CBC Interview Re Tinnitus Seminar

April 26, 2018. On Thursday, CBC Mainstreet ran an interview we did about the upcoming seminar in May on tinnitus, THERE IS HOPE: Understanding & Managing Your Tinnitus”, presented by audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  (See here for more information on the seminar, including a registration form: Tinnitus Seminar on May 12 2018)

If you missed this broadcast, here is the link: http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/mainstreet-pei/segment/15540239 and the write-up from the program description:

Tinnitus affects one in every five people and can range from a mild annoyance to a severe problem. The PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is a hosting a seminar on the condition and its treatment. Annie Lee MacDonald and Daria Valkenburg from the association gave Angela Walker the details.

Do you have tinnitus?  You are invited to share your experience by emailing us at hearpei@gmail.com or commenting on our blog at https://theauralreport.wordpress.comYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Follow this link to our Upcoming Events page: Upcoming Events

© Daria Valkenburg

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The Let’s Loop PEI Project

April 26, 2018. One of the objectives of the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is to encourage hearing accessibility.  Let’s Loop PEI is a project to encourage the installation of hearing loops in public places.  Over the years, people with hearing loss had experienced them at conferences off the island and found they made an enormous difference in what was heard.

What is a hearing loop?  How do you explain something you’ve never installed?  “Well, it’s a wire that goes around an area that feeds from the speaker system and sends the sound signal through the wire to create a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by a cochlear implant or hearing aid when it is set to ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting, or through a listening device.  It’s magical.

photo of looping system

Diagram of a basic hearing loop system

If you went Huh? after reading that, here it is in a nutshell:  A hearing loop is like having WiFi for people with hearing loss. With WiFi, you are connected anywhere in the world, through your electronic device, as long as you are in the WiFi designated area.  You don’t need special cords to access, you only turn the setting on your device to access the WiFi offered.  The same technology for WiFi is available here on Prince Edward Island as it is anywhere in the world.

A hearing loop works on basically the same principle, although of course it’s not an internet.  Like WiFi, a hearing loop is inconspicuous, and any number of users within the looped area can use the system. People can discreetly adjust a setting on their hearing aid or cochlear implant to access the looped area, much like you would access a WiFi setting.

To give you an idea of the difference in sound with a hearing loop, here are two YouTube videos that demonstrate what a person with hearing loss experiences with or without a looping system.  Check it out for yourselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahbz0VvlZF0 (Asking for directions at a subway booth in the New York Subway System)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3XoVrUjfaY (Listening to a hymn in church)

Per the 2012 to 2015 Canadian Health Measures Survey, 40% of Canadians have some degree of hearing loss!  (See https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2016001/article/14658-eng.htm)  As of April 23, 2018, the population of Canada is 36,892,069, based on United Nations estimates.  (See http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/canada-population/).  40% of that figure is 14,756,827.  That’s the potential number of people who can use a hearing loop in Canada.

In PEI, the population as of July 1, 2017 was estimated at 152,021. (See https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publication/pei-population-report-2017.) 40% of the province’s population is 60,808.  And this doesn’t take into account the number of tourists with hearing loss who visit and attend various events during the summer months.

Several places were interested in the project, but with no one having international certification on the island, the project sat on the back burner for a few years.  While members had used a hearing loop, no one had a clue how it worked or what was needed to properly install one.  Hearing loops are not new on the island.  A number of places had installed them several decades ago, but then either removed them or forgot about them.

The project moved forward this year when the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Foundation (CHHA Foundation) gave a grant to bring in looping expertise to train a few volunteers and have a few places looped so that people could have tangible proof of the difference a hearing loop can make.  Bill Droogendyk of Better Hearing Solutions was asked if he would be willing to help make the Let’s Loop PEI project a reality, and he said yes.

The Let’s Loop PEI project begins in May, starting with the South Shore United Church in Tryon.

