Federal Accessibility Grants For Hearing Loops Available

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June 28, 2018.  If you would like your church, workplace, place of business, doctor’s office, hospital, municipal office, etc to have a hearing loop installed for better accessibility for those with hearing loss, a new federal accessibility grant is available.  Deadline for applications is July 26, 2018. Here is the link: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/enabling-accessibility-fund-small-projects.html

Currently on PEI, two churches and Charlottetown’s City Hall have installed hearing loops and these alone are making a difference to Islanders with hearing loss.  Now, there is an additional opportunity to move the Let’s Loop PEI project forward with the opportunity to apply for federal funding.

Already on our wish list for a hearing loop?  Here is a sampling of what has already been identified:

  • Theatres around the island that offer live performances
  • Churches and church halls
  • Registration desks at the hospitals in Charlottetown and Summerside
  • Charlottetown Airport
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Pharmacy counters
  • Hotel registration desks

Many cities and municipalities are legislating access for those with hearing loss.  With new disability laws coming into effect, this is a good opportunity to receive help with funding.  If you missed the buzz about the new upcoming legislation, here are two links: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-accessible-canada-act-carroll-1.4717665 and http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/accessibility-act-duncan-1.4715491.  You may recall that we participated in the consultation process and submitted a brief on behalf of our organization to both provincial and federal authorities.

It’s now up to us to encourage the venues we use to get in the loop!

More looping suggestions?  Email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on our blog at https://theauralreport.wordpress.comYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

© Daria Valkenburg

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Report On Our June 2018 Meeting

June 27, 2018.  At the final meeting before the summer break, our guest speaker was Dr. Michael Corman, Principal Advisor of Senior’s Health at PEI’s Department of Health and Wellness. One of the roles of the Department is to provide oversight and policy direction to Health PEI.

Dr. Corman came to give an overview of PEI’s first Action Plan for Seniors, Near Seniors, and Caregivers entitled, “Promoting Wellness, Preserving Health“, released in May 2018. (See:  https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/sante-et-mieux-etre/seniors-health-and-wellness-action-plan) The Action Plan was prepared in consultation with many organizations and seniors, and Annie Lee MacDonald was our representative to ensure that those with hearing loss had a voice at the table.

We wanted ensure that, as the Action Plan becomes implemented, that hearing health and issues around hearing loss are not forgotten, and Dr Corman was presented with information about the work we have done over the past year.  The presentation generated a lot of interest and questions, and we thank Dr Corman and policy analyst Aly Inman for taking the time to meet with us.

One of the items mentioned by Dr Corman was Health PEI’s patient navigator service, which many had not heard about. Here is a link for more information: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/patient-navigator and the contact information: Email patientnavigator@gov.pe.ca or call 1-844-882-3141.

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Following the tea break, Jane Scott, of Ottawa, presented a cheque to us from the CHHA Foundation, on behalf of CHHA Foundation’s President Carole Willans. This was the final payment for the grant awarded for the Let’s Loop PEI project in May, in which two churches (South Shore United Church and West River United Church) and the City of Charlottetown’s City Hall participated.  We now have two technicians who can install hearing loops to IEC60118 international installation standards.

In the presentation, Jane read out the following from Carole Willans:  “All the CHHA Foundation Board members expressed their appreciation for the way the CHHA PEI Chapter took advantage of this funding opportunity.  The Chapter demonstrated its great ability to work as a group to get the job done.  More importantly, the lives of so many hard of hearing people have been improved and that is worth every cent.  Kudos to the Chapter and its volunteers for a job well done.  You make all hard of hearing Canadians proud!

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Jane Scott on left presents grant cheque from CHHA Foundation to Daria Valkenburg and Annie Lee MacDonald for the Let’s Loop PEI project. (Photo credit: Brenda Porter)

Our thanks to the CHHA Foundation for helping making this project a reality.  It’s a good beginning as more venues are encouraged to make their places more accessible for those with hearing loss.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church in North Tryon.  In the meantime, 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

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

© Daria Valkenburg

So You’ve Been Invited To Speak To People With Hearing Loss

June 26, 2018.  Last year, as part of a commemoration event in Burgdorf, Germany, I was invited to give a presentation on a displaced persons camp that had been located in Burgdorf between 1945 and 1950. The Camp Ohio Research Project is one I happily volunteer for, as my father had been a resident in that camp.

