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HLAA Convention – Keynote Speaker

One of my favorite presentations at the HLAA Convention was by Chris Artinian, President and CEO of Morton’s Restaurant Group.  Both Chris and his wife are hearing, but deafness in common in their families and they are fluent in sign language and comfortable in both the Deaf culture and the hearing world.  When their son, Peter, was born deaf, Chris and his wife had a difficult decision to make.  Do they get a cochlear implant for their son or do they accept his deafness?  This struggle has been documented in a film, “Sound and Fury” produced in 2000.  It is captioned and available from Netflix.  I just added it to my queue and can’t wait to see it!  Here is the description:

Josh Aronson’s documentary takes an unexpected approach to the “medical miracle” film by examining the political and emotional turmoil that erupts between brothers over the cochlear implant that might allow their deaf children to hear. The ways in which a so-called miracle cure can divide as well as heal families and communities is the focus of Sound and Fury, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

HLAA Convention – PowerPoint Presentations

I recently returned from the HLAA 2011 Convention and the Hearing Loop Conference in Washington, D.C.  It was fabulous!  Lots of great information which I will  be sharing here.

The PowerPoint presentations from many of the workshop are available online.
(click on the highlighted titles)

HLAA Convention:

Hearing Loop Conference:

Personal Amplifier

There are several personal amplifiers on the market that work very well.  I would like to discuss one of my favorite devices called the “Pocketalker” by Williams Sound.  The Pocketalker is the most popular assisted listening device I sell and I use it myself.  I keep one in my car and one in the house, so I always have it available when needed.

Basically, the Pocketalker is a small portable microphone and amplifier that amplifies sounds close to the listener while reducing background noise.  Some of the features that make it so popular are:

  • small, lightweight, easy to carry in purse or pocket
  • simple, easy to use controls.
  • separate volume and tone controls
  • low battery indicator light
  • 5 year warranty
  • clip for attaching to belt or shirt
  • may be used with an inductive neckloop
  • comes with a 12 ft. extension cord for TV listening

There are a variety of options for connecting with the Pocketalker.  Various headphones and earbuds are available as well as a neckloop for people with t-coil equipped hearing aids.

For more pictures and prices go to:  http://www.heargear.net/pocketalkers

Assisted Listening Devices are not for Sissies!

Assisted listening devices (ALD’s) are not for sissies!  ALD’s are for people who have a hearing loss and are brave enough to say, “I have a hearing loss and I am using a device to help me hear.”  These devices are mostly visible.  No more pretending you hear just fine.  No more denial or bluffing!  ALD’s are for someone who wants to take control of their hearing challenges and keep actively involved in life!


Assisted Listening Devices

I’m going to move on to a new topic.  If you have any questions about purchasing a new hearing aid, you can leave a comment here or use the “Contact Us” page on my website:  www.heargear.net.

I’d like to start discussing assisted listening devices.  I meet a lot of people who wear good hearing aids but still struggle to hear in certain environments.  Hearing aids are fabulous but will not “fix” your hearing problem.  People who expect hearing aids to give them normal hearing are going to be disappointed.  Listening situations that are challenging include:

  1.  Large rooms with  poor acoustics
  2. Sitting far away from the person speaking
  3. Noisy rooms
  4. In the car
  5. Small meetings in which one participate speaks very quietly.

In these situations, an assisted listening device can be an excellent solution.  Assisted listening devices (or “ALD’s) refer to a wide variety of devices that can help you hear, such as:  personal amplifiers, wireless FM devices, TV listeners, neckloops, alerting systems, and inductive loop systems.

Hearing Aid Feature #6 – Directional Microphones

Last but not least:  Directional Microphones.  Getting back to the subject of what hearing aid features to look for when shopping for a new hearing aid…..directional microphones can be very helpful.  I think most hearing aids come with this feature, although some are automatic and others have a “restaurant” program to activate it in a noisy environment.   The directional microphone emphasizes sound coming from one direction, usually the front, while suppressing noise coming from other directions.

Help Make Captioned Radio a Reality

Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons, along with Hearing Loss Association of America, has been working with National Public Radio and Towson University for several years to make radio broadcasts accessible. We are close to the finish line!
We invite everyone who supports this request for funding to sign onto a letter to Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Captionedradiosupport to read the letter and sign on by providing your name and your street address or city/state and email address.