Posted by: hlacentralma | May 20, 2020

HLAA Webinars – Register and Learn

HLAA WEBINAR
Face Masks and Hearing Loss:
Practical Tips and Strategies

Presenters:
Ellen Lafargue, Au.D. and Carolyn Ginsburg Stern, MBA
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Time: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern Time

Don’t miss Thursday’s free captioned webinar on Face Masks and Hearing Loss: Practical Tips and Strategies, presented by Ellen Lafargue, Au.D. and Carolyn Ginsburg Stern, MBA from the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC).
Click the “Register” button below to attend.Mastering communication while face masks are worn and social distancing is especially difficult for people with hearing loss because of reduced visual and auditory input. We will share practical tips and strategies that can make interactions a little easier and help you feel more in control. We will demonstrate various ways to wear masks comfortably with hearing devices and how to avoid losing them when masks are removed. We will also discuss simple techniques for troubleshooting your hearing aids while in-person hearing care in your area may be limited during the pandemic.

REGISTER for the above webinar.

UPCOMING WEBINAR – To register for this webinar, please click on the topic and follow the directions.

WANT TO SEE RECORDINGS OF PREVIOUS WEBINARS?
All HLAA webinars are captioned and recorded for future viewing. See a list of all recorded webinars. Just click the “YouTube” button to view the recording.

Registration is required for HLAA webinars. Should you have any questions, please contact webinars@hearingloss.org.
Posted by: hlacentralma | April 25, 2020

Navigating COVID-19 with Hearing Loss

Navigating COVID-19 with Hearing Loss

An expert offers tips for technology and every day advice that might help people with hearing loss when having to distance for COVID-19. Watch a webinar above with Dr. Kevin Franck and Dr. Felipe Santos for more information.

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges across the country for all individuals. For people with hearing loss, these challenges can be exacerbated given ones they already have to navigate daily.

There are 48 million people in the United States who have hearing loss, with rates increasing with the aging and expanding population. Thirty-three percent of Americans between ages 65-74 and nearly 50 percent of those 75+ have hearing loss, according to the Hearing Health Foundation.

Working in conjunction with a leadership council made up of local hearing loss advocates and business leaders, the Division of Audiology at Mass. Eye and Ear is working to highlight ways in which people with hearing loss can stay socially connected during the pandemic. Here are some tips from Kevin H. Franck, PhD, director of Audiology at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Hearing loss can be isolating; technology may help

Today, most of the country is under stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, staying away from others during the coronavirus pandemic, layered on top of hearing loss, can compound the feeling of isolation, according to Dr. Franck.

“Not only do you have hearing loss, which can cause you to miss out on information, but you’re limiting physical contact, which is how people with hearing loss stay sane,” Dr. Franck told Focus. “The term ‘social distancing’ should be changed to ‘physical distancing’ because everyone, especially people with hearing loss, needs to be socially connected now more than ever.”

During this time, technology can be a great resource for staying in touch with loved ones, said Dr. Franck. There are several devices and apps, including speech-to-text, phone call-to-text, and others that amplify sound on a smartphone, tablet or computer, during video conferencing, for instance. Ear Machine and Sonic Cloud are two examples of apps that can be helpful if you have a hearing aid that is not working or if you need to schedule an appointment to be evaluated.

While these apps may not provide a permanent solution for hearing loss, they have the ability to improve immediate access to potentially vital information.

Tips for seeking medical care when hard of hearing

Today, throughout hospitals and outpatient clinics, things are moving so quickly in a heightened environment that communication can be difficult. For people who rely mostly on lip reading, this can present huge challenges.

“If you walk into any hospital today, you’re going to be met by someone with a face mask on,” Dr. Franck pointed out.

He recommends people with hearing loss carry a COVID-19 card when visiting a hospital or clinic. Developed by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for health care workers and the public, this card uses icons to help communicate with medical staff. It displays the preferred method of communication (such as apps or an interpreter), symptoms, severity, in addition to other care questions.

Throughout some hospitals, clear masks are increasing in use to help better serve people with hearing loss. At Mass. Eye and Ear, they have been used in operating rooms where patients have to remove their hearing device prior to surgery, and have expanded the supply of clear masks to assist people who rely on speech-reading. These masks do not meet the N95 standard, so may not be suitable for all situations.

Some hospitals, including Mass. Eye and Ear, can hand out an amplification device for extra help upon request.

Many hearing loss physicians are still seeing patients for emergency hearing issues, such as sudden hearing loss. A questionnaire called the Consumer Ear Disease Risk Assessment (CEDRA) might help serve as a guide to inform you if your ears should be checked by a physician. To help determine whether the issue is urgent, it is recommended that you call your doctor immediately.

