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Your monthly e-newsletter ~ Votre e-bulletin mensuel
Welcome to I Listen... / 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 a À J'écoute! À J'écoute est un bulletin électronique mensuel livré à votre boîte de réception, le premier mercredi du 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 est la voix nationale des Canadiens ayant une déficience auditive. Nous sommes un organisme sans but lucratif.
April 2018 | Issue Number 24


Dear CHHA friends,
Welcome to the April Issue of I Listen.  It is my pleasure to connect with you as the new National Executive Director for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. 

As an organization that depends on hundreds of volunteers coast-to-coast, it is so critical to recognize the work and effort you make on behalf of CHHA on a daily basis to ensure it meets its mission and vision. National Volunteer Week takes place April 15-21 and I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to you all for your contributions. Your work tackles tough challenges, inspires change, builds stronger and more resilient communities and makes the world a more accessible place for those living with hearing loss. 

In the coming months we will be making some exciting changes in the ways we communicate with you, and we will be sharing more details with you in the weeks to come. To ensure our reach is as broad as possible, please invite your chapters and branch members, family and friends, professionals who work with us, such as audiologists and speech language pathologists, and others to sign up for our e-newsletter I Listen.

I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you who have reached out to me over the past month, sending notes of encouragement and congratulations.  I am proud to learn of all the work we have done and continue to do to break down barriers for those living with hearing loss.
Thank you for all that you do.

Christopher T. Sutton
CHHA National Executive Director 
Canadian Hard of Hearing Association appoints Christopher T. Sutton as its National Executive Director

February 23, 2018-Ottawa, ON - The Board of Directors of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is pleased to announce that it has selected Christopher T. Sutton, MBA, as its next National Executive Director.

Myrtle Barrett, President of the CHHA National Board of Directors says, “the National Board of Directors is ecstatic to have Christopher joining CHHA as it’s next National Executive Director. Christopher comes to CHHA with a wealth of experience working with some of the largest organizations for people with disabilities in the world. Christopher’s career has spanned across the non-profit, private and public sectors in both the United States and Canada, where he has worked in various leadership capacities. Christopher has the passion, vision, experience and knowledge that CHHA requires in its next leader.”

A search committee was established by the Board of Directors in November and led by Carole Willans, Kim Scott and Jane Scott. The committee recommended Christopher’s appointment noting that, “it was extremely pleased to recommend Christopher to this role and that he would be the first National Executive Director to lead CHHA with a profound hearing loss. Christopher is very well respected in both the hearing health sector and disability community and the committee was impressed with Christopher’s leadership and advocacy in the areas of diversity, inclusion and accessibility. Christopher has outstanding educational credentials, which includes holding a Masters in Business Administration from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. In addition, Christopher has a wealth of experience in business development, fundraising, government and stakeholder relations and governance which will be invaluable to CHHA as it looks to its future.”

Christopher says, “I am both humbled and honoured to be joining the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association as its next National Executive Director, I have personally been connected to CHHA from a young age and have seen first-hand the impact of its work on people living with hearing loss from coast-to-coast. CHHA was there and helped my family when they learned I had hearing loss as a child and it continued to play an important role in my life as an adult. I’ve been so fortunate that over the years I have been able to work with so many amazing people at CHHA from across the country, people who have become my roles models and have helped me get to where I am today. I am extremely excited about all the work and opportunities we have ahead of us. I look forward to working with the National Board of Directors, staff, partners, chapters and branches, and most importantly our membership from across the country.”

Christopher will be starting in this role effective February 26, 2018. You can send him your wishes by email at
CHHA: Labrador West News

CHHA: Labrador West Branch is pleased to announce that they have supplied all churches in Labrador West with a Sound system to help congregations hear church services better. This was accomplished with a significant donation from the Iron Ore Company of Canada/Rio Tinto.  The remaining cost was paid by the local CHHA branch in Labrador West.  Now all 6 churches in Labrador West have hearing accessibility.

