Jacob’s Ride – Coming to KC Royals Labor Day

Jacob Landis, a young college graduate with a cochlear implant, is biking across the country to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, to support the fundraising project called Jacob’s Ride.  He is coming to Kansas City for the Royals game on September 2, Labor Day!  Proceeds will go to hospitals and organizations who will help cover the costs of cochlear implant surgery for candidates who cannot afford to pay for the procedure on their own.  ”Jacob’s Ride” began April 3, 2013, in Annapolis, Maryland, where he biked to the National’s Stadium in Washington D.C. and was there to watch the game, as well as to support his cause.

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(Picture posted on http://www.jacobsride.com/)

The long journey to beginning this project started when Jacob was two years old and began to lose his hearing.  His hearing got progressively worse as he got older, even with the use of hearing aids.  At age ten, Jacob received a cochlear implant, which he feels benefits his life greatly.  Jacob loves baseball, biking, and hearing loss advocacy, and decided to utilize those things to create the project.  Jacob’s Ride has raised over $105,000, and Jacob has biked over 7.500 miles.  The ultimate goal is to raise $1,000,000 by the time “Jacob’s Ride” ends.

For the September 2 Royals game, everyone is encouraged to pre-buy Royals tickets (buy before game day) to Join Jacob at Royals Game  and attend the pre-game meet and greet Tailgate Party to meet Jacob and pick up tickets.   Tickets are discounted at a great cost of just $15 (actual value $33) a ticket specifically in support of Jacob’s Ride event.  Late arrivals can pick up tickets at the will-call booth.  Jacob will be siiting at the honorable Buck O’Neil seat, but will come to the reserved block of seats to visit during the game.  Donations are also accepted on that website where tickets are pre-ordered if you prefer to make a donation.  Please bring your own lawn chairs to watch the news media interviews while enjoying sloppy joes & chips for $5 and water or soda for $1.

Volunteers are welcome to sign up for a 30 minute slot on KC Jacob’s Ride Tailgate Reception Volunteer Sign Up.   Volunteers are needed to help coordinate a photo shoot with Jacob, allow Jacob time to sign autographs and have a chat, and then move on to the next fan in line.  A guest book will also be available for people to write their comments to Jacob at the Meet & Greet area during the Tailgate Reception.

Please join this exciting event and email HomeRunforHearing@gmail.comto learn more information and ask additional questions. Also, to see the PDF of the event, click on 9.2.13-Royals

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Lipreading Class begins at DCC in September! Sign up now to join the class!

Do you struggle to make out what others are saying when they are speaking to you, because of your hearing loss?  Have you wondered what that person was saying across the room, but you didn’t hear them?  Do you get frustrated because you can’t understand the words because it comes out unclear?   Have you felt that your lipreading skills are getting rusty?  Then don’t miss the opportunity to become a better lipreader at Lipreading Class!

Lipreading Class, a four-session class, begins September 14 at the Deaf Cultural Center in Olathe. The class will focus on the basics of lipreading, using sight to focus on various sentence structures and words, handouts to complete for the class, and teaching techniques to show family and friends more effective ways to communicate with a person with hearing loss.Shanna Groves, speaker, and author of “Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom,” will be leading the class.Information on the class is below:Location: Deaf Cultural Center – 455 E. Park St., Olathe, KS 66061 (across from Kansas School for the Deaf)

Dates/times class is held: Sept. 14 and 28, Oct. 5 & 12 (2 p.m. – 3 p.m. each class session)

Class Fee: $100

For further information, go to http://kefdcc.org/education/lipreading-classes.  For additional questions about the class, contact Shanna Groves on her website at http://www.shannagroves.com/#!contact.

Open-Captioned Drive-In Movie event a great success! August 30 event coming up

The Boulevard Drive-In Theatre was packed on the evening of July 11, 2013. Cars lined up right next to each other, row upon row of cars, filling the entire parking lot.  People brought out lawn chairs and blankets, and drinks and snacks as they awaited the start of the “Monsters University” movie.  People from all over the Kansas City area gathered to watch an open-captioned movie on the big screen in the beautiful outdoors.  This was the appeal of the movie, where deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing individuals could all enjoy a drive-in movie theatre, with captions included.