Mar 18 2018 Pieter Jack Karen in sanctuary

Volunteers for the Lets Loop PEI Project at South Shore United Church in Tyron: Pieter Valkenburg and Jack Sorensen with Rev. Dr. Karen MacLeod-Wilkie. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

In the next blog entry, we’ll go through some of the questions and answers about hearing loops and the installation of a looped system in a public space.  In the meantime, if you’d like to read further on this topic, here is a link to an article written by social psychologist David Myer about why he feels churches should be installing hearing loops in churches: https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/david-g-myers-on-hearing-loss-in-worship-an-invisible-disability

Have you been in a place with a hearing loop?  Please share your experience!  You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on our blog at https://theauralreport.wordpress.comYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Follow this link to our Upcoming Events page: Upcoming Events

© Daria Valkenburg

 

CBC Radio Interview on Upcoming Tinnitus Seminar

April 25, 2018.  As a non-profit volunteer organization, we don’t have a lot of funding or time to do activities on a full-time basis.  But when we have a chance to participate in outreach activities, we clear our schedule and participate whenever possible.  As readers of this blog know, we are hosting a tinnitus seminar, THERE IS HOPE: Understanding & Managing Your Tinnitus”, presented by audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.

Last week, Angela Walker of CBC Radio invited us to the studio to speak about this upcoming seminar for the Mainstreet program.  That interview will run this afternoon, and if you are in the listening area, we encourage you to listen in.

Apr 19 2018 CBC Mainstreet interview re tinnitus seminar

Annie Lee MacDonald and Daria Valkenburg at the CBC PEI studio in Charlottetown. Don’t we look serious? (Photo credit: Angela Walker)

Tune in to 96.1 FM, CBC radio this afternoon (Wednesday, April 25, 2018), Mainstreet program, between 5:30 and 6 pm for an interview on the upcoming tinnitus seminar on May 12 at the Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.

A reminder about this important seminar: THERE IS HOPE: Understanding & Managing Your Tinnitus will be presented by audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  Pre-registration is mandatory.  The seminar fee is a modest $15 to help with expenses and ongoing outreach activities.  For more information, email us at hearpei@gmail.com.  More info and a registration form is here: Tinnitus Seminar on May 12 2018.

You can now follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

 Follow this link to our Upcoming Events page: Upcoming Events

© Daria Valkenburg

 

Outreach Day In Charlottetown

April 21, 2018.  On Friday, April 20, 2018, we hosted a booth at the Prince Edward Gerontological Nursing Association 13th Annual Education Day at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel in Charlottetown.  The day’s theme was ‘We can do better in enhancing our understanding of older adult care’.

The presentations were very interesting and informative, although it’s always surprising that hearing health tends to be left out of the discussions!  We would love to see that topic raised in future agendas.  Special kudos go to geriatrician Dr. Tim Stultz for noting in his presentation, ‘Best Practice Approaches for Accommodating the Behaviours and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia’, that auditory and visual differences in older adults need to be addressed.  He explained the need for obtaining a history of hearing issues from patients, assessing for ear wax, and ensuring that hearing aids are in and functional.

Dr Stultz also noted that he uses a pocket talker in his practice and found it of great benefit in communicating with his patients.  That comment resulted in a lot of interest in our booth, and several people asked to try out a pocket talker.  For many, it was the first time they had heard of it, while others said they used one in the facility they worked in.  One seminar participant shared that she had been diagnosed with dementia…..until it was discovered she had hearing loss.  She now uses two hearing aids.

Apr 20 2018 booth at PEI Gerontological Nurses Education Day in Charlottetown

Annie Lee MacDonald explains how a pocket talker works to participants at the Prince Edward Gerontological Nursing Association 13th Annual Education Day. (Photo credit: Tamzin Gillis)

It was an informative day, and we were delighted to have been asked to participate.  Our booth was well represented by Annie Lee MacDonald, Nancy MacPhee, Brenda Porter, and Daria Valkenburg.   Thoughts or suggestions on hearing loss issues that you’d like to see be part of discussions in older adult care?  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Topic: Travel Tips when you are hard of hearing.

June Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Guest speaker:  Dr. Michael Corman, Principal Advisor Senior’s Health at PEI’s Department of Health and Wellness, will give an update on the new Seniors Strategy for PEI.  CHHA PEI was a member of the consultation committee for this strategy.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown, from 10:30 am to 1 pm.  Fee: $15/person.  (See Tinnitus Seminar on May 12 2018 for details and registration information.)

