Need for advocating now for hearing loss

Posted by arrowshooter @arrowshooter, Aug 19, 2020

We need to advocate for ourselves NOW.

I am an advocate for hearing loops and I just communicated with my local bank about assistive systems for people with hearing loss. The bank officer was polite and listened but was generally uninterested because THEY HAVE NOT HAD ANY COMPLAINTS. This little bank has about 10 locations and no one has complained about using the drive-up windows with the speaker systems that are very difficult to understand especially if there are other cars running and traffic going by. We talked about counter-top loop systems to use in the lobby and he said no one has ever complained about not being able to hear.

During this COVID pandemic we are experiencing more situations that make it more difficult to communicate (masks, plastic shields, speaker systems, etc). People assume their systems are OK as long as no one ever complains. Asking for some to repeat or speak louder/slower is not a complaint. It is just accepted practice. As people with hearing loss we expect to have trouble communicating so that trouble becomes common practice to us. We deal with it or around it.

Of course there is a danger that if we complain now our complaints will be dismissed as “caused by masks or plastic shields”. Those things only make a bad situation worse for us. We have to dispel the common notion that hearing aids restore everyone to normal hearing.

As I write this post I think of the explosive thread on this forum about the medical professions reluctance to accommodate people with hearing loss. The medical care people are only one group who ignores people with hearing loss. But the disregard of people with hearing loss is universal.

Maybe we are the ones at fault.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss Support Group.

@julieo4

I may just do that! I've always wanted to come to Toronto and also to Quebec. I've met several people from CHAA over the years. When I was on the national board of HLAA (years ago), the president of the Canadian organization attended the national HLAA convention every year, as did a few more people. Was it CHAA or CHA. I don't remember for sure. Yes, we are lucky to have HLAA. Do you know you can join HLAA and participate in many online events? I think there is a chapter in Australia, or was at one time. No boundaries. Those webinars and Zoom meetings are open, so is membership. Check them out at http://www.hearingloss.org

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Great! If you do make it up this way, try to get to Quebec City – it's a treasure and like being in Europe.

I will check them out HLAA and see the benefits of being a member even though I"m not in the US. It's telling that I found the HLAA before the Canadian association.

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@arrowshooter

Hmmm, Crosslake MN, I was around there this weekend and I didn't see you. I was in Baxter, Pilager, and Walker.

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We are currently in Appleton. Love both places; nothing like a long drive to keep you young! Do a lot of shopping in Baxter.

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@lucyg

Great! If you do make it up this way, try to get to Quebec City – it's a treasure and like being in Europe.

I will check them out HLAA and see the benefits of being a member even though I"m not in the US. It's telling that I found the HLAA before the Canadian association.

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It's all about hearing education. Either one works. Still hearing loss doesn't get the attention it deserves. Advocates and educators are needed everywhere!

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@julieo4

I may just do that! I've always wanted to come to Toronto and also to Quebec. I've met several people from CHAA over the years. When I was on the national board of HLAA (years ago), the president of the Canadian organization attended the national HLAA convention every year, as did a few more people. Was it CHAA or CHA. I don't remember for sure. Yes, we are lucky to have HLAA. Do you know you can join HLAA and participate in many online events? I think there is a chapter in Australia, or was at one time. No boundaries. Those webinars and Zoom meetings are open, so is membership. Check them out at http://www.hearingloss.org

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@julieo4 Enjoyed learning a some of your CHA and HLAA history!

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@tonyinmi

@sag, you mentioned that you are using domes for your hearing aids. You also say that these are "maxed out". I have to assume that they are maxed before squealing happens (feedback). For more profound losses, you may want to ask about custom molds. The volume should be able to be increased if you have an even better seal than what the domes are providing.
Tony in Michigan

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Thanks, Tony. Fortunately even when they are set as high as they will go, maxed out, there is no feedback.

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@sag

Thanks, Tony. Fortunately even when they are set as high as they will go, maxed out, there is no feedback.

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@sag, the audiologist limits the maximum output of the hearing aids. Even though your volume control is at maximum, it may not necessarily mean the maximum output of the hearing device. The audiologist set the max to prevent feedback, not necessarily the max of the device. You may be able to get a few extra decibels output (without feedback) if you have custom molds. Limiting the max output is the factor that separates a hearing aid from a Personal Sound Amplification Device (PSAP). Too much volume will damage your hearing so the audi will not allow the volume to exceed that level which causes discomfort. Most PSAP's amplify all frequencies the same, unlike a hearing aid, which amplifies based on your audiogram. If you've ever tried a PSAP, such as a Williams Sound Pocketalker, you may be able to hear better, but you risk damaging your hearing. I do not discourage the use of a PSAP, only point out the difference.
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you, @tonyinmi. Almost all of this was new to me so thank you for taking the time to explain it. Sue

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@julieo4

HLAA started in the founder's basement. He and his family paid a huge price to make hearing loss an issue of concern. The founder never accepted any pay, and the organization functioned with a volunteer staff for several years. Donors made it possible for the organization to grow and be able to afford office space and a small staff after a few years. Still, they continue to operate on loyalty and a shoestring! HLAA Is rated well among charitable non profits, and continues to use every penny to help make a difference. Thankfully, bequests received from early members have helped HLAA keep going during the tough times we're in right now. All HLAA chapters and state organizations are run by volunteers. These are tough times for organizations that depend on volunteers. Many people feel that volunteerism is a dying thing. Everyone thinks that someone else 'will do it', Not so. We all must do our share and take our turn. People like Nurse Headaches/Eloise are making a difference, but they sure need help!

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Wow! I just changed my smile.amazon.com charity to HLAA because of your comment.

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Thank you for supporting HLAA! 🙂

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