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 A lot of people think it’s outdated technology, as it’s been around for a while.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!

photo

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. 

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HLAA 2013 Convention Recap – Portland, Oregon

Fellow committee member Terri Shirley and I had a fantastic time representing the Kansas City Chapter at the HLAA convention in Portland, Oregon this past June!  It was Terri’s first convention and my third convention (over the span of 10 years).

I hope that everyone with hearing loss has the opportunity to attend an HLAA convention someday.  It is an eye-opening, inspiring and motivational experience.  The convention allows me to recharge and embrace my hearing loss before being thrown back into the hearing world.  Here are my top convention highlights (in no particular order).

  1. Networking – It never fails to amaze me how quickly I can make acquaintances at HLAA conventions – young and old.  A simple hello can turn into a one-hour conversation and you are friends for life.
  2. Exhibit hall – I always enjoy talking to all the vendors in the exhibit hall.  It’s a great place to ask questions, try out new technology, and learn all about the programs that are out there to assist people with hearing loss.
  3. Jacob’s Ride – I had the pleasure of meeting Jacob Landis and learning about his mission to raise money for CI recipients by bicycling to baseball stadiums all over the country!  He will be coming to Kansas City on September 2, 2013 to attend the Royals game, so be sure to watch for announcements from HLAAKC about this exciting event!
  4. Opening Session – There was an impressive lineup of inspiring speakers at the opening session to kick off the convention.  Howard Weinstein fascinated us with his story of how he came to be the inventor of solar ear (a solar powered hearing aid) and his quest to help low-income people with hearing loss in the developing world.
  5. Accessibility – An HLAA convention is by far the most accessible convention you’ll ever go to.  CART was provided for all the sessions.  Sign language interpreters were available for the opening session, research symposium and banquet.  Looping and infrared technology (along with receivers) was available as well.
  6. People Watching – HLAA had the pleasure of sharing the convention hall with Leakycon, which is a Harry Potter fanfest – imagine costumes galore and 4,000 attendees that are all about Harry Potter!  The clever costumes brought a smile to my face more than once.
  7. Portland 100 – I enjoyed attending the happy hour and connecting with other young adults throughout the convention.  The young adult attendance has come a long way since my first convention in Atlanta in 2003; they were pretty much non-existent at the time.
  8. Playing Tourist – This was my first visit to Portland, so I took advantage of using my convention public transit pass to explore Portland’s many attractions. I also enjoyed attending the HLAA World Forestry Center event.
  9. Transitions – We had a great time praising executive director Brenda Battat for her past achievements and many contributions to HLAA and wishing her a happy retirement throughout the convention.  We also welcomed Anna Gilmore Hall as HLAA’s new executive director (as of July 8).
  10. Workshops – There was something for everyone in the many workshops offered throughout the convention.  Workshops covered topics related to advocacy, assistive technology, hearing aids and cochlear implants, and relationship and communication. There were also presentations geared toward veterans with hearing loss.  Additionally, there were beneficial demo room presentations where you could learn about a product or service.
  11. Future HLAA Conventions – Big announcements were made regarding future HLAA conventions! HLAA has been selected by the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) to host their next Congress in 2016 in Washington D.C.  And next year’s HLAA convention is a little closer to home – Austin, Texas!  So I hope to see y‘all there!

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Upcoming HLAA webinars

At our last formal meeting in November, Dennis and I led a discussion on how to manage your hearing loss during the holidays. At the national level, HLAA hosted a webinar on the same topic just a few days before our meeting and if you missed that excellent presentation, you can read the transcript or replay the webinar.

The next webinar is Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6pm CSTBrad Ingrao, Au.D., will be discussing “Basic Acoustics and Electronics.” (Click link to register) From the website: “People with hearing loss are dependent on the electronics in their hearing devices as well as the physics of sound (acoustics) of every room they listen in. This webinar will describe the basics of both acoustics and electronics as they relate to hearing loss and hearing technology.”

For a complete list of upcoming webinars, please visit the webinar schedule at hearingloss.org. For more information on what a webinar is and how to register for one, visit the webinar page.

New Benefit for HLAA Members

HLAA National recently announced the addition of a new benefit for HLAA members — discounts from American Hearing Benefits (AHB). If you are a member, you can start reaping these rewards immediately!

