Two Stories From ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?’

October 15, 2017.  Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, and written by Chapter members, the large-print booklet “Pardon Me, What Did You Say?  A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World” is designed to help improve communications between hard of hearing seniors and their family, friends, and caregivers.

NHSP Booklet Front & Back

Artist Wayne Wright, whose cartoons are in The Journal Pioneer, volunteered his time and considerable artistic talent to illustrate the personal stories in the booklet, after Annie Lee MacDonald asked for his help.

IMG_1769 Aug 18 2017 Wayne Wright in Summerside

Artist Wayne Wright signs the illustrations for the booklet. (Photo credit: Annie Lee MacDonald)

How many of you can relate to this story from the booklet?  ….Not long ago, my husband (AKA “my ears”) and I travelled by plane together.  The so-called public announcements at the airport and on the plane are an exercise in frustration for me.  When queried, my husband, who quietly reads while I fuss and fume, said “Ignore it.  No one understands what they say on those announcements.”…..

CHHA PEI W Wright Illustration P

The airport announcement story was illustrated by artist Wayne Wright.

Would you be embarrassed if this story from the booklet happened to you? ….. One time, at an airport hotel, I requested a wake-up call so I could catch an early morning flight.  Unfortunately I slept in and didn’t hear the phone ringing.  When I didn’t answer after several tries, the hotel staff came banging on the door.  I didn’t hear that, either.  Finally, they opened the door with a master key and woke me up.  If I hadn’t let them know I was hard of hearing when I checked in, I don’t know what they would have done!  Luckily, I made my plane connection on time!

 CHHA PEI W Wright Illustration T

The sleeping in story was illustrated by artist Wayne Wright.

Do you have a tip or story of your own to share?  Have you read the booklet?  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

© Daria Valkenburg

Advertisements

Positive Reception to Booklet On Improving Communications with Hard of Hearing

October 15, 2017. On October 11, 2017, the first official presentation introducing our Chapter’s newest publication, “Pardon Me, What Did You Say?  A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World” was held at Stratford Community Centre, as part of the Women’s Institute Fall Workshop.  Over 40 women heard the presentation by Brenda Porter, and received copies of the booklet.  Based on the comments and evaluations, this was positively received, with many saying “how I wish I’d known this information before”.

IMG_0149 Oct 10 2017 Brenda Porter by slideshow presentation at Stratford CC

Brenda Porter during the presentation introducing the publication Pardon Me, What Did You Say? A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World” at Sherbrooke Community Centre in Summerside. (Photo credit: Gerry Gray)

Besides giving presentations, the Chapter has begun publicizing the booklet, which was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, at conferences. Annie Lee MacDonald and Daria Valkenburg were invited to showcase the booklet at a booth at the “Making the Connection Conference” in Summerside, a conference with 200 participants that focused on the care of older adults.  Participants from long term care, community care facilities, hospitals, and home care that included nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, administrators, and social workers gave a positive response to the booklet.

NHSP Booklet Front & Back

Copies of the booklet were also given to participants at the October 14, 2017 seminar ‘Demystifying Cochlear Implants’, with copies given to Dr. David Morris and his staff at the Maritime Lateral Skull Base Clinic in Halifax, where many islanders go for treatment related to their ears, as well as to seminar sponsors present at the event.

 Additional presentations are booked for November as follows:

  • Charlottetown Seniors Active Living Centre – Wednesday, Nov. 1, 10:30 am
  • Souris Silver Threads Seniors Club – Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2:00 pm
  • North Rustico Seniors’ Club – Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2:00 pm
  • Alberton Arts and Heritage Centre – Monday, Nov. 20, 1:30 pm
  • Cornwall West River United Church – Monday, Nov. 27, 2:00 pm

At the request of PEI’s Seniors’ Secretariat, Chapter members will be answering questions about the booklet on November 22 during the Secretariat’s ‘PEI Party Line’.  Never heard of the PEI Party Line?  It’s a free, telephone-based program that offers information and a chance to talk with others. Each week, a 45-minute telephone call, between 10:00 am and 10:45 am, is hosted with different topics and guest speakers.