However, there were many challenges to accepting this request.  As a person with hearing loss, I can easily misunderstand what someone says to me in English, let alone in German or French or Portuguese, the four languages of the audience.  There would be extensive media coverage, and the event was to be broadcast worldwide on a YouTube channel.  I said no, at first.

My husband then pointed out that my father would have wanted me to do this, and he also reminded me that I had taught adults for a living.  Just say yes.  And so I did.

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Onstage in Burgdorf, Germany, giving a presentation to a multi-national audience. (Photo credit: Joachim Dege)

Many presentation tips were drawn upon for this event to be a success.  They included the need to speak slowly.  This is so people who did understand English, but as a second language, could translate what I said in their head, and for the two people translating into German to have a chance to do their interpretation.

Because of the cameras, we had to have good lighting and a good sound system.  Everyone received a handout, in English and German, of the key points to be covered.  As this presentation included a photo slideshow, the pictures told a lot about what was being discussed.

There were many questions after the presentation, and each question was repeated in English and German, as were the answers.  Overall, it was a success.

answering questions during slide show

Ralf Gräfenstein on the left, and Tobias Teuber on the right, translated my presentation into German. (Photo credit: Bettina Wendlandt)

Many of the same tips used in addressing an international audience, or any audience for that matter, become essential tools for communication in addressing a group of people with hearing loss.

We are lucky to have many interesting presenters at our meetings, but sometimes the presenters make it difficult to follow them.  They speak too quickly.  They face the screen instead of the audience, or they wander around the room, meaning many people can’t see them.  If you can’t see someone, usually you also can’t hear them.

When Brenda Porter made the suggestion that we needed to prepare a tip sheet for presenters, everyone agreed, and 8 key points were decided upon to give to every future presenter. (See here: Tips for presenters when speaking to those with hearing loss )

Tips For Presenters When Speaking To Those With Hearing Loss

  1. Speak clearly and not too quickly, giving a natural pause between phrases/sentences.
  2. Stand in one place, rather than moving around. Face your listeners.
  3. Be sure that the lighting is good and that your face is well lit, not in shadow. In order to speech read, your listeners need to see your face clearly!
  4. Use lots of facial expression. This helps enormously in providing a context for your words and is key for speech reading.
  5. If at all possible, use a sound system. Be sure that your microphone is not directly in front of your mouth. All persons with hearing loss speech read to some extent and need to see your mouth/lips.
  6. Display the main points of your presentation in some way – whether via PowerPoint, a flip chart, or printed outline.
  7. Pause from time to time, especially following key points, and ask whether your listeners whether they need you to repeat/rephrase what you have said.
  8. Before answering, be sure to repeat any audience questions to be sure that listeners have understood them.

There are many more tips, of course, such as not using contractions.  If you don’t hear well, words like ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ sound the same!  Real-time captioning would be great, but is not affordable for a short presentation to a relatively small group.  And if you are listening to a presentation in a language you are not familiar with, contextual clues are very important.

Do you have more tips to share?  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

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

© Daria Valkenburg

 

Test Driving a Car and Dining Out in Moncton

June 24, 2018.  The other day my husband, who seems to have the supersonic hearing of a Vulcan, and I went to Moncton.  Purpose:  to test drive a new Volvo car.  There’s nothing wrong with our Volvo, but it’s 10 years old and certain members of our family (hint: it’s not me!) are itching for a replacement for one with all kinds of bells and whistles.