Some of the benefits you could receive are:

  • Free annual hearing screenings for you and your immediate family
  • Referrals to AHB’s network of recommended local hearing health care professionals
  • Advanced hearing solutions with the latest in hearing aid technology
  • Up to 60% off suggested retail prices
  • Free full two-year extended warranty with every purchase

You can read more about this new benefit, and see all of the others you receive, here.

Not an HLAA member? Consider becoming one today to enjoy all of these benefits yourself! There are two easy ways to become a member. Sign up online here, or fill out the PDF form below and mail it in. We look forward to seeing you!

HLAA Membership Form

 

HLAA’s Continued Fight for Hearing Aid Coverage

For some time now, I have been learning more about hearing aid coverage, a controversial topic that I am interested in, especially since it has been coming up in several instances through HLAA at the national and community level.  I want to share with our readers some of the things that HLAA has been doing to help bring more awareness to this issue. Also, to share what resources are available for us to use to help lessen the financial repercussions that come from paying for services related to your hearing health and/or from the purchase of a hearing aid or aids.

As many of you may already know, HLAA continues to be an avid fighter for hearing aid coverage – to get hearing aid benefits and hearing aids covered by insurance providers. Thus, I would like to highlight a few things about what HLAA and our community has been doing to advocate for hearing aid coverage.  One way to stay on top of what HLAA is doing to advocate for hearing aid coverage/benefits at the national level, you can watch for the latest news here.

In our Community: Recently, a public forum on Medicaid Reform took place on August 17th, 2011 in Overland Park and one topic that came up at the forum was insurance coverage for hearing aids.  This was the final meeting, with interpreters presented so that the deaf and hard of hearing people of Kansas could participate.  Governor Sam Brownback asked Lt. Governor Jeff Coyler help remake the state’s Medicaid program and improve healthcare.   So in an effort to improve the program, Coyler asked the people of Kansas to share their ideas and suggestions.  The D/HH community brought up several issues that they wished to see addressed during the year.  An issue focused on by the D/HH, and particularly with HLAA, was to see more insurance coverage for hearing aids.  Currently, the problem is while cochlear implants are often covered by insurance, hearing aids lack the support.

At National Level:  HLAA has been pushing for insurance coverage on hearing aids as part of federal health plans.  As of now, coverage of hearing aids for adults is included in several Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) insurance plans but is not a requirement for other insurers, especially for private ones.  The next step is to watch for other carriers to begin coverage on hearing aids.  Since the FEHB program is a leading model in insurance, there is hope that other insurance companies will follow.  The good news is that there are several states that require health benefit plans include coverage of hearing aids for children.  Unfortunately, only a few states require hearing aid coverage for adults.  Each state has varying requirements for the amount and ages covered.

To see if your state is covered, check the ‘State Hearing Health Insurance Mandates’ list.  Missouri made the list. Unfortunately, Kansas is not on the list yet.  However, with the recent Medicaid Reform public reform that took place in August 2011 in Overland Park, Kansas’s outlook looks more positive.  After all, to date, eighteen states have passed legislation on coverage for hearing aids, so more states are sure to add insurance for them in health benefit plans.

My Thoughts… & Some Great Reads from our last 2 Hearing Loss Issues (July/Aug & Sept/Oct): A plethora of information related to hearing aids can be found in any of our Hearing Loss magazines if you want to learn more. In our last two bi-monthly issues, I noticed that HLAA has been trying increase awareness on why hearing aid coverage continues to be a problem.  HLAA needs the help of our hearing loss community.  You can help advocate for change at national, state or individual level. At individual level, you could be presenting your case to your employer on why hearing aid coverage is a necessary benefit that needs to be included in health benefit plans.

In the last 3 months, I learned that there are alternative routes that we could consider giving a try if hearing aid coverage is not included in our health benefits plan.  **Did you know that your employer may possibly be able to help cover some of the cost that you have to pay for your hearing aids/services?** I’ll be honest with you here though-I haven’t seen anything about this “written in stone” but I know that there are some employers that may be willing to make an exception.  A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is generally said that, ‘As long it does not cause any undue financial hardship on your company,’ then it could be worth asking.  After all this can actually be considered an accommodation that is needed in order for you to be successful in your job!

