Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

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!

Fairfax County Creative Aging Festival and More, May 2015

April 17, 2015 in Community Events, Education & Outreach, Hearing Loss & Deafness




Have fun, learn something new, and unleash your creative spirit! Fairfax County, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, and AARP Virginia invite you to celebrate the Creative Aging Festival in May 2015. This month-long festival features over 100 events including art exhibits, dance, musical performances, poetry readings, lectures, wellness programs and classes in watercolor, woodworking, knitting, clogging, tap, piano, photography, & more! Find the events calendar at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/OlderAdults and click on Creative Aging Festival!

Fairfax County presents Legal Tools for Caregivers: WEBINAR. As a family caregiver you may need to make legal and health care decisions for a loved one. This free Webinar will cover durable powers of attorney, trusts, guardianship, and advanced medical directives. Join us on Wednesday, May 6, Noon-1 p.m. Find out more and register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/caregiver.htm or call 703-324-5205, TTY 711.

Fairfax County will sponsor Strategies for Managing the Stress of Caregiving on Tuesday, May 12, 7-8:30 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls ChurchFind out more about this free event and register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/caregiver.htm or call 703-324-5205, TTY 711.

Fairfax County presents “Alive Inside” Movie and Discussion on Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m.-NoonThis free movie focuses on the Music & Memory program’s ability to combat memory loss and restore meaning to the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Insight Memory Care Center, 3953 Pender Dr., Ste. 100, FairfaxFind out more and register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/caregiver.htm or call 703-324-5205, TTY 711.

Get the facts about health insurance for older adults at Fairfax County’s free presentation on Medicare 101. Tuesday, May 19, 3-4:30 p.m. at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, 10360 North St., Fairfax. Register beforehand at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/caregiver.htm.

Learn about Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and receive expert assistance in choosing and signing up for a plan for you or your loved one. Wednesday, May 20, 3-4:30 p.m. at Martha Washington Library, 6614 Fort Hunt Rd., Alexandria. Register beforehand at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/caregiver.htm.

Fairfax County is offering a free Independent Living Project Series (Sessions are 8 weeks). Programs start Friday, May 1, 1-3 p.m. at Kingstowne Library, 6500 Landsdowne Centre, Alexandria and Friday, May 22, 10 a.m.-Noon. at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 8601 Wolftrap Rd., Vienna. Register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/independent.htm.



Needed: TTY users or family/friends of TTY users

April 17, 2015 in Community News, Research, Technology



The Technology Access Program (TAP) at Gallaudet University is looking for individuals to participate in a study that will allow TTY users to communicate with friends and family members who do not use TTYs.  The study will last for up to 8 weeks, with participants making at least one call per week.

Participants who do not have TTYs will be given software to use to call their friends and family members who have TTYs, and each other.  Participants will be instructed how to use the software, and will be contacted periodically by TAP staff to answer any questions you may have.  At the end of the study, you will be interviewed about your experiences by TAP staff.

If you are interested in participating, or have questions about the study, please contact Paula Tucker by email at paula.tucker@gallaudet.edu, or by phone (voice or TTY) at 202-651-5049. To call using VP, contact Christian Vogler at 202-250-2795.


Employment Opportunity- Office Manager for NVRC-
Deadline May 1

April 15, 2015 in Employment, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Employment Opportunity Office Manager

April 9, 2015

The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC) is a small nonprofit organization that provides information and resources for people of all ages who are deaf, deaf-blind, late-deafened, hard of hearing, parents of deaf children, children of deaf parents, interpreters, and nonprofit organizations, government agencies and businesses who employ or interact with deaf and hard of hearing people.

We provide education and outreach programs, fact sheets, e-mail news service, hearing assistive technology demonstrations and consultations, sign language interpreter services, peer counseling, and we host an annual information expo for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Our advocacy and education programs have been recognized by national organizations serving individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, and our advocacy activities have had an impact on national law and policy.

All of our staff have primary responsibilities but enjoy the collaborative environment of working with each other on various projects.

Interested candidates should submit their cover letter and resume to info@nvrc.org by May 1, 2015. The cover letter should include two professional references, contact information, date of availability and salary expectations.  

(See attached job description)

DOWNLOAD – NVRC_2015_Office_Manager_job_description

Searching for the Deaf history of Martha’s Vineyard

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



Mike Mantin

The island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts has a legendary place in Deaf history. Known by most as an affluent resort where the kinds of people who use ‘Summer’ as a verb go to Summer, it is also hugely important as an island which from the 17th century to the 1950s had an unusually high number of Deaf residents.

In places like Chilmark, up to one in twenty-five people were Deaf, and the small town of Squibnocket had one in four, all of whom were well known and respected members of the community. As such, both Deaf and hearing residents incorporated the specific Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language into their daily lives. This effectively eradicated many of the social and linguistic boundaries which Deaf people continue to experience in society today.