So, off we went and had a grand time test driving the models brought over from the Volvo dealership in Fredericton.  While there, I learned that Volvo had a Mobility Program that included not only physical disabilities, but accommodated those of us with hearing loss.  We’ve driven Volvo cars for decades and I never knew about this program!  I personally like the cars because the acoustics are so good in the car I can hear people in both the front and back seats, something I don’t find in too many vehicles.

According to the Mobility Program information, equipment or devices such as alert hearing devices will be installed on your new car for you, and if you had this on your old car, they will reinstall on your new car.  The program is available for Model Years 2016, 2017, and 2018 vehicles, until January 3, 2019 when I assume there will be a new program.

What do you need to access this program, besides buying a car?  You will need to have documentation prepared by a certified and recognized health professional.  You’ll receive a maximum rebate of $200 for your alert hearing device.  For more information, see http://www.johnscottivolvo.com/sales/programme-mobilite-volvo.aspx?lng=2

Kudos to Volvo!  I’m sure other car companies offer Mobility Programs.  If you know of any that will accommodate those with hearing loss, please let us know.

The fun continued in Moncton as we went to Montana’s for lunch.  It was hectic and very busy, which, as we know, means noisy.  There was a very young lady seating guests, but when I explained that we needed a booth as I had difficulty hearing, she said not a problem, and opened up an as yet closed section of the restaurant for us.  She made sure that the booth immediately behind us and in front of us was not filled until after we left.  Wow!  That was going above and beyond, wasn’t it?

CIMG0882 June 20 2018 at Montanas in Moncton with server Andrew

With server Andrew at Montana’s in Moncton. Notice that the restaurant carefully kept the booth behind me unoccupied to accommodate a person with hearing loss. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

We had a great trip to Moncton! Verdict on the new Volvo?  No purchase as yet, so our old car is still serving us well.

© Daria Valkenburg

 

More Info On Hearing Loop Access at Charlottetown City Hall

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June 17, 2018.  An excellent article, ‘City of Charlottetown improves access at City Hall for people with hearing loss’ by Dave Stewart of The Guardian was recently published in the newspaper.  (See http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/local/city-of-charlottetown-improves-access-at-city-hall-for-people-with-hearing-loss-218999/).

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Rachel McPhee, left, receptionist at City Hall in Charlottetown, talks to Brenda Porter, a member of the city’s board of persons with disabilities, about the new looping technology installed in the building. (Photo credit: Dave Stewart of The Guardian)

You can see in the above photo that the sign for disability access includes the universal symbol indicating that there is a hearing loop installed.  The ‘T’ on the bottom right stands for ‘telecoil’.

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As word spread of the city’s initiative, a wish list for more hearing loop access in public venues began, with the airport, hospital, and theatres top of the list.  Joan Gallant commended Charlottetown’s Mayor: “Congratulations to Clifford Lee for seeing the importance of looping City Hall. Next I would like to see Homburg Theatre looped!! The more public places looped, the more those of us who are hard of hearing will be able to take part and contribute to our communities.”  We can only hope that interest in hearing loop access will grow!

If you do not have a telecoil activated in your hearing aid or cochlear implant, talk to your audiologist.  As Brenda Porter noted in the interview with Dave Stewart “…the sound is clear and crisp. It’s as if I didn’t have any hearing loss. You can come in (to council chambers) and as long as you have a certain component in your hearing aid activated, you don’t have to put on a headset or put on a necklace or do anything that announces to the world that ‘Hey, I’m hard of hearing’.’’

If you have hearing loss, but don’t wear a hearing aid or have a cochlear implant, you can still access a hearing loop by other assistive listening devices.  See our previous posting The Let’s Loop PEI Project – How You Can Access An Area With A Hearing Loop for more information.

Have you used a hearing loop?  Share your experience and help build awareness so more places on PEI can be looped. You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Follow this link to places on PEI equipped with a hearing loop: Places on PEI Equipped With A Hearing Loop

Don’t forget about our upcoming meeting, the last one before the summer break:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian ChurchGuest 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.  Our chapter participated on the consultation committee for this strategy.  This is your opportunity to ask questions and make your voice heard as the Action Plan for the Seniors Strategy is developed.