Do you have a tip or story to share?  Have you read the booklet?  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

© Daria Valkenburg

 

911 Pamphlet Outlines Protocols for the Hard of Hearing

October 15, 2017.  An emergency is not a good time to test whether a system is working properly.  Therefore, this past spring, members of our Chapter, in cooperation with Pat Kelly, Acting 911 Coordinator from PEI’s Department of Justice and Public Safety, and Island EMS, held boardroom and live exercises to test the two protocols available for the hard of hearing on PEI.  These two protocols are ‘Dial 911’ and ‘Text with 911’.

CIMG7663 Jul 7 2017 Annie Lee and Brenda with 911 pamphlet

Annie Lee MacDonald and Brenda Porter of the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association with pamphlets outlining protocols for the hard of hearing. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Following the exercise, a pamphlet was written outlining the protocols, which is available from us.  One side of the pamphlet tells you the steps to take if you call 911, but can’t hear what the operator is saying.  Those who have smart phones may find texting easier than calling, and the other side of the pamphlet tells you the steps you must take to do that.

Dial 911 and Text with 911 pamphlet

Pamphlet outlining protocols for Dial 911 and Text with 911 for the hard of hearing.

Since many people do not hear well enough to have simple conversations on the telephone, let alone one in a stressful situation, technology is helping address that.  A pan-Canadian wide system called Text with 911, or T-911, is available in many (not all) Canadian localities.  However, only PEI, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have this service available province-wide.

To use Text with 911, your cell phone number must be registered with your cell phone provider BEFORE you ever have an emergency. (Go to www.textwith911.ca) Once registered, if you dial 911, your call automatically goes to an operator who responds with a text call in either French or English, depending on the language preference you chose when registering. Note that it can take up to 5 days for your phone to be registered.

Although you can’t initiate a 911 call using text messaging, once the operator sends a text, you can TALK to the 911 operator, and receive a text message back. If you are able to speak, this may speed up the call, an important timesaver in a life or death situation.

Copies of the pamphlet are available at Chapter meetings, or at one of our speaking engagements.  Our next meeting is on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.

Do you have a tip or story to share?  Let us know!  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

© Daria Valkenburg

 

Summer/Fall 2017 Newsletter for CHHA PEI

September 29, 2017. With the first meeting of the fall season over, it’s time to look ahead at upcoming events and to reflect on the activities of the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association over the past months.   You can read the newest edition of our newsletter, The Listening Post, here…..CHHA PEI Newsletter Summer Fall 2017

In the coming months we will:

  • Tour the province with presentations related to our newest publication “Pardon Me, What Did You Say? A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World”.
  • Host a seminar on “Demystifying Cochlear Implants” on October 14, a special event with Dr. Morris of Halifax. A modest fee of $20 is charged for this session to help pay for real time captioning.
  • Continue building awareness with the legal community in improving communications with the hard of hearing.

Fundraising:

  • We have pins for sale for $2 each.  See our newsletter for more details.
  • Charitable donations are always welcome to help fund the activities of the chapter. We have no employees, and all work is done on a volunteer basis.

Other upcoming events:

  • With the help of a grant from the Senior Secretariat we are planning a seminar next spring on “Living With Tinnitus”. If you have ideas for other topics of interest to the hard of hearing community, please let us know either by commenting on this blog or by sending an email to us at hearpei@gmail.com.
  • Our neighbours in Moncton are hosting the second Hearing Health New Brunswick day on October 20 at Casino New Brunswick. This is a free event.  For more information and registration, see https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/hearing-health-new-brunswick-2017-tickets-37369421947.
  • Next meeting of CHHA PEI is October 31 at the North Tryon Presbyterian Church in North Tryon, starting at 9:30 am.

Please note that there will NOT be speech reading classes this fall, due to insufficient enrollment.  If you are interested in enrolling in the next available session, let us know.

