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We Would Like Your Point Of View...

Do you have a Point of View to express on how circumstances can be improved for people with hard-of-hearing (HOH) issues? Situations such as visiting a physician, dentist, attending a church service, going to a theater or being involved in any kind of social activity creates many communication challenges for HOH people,  to the point that they often feel and become excluded.

You may have formed a point of view from your experiences at programs, trainings, etc. which could be of benefit to others. By sending in your point of view and suggestions on how you feel organizations and professional people could do a better job at making provisons for HOH people, you would be taking an active step towards helping improve the quality of lives of the many people who daily have to deal with their hearing-loss issues.

Please send in your Point of View to info@hearinglosskyhome.org for us to give it consideration for publication on this website for others to see and benefit from. Thank you! 

Stupid Things To Do With Your Hearing Aids

Gael Hannan sites a number of things that people do with hearing aids that in her view are not sensible. Please CLICK on the following link to read her article: Point Of View

Hearing Loss - A Load Of Laughs

Hearing loss isn’t funny. Not to the person who has it, anyway. Some hearing loss moments can spark a smile or a giggle or even a laugh–although most of us will laugh later—like two months or so. That’s when you’ll tell the story of being in a group conversation and someone says “I just hate bugs” and you put down your drink and reach across the coffee table with arms open, saying “I’ll give you one.” Eventually it becomes clear that you thought you’d heard, “I really need a hug.” Everyone else finds it hilarious, and although you may laugh on the outside, on the inside you are shriveling with embarrassment. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: A Load Of Laughs

Pathological Vs. Cultural Point Of View On Deafness: Is Deafness A Disability Or A Cultural Minority?

Is deafness a Disability or a Cultural Minority? Hard of hearing people are predominantly unaware of the issues of cultural deafness. In order that we advocate most effectively, we need to understand the various issues. Please CLICK on the following link: Pathological Vs. Cultural

Will You Be Able To Hear For The Holidays?

A recent survey found two-thirds of first time hearing aid buyers hadn't been told by their hearing care provider about hearing loops. What's a hearing loop? That's what far too many hard of hearing people ask because they weren't told about this time tested technology that works in places where Bluetooth® and others cannot. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing For The Holidays

Glasses Are Cool. Why Aren't Hearing Aids?

This article might actually change your life. More important, it might change the lives of the people you love. Please CLICK on the following link: Glasses Are Cool. Why Aren't Hearing Aids?

Two Perspectives On The Decision To Move From Hearing Aids To Cochlear Implants

View (1) From Pat:

Born with normal hearing, I couldn’t figure out why, when I was about nineteen years old, people started to talk softly and mumble.  It made no sense. Of course, this was the start of my bi-lateral sensorineural hearing loss. The cause was never determined but that didn’t stop it from declining gradually through the years. In my late fifties, my hearing took a steep drop and I was really challenged hearing. To boot, my hearing fluctuated, and without warning it would drop even further. It was an awful time. My life was based in the hearing world. What was happening to me? I was missing more of conversations than I was getting. I hated asking people to repeat themselves… that was ONLY for “old” people.  I stopped going to social events like joining friends at restaurants or parties. I also stopped going to public events; I could hear the words but couldn’t discern their meaning. I wanted to hide in my room. I became isolated and depressed. I begged my audiologist for stronger hearing aides – but there were none. I went to my ENT hoping for a magic cure. And there was – Cochlear’s cochlear implant.  I didn’t hesitate for a second. Today I am blessed with two cochlear implants.

Why blessed? Cochlear has allowed me to live a normal life again.  I can understand conversations, go to events where there’s a lot of ambient noise and speak on the phone. For any challenging situations I use Cochlear’s amazing wireless assistive listening devices. Cochlear has given me my life back. What more do I need to say? Today I give successful on-line workshops called Coming to Terms with Hearing Loss to help people live happy and healthy lives with their hearing loss. I accomplish the same through my one-on-one coaching. If I didn’t have my cochlear implants, I never would have had the courage to put these workshops together or confidence to do one-on-one coaching. Thank you, Cochlear.