Upcoming Seminar: “MED-EL Cochlear Implant Systems” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D. Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown, from 8:30 to 10 am. Fee: $10/person.  (See MED-EL CI Systems Seminar May 23 2018 for details and registration information.)

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In Your MED-EL Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Fee: $10/person. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. (See Whats In Your MED-EL Tool Box Seminar May 23 2018 for details and registration information.)

Upcoming Seminar: “MED-EL Hearing Implant Systems and Candidacy Criteria” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown, from 2 to 4 pm. Fee: $10/person. Open to Audiologists. (See MED-EL Audiologists Seminar on Hearing Implant Systems May 23 2018 for details and registration information.)

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!

 Upcoming Presentation of ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?”:  Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Andrews of Charlottetown.

 

What A Difference A Microphone Would Have Made!

April 17, 2018.  Most of the time, when people know you are hard of hearing, they do whatever they can to accommodate you, and make sure you are included in whatever is going on.  On very rare occasions, the opposite happens.  How do you deal with this?  Do you ignore it and shrug it off? Stay silent?  Or do you speak up?

Here’s an experience that happened last week.  In our local community, a non-profit organization has been working towards establishing a permanent health clinic after the local doctor moved out of the area.  One of the arguments used to gather support is the large number of seniors in the community who would benefit from having medical support nearby, as opposed to one of the two cities on the island.  People were invited to become members of the non-profit organization, and last Thursday a meeting was held to give an update.

The meeting was held in a theatre, which made sense given that it would have the microphones, etc, needed to host such a meeting.  You can imagine how surprised I, and everyone else, was to arrive at the theatre to find a table on the stage for the members of the Executive, but nary a microphone in sight!

I was in the front row, and when the meeting began, asked about a microphone.  The co-chair curtly told me that “there was no microphone, and it wasn’t needed as his voice was loud enough to carry through the entire theatre”.  I was put in my place!

Although I’m not a senior, my neighbour, who sat beside me in the front row, is and she couldn’t hear either. As the meeting continued, it was clear we weren’t the only ones having difficulty hearing.  In particular, the keynote speaker was difficult to hear.  People behind us kept asking “speak louder” and “repeat the question”.  There were 4 executive members on stage and another 14 directors in the audience, for a total board complement of 18.  Not one considered finding a microphone!

The evening was a complete waste of time! 

The evening was a complete waste of time!  We would have left if it hadn’t been that we had to wait for my neighbour’s husband to come and pick us up.  I was disappointed on two levels.  First, the secretary on the board owns the local pharmacy and has sponsored several of our Chapter activities.  Second, the theatre is one that a number of us attend and the management always makes sure those of us with hearing loss get front row seats for productions.  Therefore, it never occurred to me to ask ahead of time if there would be a microphone for a public meeting.  It seemed a no-brainer.

Later that evening, I wrote to the secretary and expressed my disappointment at the lack of a microphone.  She immediately wrote back, saying she sympathized, but that someone else had made the arrangements for the evening.  She would advise the board of my email.

Was I the only one to say something?  Lots of comments and complaints were made privately, but whether anyone else spoke up is unknown.

LESSONS LEARNED!

For me, the lessons learned are these:

  1. Ask ahead of time if a microphone will be available at a public meeting so that the presenters can be clearly heard.
  2. Speak up if you can’t hear during a meeting.
  3. Bring my own car so I can leave if a meeting is a waste of time!
  4. Never attend another meeting of this non-profit organization unless there is a change of Executive.

What would YOU have done?  Would you have walked out?  Do you agree that a microphone in a public meeting is the most basic of courtesies to expect?  Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

Outreach: On Friday, April 20, 2018, we will have a booth at the Prince Edward Gerontological Nursing Association 13th Annual Education Day at the Charlottetown Hotel in Charlottetown. 

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Topic: Travel Tips when you are hard of hearing.

June Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Guest speaker:  Dr. Michael Corman, Principal Advisor Senior’s Health at PEI’s Department of Health and Wellness, will give an update on the new Seniors Strategy for PEI.  CHHA PEI was a member of the consultation committee for this strategy.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  (See Hope and Help for Those Afflicted With Tinnitus)

Upcoming Seminar: “MED-EL Cochlear Implant Systems” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D. Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown.  (See MED-EL CI Systems Seminar May 23 2018)

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In Your MED-EL Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. (See Whats In Your MED-EL Tool Box Seminar May 23 2018)

Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists and other medical professionals. (See MED-EL Audiologists Seminar on Hearing Implant Systems May 23 2018)

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!

Upcoming Presentation of ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?”:  Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Andrews of Charlottetown.

 

Hearing Aid Rental Program Is Now Available On PEI and Alert Ready Is Coming In May

April 16, 2018.  On Tuesday, April 10, 2018 we had two guest speakers at our monthly meeting.  Our first speaker was Lynn Learie of Horizon Hearing, who spoke about the Hearing Aid Rental Program now available on PEI through Horizon Hearing.

The Hearing Aid Rental Program is similar to the one offered in New Brunswick through Avenir Hearing, as was explained at our November 2017 meeting with Dr. Denis LeBlanc (See Exploring The Option of Renting Your Hearing Aids).

The good news for Islanders is that now there are two firms offering the Hearing Aid Rental Program – Avenir Hearing in New Brunswick, and Horizon Hearing right here on PEI.  Horizon Hearing, based in Charlottetown, has satellite offices in Summerside and Montague.  (See Frequently Asked Questions:  Frequently Asked Questions Horizon Hearing) Contact information for Horizon Hearing is:

  • Toll free – 1-855-332-4327
  • Charlottetown – 902-892-4327
  • Summerside – 902-432-9152
  • Montague – 902-838-2279
CIMG9946 Apr 10 2018 CHHA PEI Meeting Daria Tanya Annie Lee

Daria Valkenburg, Tanya Mullaly, and Annie Lee MacDonald at the CHHA PEI meeting on April 10, 2018. (Photo credit: Brenda Porter)

Our second guest speaker, Tanya Mullaly, Provincial Emergency Management Coordinator for PEI discussed the ‘Alert Ready’ program.  The PEI Emergency Measures Organization is responsible to issuing public alerts for the Province of PEI.  Everyone present had a chance to hear the alarm that will be broadcast, and to learn about the types of emergency alerts issued by the Alert Ready program.  (See Public Alerting Fact Sheet:  Public Alerting Fact Sheet)

During the break, Tanya helped people who wanted to test if their cell phones had the “Alert Ready” software.  As a general rule, unless your phone is less than a year old, chances are yours does not have the “Alert Ready” software.  (Visit www.alertready.ca to check whether or not your specific device is compatible to receive the wireless alerts through your carrier.)

If you do have a phone with the software, you will hear the alarm, your phone will vibrate twice, and then this will be followed by a text message.

Please note that the next emergency public alert test will be conducted in PEI on May 9th at 1:55 pm, and will test all 3 modes of delivery, including radio, TV and wireless functions.  For more information, see Emergency Alert Test On PEI On May 9)

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 (see below under Upcoming Events for more information), but we will be very busy with activities before then.

On Friday, April 20, 2018, we will have a booth at the Prince Edward Gerontological Nursing Association 13th Annual Education Day at the Charlottetown Hotel in Charlottetown.  We were delighted to be invited to participate in this important educational day for nurses.

Do you have a story or tip about hearing loss issues that are important to you? Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Topic: Travel Tips when you are hard of hearing.

June Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Guest speaker:  Dr. Michael Corman, Principal Advisor Senior’s Health at PEI’s Department of Health and Wellness, will give an update on the new Seniors Strategy for PEI.  CHHA PEI was a member of the consultation committee for this strategy.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “So You’re On The Road To A Cochlear Implant” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D. Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In Your Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!

 Upcoming Presentation of ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?”:  Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Andrews of Charlottetown.

 

We Are Now On Twitter!

April 16, 2018.  One of the challenges of a volunteer organization such as ours is staying in contact, and providing timely information on upcoming events.  Last year we began the blog, The Aural Report, and today we joined the world of Twitter.

If you have a Twitter account of your own, follow us:  @HearPEI

Don’t have a Twitter account?  Go to https://twitter.com and set up your own account, then you can follow us, and anyone else you may find of interest.