Congratulations CHHA: Labrador West Branch!
CHHA: Hamilton Branch

The CHHA: Hamilton Branch newsletter is now available. Read all about the latest goings-on, including news from their last AGM. 
CHHA: BC Chapter

Discover the latest news from the province of BC, and find out what the local branches have been up to in this newsletter. 
CHHA: North Shore Branch

Head on out to North Vancouver and discover what the CHHA: North Shore branch has been up to, as well as events happening soon. 
CHHA Newsletter Submissions
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Submit your Chapter/Branch Newsletter to
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Online Survey Winners

The final Spotlight Project national survey brought in responses from over 200 Canadians. As part of the survey, respondents were entered into a random draw. The winners of the draw were: 
  • Taylor Lewis, Victoria, BC - $100 VISA Card
  • Maria Hutner, Toronto, ON - $100 VISA Card
  • Laura Glover, Simcoe, ON – CHHA Lifetime Membership
Congratulations! And thanks to all who participated in the survey - your answers were thoughtful and comprised a central part of the Spotlight Project Year 2 report to the government. (See below for more information on the Year 2 Report.)
Important Survey on Live Captioning in Canada
Dear CHHA Members and TV Caption viewers,
We need your help to shape the future of live captioning of TV in Canada by participating in a vitally important user preferences survey. Qualified respondents who complete the survey will stand a chance to win one of five $250 prepaid Visa gift cards.
If you have not yet filled out this important survey, there's still time. Visit now!
To find out more about the survey, please visit the Live Captioning Canada website.  Your participation is important to us and we thank you for your role in helping to improve the quality of live captioning of television programs in Canada!
Best regards,
Cindy Gordon, CRTC Committee member
Health Quality Ontario: Report on publicly-funded cochlear implants
Share your feedback now!
Ontario has limited funding for providing cochlear implants, especially for adults. Currently there are 360 Ontarians on the waiting list for their first cochlear implant with a wait time of 1.5-2 years. There are also hundreds of adult Ontarians who would benefit from a second cochlear implant if there was any funding. While some designated hospitals across the province offer two sided (bilateral) cochlear implants to eligible children, such equivalent funding is not available for adults.
On April 4, Health Quality Ontario released a report on the value of providing two cochlear implants to eligible patients in Ontario, recommending that the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care publicly fund bilateral cochlear implantation for children and adults in Ontario.
All members of the public (including cochlear implant recipients, patients on the wait-list to receive implant, family members, friends, and patient advocates) have until April 24, 2018 to share their thoughts and feedback about this report here.
As all feedback from the public will be considered for finalizing this positive recommendation, patients and family members are encouraged to share their personal experience with cochlear implants on HQO website in support of this recommendation. They are particularly encouraged to share their journey and highlight the challenges faced before being implanted, and the impact that cochlear implants have made in their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Please share this news! Ask everyone to share their thoughts about this positive recommendation and share their personal journeys and concerns about the current funding situation in Ontario, so our voices can be heard by the Ministry.
Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #HearMeOntario to blast this news and ask the Ministry of Health to consider this recommendation.

The CHHA - National Capital Region Branch is pleased to announce that its 2018 Annual General Meeting will take place on April 11, 2018, from 6:30-8:30pm at Ogilvie Towers (located in the basement of 1396 Ogilvie Road, Ottawa). The CHHA-NCR Branch is also calling for nominations for the CHHA-NCR Board of Directors for the upcoming term beginning in 2018.  Deadline for nominations is April 4, 2018More information can be found at
CHHA Event Submissions
Want to be featured in I Listen?
Submit your Chapter/Branch Event to
We want to hear from you!
Spotlight Project: Year 2 Report

CHHA, along with its 19 partner organizations, submitted the Year 2 Report for the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities project to the federal government on March 31, 2018. The report captured the recommendations gathered through webinars, an online survey, and an in-partner meeting that occurred over the course of Year 2 of the Spotlight Project, from April 2017 – March 2018.