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

 © Daria Valkenburg

 

Spring 2018 Level I Speechreading Graduates

June 16, 2018.  The Spring 2018 Level I Speechreading course was successfully completed by 5 participants, who received their certificates:  David Bruce, Gerry Gray, Gillian Hutchings, Louise Larkin, and Wayne MacNeill.  Congratulations to them, and to instructor Nancy MacPhee for a successful session.

Speechreading Level 1 Spring 2018 graduates

Spring 2018 Level I Speechreading graduates. Left to right: Gerry Gray, Gillian Hutchings, David Bruce, Wayne MacNeill (missing: Louise Larkin) (Photo credit: Nancy MacPhee)

Did you know that speech reading can have a beneficial effect on your brain and your ability to hear, especially with a cochlear implant?  (See https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-08-brain-responses-lip-reading-benefit-cochlear.html)

This session’s participants were asked for their comments on the course.  Here is a sample:

  • I think this is a valuable course even for someone who hears.  It helps one understand those who do have a hearing problem.
  • Excellent program.
  • Amazing teacher.  Well designed course and well designed classes – lots of variation.

David Bruce shared his impression of the course and was frank about the challenges he faced in learning the new skill of speechreading:  “Instructor Nancy MacPhee can only be considered exceptional.  The delivery of the course from someone with her knowledge of this subject was a plus for me from Day One.

My hearing aid provider informed me during my last visit that that she could not do much more for my right ear and that my left one was getting weaker.  She suggested that I consider taking a speechreading course in the near future, and down the road to look into a cochlear implant. 

The presentations and supplied material provided me with a much expanded understanding of hearing problems and how to personally cope with it.

I found speechreading very difficult.  I gained many clues but see a difficult learning period ahead.  More practice and more courses to come.

I can and will recommend this course to all hearing concerned individuals.”

We all use speechreading to some extent in our daily lives, whether we have hearing loss or not.  Try your own skills with the video included in this article from Great Britain….. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/features/the_lip_reading_challenge.shtml!

The next session of speechreading Level I begins this fall.  If you are interested in being on the contact list, send us an email at hearpei@gmail.com.  What will you learn?  Nancy MacPhee advises that “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?  Share your experience and help encourage others to learn this valuable skill. You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

A few places on PEI now have a hearing loop installed.  Follow this link to places on PEI equipped with a hearing loop: Places on PEI Equipped With A Hearing Loop

Several lawyers on PEI have a pocket talker on hand as a convenience for their clients with hearing loss.  Follow this link for a list: PEI Lawyers With Pocket Talkers

Don’t forget about our upcoming meeting, the last one before the summer break:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian ChurchGuest 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.  Our chapter participated on the consultation committee for this strategy.  This is your opportunity to ask questions and make your voice heard as the Action Plan for the Seniors Strategy is developed.

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

 

© Daria Valkenburg

 

The ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?’ Presentation At Andrews of Charlottetown

June 9, 2018.  On June 7, 2018, we were invited to give a presentation on the booklet ‘Pardon Me, What Did You Say?’, giving tips on better communication with people who have hearing loss, at Andrews of Charlottetown, a seniors home that offers independent living, community care, and nursing care options.

The booklet was a project from last year, funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons For Seniors Program, written by members of our Chapter, and illustrated by artist Wayne Wright.

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Brenda Porter addresses audience at Andrews of Charlottetown. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Five residents came to the presentation, along with a staff complement of 14.  This was the first time staff had attended a presentation.

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Some of the staff members at Andrews of Charlottetown that attended the presentation. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

After the presentation, one of the residents commented that he never could understand what was being said in his church in Cornwall but now he can hear everything clear as a bell.  He was referring to West River United Church, which had been looped a few weeks earlier as part of the Let’s Loop PEI project.  (See West River United Church is Looped).  He was accessing the hearing loop using a hearing loop receiver, and said he was planning to speak with his audiologist to have a telecoil activated in his hearing aids.  Good for him!

