think you’ve got to be careful. Keep it down so you can hear what’s around you to be safe,” said earbud user Scott Lawton.

Lawton loves the convenience of earbuds, especially when he’s exercising. David Thomas uses them, too, but understands the importance of keeping the volume low.

“Definitely, definitely. There’s always the chance of injury if you listen too loud or too long,” said Thomas.

The problem is that young people don’t seem to follow those rules.



RIT/NTID Offers Online Speech Recognition Test

March 13, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



RIT/NTID – Website
MARCH 3, 2015

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has launched a website that provides individuals with one tool to determine whether they may benefit from hearing aids, allowing them to seek help sooner if that’s the case.

The test is free and can be found at: https://apps.ntid.rit.edu/NSRT.

“The test provides useful information and is recommended for anyone who is suspected of having a hearing loss,” said Joseph Bochner, who, with Wayne Garrison, worked on the website as a research project for several years.

Bochner, chairman of NTID’s cultural and creative studies department, and Garrison, a research faculty member in NTID’s Center on Access Technology, have spent years making sure the online test provides more accurate results than previously existing online tests offered elsewhere.

“This is a powerful diagnostic measure that has significant advantages over other measures of speech recognition,” Bochner said.

Read More , register and take test  . . .

Sennheiser launches RS 195 headphones for hearing loss sufferers

March 13, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



Technology Tell
by Aaron Kraus
March 13, 2015

Sections: iPodiPod AccessoriesiPod Headphones and EarbudsMacintosh/Apple HardwarePeripheralsSpeakers and Headphones

Hearing loss can mean losing the ability to enjoy your favorite music, movies, and TV shows. Sennheiser’s headphone lineup now includes a model designed to address individual needs of people suffering from hearing loss, and they’re wireless so you can stay portable while listening to your favorite audio. The Sennheiser RS 195 headphones feature unique technical abilities that make it easier to compensate for various types of hearing loss while still enjoying great sound.

Cut the Cord

The RS 195 uses a proprietary wireless transmitter base that also doubles as the headphone charger. This base delivers a 100 meter listening range (that’s 300 feet and some change), and in between listening sessions you simply cradle the headphones on the base to recharge the battery.

Read Entire Head Phone Review  . . .