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I Listen... / J'écoute...
Your monthly e-newsletter ~ Votre e-bulletin mensuel
Welcome to I Listen... / Bienvenue à j'écoute...
Welcome to I Listen! I Listen is a monthly e-newsletter delivered to your inbox monthly. The stories are of interest to Canadians with hearing loss. The information is drawn from news media across Canada and around the world, and chosen to raise awareness of communication strategies that assist hard of hearing people in their daily lives. CHHA is the national voice for Canadians with hearing loss, and is a non-profit consumer organization.

Bienvenue à J'écoute! J'écoute est un bulletin électronique mensuel livré à votre boîte de réception, à chaque mois. L'information est tirée de diverses sources de partout au Canada et dans le monde entier. Notre objectif est de sensibiliser les malentendants et de leur permettre de choisir des stratégies de communication qui les aident dans leur vie quotidienne. L'AMEC, un organisme à but non lucratif, est la voix nationale des Canadiens ayant une déficience auditive.
                                                             November 16, 2017 | Issue Number 21

Message from the President
Myrtle Barrett
As we move closer to the end of 2017, we are moving closer to a year of new beginnings. It has been a busy time in the search for an Executive Director, we aim to be in a constant mode of growth over the coming months and the following is an example of what is to come moving forward:
  • This year’s CHHA Scholarships are officially launched this week, created for students who live with hearing loss, including the new Carrell Hearn Memorial Scholarship;
  • A special youth forum is taking place this week through the Spotlight Project, highlighting the needs of young people who live with non-visible disabilities;
  • A special edition of “Listen / Écoute”, CHHA’s magazine will be mailed out in time for the winter holidays; and
  • Work is wrapping up for CHHA’s new website featuring a new look and more resources for our member and the public, to be launched early in 2018.
We are looking to incorporate the needs of our members and people living with hearing loss into our activities as we move forward.
 
As always, your comments will be welcome during the continued growth of our association. We look forward to hearing from you at any time, so if you have any questions please reach out to us at info@chha.ca.
 
Please stay tuned for continual updates from the association in your monthly e-newsletter!


Myrtle Barrett
President - CHHA National Board of Directors
president@chha.ca
CHHA NEWS
Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project: Youth Forum
CHHA National
CHHA’s Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project will now be focusing on the importance of changing hearts and minds around non-visible disabilities, including hearing loss, mental health and learning disabilities.  It will focus on youth and how they can contribute to the upcoming accessibility legislation by discussing and recommending ways to encourage a more inclusive and accessible Canada. 
 
Here are a few activities taking place in the next coming months.  We encourage participation from everyone and if you could promote these further throughout your networks and on social media, that would be greatly appreciated.   
  • NEW online youth survey – link here.  (printable questionnaires are also available should you have any upcoming youth events)
  • Live Webcast Youth Panel Discussion – November 16th from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST – link here
  • Newly launched video focusing on non-visible disabilities and the importance of inclusion and compassion.  Watch here.
Thank you again for your participation and ongoing engagement as we contribute to building a more inclusive and accessible Canada.  For more information, please visit the Spotlight webpage http://chha.ca/chha/spotlight.php
 
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Projet Pleins feux sur les déficiences invisibles : Table ronde jeunesse
Bureau Nationale de l'AMEC
L’AMEC, dans le cadre de son projet Pleins feux sur les déficiences invisibles, mettra l’accent sur le changement des mentalités à l'égard des déficiences invisibles, dont la perte auditive, les problèmes de santé mentale et les troubles d’apprentissage. Ses efforts seront centrés sur les jeunes et sur la façon dont ils peuvent contribuer à l'établissement de la prochaine loi sur l'accessibilité, en discutant et en recommandant des façons de favoriser l’amélioration de l’inclusion et de l’accessibilité au sein de la société canadienne. 

Voici un aperçu des activités qui auront lieu au cours des prochains mois. Nous encourageons fortement la participation de tous les partenaires. Nous vous saurions gré de promouvoir ces activités au sein de vos propres réseaux et dans les médias sociaux.   
  • NOUVEAU Sondage en ligne auprès des jeunes – Lien (J’ai aussi des questionnaires imprimables, si vous tenez prochainement des activités pour jeunes.)
  • Table ronde jeunesse en direct – 16 novembre, de 13 h - 15 h, HNE (discussion sera en anglais|) – Lien
  • Vidéo récente sur les déficiences invisibles et l’importance de l’inclusion et de la compassion. Regardez-la ici.
De nouveau, je vous remercie de votre participation et de votre engagement soutenu à l'égard de la création d’un Canada pleinement inclusif et accessible.
 
Si vous désirez de plus amples renseignements, veuillez visiter http://chha.ca/amec/spotlight.php.

 
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Are you a post-secondary student who lives with hearing loss?
Apply for the CHHA Scholarships for financial assistance!
CHHA National

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is pleased to offer financial assistance to students who live with hearing loss. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you have until March 31, 2018 to apply to any of CHHA’s three scholarships:

Frank Algar Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)
The Frank Algar Memorial Scholarship was created in 2004 by the Algar family in memory of their father who was one of the founding members of CHHA and provided outstanding service for many years to the work of the association at the National, Chapter and Branch levels.  He received numerous awards on behalf of his advocacy for the hard of hearing and people with disabilities, including the Marilyn Dahl Award of Merit in 2002 and the President’s Award in 1996.