This got people talking about how difficult it was to hear presentations at Andrews, as there is a coffee are adjacent to the room, and people have difficulty hearing over the background noise.  A hearing loop would solve that problem, as anyone listening to the presenter in an area that has been looped would hear only what comes out of a microphone.

A hearing loop is a great solution that would allow everyone in a noisy room to hear and focus on activities such as bingo, a performance, play, or speech.  One never knows how many ripple effects this resident’s positive experience at his church will have!

Our thanks to Kathy Ready, Program Coordinator at Andrews of Charlottetown, for inviting us.  Thanks also to Brenda Porter, Nancy MacPhee, and Daria Valkenburg for volunteering at this event.

Have you tried out a hearing loop?  Please share your experience.  You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Follow this link to places on PEI equipped with a hearing loop:  Places on PEI Equipped With A Hearing Loop

Don’t forget about our upcoming meeting, the last one before the summer break:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian ChurchGuest 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.  Our chapter participated on the consultation committee for this strategy.

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

 © Daria Valkenburg

 

Charlottetown City Hall is Looped

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June 6, 2018.  The Let’s Loop PEI Project, made possible due to a grant from the CHHA Foundation, had a third site participating – the City of Charlottetown.  The city decided to loop the public portion of its council chambers, as well as the reception desk.  Also on the list for hearing loop access is the billing counter.

Mayor Clifford Lee commented in a recent press release. “We are proud to be involved in the Let’s Loop PEI project, becoming the first municipality in the province to take this step and make the public spaces at City Hall more accessible to people with hearing loss,” said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. “Our Civic Board for Persons with Disabilities, which we created in 2005, has been working with us each year to find more ways to provide equal service and access to all. On behalf of City Council, I commend them for the work they do and would like to thank them for encouraging us join forces..

We are grateful to the city for stepping forward immediately upon hearing of this project.  It’s never easy to be first!

The City of Charlottetown went through the same steps as South Shore United Church and West River United Church:

Step 1: The Field Survey

The City of Charlottetown did its own field survey.

Step 2: The EMI Test

Pieter Valkenburg did the EMI (electromagnetic interference) test of the council chambers, carefully noting placement of every microphone and TV connection, anything that might cause interference.

CIMG9990 Apr 30 2018 Pieter by wall with high EMI City of Ctown Council chambers

Pieter Valkenburg at Charlottetown city hall council chambers. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Step 3: The Site Evaluation

Phil Pater and Tom Barnes, along with Bill and Wilma Droogendyk of Better Hearing Solutions, did the site evaluation. John Donahoe, the city’s IT consultant was an interested observer and participated in some of the training sessions.

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Tom Barnes, with John Donahoe in the background. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Left to right: John Donahoe, Bill Droogendyk, Wilma Droogendyk. Careful measurements spell success! (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)
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Testing testing testing! Phil Pater and Wilma Droogendyk. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Step 5:  Wiring The Council Chambers

As Charlottetown’s city hall is a historic building from 1888, designated as a National Historic Site of Canada on November 23, 1984, it was important to ensure that no trace of the wiring showed, and none does.  It’s hidden under the carpet.

CIMG0071 May 18 2018 loop installation at City of Charlottetown town hall Phil & Tom in council chambers

Phil Pater and Tom Barnes wired the council chambers. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Step 6:  Hooking the Loop Driver to the Sound System

After the wiring was done, the loop driver (amplifier) was hooked to the council chamber’s sound system and calibrated to the IEC60118 standard for a compliant hearing loop.

An informal testing was done by members of the Civic Board for Persons with Disabilities.  Brenda Porter, who is on this board, and has hearing aids with telecoils, commented on the clarity of sound and that there was no background noise to interfere with what was being said.