**On HLAA’s website, there is a Workplace page which includes an Employment Toolkit on how you can present a case for health care coverage of hearing aids to your employer.**

Wrapping up…: I want to share a few articles and summaries that I found useful from our last two Issues:

1) In our July/August 2011 Issue:

  • Our Executive Director provided a great summary on HLAA’s “Campaign to Make Hearing Aids Affordable.” (p.6) Wow! I had no idea how much HLAA was doing to help make Hearing Aids more affordable for us!  Thank you!
  • HLAA staff spent a day on Capitol Hill advocating for the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Legislation. (p.30) Oh wait, what is the Hearing Aid Tax Credit? I had no idea! All these years of doing my taxes… and I never included this? How does it work? Why don’t you find out more about this on your own? Call it a mini homework assignment from me (Hint-Google it! ;-))

2) In our September/October 2011 Issue:

  • HearingAid Costs: “Unbundling: A Way to Make Hearing Aids More Affordable?” (p.18) This article offers insight into hearing care billing practices and the relationshipbetween expert services and the success of hearing aid fitting. Boy, where was this information when I really needed it?! Well, the good news is that it’s available now so don’t let it slip through your fingers!
  • HearingAid Features: “Decibels and Dollars: A Look at Hearing Aid Features Across Price Points.” (p.30) Brad Ingrao writes about six hearing aid manufacturers to give you an idea what features you can expect at various price points. After all… knowledge is power, right?  So be sure to do your research! 🙂
  • Insurance: “Making Hearing Aids Affordable.” (p.34) **(HOT! HOT! Fresh off the press!)**  Our director of public policy looks at ways to pay for hearing aids. There’s a good chance that your employee health care benefits plan does not cover the cost of hearing aids, but the reason may be simply because no one thought to include it.  It pays to ask.  Earlier, I mentioned that one way that you can get started is to check out HLAA’s free Employment Toolkit on how you can present a case for health care coverage of hearing aids to your employer.

Additional resources:

  • More information on Medicaid Reform Public Forum is available on The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s website.
  • Hearing Health Care – Hearing Aids;Medicare/Medicaid; State Insurance Laws.
  • HLAA has a page on Hearing Aids if you’re looking to purchase hearing aids with sections on ‘Introduction to Hearing Aids; Features; Selecting a Hearing Aid and What to Ask when Purchasing a Hearing Aid’.

PROMISING RESEARCH – Cord Blood Stem cell treatments for hearing loss

This was in a recent HLAA e-newsletter sent out to all members:

Promising research has led to the first clinical trial to evaluate the safety of cord blood stem cell treatments for hearing loss. According to a study published in Cell Transplantation, animal subjects treated with cord blood stem cells showed significant healing to the damaged sensory hair cells and neurons in the inner ear. Dr. James Baumgartner, pediatric neurosurgeon, and colleagues at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston will launch the first FDA-regulated clinical trial evaluating the use of cord blood stem cell treatments for children with hearing loss.

The year-long study will follow 10 children, aged six weeks to 18 months, with acquired or congenital (but not genetic) hearing loss. The trial will be selecting only patients who have stored their cord blood with CBR for this trial, to ensure consistency in the stem cell processing, storage and release for infusion.

Watch the video on this research. YouTube has it captioned but you have to activate the caption button. CBR is having the video captioned with the exact transcript; however, until then, the YouTube captions will be in place.

——————–

In my opinion, this is good news – more research into avenues of restoring hearing and correcting hearing loss will benefit many.  Even if cord-blood stem cell treatments themselves are not the final solution, lessons learned about our genes and biological makeup will make it easier to find solutions that may not need cord-blood to begin treatment.  To understand what cord-blood means, check out this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord_blood

CBR is “Cord Blood Registry,” a business that stores the umbilical cord blood (and optionally the umbilical cord tissue) in freezing banks for potential future use.  This requires a processing fee and an annual storage fee.  As of today,  to store your child’s cord blood until they are 18, it could cost you between $4,000 to $7,000.

HLAA National has a new website

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, www.hearingloss.org.

HLAA’s website serves as the primary source of objective information for 36 million Americans with hearing loss. The website underwent a major redesign to make it more intuitive, provide better navigation and to make it easier to find specific content in the vast collection of hearing loss resources available to all site visitors.