The Dr. Charles A. Laszlo Scholarship ($1,000)
This scholarship was created in 2007 by Dr. Doreen Laszlo to honour the commitment and work of her husband on behalf of hard of hearing people. Dr. Charles A. Laszlo was the founding President of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and served on its Executive and Board of Directors in various capacities for 16 years. He also served as President of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People. Dr. Laszlo also served a six-year term as the President of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Foundation.
This scholarship is awarded to hard of hearing students who have shown both academic achievements in their post-graduate program and commitment to work on behalf of other hard of hearing people.

Carrell Hearn Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)
This new scholarship is being offered by the North Shore Branch in memory of Carrell Hearn a resident of West Vancouver, BC who passed away in 2014 at the age of 105. Carrell was a long-time member and generous supporter of the CHHA North Shore Branch as well as a number of other local North Shore charities.

If you are a post secondary student who lives with hearing loss, you can apply for any of the CHHA Scholarships. To confirm if you meet the criteria to apply, please click on Scholarship program eligibility.
The 2018 scholarship application form is now available online, with a deadline of March 31, 2018 at 3 pm (EST). Please click here to access the application or here for more information on the other scholarships offered by CHHA.

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Êtes vous un étudiant postsecondaire ayant des troubles d’audition?
Posez votre candidature au programme de bourses d’études de l’Association des malentendants canadiens pour obtenir une aide financière!

Bureau Nationale de l'AMEC
L’Association des malentendants canadiens (AMEC) est heureuse d’offrir une aide financière aux étudiants malentendants. Si vous répondez aux critères d’admissibilité, vous avez jusqu’au 31 mars 2018 pour poser votre candidature pour l’une ou l’autre des trois bourses d’études offertes par l’AMEC :
 
La bourse d’études commémorative Frank Algar (1 000 $)
La bourse d’études commémorative Frank Algar a été créée en 2004 par les membres de la famille Algar, à la mémoire de leur père, qui était un des membres fondateurs de l’AMEC et qui a éminemment contribué, pendant de nombreuses années, au travail de l’Association à l’échelle du réseau national, des chapitres et des secteurs. Il a reçu de nombreux prix pour son travail de défense des droits des personnes malentendantes et handicapées, notamment le Prix du mérite Marilyn Dahl en 2002 et le Prix du président en 1996.
 
La bourse d’études Dr. Charles A. Laszlo (1 000 $)
Cette bourse d’études a été créée en 2007 par Mme Doreen Laszlo pour souligner le dévouement de son mari et le travail qu’il a réalisé au nom des personnes malentendantes. M. Charles A. Laszlo, président fondateur de l’AMEC, a exercé diverses fonctions au sein de l’organisation pendant 16 ans, en tant que dirigeant et que membre du conseil d’administration. Il a également été président de l’International Federation of Hard of Hearing People. M. Laszlo a également occupé pendant 6 ans le poste de président de la Fondation de l’AMEC. Cette bourse d’études est remise à des étudiants malentendants, qui affichent de bons résultats scolaires dans le cadre de leur programme d’études supérieures et qui démontrent un engagement à travailler au nom des autres personnes malentendantes.
 
La bourse d’études commémorative Carrell Hearn (1 000 $)
Cette bourse d’études est offerte par le secteur de North Shore, à la mémoire de Carrell Hearn, une résidente de West Vancouver, en Colombie Britannique, qui est décédée, en 2014, à l’âge de 105 ans. Carrell était un membre de longue date de l’AMEC et soutenait généreusement le secteur de North Shore depuis de nombreuses années, de même que plusieurs autres organismes de bienfaisance locaux de North Shore.
 
Si vous êtes un étudiant postsecondaire ayant des troubles d’audition, vous pouvez poser votre candidature à l’une ou l’autre des bourses d’études de l’AMEC. Pour vérifier si vous répondez aux critères d’admissibilité, veuillez consulter la section « Éligibilité aux bourses ».
 
Le formulaire de demande de bourse d’études 2018 est maintenant disponible en ligne; vous avez jusqu’au 31 mars 2018, à 15 h (HNE), pour poser votre candidature. Veuillez cliquer ici pour accéder au formulaire de demande ou ici pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements sur les autres bourses d’études offertes par l’AMEC.
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CHHA EVENTS
CHHA Sudbury launches Ultimate Dream Home Lottery
CHHA Sudbury Branch
The Ultimate Dream Home Lottery campaign has been officially launched by CHHA Sudbury Branch, and this year online ticket sales have been launched opening up fundraising efforts across Ontario. Only 87,500 tickets issued. Tickets are $20.00 each and available until January 8, 2018. Drawing will take place at the Dream Home (835 Robinson Drive, Sudbury) at approximately 2:00 p.m. January 31, 2018. The Ultimate Dream Home Lottery is the main fundraiser for the CHHA Sudbury Branch, sustaining their programs offered to residents across Northern Ontario, including various workshops and classes, Assistive Devices Library, Student Bursary, Hear the Children Fund, Hearing Aid Assistance Fund, and community outreach services.
READ MORE
Sound Advice monthly meetings
CHHA North Shore Branch 
CHHA North Shore Branch offers Sound Advice monthly meetings which are held on the first Friday of each month from 10:00 am to 12 noon at the West Vancouver’s Senior Activity Centre, 695-21st Street in West Vancouver. There are no meetings in the months of July and August. Sound Advice is a monthly series of informal workshops and discussions around issues affecting hard of hearing. For more information, call 604-926-5222-1170.
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Broadcasting Accessibility for People Who Live with Hearing Loss
CHHA National

Do you or someone you know have trouble understanding audio on television, radio or on the internet? There are resources available that can help!
 