Do you have a tip or story to share?  Let us know!  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

 © Daria Valkenburg

 

New Booklet On Improving Communications Launched

September 28, 2017. Brenda Porter of our Chapter is spearheading a series of presentations to launch our Chapter’s newest publication, “Pardon Me, What Did You Say?  A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World”.  Below is an article Brenda wrote about the project, and a list of the scheduled presentations.  You won’t want to miss one when it comes your way.

 A reminder about the seminar coming up on October 14 at the University of PEI, ‘Demystifying Cochlear Implants’ with Dr. Morris of Halifax.  Don’t miss this event if you have a cochlear implant, or are in line for one. (see CHHA PEI Oct 14 2017 Seminar Demystifying CIs (2) and CHHA PEI Seminar Registration Oct 14 2017 Demystifying CIs)

 NHSP Booklet Front & Back

Pardon Me, What Did you Say? A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World

More than 50% of seniors have some hearing loss. Pardon Me, What Did You Say? – A Guide to Navigating in the Hard of Hearing World is a project of the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA PEI) that aims to foster wider engagement in the community for those seniors and others who are hard of hearing.

Members of CHHA PEI have compiled a ‘large print’ booklet that will be a tool for both those who are hard of hearing and for the people with whom they communicate. It will contain a wide range of tips for more effective communication skills. It also will contain stories, illustrated by artist Wayne Wright, meant to encourage those who are hard of hearing to let others know about their difficulty.

During October and November, in communities across the island, 30 – 40 minute presentations led by CHHA PEI members will introduce key tips that are found in the booklet. Each presentation will be followed with questions and conversation. All are welcome and a free copy of the booklet will be given to those who attend.

Dates and Locations for the public presentations are:

  • Alberton Arts and Heritage Centre – Monday, Nov. 20, 1:30pm
  • Andrews of Stratford  – Monday, Oct. 23, 2:00pm
  • Charlottetown Seniors Active Living Centre – Wednesday, Nov. 1, 10:30am
  • Cornwall West River United Church – Monday, Nov. 27, 2:00pm
  • North Rustico Seniors’ Club – Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2:00pm
  • Souris Silver Threads Seniors Club – Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2:00pm

Presentations will also be made at the Women’s Institute Fall Workshops:

  • Summerside – Wednesday, October 11
  • Charlottetown – Tuesday, October 17
  • Montague – Thursday, October 19

 The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

For further information, please contact Brenda Porter at hearpei@gmail.com.

 

Upcoming Seminar on Demystifying Cochlear Implants

September 7, 2017.  Halifax Surgeon Dr. David Morris, Well Known to Most Cochlear Implant Recipients on PEI, to Speak In Charlottetown on October 14!

20150715_DA_otolaryngology_headshots_18509-P-019
Dr. David Morris

Cochlear implant recipients and potential recipients are invited to reserve Saturday, October 14, 2017 to attend a day seminar at Seniors Active Living Centre on UPEI Campus to learn more about your cochlear implant and how to manage it effectively.

Dr. David Morris, who many Islanders know as their implant Doctor, will spend the day answering your questions and demystifying the myths surrounding Cochlear Implants. The event is scheduled for 9 am-3 pm, lunch and coffee breaks provided.

Registration is limited so register early.  For information contact Annie Lee MacDonald at (902) 855-2382 or email us at  hearpei@gmail.com. There will be a $20 fee to cover expenses.

See attached flyer CHHA PEI Oct 14 2017 Seminar Demystifying CIs and registration form. CHHA PEI Seminar Registration Oct 14 2017 Demystifying CIs

Do you have a cochlear implant?  Are you on the waiting list for one?  You won’t want to miss this special event!  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com

Looping Available at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam

August 29, 2017.  After a long flight to Europe, we landed at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.  This is a busy airport!  According to the airport statistics, 6.7 MILLION passengers used this airport in July 2017 alone!  For 2017, up to the end of July, 39 million passengers used the airport.  If you add in the shops, restaurants, people meeting and dropping off passengers, and the service personnel, that’s more people than the population of Canada!