Learn About HLAA Convention This Saturday

Photo Courtesy of CindyDyer.wordpress.com
 
What happened at the HLAA 2011 Convention in Washington, D.C.? Find out this Saturday as KC HLAA leaders Dennis Selznick, Sarah Mosher, Kelly Rogel, and Lucy Crabtree share what they learned at last month’s national convention.
 
We invite you to join us this Saturday, July 16, 10:30am, at the Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch (Large Meeting Room), 4801 Main, KCMO. The meeting will be CART-captioned and is free and open to the public.

The countdown has begun!

The HLAA National Convention is just three days away! Even if you’re unable to attend this year, there are several ways to stay connected:

Twitter:

@hlaakc – I’ll (Lucy) be tweeting live from the convention, so be sure to keep your eye on your Twitter feed for up-to-date information on all that we’re learning!
@YAWHL – keep up with what’s going on with the young adults during the convention
#HLAA2011 – search for tweets with this hash tag to find out what other tweeters are saying about Convention 2011!

Blogs:

Hlaakc.com – I’ll (Lucy) be blogging from the convention, so be sure to subscribe by clicking on the RSS feed button or entering your email address in the “Email Subscription” box on the right hand side of this page.

Official HLAA Convention Blog – Elizabeth, known as (e on the interwebs, will be blogging from the convention, so be sure to get your follow on!

Some things I am most excited about:

Washington, D.C.! I’ve never been and my inner nerd is eager to soak up all of the history in our nation’s capital! I’m planning to brush up on Night at the Museum 2 and National Treasure to help me prepare. 😉

Wicked! I love, love, love musicals but I rarely watch live theater because even with sign language interpreters, I miss out on the performance (I have two choices: Watch the interpreters and miss the acting or watch the acting and miss the dialogue). However, Wicked will be captioned and I’m eager to see what captioning looks like at a live event!

Winning! Ok, not really, but I felt like I needed another “W” phrase in there. 🙂 What I’m probably looking forward to the most is relaxing with my hearing loss. CART will be provided at each workshop, some of the rooms will be looped and everyone will be familiar with hearing loss! I’m looking forward to several days of being with other people who get hearing loss, of not having to (I hope!) labor, labor, labor to communicate with others and to networking with others who know how to communicate with me – because they have the same kinds of needs that I do.

Just two more days to go… can’t wait!

Did you miss the Webinar?

February 24, 2011
Guest Speaker: Gael Hannan
Topic: “The Masks of Hearing Loss (Bluffing 101)”

Were you unable to find time to see Gael Hannan’s webinar last Thursday, February 24th? It is now available on the national HLAA transcript page here. It is still FREE to view! There is also a PDF format of the webinar, if you should prefer that.

HLAA Webinar on Bluffing

Today, Thursday, February 24th, there is a webinar at 7p.m. E.S.T. called “The Masks of Hearing Loss (Bluffing 101).” The lovely Gael Hannan will be running the workshop. If you haven’t heard of her, she is awesome. She was one of the speakers I had the privilege of listening to when I attended the HLAA national conference in Milwaukee last year. She is hilarious. You’ll love her!

Topic Summary

People with hearing loss are masters of the bluff…or so we think. We use a variety of methods to try and convince people we’re following the conversation when, in fact, we haven’t got a clue what’s going on. We even try to bluff our way through visits with the audiologist and hearing instrument specialist! But our sneaky tricks tend to backfire on us, often landing us in trouble.

The Masks of Hearing Loss (Bluffing 101) is a refreshing exploration of how and why hard of hearing people bluff, the telltale signs of bluffing, famous bluffers, and how drop a bad habit and become a better communicator.

About Gael

Gael Hannan is a writer, actor and public speaker who grew up with a progressive hearing loss that is now severe-to-profound. She is a director on the national board of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and runs The Hearing Foundation of Canada’s award-winning Sound Sense hearing awareness program for elementary students across Canada. As a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss, her work includes speechreading instruction, hearing awareness workshops for youth and adults, and sensitivity training for corporations and community groups.

Gael is a sought-after speaker for her humorous and insightful performances about hearing loss, including her signature shows Unheard Voices and EarRage! She has received several awards for her work, including the Consumer Advocacy Award from the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

The Webinar is FREE! You can register for it here.