People living with hearing loss may have trouble understanding the speech and sounds of television, on the radio, or in video or audio featured on websites. They may hear the words being spoken, but not understand them. Background noise, music, and overlapping speech make it difficult to hear worlds clearly or identify sound effects.
 
Thankfully, there are resources and accessibility technology that fills in the missing information to help improve understanding, so everyone can enjoy the content without barriers.
 
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) has developed a suite of resources to help people living with hearing loss, CHHA’s Chapters and Branches and the public recognize and use the accessibility features available, how they can get involved in improving upon current features, as well as opportunities for growth, links to resources and regulations.
 
Visit CHHA’s Broadcasting Accessibility Hub for more information on:

Broadcasting is how businesses and organizations reach out to the public to deliver their message, and it’s very important that these broadcasts reach a full audience to have the greatest impact. This initiative will assist consumers, as an educational tool to learn what standards are in place for broadcasting, how to use the tools in place to ensure accessibility, and what to do when accessibility standards aren’t met. Visit the Broadcasting Accessibility Hub today to learn more!
 

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Accessibilité de la radiodiffusion pour les personnes malentendantes
Bureau Nationale de l'AMEC

Est-ce que vous, ou une personne de votre entourage, avez du mal à comprendre le contenu audio diffusé à la télévision, à la radio ou sur Internet? Il existe des ressources pour vous aider!

Les personnes malentendantes ont parfois de la difficulté à comprendre les paroles et les sons diffusés à la télévision et à la radio, de même que dans les contenus audio et vidéo sur Internet. Dans certains cas, elles entendent certes les mots prononcés, mais elles ne les comprennent pas. Les bruits de fond, la musique et les dialogues chevauchants font en sorte qu’il est plus difficile pour les personnes malentendantes d’entendre les mots clairement, ou encore de reconnaître les effets sonores.

Heureusement, il existe des ressources et des technologies d’accessibilité pour les personnes malentendantes qui permettent de compléter l’information manquante et de favoriser une meilleure compréhension, afin que tous aient une chance égale de profiter du contenu sans restriction.

L’Association des malentendants canadiens (AMEC) a mis au point un ensemble de ressources pour amener les personnes malentendantes, les chapitres et les secteurs de l’AMEC, ainsi que la population à connaître et à utiliser les outils d’accessibilité offerts, à participer à l’amélioration des outils actuels et à se tenir au courant des possibilités de croissance, des liens menant aux ressources et de la réglementation.

Nous vous invitons à visiter le Centre de l’accessibilité de radiodiffusion de l’AMEC pour obtenir des renseignements plus détaillés, notamment :

La radiodiffusion est un moyen utilisé par des entreprises et des organisations pour joindre le public et communiquer leur message; c’est pourquoi il est important que les contenus radiodiffusés soient accessibles à un large auditoire afin d’avoir un effet marquant. Axée sur les outils éducatifs, cette initiative aidera les consommateurs à connaître les normes en place en matière de radiodiffusion, à utiliser les outils existants pour garantir l’accessibilité et à prendre les mesures nécessaires lorsque les normes d’accessibilité ne sont pas respectées. Visitez le Centre de l’accessibilité de radiodiffusion dès aujourd’hui pour en apprendre d'avantage!

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CHHA EVENTS
CHHA Vancouver Branch Annual General Meeting
CHHA Vancouver Branch

The CHHA Vancouver Branch is having their Annual General Meeting on Saturday, November 17, 2017, from 1 pm to 3 pm at Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 2125 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver (Please use street parking and enter through the side door).

Feature speaker is Dr. Lorienne Jenstad from University of British Columbia and the title of her presentation is “What’s that test all about? Understanding what the audiologist is doing when setting your hearing aid to be right for you.” She will share some of the mysterious measurements that happen when people are fitted with hearing aids. Explore the “real ear measurement” and why it’s so important. She will describe what happens during the process, what sounds you might hear, and what you might see. We’ll look at examples of the measurements and what those tell you about what your hearing aids can or cannot do for you. Finally, we’ll discuss the evidence that tells us about the benefits of these measurements.

Please RSVP to this event by emailing chhavancouver@gmail.com no later than November 11th, 2017. For more information, see the PDF by clicking "Read More" below.

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Hard of Hearing Hangout
CHHA Manitoba Chapter

CHHA Manitoba Chapter is pleased to announce it's Hard of Hearing Hangout, a social evening for hard of hearing adults. The next Hangout is held on November 21st, from 7:00pm - 8:30pm in suite 204 - 825 Sherbrooke Street.

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CHHA Newfoundland Holiday Breakfast
CHHA NL Chapter
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter is offering a holiday breakfast to their members on November 25th, 2017 from 10:00am to 11:30am at the Admirals Green Clubhouse (doors open at 9:30am).  Open to current and former clients, speechreading participants, resource group members, and friends of CHHA-NL. Celebrate the holiday season with the staff and board of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador. Tickets are $10.00 per person and must be purchased in advance, online, in person or over the phone.
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Hearing aids are for speech…. not music… at least up to now…
CHHA Hamilton Branch
On Nov. 30th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, at the South Gate Church, CHHA Hamilton is hosting a special presentation by Dr. Marshall Chasin "Hearing aids are for speech…. not music… at least up to now…". Dr. Chasin will discuss how hearing aids interpret music and what can be done improve the listening experience for those who wear hearing aids. To register for this informative event, please click the link "Read Below" to connect with the CHHA Hamilton website.

CHHA Hamilton is also inviting people with hearing loss to attend special concerts hosted by the McMaster Research Team. The researchers need people with hearing loss to attend the concerts, either with hearing aids or people with some moderate hearing loss who don’t have hearing aids. Hopefully this concert will kick off a period of research where some of those people with hearing loss will come back and let us experiment on them. 