Have patience with us as we learn our way through this new communication tool!  Tips and advice greatly appreciated!

Do you have a story or tip about hearing loss issues that are important to you? Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.  And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Topic: Travel Tips when you are hard of hearing.

June Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Guest speaker:  Dr. Michael Corman, Principal Advisor Senior’s Health at PEI’s Department of Health and Wellness, will give an update on the new Seniors Strategy for PEI.  CHHA PEI was a member of the consultation committee for this strategy.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “So You’re On The Road To A Cochlear Implant” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D. Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In Your Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!

Upcoming Presentation of ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?”:  Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Andrews of Charlottetown.

 

Three Upcoming MED-EL Sessions on May 23, 2018 in Charlottetown

April 7, 2018.  Not long ago, I read an interesting article about a little girl, adopted from China, who was responding to vibrations, not sound.  The adoptive family had first thought this was a language difficulty as they didn’t speak Chinese, and the little girl, named Chapel, wasn’t yet fluent in English.  When they took her for testing, they discovered that:  “Chapel had total paralysis of the right side of her face, no ear canal there, or hearing nerve … making the potential for hearing in the right ear virtually impossible.  On the left side, her cochlea (which receives sound) was deformed, and her facial nerve had taken a funny path covering her cochlea, making any potential surgery enormously difficult.”  Can you guess what happened next, after complex surgery and Chapel heard her first sounds?  Follow the link and watch the video:  http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/health_fitness/article_37e5302e-0ba8-11e8-8a4e-5797098e5c20.html

New technologies and techniques for improving the ability to hear are increasing across the world.  Here on Prince Edward Island, we have responded to requests for information on cochlear implants, new technologies, and how to use all those little tools that come with your cochlear implant.  MED-EL Medical Electronics will be here for a day, on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown, for three very different sessions. All of the sessions will be presented by Jodi Ostroff, the Clinical Account Manager – Canada for MED-EL.  Some of you may know her already. If you attended last October’s session on ‘Demystifying Cochlear Implants‘ with Dr. David Morris, then you may remember that Jodi was at the MED-EL table to answer your questions.

Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager-Canada, MED-EL Medical Electronics

Jodi Ostroff, PhD, Clinical Account Manager- Canada for MED-EL Medical Electronics

Below is the information related to each session, the audience it’s intended for, and the time.  The two seminars in the morning will have real time captioning available.  As this day is sponsored by the Prince Edward Island Senior Secretariat and MED-EL, we can offer each session at only $10 each.

 1. “MED-EL Cochlear Implant Systems”

There have been significant advances in the field of implantable hearing technologies in recent years. Currently, several options are available for individuals with varying types and degrees of hearing loss who cannot wear hearing aids or who appreciate little or no benefit from traditional amplification. Moreover, cochlear implant candidacy criteria have evolved dramatically since they were first introduced about 25 years ago.

This presentation will provide an introduction to MED-EL’s cochlear implants, including candidacy criteria and realistic expectations for outcomes.

A flyer for this session, registration form, and bio of Jodi Ostroff is available here: MED-EL CI Systems Seminar May 23 2018

NOTE:  This event will have real time captioning available.

Participants:  Anyone interested in MED-EL’s cochlear implants, and what they can do for a cochlear implant candidate.

Session: May 23, 2018, 8:30 am to 10:00 am

Where: Farm Centre, 420 University Av, Charlottetown, PE C1A 2Y9

Fee: $10 per person, payable to CHHA PEI

2. “What’s In Your MED-EL Box?”

Many tools and accessories were provided in your cochlear implant patient kit from MED-EL. Have you ever wondered how to use any of them? All of them!?! We will go through all of the various parts and pieces of the patient kit, including cleaning tools, battery covers, microphone covers, cables, coils, connectivity options, and more!

Bring any or all parts of your kit to the session and MED-EL will answer your questions. 

A flyer for this session, registration form, and bio of Jodi Ostroff is available here: Whats In Your MED-EL Tool Box Seminar May 23 2018

NOTE:  This event will have real time captioning available.