Although there are indoor movie theaters that have caught on to the importance of captions to be used during movies, the drive-in theaters have been slower to adapt to new technology. Thanks to The Whole Person and Cinema K.C. partnering to make this event happen, more than 500 people came to watch the open-captioned movie.

Because the event was so successful, a DOUBLE FEATURE open captioned movie at the Boulevard Drive-In Theatre will be held on August 30 at 9 p.m. “Planes” and “The Lone Ranger” are the movies featured. The address for the movie theatre is 1051 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, KS 66103.  Ticket costs are $10 a person to watch two movies for the price of one!  Kids under 11 can go for FREE.

(Image posted on https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201342091450250&set=oa.187866078040275&type=1&theater)

Below is a link to the Youtube video about the previous event on July 11. Feel free to check out more what this is all about!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5rq5prTl6o

Hearing Assistive Technology workshop recap

 By Andy Chandler

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) workshop sponsored by HLAA and the Consumer Electronic Association Foundation (CEA).  CEA paid for the attendees’ hotel rooms and meals during the workshop (thanks, CEA!).  All I had to do was get myself to Bethesda, which I was able to do, thanks to Southwest Airline points (thanks Southwest!)

As you might guess from the title, the weekend workshop centered on using technology to address the challenges of hearing loss. It was like a mini-HLAA convention, which means the very best part of the workshop was meeting people from all over the country, including Hawaii!  There were about 25 of us, some old hands with assistive technology, and some brand new to the topic.

The workshop was presented by Brad Ingrao, an audiologist from Florida, and a frequent speaker at national HLAA events. You might recognize Brad’s name from the HLAA magazine, where he writes a monthly column. What I like about Brad is that he can be a curmudgeon about his profession. It’s not all peaches and roses, as some hearing aid and CI manufactures claim. Brad made two key points about hearing aids and cochlear implants:

  • They make bad hearing less bad (notice it doesn’t say, “make bad hearing good”).
  • They work well, up to 6 feet away from the source of the sound.

So that’s why we use assistive technology — to make hearing better beyond six feet. How do we do that?  That’s what we covered in the workshop, learning about technologies such as:

  • Looping, FM and infrared systems
  • Television and telephone amplification
  • Telephone relay services
  • Personal listening devices (which sometimes can work as well as hearing aids, and are a lot cheaper)
  • CART and captioning (my personal favorite!)
  • Smartphones and the Internet

We talked a lot about loops and telecoils. A lot of people think it’s outdated technology, as it’s been around for a while. In reality, it’s gotten better over the years, and it’s one of the most accessible and effective technologies — as long as your aids/CI have a telecoil. But to loop a space correctly, whether it’s a ticket booth or an auditorium, takes some audio engineering, and should be done by an experienced professional.

Of course, the best part of any HLAA gathering is the people you meet, and the gatherings that take place outside the official workshop events. There is something life-affirming about meeting others who share a hearing loss. At the workshop, at HLAA conventions and meetings, we are the majority. We understand what it means to live with a hearing loss and the challenges thereof. And darn if we weren’t going to do whatever was needed to understand one another!

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Here’s a picture of a few of us enjoying one of Bethesda’s finer restaurants (I’m the guy on the right, in blue). I’m sure the wait staff had never seen so many hearing aids, CIs and ALDs at one table!

The reason CEA and HLAA sponsored this workshop was not just for the benefit of the attendees. In return for providing a “scholarship” (i.e, paying for lodging and food), attendees agree to take the information back to their local communities.  So if you or your organization(s) are interested in learning more about Hearing Assistive Technology, I would be delighted to share what I learned. Just contact HLAAKC at hlaakc@gmail.com or give me a shout at aqchandler@gmail.com.

If you are interested in attending a HAT training weekend, the next one is September 6-8 in Sarasota, Fla. For more information, including how to apply for the class, visit HLAA’s website. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Aug. 13.