Outreach At Human Rights Conference In Charlottetown

August 1, 2019.  At the recent Human Rights Conference at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown on June 26, we were delighted to be asked to participate with a display booth. Many people may not associate hearing accessibility as a human rights issue, but it is a fundamental component in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international human rights treaty of the United Nations that is meant to protect the rights of persons with disabilities around the world. (See Hearing Accessibility Is A Human Right)

Brenda Porter and Nancy MacPhee were the representatives at this event, ensuring that the issue of hearing loss was not forgotten during the conference.  They handed out pamphlets and answered questions, two excellent ambassadors for living well with hearing loss.

IMG_0842 Jun 26 2019 Brenda & Nancy at Human Rights Conference

Brenda Porter, left, and Nancy MacPhee, right, at the Human Rights Conference in Charlottetown.

Hear PEI Jun 26 2019 Nancy at Human Rights Conference

Outreach events such as these are important in bringing awareness of hearing loss issues to people, and we thank the organizers at the PEI Human Rights Commission for the invitation to participate.

Please visit our Speakers Bureau page if you would like a presentation:  Hear PEI’s Speakers BureauDo you have a story to share?  You can email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on this blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI

© Daria Valkenburg

 

Advertisements

Hearing Loss — Why Is It An Ignored Condition?

July 18, 2019.  Since April 2001, residents of PEI with hearing loss have had a non-profit volunteer organization to turn to for support and information.  Over the years, we’ve advocated for better hearing accessibility tools and programs on behalf of those with hearing loss, and encouraged hearing accessibility in public places.

The most common issue discussed is the affordability of hearing aids, particularly for seniors.  On PEI, seniors and adults under 65 are not treated equally in access to hearing aid funding.  We’ve tried to do something to change that and blog readers have been following our activities, including the petition being presented in the PEI legislature on July 9.  (See Petition Presented In PEI Legislature).

Annie Lee MacDonald notes that “the petition received support across the Island.”  Indeed it has.  The petition was supported by Islanders of all walks of life, of all ages, and from people with and without hearing loss.  One urologist told me, when I asked him to sign the petition, that many of his patients have hearing loss and he hears that hearing aid affordability is a big concern.  Of course, he signed the petition, as did every other doctor that was approached.

For Annie Lee, “it’s a matter of priorities.  We know the AccessAbility Supports Program needs money to operate and you might ask where it is going to come from.  The Government is constantly coming up with programs to enhance the lives of seniors. We feel the most important question to ask is to verify if there an issue with effective communication. Are seniors missing out on taking advantage of many of these programs because they can’t hear and can’t afford to buy hearing aids? Shouldn’t assistance to buy hearing aids be most important?

In my opinion, it’s a question of opportunity costs. By helping people with hearing loss to maintain the ability to communicate effectively, through a program like AccessAbility Supports and other programs to address hearing accessibility in public places, we avoid the enormous social and monetary costs, plus health care resources, that unaddressed hearing loss can lead to, such as depression, social isolation, and dementia.  The choices are to pay a bit now through a support program or pay a lot more later when conditions worsen.

As has been mentioned in this blog before, of the three most common chronic conditions in Canada, arthritis is #1, hypertension (high blood pressure) is #2, and hearing loss is #3.  Hearing loss is a chronic condition that can lead to more serious issues and health problems if hearing accessibility tools are not available and affordable.

In the last blog posting, you were invited to write a letter to the editor of the newspaper, with a copy of your letter sent to your MLA, and to consider sending a copy to the Minister of Health.  A copy to hearpei@gmail.com would be helpful for us in tracking the support for this initiative.

The first person to accept this invitation was Brenda Porter of Charlottetown.  Her letter to the editor was published in both The Guardian and the Journal-Pioneer on July 15, 2019.

Brenda Porter Letter to Editor - blog

Thank you, Brenda, for writing this important letter!  In order to have the policy changed, we need the public to show continued support for this initiative and to help keep the issue fresh in the media.  Blog readers, will you help?

Our education and outreach activities provide not only awareness, but also tips and techniques to help Islanders thrive while living with hearing loss. Donations gratefully accepted at:   https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708  And please remember, 100% of your donation stays on the island for island-related activities.