Participants:  Any who currently has a MED-EL cochlear implant or those who may be getting a MED-EL cochlear implant in the near future.  NOTE: If you have a cochlear implant from another supplier, this session would not be appropriate for you as the tools and accessories would be different.

Session: May 23, 2018, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Fee: $10 per person, payable to CHHA PEI

Where: Farm Centre, 420 University Av, Charlottetown, PE C1A 2Y9

Don’t forget to bring your tool kit!

3. MED-EL Hearing Implant Systems and Candidacy Criteria

There have been significant advances in the field of implantable hearing technologies in recent years. Currently, several options are available for individuals with varying types and degrees of hearing loss who cannot wear hearing aids or who appreciate little or no benefit from traditional amplification. Moreover, cochlear implant candidacy criteria have evolved dramatically since they were first introduced about 25 years ago.

This presentation will provide an introduction to each of MED-EL’s implantable hearing technologies which include a middle ear implant, a bone conduction implant, a cochlear implant, and a hybrid (electric-acoustic) cochlear implant/hearing aid system. Candidacy criteria for each of these devices will be described.

A flyer for this session, registration form, and bio of Jodi Ostroff is available here: MED-EL Audiologists Seminar on Hearing Implant Systems May 23 2018

Participants:  Aimed at audiologists, this session may also be of interest to medical personnel and speech therapists.

Session: May 23, 2018, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Where: Farm Centre, 420 University Av, Charlottetown, PE C1A 2Y9

Fee: $10 per person, payable to CHHA PEI

Do you have a story or tip about hearing loss issues that are important to you? Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

© Daria Valkenburg


UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “So You’re On The Road To A Cochlear Implant” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D. Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In Your Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!

 

The Power of a Phrase

April 6, 2018.  Last week the CBC website ran an article about speechreading, an accompaniment to an excellent interview that Angela Walker of CBC Mainstreet ran with Annie Lee MacDonald and Nancy MacPhee.  (Link to the interview: http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/mainstreet-pei/segment/15534544) The headline of the article was unfortunately not the best in describing people with hearing loss: “How partly deaf people can benefit from speech-reading”. 

We approached CBC PEI to explain that the phrase “partly deaf” was inappropriate as people were either deaf or had some degree of hearing loss.  Some of our members were hurt by the use of the phrase, and we felt that it wasn’t helpful in building acceptance and reducing the stigma many still feel over hearing loss.  We also suggested alternate phrasing for the headline.

CBC PEI immediately responded to our concerns, and the article was re-titled to:  How people with hearing loss can benefit from speech-reading”. See link to the article:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-hearing-loss-speechreading-lip-reading-1.4599107

Donna Allen, Executive Producer for CBC Prince Edward Island, also sent an explanation why the original phrase had been made:

Thank you for your letter about the interview you did with Angela Walker, and the headline that later appeared on our website. Let me first assure you the headline has been rewritten as you suggested. As you know, the intent of the story was to highlight the interesting work being done by your organization.

But by way of background, the CBC has a language guide we are expected to follow when writing our stories. Our guide recommends the use of the phrase “partly deaf” over “hearing impaired”. So we followed our national guide.

That being said, your suggestion to use the phrase “hearing loss” is appreciated and useful. I will also pass this along to the authors of our language guide for their consideration.”

We applaud CBC PEI for immediately responding when we contacted them, and in accommodating our request for the terminology change in the headline.  The power of a phrase used in describing hearing loss can help bring about acceptance and ownership of a condition, or have the opposite effect.  CBC PEI is to be commended for helping to foster a positive effect.

What terminology would you like to see used in describing people with hearing loss?  Do you have a story or tip about hearing loss issues that are important to you? Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  For more information, see Hope and Help for Those Afflicted With Tinnitus

Upcoming Seminar: “So You’re On The Road To A Cochlear Implant” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In The Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!

Baby Boomers and Hearing

April 4, 2018.  This winter there has been a surge of articles about hearing loss, especially among people of a certain age.  Baby Boomer…. it sounds so innocent and young, doesn’t it?  While it’s much nicer a term than “the elderly”, “senior”, “old people”, it still reflects a certain reality.  A baby boomer is a person born in the years following World War II, between the years 1946 and 1964, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate.  I’m one of them, and it’s very good to be in the position we are in now as we are not a small minority.  We can drive change.