Year 2 particularly focused on developing recommendations for federal accessibility legislation language, as well as methods of measuring success of accessibility legislation and programs. Recommendations were centered on five priority areas:
  • Administration, compliance and standards
  • Employment
  • Technology
  • Barrier-free access
  • Public education and outreach
Read the full report on the CHHA website here. (The report is also available in French here.)

The Spotlight Project has now officially concluded, and CHHA would like to thank the 19 partner organizations who worked so diligently alongside CHHA to produce the thoughtful reports and recommendations (see the list of the partners in the Year 2 report). Over the coming months, CHHA anticipates that the federal government will continue to develop accessibility legislation. Stay tuned for more information about the legislation and federal programs, and how CHHA is continuing to engage with the federal government on these central issues.
Text with 9-1-1
by Rosalind Ho
Wonder how to contact 9-1-1 in an emergency if you cannot hear well on the phone?
Text with 9-1-1 is a free service that enables deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired persons to communicate with 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. It is available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. Visit for a complete list of areas in Canada that offer Text with 9-1-1.
In order to use Text with 9-1-1, you must have a compatible cellphone and register your phone number with your wireless service provider. A complete list of service providers is available at
How to use Text with 9-1-1:
  1. Unlock your cellphone and make a voice call to 9-1-1. Calls to 9-1-1 are free even if you do not have a voice calling plan.
    • There is no need to speak as the 9-1-1 operator will receive a message to communicate with you via text messaging.
    • Text with 9-1-1 will not work unless you first connect with a voice call to 9-1-1.
  2. Once the call is connected, you should receive an initial text message from a 9-1-1 call centre. The number you will see on your cellphone will have 13 digits and will begin with 5559-1-1.
  3. Once you receive the initial text message, reply with the information the 9-1-1 operator asks you for, such as the nature of the emergency and your location.
    • If possible, keep the 9-1-1 voice call connected throughout your text messaging session so that the 9-1-1 operator can hear any background noises that will be helpful to assess the emergency.
  4. Once you are finished, you will receive a text message that says “End of 9-1-1 Call” to end the Text with 9-1-1 session.
The following YouTube videos show how to make a Text with 9-1-1 call:
How to Make a T9-1-1 Call
How to Make a T9-1-1 Call (ASL)
More information about Text with 9-1-1 is also available at
Hearing Dog Guides are good companions, but they are really about accessibility!
By Leslee Scott, Manager, CHHA Member 

When I first got a guide dog, I did not know much about them. Not only was Marnie my first dog ever, she eventually became a dog guide. I was alone in London Ont starting a new job. I had brought my dog, a young cocker spaniel from BC. At the time, she was assessed for suitability and was accepted for training. When she was returned to me, I quickly discovered she was no longer to be treated as my pet, but as a working dog. That was a shock and of course a disappointment as I loved cuddling with her.

In those early days, I rode my bike or the bus to work so Marnie never came with me. I never thought about bringing her with me onto a bus and it was never suggested, possibly due to allergy reasons (for public) that I bring her to the workplace. So she stayed home all day long until some neighbour girls were hired to let her out after school for bathroom duty and a bit of play time. Then Marnie and I spent the evenings together unless I went out with friends. I would watch TV sitting on the floor since I had little furniture. One evening, late at night, she was behaving erratically. She was going back and forth to the door. I followed her, but looking through the peep hole, there was no one. After the 3rd time, I opened the door and cranked up the volume of my old analog hearing aids and heard “something”! Ok ok!, so to be safe, I got my keys, her leash and off we went downstairs. In the stairwell, 3 firemen ran by. I got outside and I was pretty much one of the last ones out of my apartment building. I was thrilled my dog alerted me (just not the way she was supposed to!). However, I was not too thrilled that neither the landlord nor the neighbours thought to get me.