View (2) From Barbie:

I disagree with your view that Cochlear Implants are a magic cure. I believe that CI’s are a tool, nothing more. I resent people thinking that my deafness is a tragedy, needing to be “fixed”. I lost my hearing at sixteen from an antibiotic. My hearing declined more with the passing years. I did wear hearing aids for thirty years. They ceased to help, and I now totally lip read when going out into the hearing world. All of my family and friends are hearing.

I’m constantly educating people about deaf life. I was a Dance and Fitness professional for many years. Yes, it was extremely challenging with my hearing loss. The CI does not tempt me at all. I do not want the robotic hearing it offers. After knowing real sound, I wouldn’t be able to accept the fake. And no, I don’t want my hearing back! The silence and stillness are absolutely beautiful. Sure, I miss some things. I miss birds singing, going to a movie(in a theatre), dinner parties, etc…. But the CI will not give me satisfaction. It’s a tool I do not like or want in my life. I’m really happy you enjoy it, and that it works for you. But again, it is NOT a cure! Do not promote it as a cure. There is no cure for lost hearing. And if it’s lost, not everyone wants to find it again.

Please talk about educating hearing people about deaf/HoH life. We need to talk about the ADA, and how to educate people and businesses about it. We need better access to everything a hearing person has! Open Captions in movie theatres, access to ALL public venues that refuse accommodations! This is what a meaningful hearing loss revolution means. Not the “magic cure” of CI’s. Getting accommodations for every single person, no matter what. That’s your revolution, right there. Thank you for listening.

How Can I Keep My Family Safe When I Cannot Hear The Danger?

From major disasters to local neighborhood, keeping safe is a growing task for hard of hearing people. Safety is always a concern when you have children, especially when hearing is an issue. We need to be more alert, plan more, and develop safety scenarios. Shari Eberts gives us a start in this article. Please CLICK on the following link: Planning For Safety

An Example Of Self-Advocacy Issues And What A Person Can Do

Our Editor came across this interesting article whereby an HLAA chapter member attended his niece's white coat ceremony that was held in the performing arts building at Kent State University in Ohio.  The ceremony was for students accepted into the university's audiology program.  The chapter member said he got there five minutes late and ended up near the back of the auditorium.  He had a difficult time hearing so requested hearing assistance.  He was told they did not have anything and that, in the past, they had tried to work with their administration to get something but was unsuccessful.  Please CLICK on the following link to read the full details: Self-Advocacy Example

My View On How To Choose A Cochlear Implant

Many individuals who are considering a cochlear implant look for help in comparing the different types of implants. They go to various internet groups to find out which implant is best. Comparing or recommending is not the place of CI users. Sharing experiences with what the implant user knows and experiences is. Sharing the websites that site comparisons only creates a false sense of what is true and what is not. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Choosing A Cochlear Implant

Why I Feel Movies Are So Frustrating for the Hard of Hearing - By Katherine Bouton

Hearing loss is an invisible disability. There's no white cane or wheelchair to tip off others to your condition. Most people would not yell at someone in a wheelchair for blocking the aisle in a supermarket, or at a blind person for accidently stepping in front of them. But every once in a while, I am gobsmacked by rudeness from people who think I'm deliberately trying to annoy them when I'm only trying to hear better. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Point of View

How To Serve Diners With Hearing Loss

For people with hearing loss, eating at restaurants ranks high on the list of challenging situations. Almost all restaurants serve up some background noise, and it’s a personal choice as to how much noise is acceptable. On the other hand, conversation can be just as strained in restaurants that are extremely quiet, because people use their soft-whisper voices, as if they were having lunch in a funeral parlor. Please CLICK on the following link to read more:How To Serve Diners With Hearing Loss

How Does One Plan For A Cochlear Implant?