What if you need help with your hearing device?

For people who rely on devices such cochlear implants or hearing aids, it might feel like an emergency when equipment is acting up and your clinic has reduced services. The Audiology Division at Mass. Eye and Ear is continuing to serve patients with the greatest hearing needs through emergency in-clinic appointments, drop-off and pick-up services, mail-in or drive-by services, and telemedicine consultations.

If you’ve been putting off getting a hearing aid, an appointment in a non-emergency situation may be harder to come by at your local clinic during this time. Dr. Franck then recommends amplification devices known as “hearables,” which are sold online. An audiologist can help provide support to patients using hearables during a telephone consultation. Apps may also deliver immediate assistance while a device is getting repaired.

“We urge anyone with hearing loss who has any questions to check in with an audiologist,” said Dr. Franck. “Our goal is to ensure they are doing all they can to stay connected during the pandemic.”

Other resources

Other resources to assist you during COVID-19 and beyond have been created and compiled by the Hearing Loss Association of America and the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

About Our Expert

Kevin Franck, PhD, MBA, CCC-A is the director of Audiology at Mass. Eye and Ear. 

Due to the global public health concerns surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus), Mass. Eye and Ear Audiology is currently open for urgent appointments only. To learn more, call 617-573-3266.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your primary health care provider. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not come to the emergency department unless you have been instructed to do so.

Saturday, September 12th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

Topic: Introduction to Cochlear Implants

Speaker: Caitlin Agreda, Au.D., CCC-A Audiologist UMass Memorial Medical Center

Topic: How to Choose a Cochlear Implant Vendor

Speaker: Ellen Perkins and Barbara Johnson

This program is designed for people who are curious about cochlear implants as a potential solution or just interested in learning what they are about.  Caitlin will present an introduction to cochlear implants focusing on what a cochlear implant is, how it works, and what the process is. Ellen and Barbara will then reprise their popular presentation on how to navigate the vendor promotional fluff and understand the offerings of the 3 cochlear implant manufacturers.


Saturday, November 7th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm
.
Topic: Are You Listening?

Speaker: Darleen Wilson

On Nov. 7th, the guest speaker will be Ms. Darleen Wilson.  Ms. Wilson is a life-long musician and is actively dealing with the consequences of her own moderate-severe hearing loss. Convinced that there are better solutions for hearing technologies, Wilson undertook a Masters in Human Factors to expand her perspective on product design. She focuses her work on improving hearing products and services.  Wilson serves on the Audiology Leadership Advisory Council for Mass. Eye and Ear (a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School).

.

All meetings will be held at the Northborough Library. There will be CART (computer aided real time captioning).
 .
Stay tuned for more details as we  are in the process of contacting/confirming speakers for topics related to Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Technology, and Coping with Hearing Loss.
 .
If you have any suggestions for topics and speakers, please let us know.
 .
We are looking forward to seeing all of you!
 .
HLAA Central MA’s steering Committee
 .
Beth Wilson
Margaret Myatt
Gina Constantino
Gloria and Stan Radler
Tina Thompson
Posted by: hlacentralma | April 3, 2020

HLAA2020 Convention is Cancelled

HLAA2020 Convention is Cancelled
photo of Barbara Kelley in white sweater - Message from the Executive Director and includes HLAA logo

HLAA2020 Convention is Cancelled

Dear HLAA Members and Supporters,

When the coronavirus hit in early March, we had hopes that we could still hold the HLAA2020 Convention this June. Like you, we were watching the news and listening to guidelines from the CDC. It quickly became clear that cancelling this event that we all look forward to was a real possibility. The worsening situation in New Orleans and other parts of our country made it clear what we should do.

I want to thank our attendees, exhibitors, corporate partners, speakers, chapter and state leaders, and Board members for your patience and support while I was working with the New Orleans Marriott on a contingency. Cancelling this event is a disappointment for our community, but an absolute necessity to protect our health and help our country fight this pandemic.

Hearing loss is isolating enough and now we are further separated with the stay-at-home orders. HLAA is creating online resources and adding free captioned webinars and support sessions to help our members and constituents through this crisis.

We plan to deliver some of the featured content from the HLAA2020 Convention online in June. We are looking into technology solutions and talking with our sponsors about how best to do this.