One of these changes is acceptance of the reality we live in.  Not long ago, Rolling Stone Magazine ran an article about an upcoming documentary about musician Eric Clapton.  In an interview with BBC2, Clapton noted that “….The only thing I’m concerned with now is being in my Seventies and being able to be proficient. I mean, I’m going deaf, I’ve got tinnitus” How refreshing!  You can read the article here: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eric-clapton-im-going-deaf-w515334.  And a reminder….if you too have tinnitus, don’t forget about our upcoming seminar on living with tinnitus.  (See Hope and Help for Those Afflicted With Tinnitus)

In addition to acceptance is the movement to find solutions to mitigate the effects of hearing loss, and around the world funding is being used in various studies.  In the USA, the John Hopkins Cochlear Centre for Hearing and Public Health, a research centre established with a grant from Cochlear Limited, is studying “the effects of hearing loss, particularly among older adults, with the goal of preventing and mitigating the consequences of hearing impairment, including cognitive decline and dementia.” Here is the link to the article: https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/03/01/johns-hopkins-cochlear-center-for-hearing-loss/

One coping method, or in the terminology used in the John Hopkins article ‘mitigating the consequences of hearing impairment’, is using speechreading to help in communication.  Recently, Annie Lee MacDonald and Nancy MacPhee were interviewed by Angela Walker on CBC Mainstreet about the upcoming speechreading classes on Prince Edward Island.  Here is the link to the very interesting interview: http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/mainstreet-pei/segment/15534544 and below the explanatory note on the CBC website to introduce the segment:

When words are hard to hear…using your eyes can be key.  A speech reading course is about to begin for Islanders with hearing problems who are looking to improve their communication skills. Speech Reading Instructor Nancy MacPhee and Annie Lee MacDonald of the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

An article also ran on the CBC website, the text of which is below.  See link to the original article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-hearing-loss-speechreading-lip-reading-1.4599107

How partly deaf people can benefit from speech-reading

10-week speech-reading courses start in April

CBC News · Posted: Apr 01, 2018 8:00 AM AT | Last Updated: April 1

Annie Lee MacDonald and Nancy MacPhee

Annie Lee MacDonald and Nancy MacPhee at the CBC PEI studio in Charlottetown. (Photo credit: Angela Walker)

 It may be easy for some people to distinguish the words pan, ban and man, but it can be confusing for anyone who is deaf or partly deaf.

“The face doesn’t change shape when you’re saying those sounds,” said Annie Lee MacDonald, the president of the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. “With speech-reading, you learn to pick up on the visual cues that may help determine what’s being said.”

In April, the association is offering courses in speech-reading.

“Fifty per cent of people over 50 have some degree of hearing loss, so you may be meeting several people in a day,” MacDonald told CBC Mainstreet‘s Angela Walker.

‘They don’t tell others’

Nancy MacPhee, a certified speech-reading instructor, said speech-reading “not only gives people practice with how you form speech, it also gives skills to deal with being hard of hearing.”

“People need to self identify as hard of hearing,” she said. “They feel insecure so they don’t tell others and end up getting things wrong.”

Speech-reading helps give them confidence in public, MacDonald said.

“It’s a huge positive step.”

Did you hear the CBC interview?  Let us know!  Do you have a story or tip about hearing loss issues that are important to you? Comments can be made on this blog, or you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com.

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

Next Chapter meeting: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.

Upcoming Seminar:  “THERE IS HOPE: Understanding and Managing Your Tinnitus”, with audiologist Dr. Heidi Eaton, Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Seniors Active Living Centre in Charlottetown.  Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “So You’re On The Road To A Cochlear Implant” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “What’s In The Box?” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to those with MED-EL Cochlear Implants. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Seminar: “New Technology and Cochlear Implant Candidacy” with Jodi Ostroff, Ph.D., Clinical Account Manager, MED-EL Medical Electronics,, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Open to Audiologists. Watch for more details and registration information.

Upcoming Ceilidh Fundraiser you won’t want to miss: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Bonshaw Hall.  Half of the proceeds to benefit our Chapter!