Our April 2017 meeting had a presentation by MedEl. For those who are considering a cochlear implant, it might be helpful to consider the following information. Please CLICK on the following link: How Does One Plan For A Cochlear Implant?

Selecting A Nursing Home - A Personal Account

Our Point of View article digresses a little. Our March program talked about hearing loss in nursing homes. Since many of us will be facing nursing care for ourselves or other family members, this article does seems pertinent even if it doesn’t mention hearing aids! Please CLICK on the following link, and as always, your comments are welcome: Selecting A Nursing Home

Should I Wear A Hearing Aid In My Ear That Has Poor Discrimination?

In this article, Dr. Neil Bauman gives his point of view on the question of wearing a hearing aid in an ear that has poor discrimination. Please CLICK on the following link: Point Of View

How To Serve Diners With Hearing Loss

For people with hearing loss, eating at restaurants ranks high on the list of challenging situations. Almost all restaurants serve up some background noise, and it’s a personal choice as to how much noise is acceptable. On the other hand, conversation can be just as strained in restaurants that are extremely quiet, because people use their soft-whisper voices, as if they were having lunch in a funeral parlor. Enjoy reading this article and let us hear you views on improving the dining experience when you have hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: Article 

Let's Hear It For Old Technology

According to John Woodgate, audiologists would be well-advised to see hearing loops as an opportunity to give a more comprehensive service, by recommending and providing hearing aids with telecoils, and having in their offices a simple hearing loop system fed from a TV set, so that patients can immediately experience the advantages. What do you think? Enjoy John's article that follows and if you wish to express your point of view then please send in your comments to info@hearinglosskyhome.org. Please CLICK on the following link: Let's Hear It For Old Technology

Outing Ourselves...

Are we willing to venture outside the bounds of extremely conventional and traditional expectations of behavior to do what we need to do in order to understand other people better? If not, what would help us take some small steps to do that? Please send your opinion to info@hearinglosskyhome.org after you have read this article: Outing Ourselves

What Is Your View About The Importance Of Back-To-School Hearing Tests?

Loss of hearing is usually a gradual process. Initially the changes may be so subtle that only a very keen parent would suspect something is wrong. More often than not, a parent may conclude that the child is being rude for not responding to instruction or maybe the child is branded ‘absent minded’ because of requesting for instructions to be repeated too often. When this happens at school, it can affect a child’s grades and subsequently their self-esteem. Please read the following article and let us have your views. Please CLICK on the following link The Importance Of Back-To-School Hearing Tests

The Austine School For The Deaf Closing Reveals Debate Over 'Mainstreaming' Deaf Students

For many of us, it is difficult to understand the debate between being Hard of Hearing and Being Deaf/deaf.  We even designate different types of deafness with either a capital or lower case “d”.  The Capital “D” refers to culturally deaf, often to those who attended or attend special schools, and sometimes to deaf people who sign.  More importantly, it refers to a “culture.”  Thus, we have a debate over what is the best education process for HOH and/or Deaf/deaf students.  Some new laws favor mainstreaming.  Culture prefers special schools.  Most of the time, when one reads “deaf”, one also reads Hard of Hearing—as in “deaf and hard of hearing”.  The assumption being that both are equal and what applies to one should apply to the other.  This is, hopefully, the beginning of a discussion about deaf and hard of hearing people.  We have many things in common as well as many attributes and needs that are not common to both groups.   Please CLICK on the link that follows to read the article about re-opening the shuttered Austine School For The Deaf in  Brattleboro.  More importantly, read the comments that follow.  What is your Point of View? Editor: Article

How Should A Hard Of Hearing Person Communicate With The Police?

The recent shooting and killing of a deaf and speech-impaired person by a North Carolina state trooper has raised questions on how better communications can be established between the deaf community and the police. Your views are important and we encourage you to watch this video statement produced by Virginia Moore, Executive Director of KCDHH: Video Statement

No Hearing Aid? Some Gizmos Offer Alternative To 'Speak Up!'

