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Richard Einhorn

There was an article in the New York Times on Monday, October 24th about hearing loops.  The article is about Richard Einhorn, a composer, who recently suffered a sudden, profound hearing loss.  I love his description of his first experience with a hearing loop at the Kennedy Center:  “There I was at ‘Wicked’ weeping uncontrollably — and I don’t even like musicals,” he said. “For the first time since I lost most of my hearing,  live music was perfectly clear, perfectly clean and incredibly rich.”

You can read the entire article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/science/24loops.html

I hope this article will make more people aware of hearing loops and hearing aids with t-coils.  I meet so many people with hearing aids that do not understand the function of t-coils.  Please see my description of t-coils and hearing loops on my website:  http://www.heargear.net/T-coils_and_Loops

I met Richard at the HLAA Convention in DC last summer.  He is a shining example of someone who really took charge of his hearing loss.  Some people who lose their hearing seem to accept their fate and withdraw from activities that are now difficult.  Richard has been proactive.

Being proactive means:
get hearing aids (and keep working with your audiologist until you are happy with them)
learn about assisted listening devices and purchase those you need
join HLAA
attend meetings of your local HLAA chapter
attend the national HLAA conventions and state conferences
educate yourself!

Richard has done all of this and more.  He is now advocating for hearing loops nationwide.  Thank you, Richard!

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When to Tell a Prospective Employer about your Hearing Loss

I would like to share some information posted by Michael Kaplan from the Hearing Loss Association of Los Angeles  on their Facebook page.  I’ve always wondered about this (even though I’m not looking for a job) and think this is very important information to know.

From Michael:  I just spent the morning taking a Disabilities training course with the HR team at my job ………… Towards the end of the training, the discussion moved to job interviews, and what questions you can and can’t ask employees. Here’s the definitive answer:

You CAN NOT ask a potential employee about any possible disability, or ANYTHING involving their personal medical condition. You may only ask employees the following question:

“Is there any reason you could NOT perform the job as outlined in the job description, with or without accommodations?”

The correct answer, of course, is: “NO.”

Once you are on the payroll, and ONLY then, you are free to request the specific accommodations your disability requires to perform the duties in the job description. For those with moderate hearing loss, that usually involves special phone equipment (amplified handsets or a CapTel equivalent).

Bottom line for anyone seeking work these days: You are under NO OBLIGATION to reveal a disability or anything about your current medical condition; in turn, an employer can NOT ask about you anything about your medical status. This isn’t a question of University policy. This is the law, both on the state and federal level.

Be Cautious of this Offer!

I was very concerned to see this article today:  http://www.hearingreview.com/insider/2011-10-06_01.asp

It states that “HealthInnovations, a new UnitedHealth Group business, announced that it is bringing to market a suite of four high-tech direct-to-consumer hearing aids that will be self-fit and offered at $749 to $949 for “retail consumers,” and with no out-of pocket expense for some UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members.”

I would be very skeptical about purchasing a “self-fit” hearing aid!!  I think the audiologist or hearing aid specialist is essential to getting a proper fit.  I have met many people who are dissatisfied with their hearing aids and I think it is because they are unwilling to spend the time needed in working with a professional until they are satisfied.  I love my hearing aids and am happy to pay more to have my audiologist’s expert services!  So, consumer beware!