Misconceptions About Hearing Loss

January 13, 2022.  In a recent year end interview, a representative of a disabilities organization on the Island made a number of misleading comments about people with hearing loss and the challenges they face in communicating in the wake of pandemic safety measures. 

…Misleading statements made….

Here are some of the statements that came out of the interview: 

….For people who are partly deaf ….it took the provincial government ‘a long time’ to get sign language interpreters at their COVID-19 health briefings…

…People who have hearing impairments and use sign language, it is their first language. It’s how they speak to their community members, and they should have been able to get very pertinent information that affects their lives in their first language, like the rest of Island citizens… 

If you have hearing loss, do these statements represent you?  They don’t apply to me.  Many of us have consistently asked for real-time captioning in the Covid briefings.  To date, this is not provided, unless you count the computer-generated captions found on YouTube, with all the errors and misstatements. 

Did you know that professional captioners have the same training as court recorders?  Can you imagine the outcry if, instead of a court recorder, the legal system used artificial intelligence to capture what is said in a trial? 

Having a reporter reach out to an organization dealing with disabilities seems like a great idea, but it may have been wiser to reach out to specific groups and ask for their input.  Hear PEI would have corrected the misconceptions BEFORE the interview was published. 

….Hear PEI responds…

After learning about the interview, Annie Lee MacDonald, on behalf of Hear PEI, responded to the person making the misleading statements:

…I just want to refresh your memory on the reference you made in the interview where you spoke about hearing loss and sign language, implying that those with hearing loss rely on sign language. This is not true and I don’t know of anyone who is hard of hearing relying on sign language to understand. Only the deaf rely on sign language.

Hard of hearing covers a wide spectrum on PEI and people rely fully on oral communication with closed captioning, real-time captioning, speech transfer systems, and speechreading to communicate more effectively.

It is a misconception in Government that sign language takes care of the hard of hearing. It is of no use to us whatsoever.

I am not aware of how many Islanders are deaf and require sign language. I had requested real-time captioning for these government briefings as 50% or more of PEI’s population over 50 have some degree of hearing loss. Since masks became mandatory many individuals are realizing they have a hearing loss because they hadn’t realized they were compensating the loss by speechreading…

Bottom line…. If you have hearing loss and don’t use sign language, speak up and make your voice heard with what YOU need for hearing accessible communication. 

….Technology changes the traditional methods of communication….

Technology has had an enormous effect on the way we communicate…. Email and text messaging allows for instant communication.  Cochlear implants allow people who once would be considered deaf to hear.  Real-time captioning software, albeit not perfect, turns speech into a written format.  Telecoils for hearing loops and Blue-tooth provide much needed added value to hearing accessibility tools.

Pocket talkers, microphones, and speech transfer systems (also called window intercom systems) provide amplification undreamed of 100 years ago. 

I was reminded of the changes that technology have brought when I spoke with an American friend who became legally blind a few years ago due to a degenerative disease. 

…Have you learned to use Braille?…” I inquired.  He had a lot of assistance from the American Foundation for the Blind, so I assumed he had to use Braille.  To my astonishment, he said he didn’t need Braille and it wasn’t recommended that he learn it.  Instead technology keeps him independent. 

He uses a white cane….. which has a sensor to let him know if anything is in his way!  A special program on his computer lets him dictate his email messages and a voice reads out the emails he receives.    His cell phone works in basically the same way for making and receiving calls.  Audiobooks keep him in reading material and described video lets him enjoy what is on TV.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the next time we see him he has new technology tools that we can only marvel at.

If you have hearing loss, what is on your wish list for better communication?  Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

Interview On CBC Radio’s Mainstreet PEI Re Speech Transfer System

LoopPEI_logo-P2

December 24, 2021.  A recent blog posting discussed the new Speech Transfer System at South Shore Pharmacy in Crapaud, Prince Edward Island.  (See https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/2021/12/19/a-speech-transfer-system-at-south-shore-pharmacy-improves-hearing-accessibility/)

CIMG5468 Dec 15 2021 STS at South Shore Pharmacy

Pharmacist Lisa Gallant at South Shore Pharmacy at the window with the speech transfer system.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Pharmacist Lisa Gallant and I were interviewed this week by Angela Walker for CBC Radio’s Mainstreet PEI program, which you can listen to here: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-130/clip/15886043

Intro to the interview by Angela Walker: “Hear PEI and people with hearing loss got an early Christmas present this year thanks to the South Shore Pharmacy in Crapaud. We speak with Daria Valkenburg with Hear PEI and Lisa Gallant, the pharmacist-owner of the South Shore Pharmacy in Crapaud.

