Posted by: hlacentralma | November 12, 2012

Thank you Jonathan Dell and Beth Wilson!

The November 17, 2012 meeting of the Hearing Loss Association of Central Massachusetts was held in the basement of Trinity Church, Northborough and featured Jonathan O’Dell, Communication Access, Training and Technology Services Department‘s Training Director, Massachusetts Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Before his presentation began, Beth Wilson spoke a bit about amplifiers and had a demonstration of a couple of amplifiers used by individuals present at the meeting.  She also reminded us about the ALDA holiday party on Saturday, December 8th and our next meeting, Saturday, December 1st from 2:00-4:00 pm at the Northborough Public Library.

Discussion also centered on open captioned and rear-window captioned movies at movie theaters.  (There are pros/cons to each!)  And for those enjoying live theater, Trinity Repertory Company will present A Christmas Carol with captioning.

Jonathan “resumed” where he left off from his March presentation, which he did not have time to finish due to all the questions and discussion.  He spoke about Assistive Technology for those individuals with hearing loss and described his agency and its services, which advocate for the hard of hearing and deaf in Massachusetts.  More information can be found at

He emphasized that because hearing loss is so individual, there is no “right/wrong” or “better/worse” technology.  Jonathan discussed FM systems/Loop systems and Infrared systems, all of which are designed to help individuals hear better in homes, schools and public places of assembly.  What works best in one situation and audience, may not work as well in another.

Jonathan also spoke in particular about the capabilities of SmartPhones, iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, which can assist those who are hard of hearing by having the ability to use text messaging, and to see your caller’s face via Skype and Tango, among other apps.

Jonathan spent some time discussing how to prepare for emergency situations, by having a “go to” bag with all your important documents and emergency paraphernalia and having phones with texting capabilities or portable TVs with captioning, so a hard of hearing person can know what is happening during an emergency.  He also explained a new 911 service with text and web capabilities and Ping4alerts, which provide to smart phones emergency information delivered based on GPS coordinates.

Our December meeting will have a demonstration of the CaptionCall phone.  The service show the words of your caller on the phone screen, so a hard of hearing person both listen and see the written words of the caller.



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