They will be able to hook up the hearing aids of concert attendees, tuning them to a hearing assisted stream to correspond with a sophisticated $200,000 dummy called KEMAR, and hopefully, give them a more enjoyable musical experience. They are launching their project next week with 2 special concert/lectures, Nov. 17 & 18 at the 100-seat theatre with music provided by the Toronto based Madawaska String Quartet. Larry Roberts, professor emeritus, McMaster department of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour, will be the speaker.
Here is the full article:  https://www.thespec.com/…/7880238-rockingham-a-special-con…/
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CHHA Event Submissions
Want to be featured in I Listen?
Submit your Chapter/Branch Event to chhanational@chha.ca
We want to hear from you!
INDUSTRY NEWS
Streaming WiFi Audio for Assistive Listening in Church
Audio Everywhere

Streaming audio over Wi-Fi for House of Worship Assistive Listening is the new new thing for the hard of hearing, for overflow areas, and for multilingual events. Here we compare Wi-Fi Audio to Loop, RF, and IR systems on multiple dimensions. We examine Android and iOS devices as receivers, discuss interfacing Wi-Fi audio systems with hearing aids, and look at the advantages gained in areas such as social media. 

Compelling mass-market numbers are driving the emergence of Wi-Fi audio as the up and coming technology. There are 1.4 billion smart phones sold every year. Indeed, smart phones are more ubiquitous than flush toilets. Also, over $15B of Wi-Fi equipment is sold every year. These numbers completely dwarf the entire assistive listening system market and lead to unmatchable economies of scale.

These economies of scale have lead to the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. Those devices are mostly smart phones powered either by the Android or iOS (Apple) operating systems. The figure above shows the percentage of people who have smart phones, nearly 70%.

Streaming Wi-Fi offers an alternative to the older technologies and there are, of course, pros and cons. Streaming Wi-Fi audio works by converting the audio source to a digital stream, compressing it, and streaming the bits over a local area network (LAN) to a Wi-Fi wireless access point (WAP or AP). From the access point, the encoded data is streamed wirelessly to personal devices such as smart phones or tablets. An App on the phone receives the signals and decodes it for the user.

We have focused on getting from a primary audio source to someone’s smart phone, but what about the last 30 cm? What we tell people is that, however they hear their smart phone today, that is how they should do it with Wi-Fi streaming audio. There is quite a large variation, including wires to in-the-ear ear buds, over-the-ear ear buds (appropriate for use with hearing aids), and headphones. Then there are T-coil type systems that connect to a hearing aid or cochlea implant. To connect to the T-coil, one can use the telecoil built into the smart phone or, more practically, a neck loop. (Our experience with trying to connect a T-coil to an iPhone 5 or 6 was not very successful.) There are low-power Bluetooth systems, again for hearing aids or cochlea implants, for instance, so-called “made for iPhone” hearing aids. It should be noted that Bluetooth itself has latency, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, that adds to any other latencies in the system. And then there is the world of streamers, which are external devices that couple the phone to the hearing aid, often with a proprietary RF link. 

An increasing number of venues are using streaming Wi-Fi Audio for assistive listening applications, either as their only solution or in conjunction with other technologies. There are numerous large and small advantages of these systems. For instance, hard of hearing people are understandably sensitive about what they put in their ears, especially ear buds of unknown providence, and using their own devices are thus appealing to them. Another subtle advantage is that when the Loop goes down in a venue, only a few people care. When the Wi-Fi goes down, everyone cares.

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Une société a développé un implant auditif de pointe fonctionnant avec l’iPhone
Le Soir

La société australienne Cochlear, spécialisée dans les appareils auditifs, a développé en collaboration avec Apple le Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, premier implant auditif conçu pour fonctionner avec l’iPhone.

Ce nouveau produit, pour l’instant uniquement disponible en Australie, est destiné aux personnes souffrant d’une déficience auditive importante, permettant à ces dernières de pouvoir effectuer confortablement depuis leur iPhone des appels, mais aussi d’écouter de la musique, visionner des vidéos et bien plus encore. Le dispositif fonctionne en envoyant le son d’un iPhone ou d’un iPad directement vers l’implant installé dans le crâne d’une personne souffrant de déficience auditive.

Le Nucleus 7 est en outre le plus petit implant auditif du monde et bénéficie d’une technologie qui a demandé des années de développement chez Apple, explique Sarah Herrlinger, la responsable du département Accessibilité à Cupertino.

Les utilisateurs d’implants auditifs de marque Cochlear pouvaient déjà streamer du son à partir de l’iPhone en utilisant un boitier Bluetooth spécifique, le BLEA, mais avec le Nucleus 7, ce boitier n’est plus indispensable pour le transfert du son.

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The Passion of an Audiologist With Hearing Loss
Guest contributor: Francisca Morneault Rouleau

I have a mild to moderate hearing loss that was diagnosed at age twelve, when my mother thought I was saying ”what?” a little too often. The professionals attributed it to otosclerosis, but years would pass before another reason was discovered.

Because my hearing loss was mild, it didn’t cause me many problems, or make me angry and rebellious. As the middle child of three sisters, I wanted to find my own place in the world and the diagnosis actually gave me something different that was just mine. All through high school, I showed off my hearing aid to my classmates and did presentations on hearing loss and hearing preservation. I never gave anyone the chance to laugh at me about my hearing loss and my audiologists were behind me every step of the way. My loss was progressive and after five years I needed bilateral amplification. Over the years, I’ve tried many different models and brands of hearing aids and right now my favorite model is the RIC (right-in-the-canal).