CIMG8007 Aug 27 2017 kiosk Schipol Airport

The information booth at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands that was mentioned in the CBC interview.  Notice the sign indicating a speech transfer system with hearing loop is in place at one of the windows.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

After the interview was broadcast, Marjorie Inman, who has the telecoil function in her hearing aids, called me with her experience.  “…I was at South Shore Pharmacy today and the loop that’s there works like a charm. It certainly works!…”  Marjorie had the volume set too high on her hearing aid which resulted in a rather loud encounter, but that can easily be adjusted. 

Thank you to Angela Walker of CBC PEI for helping to let Islanders know about the Speech Transfer System, and to Marjorie Inman for sharing her feedback.

Have you tried the Speech Transfer System at South Shore Pharmacy or in another location? Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

….Happy Holidays

My husband Pieter and I wish you all the best for the holidays and in 2022. May hearing accessibility awareness continue to improve!

Merry Xmas from the Valkenburgs 2021

© Daria Valkenburg

A Speech Transfer System At South Shore Pharmacy Improves Hearing Accessibility

December 19, 2021.  Last year, a disturbing incident at a Nova Scotia pharmacy was related by a reader with hearing loss.  “I actually got yelled at by a pharmacist the other day – in quite a mean way. I could not hear for the life of me with the technician’s mask, plexiglass, poor communication of technician, and music playing in the pharmacy. It was impossible. So I leaned around the plexiglass (but still social distancing) ….  A pharmacist … yelled at me … to get back from the plexiglass. I yelled back that I was hard of hearing … and she just turned around and ignored me…”  (To read the full story, see https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/the-pharmacist-yelled-at-me/)

…. South Shore Pharmacy ensures no pharmacist needs to yell…..

After I told this story to pharmacist Lisa Gallant, of South Shore Pharmacy in Crapaud, Prince Edward Island, we had a discussion on what could be done here on the Island.  She agreed that communication challenges increased with the changes required for pandemic safety measures.

… Over the pandemic we’ve noticed it’s difficult to communicate as there are so many layers between us and patients that weren’t there before…”  Lisa explained. 

LoopPEI_logo-P2She encourages people with hearing loss to wear a hard of hearing pin so staff are aware of the hearing loss and asked what measures the pharmacy itself could take.  When she heard that a Speech Transfer System with amplification and hearing loop accessibility at the pharmacy window would make a big difference, she had one installed this past week.

CIMG5464 Dec 15 2021 STS at South Shore Pharmacy

Left to right: Annie Lee MacDonald, pharmacist Lisa Gallant, and Daria Valkenburg by the speech transfer system at South Shore Pharmacy in Crapaud.  I’m wearing my hard of hearing pin! (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

…. A speech transfer system provides a private environment…..

Annie Lee MacDonald and I went to test the new system and it is marvellous.  You can hear the pharmacist… and the pharmacist can hear you. No one needs to shout in order to be heard, and the system offers the privacy that is needed.

As the microphone has a limited range, people behind you don’t hear what is being said, meaning that your discussions are private. Several women applauded the speech transfer system when they heard about it, telling me that “…it’s no one else’s business what is being discussed at the pharmacy window…

…I’m really happy for the support and encouragement of Hear PEI for bringing this hearing accessibility tool to our attention.  Our demographic in the pharmacy includes a lot of seniors, many of them with hearing loss….”  Lisa told us.

…. How to recognize a window with a speech transfer system…..

It’s very easy to see at a glance which window has a Speech Transfer System as it is marked with a sticker showing a broken ear and a ‘T’ in the lower right corner.  ‘T’ refers to ‘telecoil’. 

Intl Sign for telecoil

CIMG5467 Dec 15 2021 STS at South Shore Pharmacy

The pharmacy window at South Shore Pharmacy.  Note the T sign and the microphone.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

If you have a hearing aid or cochlear implant, you likely have a telecoil function.  If not, speak to your audiologist.  Alternatively, you can purchase a hearing loop receiver. For more information see https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/the-lets-loop-pei-project-how-you-can-access-an-area-with-a-hearing-loop/

…. How does a Speech Transfer System work?…..