In her New York Times article, Paula Span talks about PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products) and Hearing Aids. She names brands and gives examples of people who benefited from PSAPs. Again, audiologists tell us that PSAPs are not a part of good oral
therapeutic care and may trigger some issues. The debate is on! Please CLICK on the following link to read more: 
The Debate Is On!

The Results Are In! A message from Barbara Kelley, The Executive Director Of HLAA

Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability

The long-awaited report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division (formerly called the Institute of Medicine) was made public last month, on June 2. The Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults was asked to examine ways in which hearing health care (excluding surgical devices) could be made more affordable and accessible. Please
CLICK on the following link to read the outcome

The More We Talk About Hearing Loss, The More We Normalize It

Hearing loss itself is not an obstacle to communication. The failure in communication—in hearing—is a result instead of our personal and societal willful ignorance about hearing loss, our reluctance to acknowledge it and to treat it. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Let's Talk About Hearing Loss

Self-Advocate By Being Part Of The Discussion of Hearing Health Care For Adults

The 2016 HLAA National convention seemed to have a theme of Healthy Aging and the two reports PCAST and Hearing Health Care for Adults formed the corner stone. We have asked a number of audiologists, instrument specialists, doctors and others if they would consent to discuss their opinions in this column and in our Guidance and Layperson’s Guide sections. Most of the discussions will be presented over the next few months. However, Jill E. Preminger, Ph.D. has informally responded, off the cuff, to get the discussion started.

Obviously one would need to become somewhat familiar with these reports to follow the discussions. Doing so is a form of self-advocacy that we all must learn to do. We know that this is difficult and time consuming but it is a requirement to be considered a good consumer. Please
CLICK on the following link for more details: 

Taking Responsibility For My Hearing Loss

Often it seems to be in our nature to advocate in all areas of our lives except in regard to hearing loss. It's as if hearing loss is our fault and for that reason we cannot impose on others to help us out. Please CLICK on the following link to read more of Ed Schickel's point of view on how to become a better advocate for your hearing loss: Taking Responsibility

Comments Submitted by Janice Schacter Lintz to the FCC in Response to Apple's "Made for iPhone (MFi)" Hearing Aid Platform

Cell phones have become an integral part of our global daily life. According to Janice Schacter Lintz, CEO of Hearing Access & Innovations (HAI), it is imperative that people with hearing loss be afforded the same options and opportunities as everyone else. In her view, Apple is welcome to include its new technology in addition to but not instead of telecoil access. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Comments by Janice Schacter Lintz

What You Need to Be Aware of With ALD's, T-Coils and Loops

There is a good and positive movement throughout the country to loop all or most public venues.  This is appropriate in the writer's point of view.  However, the writer feels that the HLAA and HLAA Chapter Members need to be very careful with its promotion.  It is a mandate of HLAA not to promote one ALD, one hearing aid etc. over another.  It is important that HLAA maintain some neutrality. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Point Of View

A Question of Interpretation. What Do You Think?

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) recently sent out an e-blast which contained an announcement about a lawsuit that was pending against a hospital.  NAD’s article said the deaf family of a dying cancer patient was not given an interpreter as required by the ADA.  The patient herself had to interpret doctors and nurses for the family. Please CLICK on the following link for more information: A Question Of Interpretation

Danger! Danger! Alarms And The Panic Response

Warning sounds and emergency noises are designed to get our attention using sound. It is, after all, the only kind of signal that will effectively reach everyone in the vicinity—even if we’re out of visual range, facing the wrong way, in total darkness, or even asleep. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Alarms And The Panic Response

Aging America and Hearing Loss: The PCAST Report

The PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL OF ADVISORS ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (PCAST), WASHINGTON, D.C. 20502 October 2015  issued an 11+ page report and recommendation to the President of the United States.  This report could possibly impact everyone with a hearing loss.  It could impact the very industry itself.  HLAA has taken a very unprecedented position that favors the recommendations.  Originally, the American Academy of Audiologists spoke against it but later clarified their positon as being favorable.  There are some very strong pro’s and con’s.  The position of many is:  Access to affordable aids is important.  Untrained access could be detrimental.  As a consumer, you need to know and define your own position.  HLAA members need to understand all aspects including HLAA’s position and thinking. To help you with this process, we have included here a copy of the report together with current comments about it. We welcome your points of view!