The city notes that “The next public meeting of Council is on Monday, June 11 at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend, including anyone interested in trying the new hearing loop.” (See https://charlottetown.ca/news/current_news/access_improved_at_city_hall)

Step 7:  Post Signage

The last step in the installation was to post signs advising that the hearing loop was installed.  A brochure on the ways to access a hearing loop was provided.  (See The Let’s Loop PEI Project – How You Can Access An Area With A Hearing Loop for this same information.)

The Counter Loop

The City of Charlottetown went further than looping the council chambers, by deciding to install a counter loop at the reception desk and billing desk.  While work is still progressing on the counter loop at the billing desk, the counter loop at the reception desk is installed.

CIMG0040 May 15 2018 Site survey city of Charlottetown council chambers Bill shows counter loop to John & Jennifer

ohn Donahoe and Jennifer Gavin of the City of Charlottetown look at a sample counter loop for the billing desk with Bill Droogendyk. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG0078 May 18 2018 loop installation at City of Charlottetown town hall reception desk Annie Lee tests loop

Annie Lee MacDonald tests out the counter loop at the reception desk, using OTOjOY earbuds and an app on her iPhone. Tom Barnes, Bill Droogendyk, and receptionist Darlene Rice wait for her reaction. Success! (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Our thanks to the volunteers, CHHA Foundation, City of Charlottetown, and to Bill and Wilma Droogendyk of Better Hearing Solutions for making these installations possible.

You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Follow this link to places on PEI equipped with a hearing loop:  Places on PEI Equipped With A Hearing Loop

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

 © Daria Valkenburg

 

Successful Ceilidh Raised Funds for Activities Not Covered By Grants

June 4, 2018.  The Second Annual Bonshaw Ceilidh on May 27, 2018, with half the proceeds going to help fund activities not covered by grants was a success.  For those of us with hearing loss, this ceilidh was doubly successful.  Not only will the money help in our ongoing activities, enabling us to accept speaking engagements, provide printed materials, set up booths at conferences, and pay for things like our banner, which you can see in the photo below, it also provided us an opportunity to listen to live music and have a great afternoon.

Photos: Tony Reddin of Bonshaw Hall with Annie Lee MacDonald onstage by our banner on the left, and Annie Lee MacDonald being presented with half of the proceeds by Tony Reddin on the right.  (Photo credits: Daria Valkenburg)

Many of us with hearing loss no longer listen to music, as we once may have done.  It doesn’t sound the same anymore.  One person with a cochlear implant told me that a piano sounds ‘tinny’.  Some of us don’t hear high frequencies, others have difficulty hearing low frequencies.  Hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other hearing assistive devices focus on helping discern speech.  Speech and music are different, making it a challenge.

As more musicians become open about their own hearing loss, technology is working to overcome these challenges. One of the recommended tips is to keep listening!  See https://www.hearinglikeme.com/tips-to-enjoy-music-after-hearing-loss/ for an interesting article.

Entertainers who volunteered their time and talent on a sunny Sunday afternoon featured Island Girls, David MacKay with friend Peter Holden, and Evan Martin.  During the Open Mike session, Ross and Sheila Harrington played a tune.

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Island Girls. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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David MacKay on left, accompanied by Peter Holden. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Evan Martin. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Ross & Sheila Harrington. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

This event came about from a proposal by Marion Toole to the organizers of the Bonshaw Ceilidh.  Marion, one of our members, is a volunteer with Bonshaw Hall.  A big thank you goes out to her, to organizer Tony Reddin, the musicians who generously gave up their Sunday afternoon to come out, and to all who attended.

CIMG0123 May 27 2018 Bonshaw ceilidh

Members and partners. Left to right: Gerry Gray, Brenda Porter, Marion Toole, Daria Valkenburg, Gie Rogers, Nancy MacPhee, Annie Lee MacDonald. (Photo credit: Marion Copleston)

If you missed the ceilidh but would like to give a donation, we now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.

You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

© Daria Valkenburg

 

An Information Session On Hearing Loops With Audiologists

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June 1, 2018.  At part of the launch of the Let’s Loop PEI Project, made possible due to a grant from the CHHA Foundation, Island audiologists were invited to an informal session to introduce the project and to discuss hearing loops with Bill Droogendyk of Better Hearing Solutions.