The Speech Transfer System transfers speech in both directions by means of a microphone on one side of the glass which is connected to a speaker on the other side.  The amplification helps ANYONE to hear more clearly. 

When you access the telecoil function, then you not only hear exquisite clarity of sound, you also eliminate background noise as all you hear is what is coming through the microphone.  In a busy pharmacy this is a great advantage.

Hear PEI and all of us with hearing loss commend South Shore Pharmacy for providing a hearing accessibility tool that helps everyone to communicate more effectively.  If you use the Speech Transfer System at South Shore Pharmacy, please let me know about the experience.  Your feedback will be passed along to the pharmacy. 

…Other Places With A Speech Transfer System On Prince Edward Island…

Last year Access PEI and the Visitor’s Desk at Queen Elizabeth Hospital installed speech transfer systems.  To read about those installations, see:

Do you have a pharmacy experience to share?  Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on this blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

Looking for a hard of hearing button? Order at: https://form.jotform.com/201983720272252 

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Why not subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

“The TV Is Too Loud!”

December 11, 2021.  “…The TV is too loud!....”  If you have hearing loss, chances are that you have had someone direct this comment to you.  I certainly have…. particularly if I watch a program that my husband is not fond of. 

Over the years I’ve used several hearing accessibility tools to make TV viewing enjoyable for both of us.  This posting discusses some popular solutions.

….Closed Captioning lets me follow what is said on screen….

I always use the closed captioning feature for TV programming.  Too many programs are difficult to watch otherwise, due to distracting music, and voices that can be a challenge to understand. 

Recently, I was astonished to read that captioning is PREFERRED by young viewers who don’t have hearing loss. ‘Young people are almost four times more likely than older viewers to watch TV shows with subtitles…’ according to a BBC article.

Why? I wondered. ‘Subtitles have become an essential aid for following a show for many people – especially if other distractions and devices are competing for their attention. Many have also got used to watching videos with subtitles on social media…’ More people using captioning will lead to improved captioning quality, so this was a good news story! (See https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-59259964)

….A pocket talker lets you HEAR sounds you may have missed….

I’ve tried a pocket talker with great success.  The first program I watched using this portable amplification device featured an Australian archeologist who drove across an African desert on the trail of Alexander the Great.  Captioning told me what he said.  With the pocket talker I could HEAR the sound of the jeep tires crunching on the sand! 

Designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss as a helpful aid in understanding what is being said in one-on-one or small group conversations, it does double duty in improving comprehension while watching TV. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf2xzjwFee4

It also picks up surrounding sounds, such as the comments my husband makes on whatever I’m watching!  I leave it up to you to decide whether that’s good or bad!  

….A chair loop pad transmits sound to t-coil enabled hearing aids….

Like many with moderate to severe hearing loss, Rheal Leger uses a portable chair loop pad and loves it.  With the sound from his TV or sound system transmitted right to his t-coil enabled hearing aids, he can hear the TV with the sound volume placed so low that even his wife can’t hear it at all. (See https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/2019/11/25/i-love-my-looping-chair/)

As a bonus, Rheal can use the chair loop pad to connect to his laptop, which he really appreciated these past months of the pandemic when virtual meetings became a necessity. It meant he had the same clarity of sound as when watching TV.

… A TV Listening System lets you watch TV AND answer a mobile phone…

While I like products that let me do one thing effectively at one time, many people like to be able to multi-task.  If I watch TV, then that’s what I do and if the phone rings, I pause the TV to talk on the phone.  I’m in the minority, however, judging by some of the calls we get, with music or a TV program blaring in the background.

If you are a multi-tasker and have mild to moderate hearing loss, then a TV listening system may be for you.  Like a pocket talker and a chair loop pad, this device amplifies sound and lets you hear the TV without disturbing others.  It also pairs with Bluetooth enabled mobile phones and tablets wirelessly so you can take calls or listen to music while watching TV. 

20211117_104728 Nov 17 2021 Annie Lee with TV Listening System

Annie Lee MacDonald with a TV Listening System.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

… “There are ways to reduce TV volume and still enjoy your TV watching experience”…

If the TV volume is an issue in your household, one or more of the suggested solutions discussed may be perfect for you. 

Do you have a TV viewing experience to share?  Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on this blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Why not subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

2021 Hearing Accessibility Advocates Recognized

December 5, 2021.  As we near the end of 2021, it’s a good opportunity to note that although Hear PEI is a small volunteer group, quite a bit is accomplished in spite of very limited resources.  One reason is because of the help and support received from others in promoting awareness of hearing accessibility issues.

