Better Hearing Technology Presentations to be held in Pratt, Dodge City, Garden City, Oakley and Hays Kansas

STATE PROGRAMS TAKE TO THE ROAD TO SHARE INFORMATION ON BETTER HEARING TECHNOLOGY

Topeka, KS, September 15, 2011 – Three State administered programs are partnering up to present a free workshop. The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), the Kansas Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) and the Kansas Relay Center powered by Hamilton Relay are collaborating to offer a workshop to provide resources and information about a variety of technologies designed to assist those that have difficulty hearing. The workshops will be presented over four days, October 10 -13 in five different locations across Western Kansas including Pratt, Dodge City, Garden City, Oakley, and Hays. The workshop will cover what technology is available, who can benefit from each device, where to shop for the devices and even how to get some items at no cost. The goal is to educate Kansans so they can make informed decisions to maintain or even improve their quality of life.

It is estimated that 10% of the US population have difficulty hearing. That is nearly 300,000 Kansans. Programs like KCDHH, TAP and Hamilton provide information and resources that many struggle to find or are embarrassed to seek out. Topics covered during the workshop will include; hearing aids, signaling devices, telephones and assistive listening devices. Individuals with hearing loss, family members and professionals are encouraged to attend.

The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a state agency authorized to develop and implement a program of information and referral, advocacy, public education and direct services. The mission of KCDHH is to advocate for and facilitate equal access to quality, coordinated and comprehensive services that enhance the quality of life for Kansans who are deaf and hard of hearing.

BETTER HEARING TECHNOLOGY
The Kansas Telecommunications Access Program is a telecommunication equipment distribution program. The purpose of TAP is to provide specialized telephone equipment to Kansans with disabilities in order that they can access basic telecommunication services. Individuals with a hearing loss or other disability can apply and receive free equipment if they have established Kansas residency, have telephone service at their home/residence, have a disability that impedes the use of a standard telephone, and have a household income less than $55,000 per year.

Hamilton Relay operates the Kansas Relay Center. Hamilton Relay has been providing telecommunications relay services for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing and speech disabled since 1991. Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is free 24-hour service that provides equal communication access via the phone to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled. Hamilton Relay provides Traditional Relay in numerous contracted states, as well as Captioned Telephone (CapTel®), Web and Mobile CapTel and Internet Relay services across the nation.

Specific Workshop times and locations are:

October 10, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. October 11, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Pratt Public Library Dodge City Senior Center
401 South Jackson St 2408 Central Ave
Pratt, KS Dodge City, KS

October 11, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. October 12, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Senior Center of Finney County NW Kansas Educational Service Center
907 N 10th 703 West 2nd
Garden City, KS Oakley, KS

October 13, 9:00 – Noon
Hays Public Library
1205 Main St
Hays, KS

BETTER HEARING TECHNOLOGY
For additional information please contact any of the following or to request special accommodations such as interpreters, or real-time captioning for any of the sessions:

Tim Anderson
Kansas Telecommunications Access Program
4848 SW 21st St, Ste 201
Topeka, KS 66604
785-234-0200
tap@kstelecom.com

Cady Lear
Hamilton Relay
4848 SW 21st St, Ste 201
Topeka, KS 66604
785-228-5666
Cady.lear@hamiltonrelay.com

Rebecca Rosenthal
Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Docking State Office Building, 9th Floor North
915 SW Harrison
Topeka, KS 66612
785-246-5077
Rebecca.Rosenthal@srs.ks.gov

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