Please share your ideas and stories by commenting on this blog, or by sending an email to hearpei@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HearPEI.

© Daria Valkenburg

Petition Presented In PEI Legislature

July 13, 2019.  The petition that has been in circulation for the past three months was presented in the PEI Legislature by Leader of the Official Opposition, and Green Party Leader, Peter Bevan-Baker, on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. The petition requests the following: Supplement the cost of hearing aids for seniors by extending the AccessAbility Supports Program to include all adults, not just those up to age 65, or devise a similar program

Annie Lee MacDonald and I delivered the petition sheets, plus letters of support that we had received, to Peter Bevan-Baker, and learned a bit about the process.  We were told that although the petition would be recorded in the legislature’s official record, there would not be any discussion about it on the day it was presented.  If we want to have the policy changed, it is up to us and the public to show continued support for this initiative and to keep the issue fresh in the media.

CIMG2998 Jul 8 2019 Meeting re petition Annie Lee Peter Daria

Annie Lee MacDonald, Peter Bevan-Baker, and Daria Valkenburg with the petition binders and letters of support that were presented in the PEI Legislature on July 9, 2019. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

Just before the petition was presented a few late sheets were returned, bringing our final total to 2014, or 80.56% of our original goal.  Our thanks as well to the Long River Women’s Institute for their support.

Petition Jul 9 2019

Alma Nunn sent a message of thanks to Peter Bevan-Baker:  “Thank you for supporting our petition for change in the PEI seniors’ hearing aid subsidies. It is most appreciated by all members who worked so diligently to prepare it and everyone who signed it.”

On the day of the presentation, Annie Lee MacDonald and Bob Furlotte attended the session.  Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed in the session, but Annie Lee noted that “Peter presented each binder separately to the clerk and did what he was allowed to do. It is hard to get a reading because no one comments. The minister assured him he will be taking a serious look at it. Politicians were very friendly, shaking hands as we were lined up in the corridor waiting for the politicians to parade in.” Annie Lee was subsequently interviewed by CBC. (See https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-seniors-hearing-aid-assistance-1.5206463)  She handed out the press release we had prepared. (See Hear PEI re petition being presented in legislature)

After the CBC article was published, a comment was made by Judith Bayliss, who has given permission for us to include it here. Thank you Judith.

IMG_2496 Comment by Judith Bayliss

So, the next steps over the summer are up to us and to YOU, if we want to effect a change in policy.  What can you do?  Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper.  Send a copy of your letter to your MLA and consider sending a copy to the Minister of Health.  Please also send a copy to hearpei@gmail.com While the legislature is not in session over the summer, the work of government continues and your advocacy support is needed.

Our education and outreach activities provide not only awareness, but also tips and techniques to help Islanders thrive while living with hearing loss. Donations gratefully accepted at:   https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708  And please remember, 100% of your donation stays on the island for island-related activities.

Please share your ideas and stories by commenting on this blog, or by sending an email to hearpei@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HearPEI.

© Daria Valkenburg

Petition Update For Week 8

June 8, 2019. The petition to request equal treatment for adult Islanders in the supplementation of costs for hearing aids continues to be circulated.  The petition requests the following: Supplement the cost of hearing aids for seniors by extending the AccessAbility Supports Program to include all adults, not just those up to age 65, or devise a similar program

A thank you is extended to the staff at Pizza Donair Hub in Borden-Carleton! Not only did we enjoy a delicious lunch, they were very supportive of our petition.  We also thank the elected municipal and provincial officials we met at last week’s National Accessibility Week event in Charlottetown, hosted by the PEI Council of People With Disabilities.  All supported this initiative, and all except one, a provincial Minister, signed the petition. Thank you as well to Campbell Hearing in Charlottetown.  The petition is now available in their waiting room.