When I reached 12th grade, I was determined to be a teacher for hard of hearing children. But one of my audiologists said, “No, no, no, Francisca! Come spend a day with us and you’ll see that your place is with us.” I did and I loved all that I saw: the benefit of amplification so quickly after the first fit, the technician part of the job, the counselling, and especially the one on one personal aspect.

At 24, I started my career as a community audiologist in a hospital setting. I was going into community centers and schools doing presentation on hearing preservation etc. I loved it. Earlier I mentioned that I was “thrilled” about my hearing loss, but that now changed. Working on a day to day basis with hearing loss clients made me realize how much that I myself was missing out on – pillow talk, the sound of heavy rain, etc. It was no longer great not to hear all the time. I worried about losing my hearing completely and not being able to hear the music that I cherish. In my job, I was functioning relatively well, but my biggest challenge was in assessing clients’ word recognition – sometimes I could not hear what they said. In those situations, I asked them to make a sentence with the words, which worked for me, as well as using an FM system. 

Around this time, I learned the true cause of my hearing loss. My husband and I were trying to start a family and when it proved difficult, we discovered that I have partial Turner Syndrome. Both hearing loss and inability to conceive are manifestations of this chromosomal condition. For all these reasons, although I didn’t talk to anybody about it, I found myself resenting my hearing loss.

Then, through my work, I found Gael Hannan’s DVD of Unheard Voices, with its moving and humorous vignettes of living with hearing loss. I used it for a presentation and laughed so much that I started making peace with my hearing loss again. After being a community audiologist for four years, away from my home, I decided that I was ready to go back and face a new challenge. I wanted to help people in my own personal way. I didn’t want bureaucracy to dictate how long I should have with my patients and what I should or shouldn’t do during my appointments to see them faster. I wanted to really take my time with them, to know them as a person and understand their needs, their fears and shyness – to treat everyone like I would like to be treated.

I decided that I would not only go back to my home town, but would open my own practice. That was a big challenge because I’m really shy and had no previous aspirations to own a business. Thankfully, my husband is the complete opposite – a natural business man. With his help, here I am, six years into my own business with two staff. I still love what I do.

I welcome my clients as friends, to make them comfortable enough to tell me anything, even though it may have nothing to do with their ears.  I don’t always share my personal experience; not everyone needs to know about it and I don’t want them to think that I’m using it as a selling point. Some people are not ready in their acceptance journey, so I don’t burden them with my own story. At other times, if the moment is right and I feel an opening, my personal stories can help them toward acceptance. We share common challenge, limits and benefits of hearing aids and so forth. Many of my patients trust me because I know what they are going through. I never push patients toward a specific model when comes the time to make a decision however. My specific model might not be suitable or the preferred one for everybody.

My family and clients and staff encouraged me to apply for the CBDC Madawaska award. Winning it was the culmination of many years of hard work and has given me a big boost of confidence to keep on going.  

Today, I live a happy life with my husband and our two adopted daughters who are my heart and soul –my biggest accomplishment besides my work. I have many passions and still have many dreams to follow.One of these is to write a French language blog on living with loss and, hopefully in the near future, start a bursary for students with hearing loss to help them with their education.

And that is my story.

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Want to learn more about installing hearing loops?
Rick Hansen Foundation
Installing hearing loops is a major time and monetary investment, but worthwhile due to the low cost of maintenance and accessibility advantages. CHHA Edmonton Branch, with assistance from the Rick Hansen Foundation, has developed an informative video outlining how hearing loops are installed, and their benefits.

Juliette Sterkens, a US advocate for Hearing Loops, gave a presentation to CHHA Edmonton Branch regarding hearing loops - watch this video here: https://vimeo.com/236602775

Juliette also gave a talk to hearing health professionals about the benefits of looping technology - watch this video here: https://vimeo.com/236600673

In the near future, these videos will be captioned so stay tuned!

 
WATCH VIDEO
Hearing Loss in Teens: What You Must Know
Consumer Reports

A much publicized 2010 study found that hearing loss in teenagers had increased alarmingly. But new research published today in the journal Pediatrics suggests that those concerns may not be justified. 

According to the new research, about 15 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. have some degree of hearing loss, about the same percentage as back in 1994.

While this may seem like good news, the researchers warn that there's still some cause for worry. 

“We need more data so we can know what’s actually happening in this population,” says the study's author, Tyson S. Barrett, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at Utah State University.

Hearing loss in adolescents remains a significant issue, affecting slightly more of them than asthma does—and just shy of the number of teens who are obese, says Deepa L. Sekhar, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine.

Hearing problems have been linked to poor school performance, reduced social engagement and language development, and low self esteem.

Here’s what you need to know.
 

Hearing Loss Studies on Teens

The results of the 2010 study and the new study should be interpreted with caution, Barrett says.

The 2010 study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggested that hearing loss in teenagers had increased by up to 51 percent between 1994 and 2006. “This triggered some questions that maybe it had to do with all the new technology, like iPods,” Barrett says.

But that research—which analyzed results from the long-running National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)—only had information available for 1994 and 2006, not the 11 years in between.

To get a much more complete picture, Barrett says he and his co-author added NHANES data from 2008 and 2010. They found that by 2010, the apparent increase in teen hearing loss looked like it had fallen back to 1994 levels.

Barrett says that while four years of data are better than two, it’s not enough to know definitively whether rates of hearing loss in teens are actually stabilizing. (NHANES stopped collecting information on hearing in 2010.)