As you can imagine, with such a busy place, it’s noisy, and, as expected in an international airport, there is a variety of languages being spoken around you.  If you’re hard of hearing, you may as well give up trying to understand what’s being said.  So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the airport service kiosk accommodated the hard of hearing population by posting a sign advertising that it was equipped with a hearing loop.

What a wonderful sign!  Anyone hard of hearing doesn’t have to struggle to hear, and best of all, doesn’t have to explain that he or she is hard of hearing.  It’s a discreet accommodation.  I immediately pulled out my camera and asked if I could take a photo, explaining I was from Canada.  “Of course!” was the answer.

CIMG8007 kiosk Schipol AirportService Kiosk at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.

CIMG8006 hearing loop sign Schipol airport

 Hearing loop availability sign at Service Kiosk at Schipol Airport

What is a hearing loop? A hearing loop (sometimes called an audio induction loop) is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids and cochlear implants that provides a magnetic, wireless signal which is picked up by the cochlear implant or hearing aid when it is set to the ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting.  The hearing loop consists of a microphone to pick up the spoken word, an amplifier which processes the signal which is then sent through the final piece, a loop cable, which is basically a wire placed around the perimeter of a specific area such as a meeting room, or, like at Schipol Airport, at a service counter.

A hearing loop is cost effective as it can be used by anyone with a cochlear implant or a compatible hearing aid, is inconspicuous, there is no need for a headset, and any number of users within the looped area can use the system.  It’s cost effective as the technology is not expensive.

A looping system was installed in St. Pius X church in Charlottetown over 40 years ago, and still works – with no maintenance other than to check that the wires have not been pulled out!  We’ve heard that the Summerside Fundamental Baptist Church is also looped.

There is a growing movement across Canada to join Europe in looping public buildings, service counters, and meeting rooms.  Extensive looping has been done in Western Canada, and is slowly moving east. This can only happen if there is support from hard of hearing people here on PEI and in the rest of The Maritimes.

Have you used a hearing loop?  Do you know of any other places on PEI that have a looping system?  Are you interested in advancing a Let’s Loop PEI project?  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

 © Daria Valkenburg

 

Fall Speechreading Class Schedule

August 20, 2017.  When you’re hard of hearing, you need to be savvy about different ways to help you communicate.  If you are hard of hearing, consider this opportunity to help improve your ability to understand what others are saying and take classes in speechreading, offered by the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.  Charlottetown resident Nancy MacPhee, certified by the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association to teach speech reading, is a volunteer instructor for Levels I & II.

Level I classes run for 10 weeks, two hours per week.  In addition to teaching students how to lip read and to interpret gestures and facial expressions, the classes address coping strategies and hearing loss issues.

Two new Level I sessions begin in Charlottetown on Thursday, September 21 and run until November 23.  One session is a morning class, from 10 am until noon.  The other is an evening class, from 7 to 9 pm. Participants MUST pre-register and there is a modest fee. For more information, call Annie Lee MacDonald at (902) 855-2382 or email us at hearpei@gmail.com.  NOTE:  There will NOT be a Level II session this fall.

About the Level I Speechreading Course

Level 1 introduces the most visible spoken consonants, as well as thematic groups, such as colours and numbers. Students practice with phrases in class groups as well as with the instructor. General info on hearing loss, as well as coping and communication strategies, are covered.

Have you taken a speechreading class?  Help Nancy and future students by letting us know about the experience and what you’ve learned.   Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

Visitors with Hearing Loss on Our Island

CIMG7859 Aug 2 2017 Don Jane Daria Annie Lee at White Gables

Photo:  We visited a roadside stand in Hope River.  Left to right:  Don, Jane, Daria, Annie Lee.

