The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 48 million (20 percent) Americans have some degree of hearing loss making it a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.
At a recent HLA-CentralMA meeting, there was discussion about books: Books about hearing, hearing loss, and cochlear implants. Below is a partial list of resources out there:
Wired for Sound: A Journey Into Hearing
Beverly Biderman (Author)
From Amazon.com: Beverly Biderman reached profound deafness as a teenager and lived in the world of near silence until 1993, when she was fitted with a controversial cochlear implant, the first effective artificial sensory organ ever developed. In Wired for Sound, she has written a deeply moving and personal account of her life before and after the implant. This story is a tale of both physical and emotional transcendence with universal appeal and interest. Voices of deaf people talking about their deafness are included, as well as a balanced exploration of the explosive issues surrounding the Deaf culture’s opposition to cochlear implants. Wired for Sound is essential reading for anyone needing to make an informed choice about cochlear implants and for parents of deaf children, as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and audiologists. Exhaustively researched, the book includes a detailed appendix with a comprehensive listing of international resources on deafness and cochlear implants, plus an annotated Recommended Reading list.
Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World
Michael Chorost (Author)
Shouting Won’t Help: Why I–and 50 Million Other Americans–Can’t Hear You
Katherine Bouton (Author)
For twenty-two years, Katherine Bouton had a secret that grew harder to keep every day. An editor at The New York Times, at daily editorial meetings she couldn’t hear what her colleagues were saying. She had gone profoundly deaf in her left ear; her right was getting worse. As she once put it, she was “the kind of person who might have used an ear trumpet in the nineteenth century.”
Audiologists agree that we’re experiencing a national epidemic of hearing impairment. At present, 50 million Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss—17 percent of the population. And hearing loss is not exclusively a product of growing old. The usual onset is between the ages of nineteen and forty-four, and in many cases the cause is unknown.
Shouting Won’t Help is a deftly written, deeply felt look at a widespread and misunderstood phenomenon. In the style of Jerome Groopman and Atul Gawande, and using her experience as a guide, Bouton examines the problem personally, psychologically, and physiologically. She speaks with doctors, audiologists, and neurobiologists, and with a variety of people afflicted with midlife hearing loss, braiding their stories with her own to illuminate the startling effects of the condition.
The result is a surprisingly engaging account of what it’s like to live with an invisible disability—and a robust prescription for our nation’s increasing problem with deafness.
We have been discussing closed-captioning and Carolyn said the 21st Century Communication and video accessibility act requires captioning for streaming. there is a timeline. click on this link for details on this issue:
Do you know of venues that need to be looped? Need to educate architects or others about the benefits of loop systems? As you can see below, Dr. Juliette Sterkens, an audiologist from Wisconsin, is available to come speak to your group at no cost to you. Dr. Sterkens is a volunteer; a grant covers the cost of her travel. Resource packets about loops are available also at no charge. Visit http://www.hearingloss.org/content/loop-resources
“Hearing loss affects more than volume alone and often people with hearing loss complain they can hear but cannot understand,” Dr. Sterkens explains. “Hearing loss requires the user to receive speech with an improved signal-to-noise ratio. Although hearing aid and cochlear implant technology has improved dramatically, the ear-worn microphones cannot entirely deliver what the user needs to understand speech with ease – something that has long frustrated me professionally.
“The good news is that a hearing loop can connect a user wirelessly to the sound system via the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant, much like Wi-Fi connects a computer to the Internet. Hearing loops can be installed in auditoriums, classrooms, pharmacy checkout counters, metro cars, places of worship, meeting rooms, TV rooms, museums, nursing homes, hospitals and businesses – wherever acoustics, noise and distance from the speaker make hearing difficult. Hearing loops are inconspicuous and effortless to use, and, best of all, deliver sound customized for each person.”
Brenda Battat, executive director of HLAA said, “We are delighted that Dr. Sterkens will devote her sabbatical year to working with HLAA volunteers to become effective advocates for hearing loops and to expanding the number of hearing-friendly places.” Dr. Sterkens will write a blog of her looping activities; a link to the blog can be found on the Loop Resources page.
Dr. Sterkens resides in Oshkosh, Wisconsin with her husband LeRoy Maxfield and her two children. She holds a doctorate in audiology from A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, is a member of the HLAA-American Academy of Audiology “Get in the Hearing Loop” National Task Force, and has published as well as spoken publicly about hearing loop technology and hearing aid telecoil programming. She has received awards for her advocacy work on local, state and national levels.