How to Protect Young Ears

In 2015 the World Health Organization said that about 1.1 billion teens and young adults were at risk of hearing loss. Why? Because of unsafe sound levels from personal audio devices such as smartphones and iPods, and from noisy rock concerts, sports venues, and nightclubs.

“We know that kids are using headphones more. And headphones can cause hearing loss; that is not in question,” says Brian Fligor, Ph.D., an audiologist and founder and president of Boston Audiology Consultants in Mansfield, Mass.

To help protect their hearing, experts suggest the following:  

Turn down the sound. A leading cause of hearing loss, second only to aging, Fligor says, is exposure to noise. Even a single burst of loud sound can damage the tiny hair cells that line the inner ear, often irreversibly, he says.

For this reason it's important to be mindful, whether you're experiencing the din of a rock concert, a chainsaw, a firearm, or an aircraft, he says. “Any time you have to shout for someone to understand you, you either need to turn it down, walk away, or use hearing protection,” he advises.

When using headphones, follow the 80-90 rule. Fligor recommends that patients who listen to music or other audio at 80 percent of the maximum volume do so for no more than 90 minutes per day. This can be a challenging rule for parents to enforce, he says, but if you teach them to respect their hearing and you model good behavior, they're more likely to stay within these guidelines.

The World Health Organization is currently drafting guidance to help manufacturers incorporate features that warn consumers when they’ve hit their limit, which may be useful in encouraging adherence to the 80-90 rule.

Reinforce a healthy lifestyle. Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, is one of the biggest risk factors for hearing loss, says Fligor. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in others.

Why? Experts think high blood glucose levels may damage the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the inner ear. Smoking is thought to inflict similar damage, Fligor says.

Encouraging appropriate eating and exercise habits is good for adolescents in general and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes—and be good for hearing health, too.

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How a career in hearing loss can break Canada’s sound barrier
MacLean's

Some say hearing is the sense that connects us most of all. Being blind may separate us from things, but being deaf separates us from people, according to author Helen Keller, who was both.

Yet hearing loss is growing as the Baby Boom ages and the magic little hair cells of their inner ears get too stiff to pick up higher pitches. That silence feeds isolation and can even speed up dementia. By age 65, one in three Canadians has lost some hearing. By 75, it’s almost half. Some three million Canadians already are hard of hearing and 300,000 are fully deaf, and these numbers will only climb as the ranks of seniors explode over the next 20 years.

If hearing loss poses a national health challenge, it’s also a chance for a new generation to step up and help, especially as provinces beef up the rights of the disabled to get the support they need from the classroom to the board room. Here we highlight where a master’s degree in audiology can lead, a community college program in sign language, and psychological research into the mysteries of hearing itself.

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Un spectacle de musique traduit en langue des signes
Radio-Canada

L'auteure-compositrice-interprète Samuele présentera un spectacle traduit en langue des signes afin de rendre sa musique accessible aux personnes ayant une déficience auditive.

La jeune artiste, qui était en nomination dans les catégories de la révélation de l’année et de l’album de l’année au dernier Gala de l’ADISQ, explique avoir été approchée par une personne souffrant de surdité. Cette dernière, qui lui a avoué adorer ses textes, a sensibilisé la chanteuse au fait que la musique était inaccessible pour les personnes ayant des problèmes d’audition.

Si celles-ci peuvent souffrir de surdité à différents niveaux ou encore ressentir la musique par les vibrations, elles sont peu à se rendre à des concerts.

« C’est comme aller voir un show dans une langue qu’on ne parle pas. Il y a un attrait, mais il est limité. On m’a dit que lorsqu’on prend la peine de traduire un show, les personnes sourdes se déplacent en masse », a expliqué Samuele, à Katerine Verebely, chroniqueuse culturelle à Gravel le matin.

Annick Morrisson et Marie-France Sabourin ont traduit les chansons de Samuele en langue des signes québécois. Elles accompagneront l’auteure-compositrice-interprète sur scène le 8 novembre, à 20 h, à la Sala Rossa, à l'occasion du festival Coup de cœur francophone.

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Navigating the genome to cure deafness
Science Daily

A new Tel Aviv University study solves a critical piece of the puzzle of human deafness by identifying the first group of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the auditory system.

"The research on long non-coding RNAs is crucial to understanding how gene expression and regulatory elements influence the auditory system," says Prof. Karen Avraham, Vice Dean of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. "How do changes in these inheritable parts of the genome contribute to deafness? There is a need for new approaches and entry points to gene therapy. Knowing more about how genes are controlled may help devise strategies."

Prof. Avraham led the study together with Dr. Igor Ulitsky of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The results were recently published in Scientific Reports.

As much as 98% of the human genome is "non-coding" -- it does not code for protein. RNAs contained in this non-coding part act as regulatory molecules and have a large impact on gene expression: where in the body and when during development or adulthood genes are expressed. One type of these RNA molecules, long non-coding RNAs, has been linked to a wide range of diseases and inheritable conditions such as cancer and celiac disease.

"Ours is the first report describing lncRNAs on a comprehensive level in a model of human deafness. This work provides a resource to look further into some of the lncRNAs and study their exact function in the inner ear -- a key first step towards a potential cure," Prof. Avraham says.

According to the study, identifying the lncRNAs that play an unknown role in regulating genes involved in deafness will have an impact. "Recessive mutations causing disease -- and deafness -- continue to prevail, especially in the parts of the world where marriages take place between relatives, such as in the Middle East; this is known as 'consanguinity,'" Prof. Avraham says. "LncRNAs are situated beside deafness genes, suggesting they direct and regulate these genes. By further examining these lncRNAs down the line, we may be able to help the hard of hearing, young and old alike."