At Hear PEI’s Annual General Meeting on November 30, 2021, Mike and Isabel Smith, publisher and editor of the County Line Courier community newspaper, were recognized as Hear PEI’s Hearing Accessibility Advocates for 2021.

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Mike and Isabel Smith, publisher and editor of the County Line Courier.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)


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County Line Courier masthead.

The County Line Courier, published twice a month, and with a circulation of 8,200 households, is a community newspaper covering the south shore area of Prince Edward Island. 

Since August 2016, the County Line Courier has helped bring awareness of hearing accessibility issues by publishing articles in what is now called the Hearing Challenges column.  The first article was ‘Three Island Women Are Hearing Again After Cochlear Implants’ and the articles continue to this day.

Over the years, the articles have helped inform Islanders of various issues related to hearing loss.  The ongoing commitment by the County Line Courier to publish the Hearing Challenges articles has helped to build awareness of hearing accessibility issues in the Island communities the newspaper serves. 

This is important as, according to memory experts, research shows the average person needs to hear a message seven times before it sinks in and is able to be processed in the brain.  You don’t need to have hearing loss yourself to be impacted by it.  We all know family members, friends, coworkers, clients and patients who have hearing loss.     

Hear PEI Certificate County Line Courier

A big thank you to Mike and Isabel Smith for helping to reach a wider audience on hearing accessibility issues over the past years. Have you have read the Hearing Challenges column in the County Line Courier? You are always welcome to share your experience.  Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on this blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Why not subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

Holiday Gift Ideas For Hearing Accessibility And Awareness

CIMG5429 Nov 17 2021 Daria and Annie Lee

Daria Valkenburg and Annie Lee MacDonald have holiday gifts on their minds. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

November 19, 2021.  It’s that time of year when winter creeps ever closer, the days get shorter, and many of us turn our thoughts to holiday gift giving.  Every year we get inquiries asking for advice on holiday gifts for that special someone who either has hearing loss, or who has clients with hearing loss.

This year, this annual posting is focussing on the two items that continue to make a difference:  hard of hearing pins and pocket talkers.

…A hard of hearing pin is an inexpensive gift that promotes hearing awareness….

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A hard of hearing pin is a simple and courteous way to let others know that you have hearing loss.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

A hard of hearing pin is inexpensive, and since last year, Hear PEI has provided a range of colourful pins in a variety of designs. The pandemic has made hearing accessibility an issue for so many.  It’s why we encourage Islanders (and anyone else) with hearing loss to wear a pin that identifies them as ‘hard of hearing’.

Why? Wearing a pin not only provides visibility and lets others know we may not hear or comprehend what is being said, it is a measure of courtesy to those who may not know us.  It also provides awareness to businesses and services that conveniently ignore the fact that many clients, customers, and patients have hearing loss.  Anytime I have worn my pin I have had only positive interactions.

I’m not alone.  Marion Toole shared a recent experience.  “… When I was at Giant Tiger, the young man serving me said ‘thank you for wearing the pin’ after he saw it and realized I was hard of hearing

Marion was a bit bemused when a woman approached her on another occasion when she was wearing a hard of hearing pin.  “… ‘You’re brave’ this lady said.  I told her ‘if it helps me it helps others’…

Watch ‘Say It With A Pin’:

….Hear The Jay is Hear PEI’s newest hard of hearing pin…

Hear The Jay

Hear PEI’s Hear The Jay hard of hearing pin. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Here on the Island, blue jays are very visible with their brightly coloured feathers!  It was easy for us to choose this design as the newest hard of hearing pin!

Whether you are considering treating yourself or someone else, you can order a pin here:  https://form.jotform.com/201983720272252.  They make wonderful stocking stuffers, and are very easy to mail.

 … ‘A Pocket Talker changed my life’….

CIMG3151 Sep 14 2019 Annie Lee with pocket talker

Annie Lee MacDonald with a pocket talker.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The number one issue of importance to anyone with hearing loss is being able to communicate. Year after year, the humble pocket talker has been making a difference in the lives of people with mild to moderate hearing loss.  This amplification device is easy to use, requires no internet or electricity, and is portable.

On Prince Edward Island, this hearing accessibility tool is available in many law offices and in some medical offices.  If you are looking for a gift for the professional in your life, consider providing a gift that will help many clients and patients and make interactions easier.