Leslee Scott with guide dog Cruise.Marnie lived for 14 years and “worked” to the end (phones and door). Now my second dog guide, Cruise (pictured with me at the left), is retired and relegated to being a pet and no longer really “works” for me. I have my “hearing Husband” (to quote humourist Gael Hannan) to be my source of alarm if anything goes off. But what if he is not home and I am fast asleep? I do not feel I can rely on my immediate neighbours due to their evening shifts or travels, nor on Cruise because in all these years, we have not heard an alarm so he is not sure how to respond to it especially if I am sleeping. I cannot get another dog guide with a pet in the house so I will soon resort to technology to keep me/us safe. Now, in my current home, we have my name and our suite number in the fire book downstairs so the firemen will know that someone in the building cannot hear the alarms and come to get me. But I will never forget the sense of gratitude for Marnie alerting me to the sound of the alarm.

Generally beyond the alarm situation, I relied on my dogs to alert me to the phone ringing, oven timer going off, and someone at the door. They can also be trained to alert a person to their name being called, a baby or child crying, and whatever else one might need. I never used Marnie or Cruise for waking me up in the morning after I sent Marnie flying with a sweep of my arm. I suppose she was alerting me to the alarm. It is important to be aware of one’s reactions in such settings. Perhaps she should have been trained to come up on the bed by my feet rather than on my chest! Dogs can be trained to react certain ways such as pawing you, jumping on you (warning: size of the dog matters!), going back and forth, etc. But the important thing I found is to “follow through”. Even if you hear the phone beside you, the dog will still alert you. If you ignore the dog’s signal and don’t answer the phone or reward the dog, s/he will eventually stop alerting you to the phone. I found this happened when my hearing became worse; I started to not answer the phones but while I praised Cruise and ignored the phone, he eventually stopped letting me know the phone was ringing! Smart or what?

When you have a dog guide, they can go to work, into restaurants, and travel well on planes, trains and buses. You get many second looks but once they see the jackets, they want to know what the dog does for people. Now there are so many other service dogs for diabetes, epilepsy, autism, canine vision and so on. One can never assume anything anymore but I usually strike up a conversation to find out and they are usually happy to talk about their dogs as well as I am. There may be some roadblocks with some places as they may be concerned about allergies or food safe concerns. I may or may not pursue it depending on other options available to me.

Now I have a cochlear implant and hear so much more. The question is, after Cruise passes away, whether I will get another dog. I would like to, but we will need to reassess my need for another dog at that time. If I do, I will need to arrange for a way of waking up instead of relying on my husband as well as ongoing training for fire alarm systems. But hearing dog guides are definitely an option because of the strong sense of security and companionship between dog and owner.
'Tears of joy': Baby hears parents for first time after cochlear implants
Jackie Dunham, 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

When little Ireland heard the sound of her parents’ voices for the first time, she did what most babies do. She cried. 

And so did everyone else.

That’s because the 11-month-old girl became the youngest patient in Manitoba to receive cochlear implants, allowing her to hear for the first time in her life. “It was tears of joy,” Courtney Duke, Ireland’s mother, gushed. “It wasn’t hurting her and it was a new experience for her.”

“This is huge. From day one, this is what we wanted for her so today it’s become possible,” Will Gault, the girl’s father, added.

As the rest of the family watched, Ireland’s parents tried to comfort their daughter adjust to hearing sound for the first time.

“Hi Ireland! It’s mommy and daddy,” Gault said.

“It’s going to be okay,” Duke cooed.

Ireland was born with profound deafness, which means she’s unable to hear sound. Her hearing loss was identified through Manitoba’s Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program. “Thank God it was because we’re not sure where we would have been because Ireland, she does everything normal like an 11-month-old would do,” Gault told CTV Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Although Duke said she was devastated when she learned of her daughter’s condition, the family had a glimmer of hope thanks to technology.