As of the end of Week 8, we’ve reached 66.24% of our goal, with sheets of signed petitions returned as follows:

Petition May 30 2019

The petition is available at:

  • three PEI Council of People With Disabilities offices: Charlottetown, Summerside, and Montague.
  • office of ENT specialist Dr. Kristian MacDonald in Charlottetown
  • South Shore Actiplex in Crapaud.
  • Harvey’s General Store in Crapaud. Thank you Doug and Susan Harvey!
  • Bonshaw Post Office
  • Horizon Hearing Centre offices in Charlottetown, Summerside, and Montague (see https://www.horizonhearingcentre.ca/). Thank you Michael and Lynn Learie!
  • PEI Audiology in Charlottetown (see https://peiaudiology.ca/). Thank you Peter Benstead!
  • Campbell Hearing in Charlottetown (see http://www.campbellhearing.ca/). Thank you Krista Campbell and Derek Hughes!

We ask you to support the petition and help us reach our goal of a minimum of 2,500 signatures. If you’d like to be one of the volunteers circulating the petition amongst your family and friends, send an email to hearpei@gmail.com.  We welcome not only your signature, but also your letters of support. Updates will be posted on this blog and on Twitter (@HearPEI).

Awareness of hearing issues and hearing loss prevention programs are important.  Our education and outreach activities provide not only awareness, but also tips and techniques to help Islanders thrive while living with hearing loss. Please consider donating to us this month, during the Great Canadian Giving Challenge.  100% of your donation stays on the island for island-related activities. Visit our secure online donation page here to process your online donation today.  Every donation enters our organization into a draw for $10,000.

GCGC-button_3

Please share your ideas and stories by commenting on this blog, or by sending an email to hearpei@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HearPEI.

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

June Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church. Guest speakers:  Colin MacKenzie and Nancy MacPheeColin will speak about his experience as a youth with hearing loss.  Nancy will give a report on the CHHA National Conference in Montreal that she attended.

Outreach Event: Invitation to have a display booth on June 26, 2019 at the National Human Rights Conference, at The Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown. Link to the agenda: https://www.cashra2019pei.ca/programme.

 

Hearing Loss and Intersectionality

June 4, 2019.  Sometimes you have no idea that you know something!  This became clear when Annie Lee MacDonald and I were invited to participate in a focus group consultation regarding development of an intersectional accessibility training module at the PEI Council of People With Disabilities.  ‘Intersectional Accessibility’?  What was that? we wondered.  We soon found it that it was only the phrase that was unfamiliar!

The session, led by Andy J. Glydon, the Council’s Diversity Training Coordinator, was interesting and informative, leading to a lot of good discussions.  We began with an exercise.  In the photo below, you can see us holding a very long piece of string.  This is to help illustrate things we had in common.  One person began by sharing some information, until someone else found something in common with what was being said, and took hold of the string. This went on until everyone found something in common with at least one person.

CIMG2962 May 10 2019 PEI Council of Disabilities focus group

Participating in an exercise to illustrate common points of interest was a lot of fun!

This then led to an introduction to the concept of intersectionality, which refers to the way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination can combine, interact, or intersect.  The term was first used to describe the differences between what a white or a black woman might experience in terms of discrimination. (See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intersectionality or https://www.cjr.org/language_corner/intersectionality.php)

In looking at the viewpoint of disability, the discussion then led to how different groups might be perceived, even if they have the same disability.  With hearing loss issues, it got us thinking about how a child with hearing loss could be perceived, as opposed to a working person, or a senior.  Are they thought of in the same way? What if the person with hearing loss had another disability or condition to deal with? Do social factors affect perception?

Hearing loss is very inclusive in terms of who can be affected!  Young, middle-aged, or senior, wealthy, middle-income, or poor, of any cultural background or anywhere in the world, anyone can have, or be at risk for, hearing loss.

So why did I say that only the phrase was unfamiliar?  When I went to university…. a hundred years ago it seems…. women were encouraged to attend sessions on discrimination to ‘prepare you for the way you could be marginalized’ in applying for a career position or being in the workplace.  In those days, potential employers (always men!) would get around questions they were forbidden to ask (like if you were married and had children), by asking inappropriate, but not illegal, questions like “Are you on the pill?”  We were warned this was code for “Are you in a relationship?  Are you about to get pregnant?”  It was suggested we reply by pretending to misunderstand, rather than pointing out that it was not an acceptable question.

You could apply the term intersectionality in describing the differences in how men and women were treated in interviews and the workplace in those days.  If you had a surname or cultural background that wasn’t Anglo-Saxon, you had an additional challenge to deal with. Add in a disability of any kind, and you had a third layer of challenge.  The list went on.