As you can see in the video below, it can make a big difference in a person’s life.  See ‘A Pocket Talker Changed My Life’:

 More on gifts for people with hearing loss…

For previous years’ articles on holiday gifts for people with hearing loss, please see:

And a video on holiday gift ideas:

Thank you to Marion Toole for sharing her experiences while wearing her hard of hearing pin.  Do you have holiday gift idea to share? If so, please send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

Don’t Talk To Me When I’m In The Kitchen….And You’re In Another Room

November 7, 2021.  Has this ever happened to you?  You’re in the kitchen preparing a meal, and someone starts talking to you from another room.  Now, maybe if you have perfect hearing this is no problem, but what if you’re like me, and have hearing loss?

It can be a challenge to follow a conversation when people are in the same room as me. What alternate universe makes anyone think I can hear better with a wall between me and them?  I can’t!  In fact, I already have enough trouble concentrating on what I’m making in the kitchen so I tend to ignore anyone standing right beside me.

20211106_151051 Nov 6 2021 Annie Lee in kitchen

Annie Lee MacDonald finds even family members forget she is hard of hearing and talk to her while she is in the kitchen and they are in another room.  (Photo credit:  Daria Valkenburg)

I’m not alone. Annie Lee MacDonald noted that “probably one of the most difficult situations in our family environment is when my husband and I are in the house alone, or when family are there. They tend to forget that I have difficulty hearing, and they’re asking me questions from other parts of the house. And of course, I’m usually in the kitchen.  I can’t hear them, so I have to drop what I’m doing and go to where they are, for them to repeat they asked me, so I can answer them properly. That’s frustrating sometimes….

….Even people with hearing loss do this…

Super annoying, but you know what?  We’re just as guilty as our family members!  When we were invited for lunch by Joan Gallant, there were 3 of us in the house with hearing loss.  Guess what happened?  Joan was by the stove with her back to us.  Annie Lee and I were at the dining room table….talking to her!

20210617_122012 Jun 17 2021 Joan Annie Lee Daria photo taken by Tim Gallant

An enjoyable lunch…once we were able to hear each other!  Left to right: Joan Gallant, Annie Lee MacDonald, Daria Valkenburg. (Photo taken by Tim Gallant)

Joan pointed out that “….I cannot hear if someone is talking behind my back while I’m in the kitchen. You have to be facing a person when you speak to them if they are hard of hearing….”

….3 key tips for better communication…

We knew that. We just ‘forgot’. It was a good wakeup call for us.  It reminded us of three key tips for communicating with people who have hearing loss:

  • Don’t talk to us from behind.
  • Get our attention before you talk to us.
  • Make sure you are close by so we’re able to hear what you are saying.

Annie Lee put it correctly when she said “…there is a strong possibility we are the only one in the family who has a hearing loss, so we don’t usually have to adjust our conversation in any way to family members, like they have to adjust their conversation in order for us to hear properly.

But, when we go out and we’re among people who are hard of hearing, we tend to forget to treat them as we would like people to treat us….

Have you had a kitchen experience like we did? Do you have a story in communicating to share?  Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

An Over-Reliance On Captions?

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October 25, 2021.  Do you use captioning when you watch a TV program or movie?  I do. I’ve become so used to captioning that I find it difficult to watch anything that isn’t captioned. 

I even watch a captioned program when the captioning is less than accurate… spelling errors, completely incorrect wording.  “…This program is clothes captioned…”  Really?  Over the years it’s become a sport to figure out what is actually meant, and to wonder why captioning for so many programs is so poor.

A few times, I’ve followed the captioning on a program, puzzled as to why the phrasing didn’t match what was on screen.  One time my husband, who had been doing a crossword puzzle while I watched a program, looked up and kindly asked if I realized that the captioning was for a different program.  Oh, that would explain it.

Was I placing too much reliance on captioning?  I didn’t think so, at least not until we were in The Netherlands a few years ago.  After a very hectic week, we were glad to plan a quiet evening in the hotel, and while my husband was out running an errand, I turned on the TV, hoping to find something of interest to watch. 

I found a program on art…. in Dutch, but with subtitles….and was engrossed in the program.  My husband came in, and took a look at what was on screen. The conversation went like this…

Why are you watching that?” he asked in astonishment.

It’s a painting show” was my reply.