August 12, 2017.  Summer is the time when we see a lot of visitors to the island.  This year we had the pleasure of seeing friends from Ottawa, Jane Scott and Don Gribble.  Jane and I were on the CHHA National board together, and currently serve on the CHHA Foundation board.  Annie Lee and I spent a great afternoon discussing hard of hearing issues with them, and doing a bit of touring.

Jane and Don were great hosts when I was in Ottawa in November and my husband and I were more than happy to return the favour of showing them a good time.   Besides the normal tourist sights, they got to see the “Knickers older than Canada” display at the Alberton Visitors Centre.   (See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/undergarments-1800s-alberton-welcome-centre-delaney-mchugh-1.4230807)

CIMG7855 Aug 1 2017 Jane and Daria at underwear exhibit in Alberton.JPG

One of the nicest things about travel when you are hard of hearing is that you get to see how other places address our needs.  Jane shared this photo of a sign found in the women’s washroom of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic when they were in Lunenburg (see https://fisheriesmuseum.novascotia.ca).

20170810_135540.jpg

Jane and Don were in Lunenburg to visit the Tall Ships.  One of the ships, Lord Nelson, was fully equipped to handle disabled crew, up to 8 in wheelchairs, and they had special equipment and markers on the boat for the blind.  As Jane commented, “Rather neat!”  There are elevators to take wheelchairs and disabled between decks, and a rope and pulley system to bring wheelchairs up the gangplank. The hard of hearing haven’t been forgotten as the ship is equipped with a hearing loop!!  Thinking about volunteering to crew?  (See http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/vessels/tall-ship-lord-nelson)

Thanks Jane and Don, for sharing those stories!  Do you have a tip or story to share about your travel adventures?  Let us know!  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

 

© Daria Valkenburg

Bonshaw Ceilidh Fundraiser A Success!

CIMG7547 May 28 2017 Bonshaw Ceilidh Annie Lee Karen Graves Marion Toole

Photo:  PEI Chapter President Annie Lee MacDonald at Bonshaw Hall with violinist Karen Graves and PEI Chapter member Marion Toole.  Admission to the ceilidh was by donation.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

August 4, 2017. The afternoon of Sunday, May 28 was the sound of music for the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and the audience at a benefit ceilidh at Bonshaw Hall. Part of the proceeds went to the Chapter for its advocacy and outreach work, and the performers generously donated their time and considerable talent.

CIMG7548 May 28 2017 Bonshaw Ceilidh Fresh Air Inspectors.JPG

Photo:  Fresh Air Inspectors. From left to right:  Gary Torlone, Emily Ross, Kevin Yarr, and Marcus Lutterman. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG7549 May 28 2017 Bonshaw Ceilidh Andrea Corder.JPG   CIMG7550 May 28 2017 Bonshaw Ceilidh Olivia Blacquiere and Emma Bowers.JPG

Photo left:  University of PEI music student Andrea Corder played and sang her own composition.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Photo right:  Maritime Idol winners Olivia Blacquiere and Emma Bowers.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG7553 May 28 2017 Bonshaw Ceilidh Nathan Simmons and Karen Graves.JPG  CIMG7555 May 28 2017 Bonshaw Ceilidh Anna Ney.JPG

Photo left:  Nathan Simmons and professional violinist Karen Graves, who plays with the P.E.I and New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, played two pieces by Bela Bartok.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Photo right:  German-born singer-songwriter Anna Ney from New Brunswick.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Proceeds from this benefit and other donations received are used by the non-profit PEI Chapter for:

  • Engaging in advocacy and outreach issues for the hard of hearing
  • Holding regular meetings with guest speakers on hearing related issues
  • Fostering speech reading classes
  • Speaking engagements on hard of hearing topics
  • Encouraging hearing accessibility in public places

All donations to the Chapter are tax deductible as we are a non-profit charitable donation.  If you have a hearing loss, or know someone who does, consider making a donation.  We have no employees, and all our work is done by dedicated volunteers.

The next meeting of the PEI Chapter is on Tuesday, September 26 at 9:30 am, at the North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  For more information, contact hearpei@gmail.com .

© Daria Valkenburg