When Dinner Includes A Decibel Reader

Certain members of my family are very hard for me to hear. Part of it is no fault of their own — their voices are in the frequency range where my hearing loss is greatest. But I do often wonder if there isn’t more that they could do to project and enunciate their speech to make it easier for me to hear.

In fact, I think other people often have trouble hearing them too. But when I ask them about it, they say they are speaking at a normal volume and sometimes ask me if maybe the batteries on my hearing aids are getting low. Lovely.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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When College Students Take an Interest in Hearing Loss

I was recently contacted by students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to learn more about my experiences living with hearing loss. Specifically they were interested in my thoughts on moderating the volume of my voice. They had seen a blog post I had written about the difficulty people with hearing loss often have knowing if they are speaking at the right volume in different settings. You can read that post here.

The students had a friend with hearing loss, who had explained to them the difficulty he had matching his voice to the ambient environment during interviews and other important academic and professional meetings. He said he was often intimidated to go to an interview for fear of embarrassing himself by speaking too loudly or too softly. This inspired the students to design a product to solve his problem.

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When You Find Captions At The Airport

Not only is Hawaii extraordinarily beautiful, it is also hearing loss friendly! Several months ago, my family and I were lucky enough to visit Hawaii. You can read about our luau adventure here.

It was a wonderful trip so it was with a heavy heart that we headed to the airport for our flight back home on Hawaiian Airlines. But while we waited for the flight, something amazing happened. Every time the desk agents played a pre-recorded announcement (like the ones that announce boarding procedures), the screen displaying the flight details transformed into an open captions screen! You can see it in the two photos below.

Now that is what I call a hearing loss friendly airport!

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Hearing Loss: Where Are The Captions?

We walked into the large auditorium and took our seats — positioning ourselves so I would have a good view of the podium in case I needed to lip read the speaker. As the program began, my eyes instinctively looked around for the captions. But there weren’t any. There were four large screens, all projecting the speaker and later a video he was playing, but not one displayed captions. I was disappointed, especially since one of the main topics of the talk was the importance of diversity and inclusion. Maybe they needed to practice what they preached.

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Beyond Hearing Aids: An Audiologist Wish List

I recently spoke at Beyond Hearing Aids, a symposium sponsored by HLAA-NYC, the NYC Walk4Hearing, and NYU/Wagner. In the audience were audiologist and speech language pathologist students from several local universities. It was a wonderful session full of informative talks on OTC devices, hearing loops, cochlear implants and advocacy. I was pleased to share the patient’s perspective.

I share an excerpt of my remarks below.

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