These memories came back when we attended the launch of the Intersectional Accessibility Framework during National Awareness Week earlier this week.  It’s a great first step towards starting the conversation on making the Island more accessible for all.

During this event, it was encouraging to hear Peter Bevan-Baker, MLA and Leader of the Green Party, explain that real time captioning was introduced in the PEI legislature earlier this year.  Well done!

We all can do more to help build awareness of hearing issues, and to encourage hearing loss prevention programs.    Please share your ideas and stories by commenting on this blog, or by sending an email to hearpei@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HearPEI.

© Daria Valkenburg

UPCOMING EVENTS

June Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church. Guest speakers:  Colin MacKenzie and Nancy MacPheeColin will speak about his experience as a youth with hearing loss.  Nancy will give a report on the CHHA National Conference in Montreal that she attended.

Outreach Event: Invitation to have a display booth on June 26, 2019 at the National Human Rights Conference, at The Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown. Link to the agenda: https://www.cashra2019pei.ca/programme.

 

Grant Awarded From Seniors Secretariat of PEI

January 14, 2019.  As a non-profit organization run by volunteers, we depend on grants and donations to help provide outreach and educational activities that build awareness of issues related to hearing health and hearing loss.  Last year, the Seniors Secretariat of PEI awarded us a grant we’d requested for seminars.  We had a session with Dr. David Morris on cochlear implants (See Successful ‘Demystifying Cochlear Implants’ Seminar In Charlottetown), a session with Dr Heidi Eaton on Tinnitus, and were able to provide brochures on how to access a hearing loop (See The Let’s Loop PEI Project – How You Can Access An Area With A Hearing Loop ).

With the increased number of events we’ve been invited to attend or speak at, this year we requested, and were awarded, funding for the printing of informational brochures on various topics around hearing loss. In addition to the list of topics we are already working on, suggestions for additional topics to consider are welcome.

cimg2859 nov 30 2018 with pei sr secretariat

Daria Valkenburg and Annie Lee MacDonald with members of the Seniors Secretariat of PEI. Seated, left to right: Alma MacDougall, Farida Chishti, Audrey Morris, Sister Norma Gallant. Standing, left to right: Paul H Schurman, Lorna Jenkins, Isabelle Christian, Elaine Campbell, Shirley Pierce, Daria, Annie Lee. (Photo credit: Shelly Cole)

The Seniors Secretariat of PEI was formed in 1998 as an entry point for seniors to collaborate with government on matters relating to seniors, their issues and concerns; to act as a resource and information centre and to advise government on the development of public policy. Members come from the general public as well as various non-profit organizations that represent seniors.

At the end of November we were able to thank the members of the Seniors Secretariat of PEI in person for the grant as they invited us to give a presentation on the project with the Law Foundation of PEI, which is now finished.  This allowed us to speak not only about the ways in which the legal community on PEI is now better prepared to communicate with clients who have hearing loss, but to give an overview on hearing loss, and give the members of the Secretariat a chance to try out a pocket talker.

law foundation presentation to sr sec nov 30 2018

Presentation made to the Seniors Secretariat of PEI on the project with the Law Foundation of PEI was very well received.

We’re still on our winter break, but spring is hopefully around the corner.  Here is a reminder of upcoming events:

April Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church. Guest speaker will be Lisa Gallant, pharmacist and owner of South Shore Pharmacy, who will talk about ototoxic drugs (drugs that affect your hearing).

Speech reading classes begin Spring 2019.  To register, send an email to hearpei@gmail.com.

As always, you can email us at hearpei@gmail.com, comment on our blog, and follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.

© Daria Valkenburg

Hearing Accessibility Tool Now Available At Victim Services Offices in Charlottetown and Summerside

December 5, 2018.  If you’ve ever been the victim of a crime, then you know how stressful it can be to deal with all that follows….. police, maybe a court appearance, lawyers.  If you have hearing loss as well, your stress load can double or triple, depending on what happened.

We need all our faculties just to hear on a daily basis, and anything that can upset us or cause anxiety makes it very difficult to have the concentration needed to focus on hearing.