Why did you turn on the captions?  You can’t read Dutch that quickly.

I can follow most of it.” 

He snickered.  “Really?  What’s the program about?

This guy went to the Rijksmuseum, saw a painting there, and now someone is painting a copy.” I didn’t tell him that the presenter stood outside a sign for the museum before going inside to look at a painting, which is how I knew where he had gone.

Why?

Long pause.  I’d been trying to figure that out myself.  “I don’t know. It looks like someone is trying to use the same techniques as in the original.

Big sigh.  “You’re too reliant on captions, even when you can’t follow them.”  Then my darling husband sat down to watch the program with me, since he could actually understand the language.  It turned out the program was to see if art experts could tell the difference between the ‘fake’ and the actual painting. 

Am I over-reliant on captions?  Probably, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Do you have an experience or tip about captioning to share? Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

‘In Remembrance’ Hard of Hearing Pin Is Now Available

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A poppy in bloom in our front yard this summer. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

September 22, 2021.  With the summer holidays behind us, our household, which revolves around gardening in the summer, turns to the period leading up to Remembrance Week. 

Every summer, poppies grow in our front yard.  My husband planted them in tribute to my father’s Ukrainian heritage.  In the village in Ukraine where my father was born, poppies grew wild in the field and bright red poppies were planted around most houses. 

In Ukraine, poppies are a symbol of remembrance, going back to the 15th century.  The poppies in our yard are in remembrance of my late father, whose surname translates in English to ‘the place where poppies grow’.

As we know, the red poppy is also the official symbol of remembrance in Canada, adopted as such in 1921, following WW1.

When Annie Lee MacDonald and I were considering a new hard of hearing pin, we wanted one that would reflect both the garden and remembrance.  The result was the ‘In Remembrance’ pin.  Recently I wore the pin to a luncheon honouring the service of Korean war veterans.

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I wore my ‘In Remembrance’ hard of hearing pin to a lunch for veterans.  (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)


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‘In Remembrance’ hard of hearing pin.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Whether you like poppies as a reminder of the beauty in a garden, or as a symbol of remembrance, you can order the ‘In Remembrance’ pin here:  https://form.jotform.com/201983720272252. Wearing a pin not only provides visibility and lets others know we may not hear or comprehend what is being said, it is a measure of courtesy to those who may not know us.

Do you have an experience or tip to share? Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube…..

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg

Introduction To Speech Reading At PEI Seniors College

my-grandfather-is-hard-of-hearing-he-needs-to-read-lips-i-dont-mind-him-reading-lips-but-he-uses-quote-1

September 20, 2021.  Over the past 18 months, many of us have had challenges with hearing people behind masks and plexiglass barriers.  Speech reading techniques have been difficult to use, as people’s mouths have been covered.  If you find yourself wishing you knew more about speech reading…. for that distant day in the future when we are again unmasked… you may be interested in knowing that this year the PEI Seniors College is giving speech reading a trial run with a 2 hour session introducing the subject, facilitated by Nancy MacPhee.    

Here’s what you need to know:

PEI SENIORS COLLEGE: Introduction To Speech Reading, with Nancy MacPhee. This is a 2 hour information session.  If there is sufficient interest, a course will be added to the PEI Seniors College class schedule. 

DATE: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 from 2 to 4 pm.

LOCATION: Milton Community Hall

For more information on PEI Seniors College and how to register for sessions, please see www.seniorscollege.ca/. You can also call them at 902-894-2867 or send an email to seniorscollege@upei.ca.  Please note the registration fee of $160 allows you to take as many courses as you like in the fall, winter, and spring sessions. 

Do you have an experience or tip to share about a previous speech reading course you’ve taken? Send an email to hearpei@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @HearPEI.

…….. Don’t forget to wear a  hard of hearing pin…..

20201208_085023 Be Leaf In Dreams pin

Be Leaf In Dreams hard of hearing pin. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Please don’t forget to wear a hard of hearing pin when you are out and about, running your errands.  Wearing a pin not only provides visibility and lets others know we may not hear or comprehend what is being said, it is a measure of courtesy to those who may not know us. See the order form for the selection of pins and clear-window face masks: https://form.jotform.com/201983720272252.    

…….. Hear PEI on YouTube….

Screenshot_2021-02-25 Hear PEI Association

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Hear PEI Association Channel on YouTube?  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDqwG4tu2mmja5HwZJS3VQ

© Daria Valkenburg