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HLAA 2016 Convention – Part 3

In my last two posts, HLAA 2016 Convention – Part I and HLAA 2016 Convention – Part 2
I discussed new products I learned about at the HLAA 2016 Convention.  Now I would like to share some amazing new apps!

ava (www.ava.me)
I was most impressed with a new voice-to-text app called ava (often written as &ava).  The free app was created by Transcense and a team of developers including one man who is deaf and one Coda (Child of Deaf Adults).  Everyone you want to communicate with must download the app.  When  you speak into your phone, you and the other person will see very fast accurate text that appears in easy to read color coded blocks.  The other person can reply by speaking or typing.  You can attach a lapel microphone to make it even easier to use.  Excellent app to communicate with the Deaf and hard-of-hearing!  Also a great way to communicate in a noisy restaurant or talk to a friend on the other end of a long table.  Ava stands for “Audio Visual Accessibility” and it will work with iPhones and Androids.  Ava is free for 5 hours/month and $29/month for unlimited use. 

The video below will give you more information on how to use ava.

Ava will be released Sept. 5th for public download.  For now you need to be invited by someone who has the app or go to bit.ly/getava to download it.


Petralex (www.petralex.pro)
Petralex Hear It Clear
Petralex is a free app that turns your phone into a personal amplifier.  It can be used with earbuds or a neckloop and the microphone in your cell phone amplifies nearby sounds.  The Petralex app works with iPhones and Android phones.  It includes a hearing test and adjusts the amplification to your hearing loss.

Petralex is made by “IT for you,” and they also make Petralex Music which adjusts your music to your hearing loss, Petralex Radio, and Petralex Windows.  I walked around the exhibit hall and used it to talk to vendors and it worked quite well!

Jacoti Listen App (www.jacoti.com)
Jacoti 3
Jacoti Listen App is similar to the Petralex App as it converts your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (not available for Android phones) into a personal amplifier.  Like Petralex, the app includes a hearing test and it uses the built-in microphone to pick up sounds nearby.  It can be used with ear buds or a neckloop and also incudes Jacoti Music Player for listening to music.  the Jacoti Hearing App is the the world’s first CE approved and USA FDA registered medical device standalone software hearing aid.
Jacoti 2

Ava and Petralex are brand new apps.  Jacoti has been around for a few years and has more applications.  The Jacoti Listen App is part of the Jacoti Hearing Suite which include Jacoti Lola Classroom.  Lola Classroom is a WiFi based app that sends the sound of the teacher’s voice to the students using Lola.

Tina Childress (http://tina-childress.com)


Another workshop I attended at the Convention was “C-APP-italizing on Technology” presented by Tina Childress.  Tina is an audiologist, professional speaker, and hearing loss advocate.  She is late deafened with bilateral cochlear implants.  Tina is an amazing resource!  She has compiled  an exhaustive list of apps for hard-of-hearing children and adults:  http://bit.ly/Apps4HL  and has a blog at:  http://del.icio.us/hlpuears.  You can also find her on Facebook.

InnoCaption (www.innocaptions.com)

InnoCaptions Logo
InnoCaptions is a free service that captions your cell phone calls.  It works on Android and iPhones.  There are several cell phone captioning services now:  Hamilton Captel, Clear Captions, Caption Call (for iPads), and now Innocaptions.  I haven’t used any of these services regularly, so can’t really evaluate which is best.  Several presenters at the convention recommended InnoCaptions, so I think it would be worth a try.


Hope you try some of these apps and find them helpful.  If you have used other apps that you would recommend, please leave a comment.  Thanks!

HLAA 2016 Convention – Part 2

In my last blog post, HLAA 2016 Convention – Part 1, I discussed the new Oticon Opn hearing aids.  Now I’d like to discuss another new hearing aid, a new device from Phonak, and a new gadget to alert you to cell phone calls and texts.

earVenture  (www.earVenture.net)

EarVenture is a high-quality, low-cost hearing aid that is only sold through hearing health care professionals.  It is not a PSAP!  It is a programmable hearing aid and FDA registered.  According to their website, “As many patients consider unregulated, over-the-counter or online alternatives, we feel that earVenture devices, combined with professional diagnosis, verification and fitting protocol supplied by an audiologist, will offer a better patient outcome.”

EVH5001-1EVH5002-1   EVH5021-1
EarVenture makes 3 styles:  the reVeI, the faVor, and the saVvy.  The BTE hearing aids have a t-coil.  The price varies, depending on where you buy it, but I was told it costs in the “hundreds” not in the “thousands.”  I think this is a great business model and I hope more companies start to offer similar low-cost hearing aids.  They can keep the price down as they do no marketing directly to consumers and I like that unlike the over-the-counter and online hearing aids, this one must be fitted by a hearing health professional.  Sounds great – better than a PSAP, cheaper than most hearing aids, and fitted by a professional!

Phonak Table Microphone

Don’t tell my husband, but I am in love…………..with Roger.  I wrote about “Roger” in a previous post:  Wireless Microphones for Hearing Aids

I have tried the Roger Pen, the Roger Easy Pen, and the Roger Clip-on Mic and the sound quality is amazing!  You don’t have to wear Phonak hearing aids to use these devices.  Now Phonak has added another tool for listening in meetings, the Roger Table Mic

Roger Table Mic

The Roger Table Mic is a wireless microphone specifically designed to transmit clear sound to your hearing aids during meetings.  As with the other Roger devices, you must have a receiver such as the Roger My Link neckloop or the Roger X receiver attached to your hearing aids, cochlear implant processor, or Bluetooth streamer.  The Table Mic has a greater range than the Roger Pen (up to 100 feet) and for larger meetings, it´s possible to use several Roger Table Mics across the table.  If you already have a Roger Pen, you can use that along with the Table Mic to extend the range.

Ditto  (www.simplematters.com)


Ditto is a tiny (but mighty!) device you can put in your pocket, clip on your shirt, or wear on a wristband.  It vibrates to alert you to cell phone notifications. With the free Wear Ditto app, you can select the notifications you want to receive – calls, texts, e-mails, calendar, and third party apps.  No more constantly checking your phone and no more missed calls!  It never has to be charged and the battery lasts for months.  It even has a built-in wireless tether. When you’re about to leave your phone behind, Ditto will vibrate to warn you!

This is a handy “wearable” for anyone, not just those with hearing loss.  And….Hear Gear is selling the Ditto at a 10% discount!  Use coupon code “DITTOTEN” at check-out.

Watch this video to see the many uses of the Ditto and how it can free you from worrying about your smartphone and be more present in life.


So many new products!  If any of you have tried earVentures, the Phonak Table Mic, or the Ditto, we’d love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment.  Thanks!