Over the past two years, a program to improve communication between the legal community and those with hearing loss was made possible by a grant from the Law Foundation of PEI.  As more and more members of the legal community learned about the program they not only willingly participated, but encouraged others to participate as well.  One of the first comments we received came from the Honourable David Jenkins, Chief Justice of PEI, who noted, “Effective sharing of legal information and opportunity for participation in legal proceedings are integral components to access to justice. This initiative to facilitate a better understanding of the law and improved communication for people who are hard of hearing is to be commended.

Navigating a world in which you have been a victim is traumatic, so we were very pleased when Victim Services heard about the program from Kelly Robinson of CLIA PEI and wanted to participate.  To help in our mutual goal of access to justice for all, we provided a few tips on better communication with those with hearing loss and introduced staff at the Charlottetown office to a portable hearing accessibility tool to amplify sound – a pocket talker.

Susan Maynard, Provincial Manager, Victim Services, explained that “Victim Services is a program of the Department of Justice and Public Safety which assists victims in the aftermath of a crime and throughout their involvement in the criminal justice system.

CIMG2838 Nov 26 2018 Victim Services bought 2 pocket talkers

Seated, left to right: Annie Lee MacDonald; Susan Maynard, Provincial Manager, Victim Services; Darrell Gallant, Alternative Dispute Resolution; Georgina Bowness, Victim Services Worker. Standing, left to right: Daria Valkenburg; Catherine Chaisson, Office of the Childrens’ Lawyer. (Photo taken by Carolyn Peters, Victim Services Worker)

We asked what kind of assistance Victim Services provides, and Susan gave us a summary of the varied and important work done by this office. “Services include:

information about the status of your case and the criminal justice system

– short term counselling and emotional support

– referrals

court preparation

– help in preparing a victim impact statement

– assistance under the ‘Victims of Family Violence’ Act

risk assessment and safety planning

– help to recover financial losses

-coordination of services”

So, if you’re the victim of a crime on PEI and have hearing loss, you’ll be happy to know that Victim Services of the PEI Department of Justice & Public Safety has a pocket talker at the offices in Charlottetown & Summerside. All you have to do is speak up and ask to use one.  Kudos for increasing hearing accessibility!

Contact information for Victim Services: 

  • Queens and Kings Counties: 1 Harbourside Access Rd., Charlottetown, PE. Phone: 902-368-4582.
  • Prince County: Suite 19, 2nd Floor, 263 Harbour Drive, Summerside, PE. Phone: 902-888-8218.

For a list of lawyers on PEI and other members of the law community who have a pocket talker in their office, and who have agreed to have their information posted on the blog, see: https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/pei-lawyers-with-pocket-talkers/

If you would like to participate in this program for improving hearing accessibility, let us know.  Email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on our blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.

Don’t miss our upcoming events:

  • Event in Venue Equipped With A Hearing Loop:  UPCOMING CONCERT: Sorensen Christmas Concert at South Shore United Church in Tryon, 7:30 pm on Friday, December 7, 2018.  “The Shepherds Were the First to Hear”, held in the sanctuary. Lunch and a time for Christmas socializing will follow the concert. Admission is a freewill offering which will be donated to the Church Building Fund. This venue is equipped with a hearing loop for the benefit of those with hearing lossIf you have never heard the clarity of sound through a hearing loop, this is an opportunity to try it out.
  • Event in Venue with Real Time Captioning and a temporary hearing loop: The PEI Human Rights Commission & Town of Stratford are hosting Human Rights Day 2018 at Stratford Town Hall, Monday, December 10, 2018, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. This year’s event is to celebrate 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to introduce the new vertical $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond of Nova Scotia.  This event will have real time captioning available for the benefit of those with hearing loss, as well as a temporary hearing loop so you can experience the clarity of sound.  We will be there to answer any questions as well.

Check out our Upcoming Events page for more events.  (See https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/)

© Daria Valkenburg

 

Outreach Event At PEI Seniors Secretariat Conference In Montague

November 4, 2018.  Last week we hosted a table at the 7th Annual Learning and Caring for Ourselves Conference, an event hosted by the Seniors Secretariat of PEI at Montague Regional High School.  This was a relaxed event, with a small number of participants, and our table was well visited.

Some of the participants remembered us from last year’s ‘Pardon Me What Did You Say?’ Roadshow.  A few had heard us on one of the interviews given on CBC Radio.

