On Sabbatical to Advocate for Hearing Loops

With HLAA Keynote speaker Dr. David Myers and Audiologist Dr. Mark Ross

My yearlong sabbatical to advocate for hearing loops has started! This promises to be an interesting and exciting year as so much is happening with hearing loops.

In June I taught a class to audiology students at the University of Texas at Dallas. Thanks to the wonderful world of computers, Skype, a camera on my laptop computer and PowerPoint I was able to appear in the classroom and talk to these students of the benefits of hearing loops. They had many questions and several expressed an interest in doing some research with hearing loops. Something that is much needed!  Kudos to Carol Cokely, PhD audiologist and professor at UTD for arranging this seminar.

On June 20th Max, my husband (and hearing loop engineer) and I traveled to Providence RI to attend the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA ) 2012 convention. Dr. David Myers (creator of www.hearingloop.org ) was the invited keynote speaker and he introduced me as the HLAA National Hearing Loop Advocate.  It was great to see so many friends from the past 2 HLAA conventions we have attended.  I spoke with many members interested in moving hearing loops forward in their own communities all over the country. As audiologist Cynthia Compton-Conley discusses in her blog:  If you have a hearing loss and are searching for information, HLAA is a great place to start.

Brenda Battat, HLAA’s executive director has written eloquently about the benefit of hearing loops to all hearing aid and cochlear implant users in her: blog  That many members enjoyed the hearing loop during the opening session at the convention can be clearly seen in this short video clip   where I can be seen ( though  barely) and heard (loud and clear – thanks mam and dad for giving me a loud voice!).

Bergen Harbor

From Rhode Island Max and I traveled to Bergen Norway to attend the IFHOH World Congress for People with Hearing Loss.  This was an international meeting where I had a chance to meet many attendees and their families who represented national organizations of and for hard of hearing and deafened people from 40 countries.  Brenda Battat and Dr. Patricia Kricos, past president of the American Academy of Audiology and I presented on the progress of hearing loop usage in the United States.

The simplicity (all a user needs to do is push on a button on their hearing instrument), immediacy (it works right away – no need to pick up a separate listener device),  the invisibility (no one even needs to know you are using a hearing loop!), the power effectiveness (loops don’t drain the hearing aid battery) and universality (loops in Amsterdam or Oslo’s Opera Houses and the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire, Ill all work the same way) make hearing loops the assistive hearing technology of choice of users worldwide. There was much interest in the progress that has been made in the last three years in the USA.

Bergen Harbor in the background

Thanks to dry weather (most unusual for Bergen,  so we heard) we got to see some beautiful sights in Norway; we enjoyed a few hikes, dropped off several geocaches, ate local salmon on the famous local fish market, and toured the Sognafjord by train, bus and boat, and Edvard Grieg’s home near Bergen.

Max at IFHOH registration

With the support of consumers, audiologists and hearing healthcare professionals and audio engineers Max and I will work to travel to help jumpstart hearing loop initiatives all over the country in the next year.  We are looking forward to this adventure.

Stay tuned for another progress report!https://loopwisconsin.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/bergen-max-js1.jpg

 

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