We will Refund Your Registration Fee or Turn it into a Donation
Please let us know your choice by Friday, April 17

Some of you have generously offered to waive a refund of your paid registration fee as a way to support HLAA. While convention fees and sponsorships allow us to put on a fun and engaging event each year, they also fund staff time, software, and convention programming. The HLAA Convention provides funds we rely on and donations will help continue essential HLAA programs during this challenging time. We appreciate your donations.

If you wish to offer your paid registration as a donation, please email Amanda Watson at convention@hearingloss.org and let her know by Friday, April 17. We will send you an acknowledgment for your tax records. HLAA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

If you would like a refund, please email Amanda Watson at convention@hearingloss.org by Friday, April 17, 2020. You can also call Amanda on her direct line: 240.324.6073. If we don’t hear from you by April 17, we will consider this a donation.

Stay Tuned
If you are a sponsor, presenter, exhibitor, or award recipient, we will follow-up with specific information by phone or email.

Future HLAA Conventions
2021: San Diego, June 24-26, Town and Country
2022: Tampa, June 23-25, JW Marriott Tampa
2023: New Orleans, June 27-July 2, New Orleans Marriott (We were able to secure the same hotel and convention site even though HLAA2020 was cancelled.)

I appreciate the emails and calls I’ve received concerning the HLAA2020 Convention. Right now, please be safe and well and stay connected to HLAA. We want to be here for you in any way we can.

Kind regards,

Barbara Kelley signature
Barbara Kelley
@BKelley_HLAA

Posted by: hlacentralma | April 2, 2020

Save the Dates! HLA Central MA Chapter Gatherings for 2020

CANCELLED!

Saturday, May 2, 2020 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

Topic: Introduction to Cochlear Implants

Speaker: Caitlin Agreda, Au.D., CCC-A Audiologist UMass Memorial Medical Center

Topic: How to Choose a Cochlear Implant Vendor

Speaker: Ellen Perkins and Barbara Johnson

This program is designed for people who are curious about cochlear implants as a potential solution or just interested in learning what they are about.  Caitlin will present an introduction to cochlear implants focusing on what a cochlear implant is, how it works, and what the process is. Ellen and Barbara will then reprise their popular presentation on how to navigate the vendor promotional fluff and understand the offerings of the 3 cochlear implant manufacturers.


Saturday, September 12th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

.Topic: Convention Recap and Update on National Efforts

Speakers: Beth Wilson and Margaret Myatt

Beth and Margaret will be attending the HLAA convention and will provide highlights from the workshops and exhibit hall.  They expect to be able to report the latest news on Over the Counter (OTC) hearing aids, Medicare coverage for hearing aids, rules and regulations related to captioning, and other national policy activity to benefit all of us with hearing loss.



Saturday, November 7th
from 2:00 – 4:00 pm
.
Topic: Are You Listening?

Speaker: Darleen Wilson

On Nov. 7th, the guest speaker will be Ms. Darleen Wilson.  Ms. Wilson is a life-long musician and is actively dealing with the consequences of her own moderate-severe hearing loss. Convinced that there are better solutions for hearing technologies, Wilson undertook a Masters in Human Factors to expand her perspective on product design. She focuses her work on improving hearing products and services.  Wilson serves on the Audiology Leadership Advisory Council for Mass. Eye and Ear (a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School).

.

All meetings will be held at the Northborough Library. There will be CART (computer aided real time captioning).
 .
Stay tuned for more details as we  are in the process of contacting/confirming speakers for topics related to Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Technology, and Coping with Hearing Loss.
 .
If you have any suggestions for topics and speakers, please let us know.
 .
We are looking forward to seeing all of you!
 .
HLAA Central MA’s steering Committee
 .
Beth Wilson
Margaret Myatt
Gina Constantino
Gloria and Stan Radler
Tina Thompson

March 21st Event Cancelled! 

Saturday March 21, 2020 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Topic: Beyond My Hearing Aid or Cochlear Implant

Speaker: Informal Rap Session with Participants

This “meeting” will be an informal rap session where we can learn from each other.  We had a session last year called “Living With Hearing Loss” that provided an excellent exchange of ideas.

This year we will focus on “Beyond the Hearing Aid/CI.”  For those of us who use hearing aids and/or cochlear implants, we find ourselves in situations where that technology is just not enough.  Some people use technology (assistive devices, smart phone apps), clever non-technical strategies, and other techniques to supplement the hearing aid and/or CI.

We all participate in a range of activities and events outside the chapter meeting.  This is an opportunity to share things that work and learn new tricks.

The session will be held at the Northborough Library from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. There will be CART (computer aided real time captioning).
Light refreshments, free admission, everyone welcome!
Ample library parking off Patty Lane.

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