Visitors were interested in hearing loops and pocket talkers and we were kept busy with explanations.

CIMG2752 Oct 27 2018 Senior Secretariat Conference Montague

Annie Lee MacDonald (left) and Daria Valkenburg (right) at Montague Regional High School. (Photo credit: Shelley Cole)

CIMG2750 Oct 27 2018 Senior Secretariat Conference Montague

Annie Lee MacDonald listens to a visitor at our table at Montague Regional High School. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Outreach events are very useful for us, as we not only have a chance to speak to people we wouldn’t otherwise see, we also get an idea for what issues are top of mind for people.  For a conference on seniors, it was also unfortunate that hearing health, let alone hearing loss, is still not a priority.

An interesting animated video entitled ‘The Science Of Hearing’, produced by the people who organize the TED Talks, explains the hearing process in five minutes. Take a look for yourselves:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/550074/learn-everything-you-need-know-about-science-hearing-five-minutes

Do you have a hearing loss issue you’d like to share?  Email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on our blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.

Don’t miss our upcoming events:   

November Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church. Guest speaker will be Jessyca Bedard, Clinical Support & Business Development Manager for Oticon Medical Canada, who will talk about BAHAs (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids).  The presentation will be followed by our Annual General Meeting.

Presentation:  Annie Lee MacDonald and Daria Valkenburg have been invited to talk about the pocket talker project with the Law Foundation of PEI and PEI lawyers at the upcoming meeting of the PEI Seniors Secretariat on November 30, 2018.

Check out our Upcoming Events page for even more events.  (See https://theauralreport.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/)

© Daria Valkenburg

Would You Wear Glasses?

October 18, 2018.  Glasses have been in the news lately.  Do you wear glasses?  I do, and since I love to see where I’m going, I wouldn’t be without them.  So what’s new with glasses?

If you enjoy going to the movies, then you may have noticed that on PEI they have a closed captioning system you can ask for when you buy your ticket.  This little device sits in the cup holder and you can then swivel your head back and forth between what’s on the big screen and then down to the cup holder to see what is being said.  It works.

In many other places, there are closed captioning screens on either side of the big screen.  If you go to an opera, then you know what I’m talking about.  The opera is sung in one language, with surtitles displayed in the language of the audience (ie English) so you know what the singers are saying.

Now you can borrow Smart Caption Glasses that operate like 3-D.  You look at the big screen at the movies, and the closed captioning is displayed right in front of your very eyes.  No need to swivel your head, as the captions are right in your line of vision!  See https://hackaday.com/2018/10/14/glasses-for-the-hearing-impaired/ for more information and watch a short video (which has closed captioning).  Absolutely fascinating!

That’s the future, and it’s an exciting one that makes the world become more inclusive.  However, there is a long way to go, as I found out in an article I recently read in The Economist.  In parts of Asia, there are many people who earn their living not by receiving a wage, but by doing piecework.  One example used is that of people working in a garment factory who are paid by each piece successfully completed.  My maternal grandmother worked in a garment factory, so the article caught my attention.

Here’s what the gist of the article was about…..Older adults, whose vision is no longer as good as it once was, are not able to be as productive because they can’t see well.  The solution? Give them a pair of glasses.  For those who accepted the glasses, productivity increased by 39%.  A no-brainer, you’d think, right?  If being able to see increases your earnings, wouldn’t you want a pair of glasses?

The problem?  Many people don’t want to wear glasses!  They think it makes them look ‘ugly’! Some countries have regulatory hurdles, where glasses can only be provided by licenced practitioners. No going to the local pharmacy or dollar store for a pair of ‘readers’.  Read the article for yourself at https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2018/08/02/wear-glasses-earn-more.

The Economist article made me think of how many of us avoid dealing with hearing loss.  We pretend we can hear fine, we avoid going out as often, and we can find it difficult to adjust to the fact that hearing aids and other assistive listening devices are now part of our lives.  With all the new tools and research coming out, we should be embracing how lucky we are to be living at a time when so many people are trying to help and find solutions!

Do you have a hearing loss story to share?  Email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on our blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.