Please CLICK on the following link for the report : PCAST Report

Please CLICK on the following links for current comments: Comment 1  Comment 2  Comment 3  Comment 4  

Learning To Communicate Again Is Like Losing Weight Or Going to the Gym. It Requires work!

In this article, Ed Schickel describes what he feels all of us with hearing difficulties can do to help ourselves to become better communicators. Self-advocacy is the key! Please CLICK on the following link to read his point of view: Learning To Communicate Again

A Yearning To Communicate: Language Barriers Mirror Hearing Loss

The yearning and struggle to communicate is self-evident as we witness the plight of the many millions of people presently journeying from the Middle East to secure safety for their families in Europe. In this article, Judy Vinegar describes how she sees similar communication difficulties being experienced daily by many in the hearing loss community, and she goes on to explain how the ongoing improvement in communication technology is helping to mitigate many of these difficulties. Please CLICK on the following link to read her article: A Yearning To Communicate

Also, please enjoy watching the following helpful videoLet's Make It Clear

Sounding Out The New House!

They say that moving into a new house is high on the stress list—packing, physical exertion, excitement about a new place and yearning for the old, figuring out which way the cupboard doors open or what light a switch turns on, etc. And then there’s getting used to all those 'the new house' noises. A person with hearing loss needs time to ‘get sound situated’, as the writer discovers in the new house that she just bought and moved into near Victoria, B.C. Please CLICK on the following link to enjoy reading about her experiences: Sounding Out The New House!

Paying My Dues...

Anne Pope from New York writes about membership with the Hearing Loss Association of America and how she feels about ‘paying her dues'. Please CLICK on the following link to read her article: Paying My Dues

Choosing Civility: Viewpoints On Dr. Forni's Book - by Gerry Gordon-Brown

We as members of a civilized society need to demonstrate many more random acts of kindness.  People deserve respect for the most part, but sometimes it is very difficult to show respect because of the way we are treated. In this article, Gerry Gordon-Brown recommends we all take time to read a book written by Dr. Forni that she regards is a practical handbook on the lost art of civility and compassion! Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Choosing Civility

What is Your View Regarding Sending Your Physician a Letter About Your hearing Loss Before a Consultation?

We eagerly ask for your point of view with regards to the following question: 

How willing would you be as a person suffering from hearing loss to send an explanatory letter to your physician before an initial visit to explain the communication difficulties that arise from your hearing loss in order to improve overall communication during consultation visits between yourself and the consultant?

During the “Healthcare Access Open Forum for Individuals who are HOH” at the recent HLAA Kentucky Chapters Regional Conference in Louisville, KY presenters Cara Martinez and Michelle Niehaus asked what attendees thought about giving a letter to their personal physicians on how best to communicate with them, the idea being that physicians should be taught how to communicate with their clients who are HOH, especially when hospitalized. The following draft letter has since been produced and we urgently need your input on:

(1) do you think it would be helpful to send such a letter to your physician before initial consultation?  

(2) if you do, what amendments would you make to make the letter even better? 

Please send your comments to info@hearinglosskyhome.org as soon as possible. Thank you! 

Please CLICK on the following link to view the draft letter: Draft Letter

Ensuring That People With Hearing Loss Hear in the Healthcare setting: An Idea Whose Time Has Come ...

For all of us with hearing loss who have been (and will be) admitted into the nightmare of  the healthcare system without a better way to hear and understand healthcare personnel,  help is on the way!  Please CLICK on the following link to read Judy Vinegar's feedback of a meeting she attended during the  HLAA Kentucky Chapters Regional Conference in Louisville, KY on September 11-12 2015: An Idea Whose Time Has Come