Can’t watch the webinar at 7p.m. tonight? Don’t worry! Transcripts are also available on the HLAA website. You can view all their webinar transcripts here!

Upcoming HLAA magazine

A headshot picture of the deaf-blind man "Bill Barkeley" in an orange mountain climbing jacket.

Check out the upcoming HLAA magazine being delivered to mailboxes soon!  It features a fantastic article showcasing last year’s keynote speaker, Bill Barkeley.  I had a chance to talk to the excellent presenter after his speech and we briefly covered his experiences mountain hiking and the thrill of pressing through to reach 19,000+ feet at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

http://www.hearingloss.org/magazine/mag-janfeb2011.asp

Tell it to the DOJ!

Are movie captions important to you? Then help out HLAA and testify to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with your thoughts! Deadline for comments is January 24th, so there is still plenty of time. Below are details from HLAA’s campaign.

 

Twenty years ago, HLAA members came out in force when it was time to comment on rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our comments helped shape the way the rules were written. We need you to do that again to push for captioned movies.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a notice that it is considering changes to its regulations to require movie theater owners and operators to show captioned movies. DOJ is inviting written comments from members of the public.

If movie captions are important to you, tell the DOJ!

The DOJ proposes to require movie theater owners and operators to show films with closed captioning. DOJ proposes to limit this requirement to no more than 50 percent of the films shown, and DOJ is willing to give owners and operators up to 5 years to get to the 50 percent mark.

HLAA believes that “full and equal enjoyment” of services under the Americans with Disabilities Act means that people with hearing loss must be provided the kind of accommodations that would allow us to attend any movie anytime. For people with significant hearing loss, that means 100% captioning. We believe that an across the board industry cap of 50% is arbitrary and inconsistent with the law.

HLAA’s position on movie captioning is:

  • All movies should be made accessible to movie goers with hearing loss though captioning.
  • People with hearing loss should be able to see any movie at any time on any day.
  • There are many ways to caption movies today. HLAA does not specify the method used to caption the movie so long as it provides effective communication.

DOJ is seeking comments in response to 26 questions. The entire document with all the questions can be accessed at http://www.regulations.gov. You can reply to some or all of the questions. We suggest at a minimum, that you respond to DOJ Question #1:

  1. DOJ is proposing that the percentage of movie screens offering closed captioning be set at 10 percent after one year and increased 10 percent a year until 50 percent is reached. Does this approach provide a proper balance between providing accessibility to consumers, on one hand, and giving owners and operators time to acquire the necessary equipment, on the other hand?

Send your comments to the DOJ today!

Comments sent by U.S. mail must be postmarked and electronic comments must be transmitted on or before January 24, 2011.

  • State the question(s) you are responding to. You can focus all your comments on question #1 or add more.
  • State why you are interested in responding. For example, that you have a hearing loss and cannot attend movies without effective closed captioning.
  • State what you want to see: 100% captions, 5 years or less, no later than January 2016.
  • State how lack of captions has impacted you. State why you think 100% captioning is needed.
  • Thank the DOJ.
  • Sign your name.

Use this link to see our Sample Letter. You can use this Sample Letter as a guide to draft your own letter. It’s best if you do more than just copy and paste this sample letter onto the DOJ form. We believe you will have a greater impact if you write about your own experience going to the movies, and tell the DOJ why movie captioning is important to you.

We did it for the ADA. Let’s do it again for movie captioning. Send your comments to the DOJ!

Thank you!
Brenda's Signature 2
Brenda Battat
Executive Director

Happy Thanksgiving!

‘Tis the season to be thankful. I’ll post about one thing I’m thankful for this year – the U.S. 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2010. I’ll write up more in an additional blog post, but basically the internet has become ubiquitous in my life and yet, I’m not able to fully access things like news or TV shows that are captioned on TV but not on the internet. Stuff like that will become handy as people continue to get older and are used to accessing the internet and getting the same experience they already do on TV.

HLAA’s press release on this item: http://hlaa.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=10641.0&dlv_id=24001&printer_friendly=1

Have a wonderful holiday and if you’re out and about, safe travels!