Read more. . . view pictures . . . Martha’s Vineyard

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Deal With Lingering, Invisible Injury: Tinnitus

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



WGBH – Boston
April 13, 2015

Dave Fortier was about to finish his first marathon.

“As I was looking at the arches and looking where I was going to be going, that’s when everything changed,” he said.

As the first bomb went off, he saw a huge flash of light off to his left.

“I was knocked sideways,” he said. “I ended up on the ground over near the grandstands, with just this muffled noise and this ringing in my ears.”

He could see people screaming. But he couldn’t hear them.

“I did see the second explosion,” he said. “I did feel it, but I really couldn’t hear it. It sounded like a distant gunshot.”

At some point, Fortier looked down and saw a pool of blood forming around his foot. He’d been hit by shrapnel. He was taken to the hospital.

“They were sewing me up, and I still remember talking to the doctors about my — about the noise, this ringing, when does it go away?” he said. “And they said, ‘Yeah, it should be gone within a couple of days.’ And it is still as loud today as it was two years ago.”

Read more . . .  Boston



I Lost My Hearing in My Forties. Here’s How I Handled It.

April 9, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness


The interesting thing about going deaf is you don’t realize it’s happening.

White House recognizes JHU biomedical engineering researcher

April 9, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research




White House recognizes JHU biomedical engineering researcher for mentoring efforts

Tilak Ratnanather is one of 14 recipients of Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring

Hub staff report

March 31

Tilak Ratnanather

J. Tilak Ratnanather, an expert in brain mapping and a champion of people with hearing loss, is a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Ratnanather, an associate research professor in Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, is one of 14 scientists around the country to be honored with the prize. The recipients will receive their prizes at a ceremony at the White House later this year.

It is an honor for me to receive this award,” said Ratnanather, who also is a core faculty member of the university’s Institute for Computational Medicine and its Center for Imaging Science. “Just as my mentors at University College London, University of Oxford, City University London and Johns Hopkins University took a chance on me, I am paying it forward for the next generation of deaf and hard of hearing students who have chosen to thrive in the demanding, challenging and exacting environment of regular college.”

Read More . . . Ratnanather 



Virginia Deaf Mother of the Year – Harriet Koch – Pictures!

April 8, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



From DHHSC Email News
Posted: 03 Sep 2014

Download See – Picture PDF document








Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Center, Inc. & Virginia Association of the Deaf

Band member excels with rare syndrome causing hearing loss

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



The Herald

Rachel Pavone is blind, hearing-impaired and diabetic — but that doesn’t change her resolve to be successful in life and play in her high school band.

“One of the things people think about blind people or anyone with a disability is we’re potatoes and we don’t do anything,” the Grand Blanc High School senior told The Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/1InhKtv ). “So, the thing that I was taught at a very young age — because my mom does this and so does my dad — is that you have to work really hard to be very successful.”

She may be one of about 500 people with Alström syndrome, a rare genetic condition that can cause a series of different symptoms, including progressive vision and hearing loss.

Nevertheless, beyond learning to play the alto saxophone, Pavone has played the timpani, drum pad and synthesizer during concerts and marching band events throughout high school.

TiLT Challenge! – Film/Media Competition on Disability

April 7, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness


TiLT Challenge! – Film/Media Competition on Disability

TiLT asks young artists and media makers (ages 13-22) to share their experiences with disability—in their own lives or in the lives of others—in an effort to shift, or tilt, society’s perceptions of people with disabilities. Basically, to use their art form and storytelling capacity to re-frame the way people think about disability through evocative, honest stories.

Submission deadline is May 15, 2015

More Info:  http://tiltchallenge.org/
Questions:  vsainfo@kennedy-center.org or (202) 416-8898

TiLT is a program of the Kennedy Center, Office of VSA and Accessibility


Creative minds. Storytellers. Game changers.

This is your mission. The Kennedy Center asks you to bring honesty to the table. To shift perception through media, video, and creative storytelling. To showcase that people are people first—not simply defined by a disability. This is the TILT challenge.
We ask you to share your disability experience—in your own life, the lives of others, or by creating fictional characters—through the art of digital media and storytelling. We seek authentic stories that will inform, enlighten and tilt this perception.
The TiLT Challenge invites middle school, high school, and pre-professional students, ages 13-22, from around the world to submit. Submissions must be no more than 5 minutes in length and are due May 15, 2015. Winners will be invited to Washington, D.C., and winning submissions will be showcased at the Kennedy Center the week of July 20-26, 2015.

Please share with young film and media makers!
Visit tiltchallenge.org to learn more!