The researchers performed state-of-the-art next generation sequencing (NGS) on a model of human deafness to identify the critical lncRNAs. "We generated a whole-genome lncRNA profile to recognize differentially expressed lncRNAs in developing inner ear organ systems," Prof. Avraham explains. "The resulting catalogue, which contains over 3,000 lncRNAs, summarizes for the first time their expression patterns across the auditory and vestibular systems. We focused our attention on three genes out of these lncRNAs. They were selected because of their proximity to genes related to hearing and deafness."

The researchers are currently performing experiments on specific lncRNAs to reveal their precise functions within the inner ear sensory epithelium.

"There are still a considerable number of unsolved inherited deafness cases, despite the use of NGS," Prof. Avraham concludes. "This was what first led us to start an effort to identify novel genomic regulatory elements to explore the noncoding portion of the genome. Identifying such players can eventually assist in isolating pathogenic variants or regulatory elements that can be at the root of human hearing and balance disorders."

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Les Rolling Stones, champions de monde des acouphènes ?
Pourquoi Docteur

Les Rolling Stones sont à Nanterre, pour inaugurer ce soir l’Arena, le nouveau temple de la musique « live ». Un peu moins bruyants que les grands groupes de Hard Rock, où que leurs confrères les Who, mais utilisateurs d’amplificateurs et de sonos dopés aux décibels depuis près de 60 ans (!), les Stones sont l’un des plus grands pourvoyeurs d’acouphènes au monde. Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, le guitariste des Who, Barbra Streisand… en sont des victimes célèbres mais les valeureux soldats de la fosse d’orchestre se comptent par millions.

Il n’y a pas si longtemps que le bruit le plus puissant que l’on pouvait rencontrer épisodiquement était un avion au décollage. Ce record est désormais largement battu par bon nombre de groupes lors de méga concerts, mais également des discothèques mal contrôlées ou encore de nombreuses soirées techno. Avec en prime, à la sortie, un sifflement désagréable qui heureusement ne dure que quelques heures.

Acouphènes, quand le bruit vient de l’intérieur
Si le sifflement persiste, il s’agit d’une urgence qui nécessite l’intervention d’un spécialiste. Au delà d’une semaine, on est face à un acouphène. Des bourdonnements, des tintements, des sifflements ou des chuintements, gâchent la vie de plus de 3 millions de Français dont 600 000 trouvent ces acouphènes agressifs et insupportables. Des chiffres en constante augmentation car le niveau sonore de plus en plus élevé dans notre société, génère 200 000 nouveaux cas chaque année. La plupart de ces douleurs pourraient être évitées, tout simplement en mettant en garde les enfant. Par exemple contre les baladeurs : depuis 1996, la loi impose une limite de 100 décibels. Un niveau déjà insuffisant. Un restaurant scolaire ou un carrefour routier très fréquenté représentent 95 décibels. Personne n’y resterait des heures entières. Pourtant, il n’est pas rare de voir les adolescents utiliser, pendant des heures, leurs baladeurs qu’ils débrident à 120 décibels et plus, c’est-à-dire tout proche du seuil de douleur, donc de destruction, car l’oreille est un organe qui sait résister en se détériorant sans provoquer de souffrance.

Insupportable
L’acouphène est vite insupportable ; parce qu’on ne « peut pas » ne pas entendre : impossible, à la différence des yeux, de fermer ses oreilles. Celui qui souffre ne se sent pas à l'origine du bruit et ne peut l’accepter : le cliquetis du stylo du voisin, en réunion, ne gêne jamais celui qui le génère. Enfin, la tolérance baisse au fil du temps : on supporte de moins en moins le bruit ?d’une perceuse. On connaît mal l’origine de ce symptôme dont les mécanismes sont inconnus. La plupart du temps, malgré des examens complémentaires nombreux, on ne retrouve rien. Pour soulager ces malades souvent épuisés, la mauvaise habitude de la plupart des médecins consiste à proposer, selon le principe du bruit que l’on finit par ne plus entendre par habitude, comme la circulation automobile au dehors d’un appartement, de supporter une gêne, pourtant définie la plupart du temps comme insupportable. Votre médecin ne dispose d’aucun médicament spécifique. Il fera avec ce qu’il a, sans aucune garantie d’efficacité, car la plupart ont plus d’effets indésirables que d’effets positifs… Le recours au psychiatre, mal perçu est souvent inutile.

Reste une méthode qui peut paraître un peu barbare : combattre le bruit par le bruit : musique le soir à l’endormissement ou, solution plus moderne, le « masqueur » d’acouphènes. Il s’agit d’une prothèse que l’on se met dans l’oreille et qui produit un bruit plus agréable pour l’oreille que celui de l’acouphène. Une forme de méthode Coué… Aucune solution n’est totalement efficace, mais les possibilités de soulagement suffisamment nombreuses pour ne pas se résigner.