We were delighted at the response.  Five professionals from PEI, from 4 firms, attended:  Peter Benstead of PEI Audiology, Krista Campbell of Campbell Hearing, Derek Hughes of Connect Hearing, Michael and Lynn Learie of Horizon Hearing.  In addition, Heidi Eaton of Argus Audiology in New Brunswick made the trip over the Confederation Bridge to attend this session.

CIMG0066 May 17 2018 Audiologists session on hearing loops at Holiday Inn Express Ctown Christa Derek Peter Michael

Left to right: Krista Campbell, Derek Hughes, Peter Benstead, Michael Learie. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

It was a chance to network, as well as to learn more about hearing loops.  One issue we had run into was discussed.  Two people told us that their audiologists had told them that they could have BlueTooth OR a Telecoil in their hearing aids, but not both.  We weren’t sure if that was a miscommunication, but since we’d read in various articles that in fact a person can have all kinds of programs in their hearing aids, including BlueTooth, Telecoil, and Tinnitus Masking, it was a good opportunity to bring it up and have it confirmed.  For more information on this subject, here is a link to an article written by American audiologist Juliette Sterkens: https://loopwisconsin.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/ready-to-buy-a-new-hearing-aid-be-sure-it-includes-bluetooth-and-telecoil-technology/

Heidi Eaton also let us know that a telecoil is usually included in the ‘streamers’ that come with a hearing aid.  A streamer is designed to pick up audio signals, turning a hearing aid into a wireless headset.  It’s worn around the neck and has buttons for phone, TV, and microphone applications.

Everyone sat around a table that was inside a temporary hearing loop, and each person had a chance to try out a hearing loop receiver to test the clarity of sound.  After letting us know that he’d written an article on hearing loops that had been published in Canadian Audiologist magazine, Bill later shared it with us.  (See http://canadianaudiologist.ca/breaking-the-2-meter-hearing-bubble/)

We shared our pamphlets on various initiatives we’re involved in, including on hearing loops, plus the tip sheet on activating a telecoil in a hearing aid, which was shared with blog readers in a previous posting.  In case you missed it: audiologists info on t-coil connectivity

CIMG0065 May 17 2018 Audiologists session on hearing loops at Holiday Inn Express Ctown Heidi

Photo: Heidi Eaton. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

A day after the session for audiologists, Dr Heidi Eaton emailed us, explaining that she had planted a seed for hearing loops in Moncton.  “I attended the State of the City of Moncton address today.  There were approximately 150 in attendance, including a number of city councillors. The mayor talked a lot about a Youthful City, low cost of housing, quality of life, downtown Center and growth, proximity to beaches. 

During question period, I discussed the Senior Friendly initiative of the city and asked how the city plans to ensure all of the population is able to enjoy the flourishing downtown culture.  I specifically asked, as an audiologist, the plan for accessibility for the Hard of Hearing population.  I asked about loop systems (i.e at the new Events Center and the Capital Theatre) that are, on the large scale, inexpensive.

After the meeting, the Mayor asked me for information at which time I was able to hand over the loop information pamphlets.  The mayor introduced me to the city manager.  I handed him the same material and offered to connect him with those in the know and to offer support.  There was discussion of sitting on accessibility committee.  The mayor asked to have lunch and discuss this further. All in all, positive.”  Well done, Heidi!  How exciting that the City of Moncton is also considering hearing loops for their public facilities! We wait to hear more about her initiative.

We thank these hearing professionals who took time out of their busy lives to attend this session.  Meanwhile, our Let’s Loop PEI story continues.  You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

Follow this link to our Upcoming Events page: Upcoming Events

Follow this link to places on PEI equipped with a hearing loop:  Places on PEI Equipped With A Hearing Loop

Like the work we do?  Consider a donation to help us do more.  100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders.  We now have a page at the Canada Helps website:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708

 © Daria Valkenburg