September message from HLAA

Some items of note emailed from our national HLAA President Brenda Battat…. her message isn’t posted online, but you can find out more on hearingloss.org.

• With the approach of the fall Walk4Hearing™ events, successful kickoffs have been held in several cities including Boston, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and Salt Lake City.
Many more parents are joining and participating in the Walk4Hearing™. We want to be responsive to them and also provide more parent resources. While this was not part of our program framework for 2010, we are very pleased that it is happening. When opportunities arise we must be flexible to enough to seize the opportunities and challenges. The resources we have for parents to date include:
> A Wiki for parents developed by Marcia Finisdore, former President of the HLAA Board of Trustees and a parent of children with hearing loss. This is a place where parents can find unbiased information to empower them to make decisions for their children. To see the Wiki and to refer parents to it go to http://www.kidsandhearingloss.org . This is an ongoing project so if anyone has articles, pictures, or profiles of families that to add to the Wiki, please send it to Marcia at marcia@kidsandhearingloss.org. We welcome your feedback.
> The November issue of Hearing Loss Magazine is for parents. Their stories will tug at your heart strings and the pictures of the children are beautiful.
> A flyer to hand out to parents at the walks designed by our wonderful volunteer Hollace Goodman. See it at http://kidsandhearingloss.org/
> The keynote speaker during the Opening Session of HLAA Convention 2011, June 16 -19 will be Christopher J. Artinian, Chief Executive Officer and President of Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc. The Artinian family is the subject of the Oscar-nominated film Sound and Fury, which tells the story of brothers: Chris, who was born with hearing, and his older brother Peter, who was born deaf. Both brothers married and both had children who were born with hearing loss.
• Planning for the HLAA Convention 2011, June 16-19 at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City is going very well. Many of our convention materials refer to the location of Convention 2011 as Washington, D.C., yet in the same breath we say that it will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. That can be confusing! To take the mystery out of Crystal City and see the convention highlights to date go to http://www.hearingloss.org/convention/.
• HLAA has notified the chairman of the board and president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that they have been selected to receive the HLAA National Access Award for 2011. They have already responded positively and are looking into our request to present the award on stage at the Kennedy Center before a captioned performance of “Wicked” to have more exposure for captioning and to use the occasion as an educational opportunity about communication accessibility for the general audience.
• Above is the new logo for the “Get in the Hearing Loop” project…a joint educational effort of HLAA and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). A brochure on telecoils is complete and now in the design and printing phase. The brochure will be on the HLAA website and downloadable. It will be made available to members in states and chapters to distribute at places such as health fairs, and throughout their communities. A September webinar on telecoils is planned.
• The HLAA webinar held on August 19, 2010 was brought to viewers by Clear Sounds Communication Inc. The topic was technology for use in the workplace and 60 people attended. This is an example of presentations by companies that are promoted as “infomercials”. Hearing Loss Association of America does not endorse products or services. HLAA infomercial webinars are designed to provide consumers with up-to-date information on products and services. To view the webinar go to http://www.hearingloss.org/Community/transcripts.asp.
PLEASE NOTE: Beginning with the September webinar, the HLAA webinars will require preregistration. Once a registrant is registered they will receive the link to join the webinar and will also automatically get a reminder the day before the webinar with the link. If the registrant does not attend the webinar, the next day they will receive a link for the playback. There is no charge to attend HLAA’s online seminars but registration is now required.
Register today for the HLAA Webinar for September 15, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The Guest speaker will be Brad Ingrao, Au.D., and his topic is “Getting the Most from Your Hearing Aids with Real Ear Measurement.” Detailed information about this webinar and guest speaker can be found at http://www.hearingloss.org.
• We continue to work on several Federal proceedings: the Access Board on Acoustics, the Department of Justice on movie captioning, the Department of Labor on affirmative action for federal contractors, and the FCC on hearing aid compatible cell phones,
• Barbara Kelley, HLAA deputy director represented HLAA at a reception for the initiation of a capital campaign for a new School for the Deaf in Lexington, Kentucky. Former President Bill Clinton was the guest of honor and Starkey was the presenting sponsor. The HLAA Kentucky state chapter coordinator and other HLAA chapter members were in attendance. We plan to follow up with a request that President Clinton become involved in helping us fight stigma of hearing loss.