La prévention est facile mais essentielle
Il faut répéter ces conseils simples : plus d’une heure d’écoute d’un baladeur débridé par jour fait dépasser le seuil limite. En discothèque, il faut sortir s’aérer les oreilles toutes les 30 minutes. S’il devient impossible de comprendre ce qu’il se dit à 1 mètre, c’est que le niveau dépasse 105 décibels ; un signe d’alarme important : il faut donc s’éloigner, mettre une protection discrète – en vente dans toutes les pharmacies – ou au pire, un morceau de coton. Mieux vaut être ringard que traumatisé… Et surtout ne pas prendre à la lettre le conseil des Rolling Stones avec le titre de leur tournée : « No Filter » ; pas forcement une bonne idée !
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Understanding Diplacusis
Healthy Hearing

Our auditory system is an amazing, complex mechanism that gathers and processes noise, then translates it into recognizable sound. At any given time, our ears are collecting a multitude of noises – dogs barking, the rumble of a neighbor’s lawn mower, birds tweeting, giggling children, the swoosh of a passing car on a nearby highway – and based on all that incoming information, our brain is making a lot of decisions.

For the most part, our ears hear sounds at slightly different pitches all the time, and if they are very close in pitch, the brain distinguishes them as one sound. Yet one form of hearing loss causes some people to hear sounds so differently it creates a two-sound experience known as diplacusis, sometimes called “double hearing.”

What is diplacusis?

According to a recent study published online in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, diplacusis is the “perceptual anomaly whereby the same sound is perceived as having a different pitch depending on whether it is presented in the left or the right ear.” As you can imagine, this sensation can be disturbing and troubling to those who experience it.

Hearing healthcare professionals believe diplacusis occurs when one ear develops more hearing loss than the other. There are several types:

  • Diplacusis dysharmonica is the most common type of diplacusis. It occurs when sound is perceived normally in one ear, but is heard at a different pitch in the other.
  • Diplacusis binauralis occurs when you hear the same sound differently in each ear. For example, one ear may hear a sound at a different pitch or different timing than the other.
  • Diplacusis echoica occurs when the timing of tones is slight different in each ear. As a result, you hear the same sound repeated as an echo.
  • Diplacusis monauralis occurs when one ear hears the same sound as two different sounds.

What causes diplacusis?

Those who develop diplacusis usually notice it suddenly after exposure to a loud noise, a bout with an ear infection or trauma to the head. As you can imagine, musicians notice this condition more readily than the average individual as their ears are more sensitive to pitch and tone. In addition to double hearing, individuals with diplacusis may also develop tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing noise, in the affected ear.

Diplacusis can be caused by damage to the inner ear as the result of:

Diplacusis can also be caused by an obstruction in the ear because of:

Treatment

If your diplacusis is caused by an obstruction, your hearing may return to normal once the obstruction is removed or the infection subsides. Diplacusis caused by sensorineural hearing loss is permanent, but it may be treated with hearing aids or cochlear implants.

If you notice symptoms of diplacusis or suspect you are losing your hearing, make an appointment to see a hearing healthcare professional. They can provide easy, painless testing and determine the right course of action. 

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INDUSTRY EVENTS
11th TRI conference and 2nd TINNET meeting: Disruptive Innovations in Tinnitus
March 14th to 16th, 2018 in Regensburg, Germany

We are witnessing a time period in tinnitus research with rapid developments of basic research, new clinical strategies for tinnitus treatment and enormous growth in technical innovations. Both public funding and industrial investments for tinnitus research have largely increased during the last few years. This development is also accompanied by raising awareness for tinnitus in society and increased attention of public and social media.

The conference entitled "Disruptive Innovations in Tinnitus" will give you a great opportunity to learn about the details of major breakthroughs in tinnitus. It will be a platform for knowledge-sharing, high-level scientific exchange, and inter-disciplinary networking for scientists, clinicians and technicians.

For students and early-career researchers The European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus (ESIT) will be hosting a special one-day mini conference on 13 Mar 2018. Open to all! This is an official satellite event to the 11th TRI conference, Regensburg, Germany. More details to follow.

Looking forward to meet you at the 11th TRI meeting in Regensburg in 2018.

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2017 International Day of Persons with Disabilities - Toronto Event
December 2, 2017 from 2 – 4 p.m


Please join us on Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 2 – 4 p.m. for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities event.
 
Location; Metro Hall, 55 John St., Rooms 308 and 309, Toronto
 
Program includes:
  • Susan Picarello, Assistant Deputy Minister (Ontario), Accessibility and Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities
  • City of Toronto HR Representative
  • Panelists from employment agencies and employers highlighting initiatives, programs and partnerships that increase the employment of persons with disabilities
  • Networking with employment agencies and employers
Opportunities for employment agencies and employers to be on a panel and have a display table are still available. Please inquire with Yin Brown at yinbrown@gmail.com
ASL, captioning, personal support workers, volunteers and refreshments will be provided
 
Collaborating planning organizations: Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), Balance for Blind Adults, Canadian Hearing Society (CHS), Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT), Citizens With Disabilities – Ontario (CWDO), CNIB, Magnet (online job-matching platform for people with disabilities), National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS).
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University of Ottawa seeking out volunteers with ideas for accessibility technology!
Apply by December 15th.
The University of Ottawa, in partnership with undergraduate Engineering programs, are seeking out volunteers who live with hearing loss to provide accessibility ideas for potential product design classes that are run through the uottawa Richard L'Abbé Makerspace.

The Engineering students learn how to use all kinds of different technologies like 3D printers and learn about the design process and use it to make a product. This is a second-year class with students from many different faculties.

If you have a hearing loss and have problem in your life that could be improved with an accessibility design, the University of Ottawa needs you! All volunteers would meet with the students 3 times during the semester (meetings can be conducted virtually) and they will try to 'solve' the problem you give them. You would give them context on the problem, what kinds of things you would like to include, what kinds of things you would think that are crucial to include, etc.
 
If you have questions and if you are interested, please email Justine Boudreau at jboud030@uottawa.ca by December 15th.
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