Ireland received two cochlear implants, one for each ear, at the beginning of February. The cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted into the skull and inner ear with an accompanying external piece worn behind the ear. It’s designed to provide hearing to those with severe to profound hearing loss, according to the Canadian Academy of Audiology.

After a few weeks of recovery, Ireland’s implants were turned on for the first time as her family and audiologist watched.

“We’ve always talked to her like she could hear but to think that today she’s actually hearing it was beyond exciting,” Kathy Duke, Ireland’s grandma, said.

Kristy Mackie, Ireland’s audiologist, said the little girl is lucky because children were usually two years old before they were identified as candidates for cochlear implants in the past. “It’s such a great feeling that she’s getting that sound earlier. She has that chance to catch up and she’ll be able to participate in every day normal activities,” Mackie said.

Now that the cochlear implants are activated, Ireland will have to wear the external part of the device as much as possible. A listening and spoken language specialist will also help Ireland learn to differentiate sounds and say her first words eventually.

“We’re just super excited,” Gault said. “She’s the sparkle in our eye every day. She gives us strength and hope and we want to give her the best chance we can.”

With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Michelle Gerwing

Comment choisir ses prothèses auditives?
La Voix Médias | 16/03/2018

Vous avez de la difficulté à suivre une conversation, particulièrement dans un environnement bruyant. Certains sons ne sont plus perceptibles à votre oreille. Il est urgent de consulter un spécialiste. Avant même d’envisager une aide, c’est la première chose à faire : rendre visite à un professionnel de l’audition, médecin ORL ou audioprothésiste. L’audiogramme réalisé par l’audioprothésiste, généralement sur prescription d’un médecin ORL, à partir de la mesure des seuils auditifs permet d’évaluer la gêne subie, l’importance de la perte éventuelle d’audition et la nécessité ou non d’appareiller.

Aujourd’hui, les audioprothèses n’ont rien de commun avec ce qu’elles étaient il y a encore dix ans. Leur confort et leurs performances ont beaucoup évolué, certaines s’apparentant à de petits bijoux de technologie. Leur design aussi.

Traditionnels ou mini : les contours
On distingue globalement trois types d’appareillage : les contours d’oreilles classiques ou mini-contours à écouteur déporté, les intra-auriculaires, quasiment invisibles à l’œil et les lunettes auditives à conduction osseuse.

Les contours d’oreilles classiques présentent un gros avantage : ils conviennent à tout type de perte auditive et sont adaptés à tous les conduits auditifs, y compris les plus petits. Simples d’utilisation, ils sont aussi faciles d’entretien. Une gamme mini, plus légère et plus discrète, a fait son entrée sur le marché. Les mini-contours à écouteur déporté offrent les mêmes avantages de discrétion, mais ils sont adaptés aux pertes auditives légères et moyennes seulement.

Les appareils intra-auriculaires sont bien sûr les plus discrets de tous les systèmes d’aide auditive. L’appareil étant entièrement placé à l’intérieur du conduit auditif, pas de boîtier visible à l’extérieur de l’oreille. Réalisés à partir d’une empreinte du canal auditif, ils s’adaptent parfaitement la forme de ce dernier.

Plus rares sur le marché, les appareils à conduction osseuse sont spécialement conçus pour les malentendants souffrant d’une surdité mixte ou présentant une malformation de l’oreille. Le son est converti en signal vibratoire qui se propage via les os du crâne directement dans l'oreille interne. Ces prothèses ont la forme d’une paire de lunettes. Á long terme, une correction par voie osseuse doit faire envisager l'intérêt ou non d'utiliser un implant à ancrage osseux.

Dans tous les cas, une visite chez un audioprothésiste s’impose. Ce professionnel qui assure le conseil, les réglages et le suivi est incontournable.

Want to be featured in I Listen? Submit your Chapter/Branch Stories, Events, Newsletters or any news that would be of interest to CHHA members and I Listen subscribers to we want to hear from you!
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