Don’t miss our upcoming events: 

October Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Guest speaker will be audiologist Peter Benstead of PEI Audiology, to let us know about the firm’s public information campaign for hearing health.  With hearing loops now being available at venues on PEI, Peter will also let you know how you can have a telecoil activated to your hearing aid.

We will be in Montague on October 27, 2018!  We will have a table at the 7th Annual Learning and Caring for Ourselves Conference, an event hosted by the Seniors Secretariat of PEI on Saturday, October 27th, 9am-3pm at Montague Regional High School.  See https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/event/learning-and-caring-ourselves-conference-0 for more information on this event.

Upcoming Event in a Looped Venue: Senate of Canada 150 Medal recipient Pieter Valkenburg will speak about the Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Research Project at South Shore United Church in Tryon, 7 pm on Friday, November 2, 2018.  This event is co-hosted by South Shore United Church and Tryon & Area Historical Society.  Note: this venue is equipped with a hearing loop for the benefit of those with hearing loss.  If you haven’t experienced the clarity of sound that you hear through a hearing loop, this is your opportunity.  Email dariadv@yahoo.ca for more info.

Event in Venue Equipped With A Hearing Loop:  UPCOMING PRESENTATION: Sorensen Christmas Concert at South Shore United Church in Tryon, 7:30 pm on Friday, December 7, 2018.  Freewill offering, beneficiary will be South Shore United Church. This venue is equipped with a hearing loop for the benefit of those with hearing loss. If you have never heard the clarity of sound through a hearing loop, this is an opportunity to try it out.

© Daria Valkenburg

“Living and Thriving With Hearing Loss” Presentation

October 12, 2018.  Whenever possible, we accept speaking engagements as it’s a chance to participate in outreach events and let people know that anyone with hearing loss can have a wonderful life, even if you don’t hear every word.

Last week, we were invited to be guest speakers at the Speaker-A-Night class at Donagh Regional Community School.  This was a great opportunity, as not everyone in the class had hearing loss. We shared our own hearing loss journeys, gave some tips for better communication, and a general awareness of how people can have their hearing affected.  And we introduced the class to the pocket talker, an assistive listening tool that helps amplify sound.

Living & thriving with hearing loss presentation

Presentation made by Daria Valkenburg and Annie Lee MacDonald

The class of 16 participants was engaged and a delight to be with.  The evening just flew by.

CIMG2659 Oct 2 2018 Donagh Community School presentation

Participants at the Speaker-A-Night class at Donagh Regional Community School. Annie Lee stands at the back of the classroom. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The evening was very successful, and everyone enjoyed themselves, including the presenters!  Our thanks go to Theresa Laverty, who sent us feedback, saying “Everyone in the class thought you ladies did a great job and we all commented on how much information you brought us that we were unaware of.”  And we received the note below from Barb MacFarlane, the Community School Coordinator at Donagh Regional School:

CIMG2660 Oct 2 2018 note from Donagh Community School re presentation

Thank you note from Barb MacFarlane, Community School Coordinator.

Do you have a hearing loss story to share?  Email us at hearpei@gmail.com or comment on our blogYou can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.

Don’t miss our upcoming events: 

October Chapter meeting:  Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 9:30 am at North Tryon Presbyterian Church.  Guest speaker will be audiologist Peter Benstead of PEI Audiology, to let us know about the firm’s public information campaign for hearing health.  With hearing loops now being available at venues on PEI, Peter will also let you know how you can have a telecoil activated to your hearing aid.

We will be in Montague on October 27, 2018!  We will have a table at the 7th Annual Learning and Caring for Ourselves Conference, an event hosted by the Seniors Secretariat of PEI on Saturday, October 27th, 9am-3pm at Montague Regional High School.

Upcoming Event in a Looped Venue: Senate of Canada 150 Medal recipient Pieter Valkenburg will speak about the Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Research Project at South Shore United Church in Tryon, 7 pm on Friday, November 2, 2018.  This event is co-hosted by South Shore United Church and Tryon & Area Historical Society.  Note: this venue is equipped with a hearing loop for the benefit of those with hearing loss.  If you haven’t experienced the clarity of sound that you hear through a hearing loop, this is your opportunity.  Email dariadv@yahoo.ca for more info.

© Daria Valkenburg