HearScope has smashed it's funding target, coming your way soon

We reported on a fascinating new video otoscope tool that would help with home based diagnosis of middle ear problems a while ago. HearScope was using crowd funding to generate the cash for the product development, well it smashed its target and it's coming your way soon

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Nany Gilbertson, Giving Hope To People With Hearing Loss

We thought it would be nice to celebrate the kind work of someone who is devoted to helping others with hearing loss, so Nancy Gilbertson, we salute you. Here is her story and why we think her initiative is a fantastic thing

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Untreated Hearing Loss is One Of Nine Risk Factors For Dementia

I have spoken about the link between untreated hearing loss and dementia before on these pages. A recent article in the Lancet has brought it to the fore again. Let's talk about dementia, untreated hearing loss and other factors that may contribute to the problem.

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Surprising hearing loss facts and figures infographic

Surprising hearing loss facts and figures infographic. UK-based figures for people with hearing loss, deafness and tinnitus

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A new form of ear cleaning, endoscopic earwax removal

A new form of ear cleaning is being introduced across the UK & Ireland, Independent premium Practices are introducing endoscopic earwax removal. Two of our partners have introduced the procedure and the say that it is the safest method of earwax removal they have ever experienced. Let's take a look at it and give you the feedback from our partners.

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Young brains compensate for hearing loss more than older ones

People who lose the ability to see or hear often gain increased ability in their remaining senses - their brain compensates for the loss of one sense by enhancing others. Research has shown that younger brains are far better at compensating for a lost sense than older brains are.

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TIME magazine rates audiologist as best job in America

TIME magazine have been comparing jobs across America. They’ve looked at growth within an industry, stress-levels of workers and average incomes to determine the best and worst jobs. Being an audiologist came out top! As it turns out, audiologists, medical professionals who treat hearing and balance problems, don’t have it so bad. BLS projects the profession is expected to experience a 34% boost in jobs between 2012 and 2022. The median salary

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Taxi-cab company Uber make changes to support their deaf and hard of hearing us

Uber is a technology startup that is making waves in the taxi-cab business – their Apple/Android app allows anyone to call a cab to their location, see how much the ride will cost and track pick-up and drop-off times. Uber are currently testing an update to their app that contains features for their deaf and hard of hearing drivers: – When a customer requests a pick-up, the drivers app will alert them to the request with a flashing light as well

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Amplifon urges greater understanding of diabetes and hearing loss link during D

A new study promoted by hearing specialist Amplifon has revealed that diabetes and hearing loss may share an often ignored link. The Consensus Paper “Hearing and Diabetes”, promoted by Amplifon, puts in evidence studies in which type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers were discovered to be 2.15 times more likely to have a hearing impairment than the matched control group. Diabetes patients seem to be more susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss

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Forecasted sales of hearing amplifiers set to reach $78.2m by 2022

According to California-based Grand View Research, Inc. the hearing amplifiers market is expected to reach $78.2 million by 2022. The market research and consulting group published a report in June on the global hearing amplifiers market by product. The total market value of the sector was $54.3 million in 2014 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% from 2015 to 2022, to reach this projected performance.

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Human gene therapy trials for hearing loss have started

Researchers in America have started a clinical trial to test a ground breaking gene therapy which aims to treat hearing loss by restoring sound detecting cells that have been damaged by trauma to the inner ear. Novartis, a Swiss drug company, is collaborating with University of Kansas Medical Center to run trials on human volunteers with hearing loss. As far as I know, this is the world’s first gene therapy trial for hearing loss.

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An App that lets you converse with the deaf, no sign language necessary

Transcense is a new app that accurately translates conversations in real time so the deaf and hard of hearing can participate in meetings, presentations and conversations. To put that another way: this app wants to provide real-time subtitles/captions where the captions are showing words from any number of people in a group. Founders Thibault Duchemin, Pieter Doevendans and Skinner Cheng say one-on-one conversations are easy for the deaf. Either

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The awesome power of sound

This is copied from a Reddit post by kerrigan7782 – normally I would just link to external sites but I don’t know if Reddit posts are deleted after a certain amount of time. The text is about the sound being emitted during the take-off of a space rocket. The Saturn V itself, (and all large rockets nowadays) are so loud that they will kill themselves from volume alone. NASA must employ a Sound Suppression System that dumps enormous quantities of

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Groundbreaking research into how the brain understands sounds

New research is hoping to understand how the human brain hears sound to help develop improved hearing aids and automatic speech recognition systems. Led by the Universities of Southampton and Cambridge, the research aims to develop physiologically-inspired algorithms, which mimic how our brain hears sound to improve on traditional signal processing algorithms. The novelty of the research is that instead of looking at signal energy – as today’s

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Better Hearing Institute (BHI) warns against DIY hearing aids

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has issued a warning to consumers about purchasing pre-programmed, one-size-fits-all hearing aids. BHI points out that devices that are purchased over-the-counter or through the Internet without the consultation of a hearing healthcare professional may result in the devices not being accurately customized to the specific hearing needs of the individual, since hearing loss may be the symptom of a serious

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Sony’s subtitle glasses continue to earn promising responses from movie goers

A live demonstration of Sony’s new subtitle glasses took place in London this week, with positive reports from attendees. Tom Fiddian from Action on Hearing Loss – formerly the Royal National Institute for Deaf People – attended the event and reported via Twitter (@tomfiddian and hash tag #Subtitleglasses). It was this generation that was trialled in the USA and received positive feedback from the deaf community. One comment was that they were

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TV Ears competition to win a Wireless Speaker

TV Ears are running a competition to win one of their Wireless Speakers. To stand a chance of winning you have to go to either their Facebook (www.facebook.com/tvears) or Twitter page (www.twitter.com/tvears). Competition closes on March 21 2011, winner drawn at random.

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Cochlear profit grows amid rising demand for hearing aids

Cochlear Ltd., the world’s largest maker of bionic ears, on Tuesday reported a 16% rise in first-half profit as it expanded in emerging markets and people in developed countries with only one implant opted for a second to improve efficacy. Net profit for the six months to Dec. 31 of 87.2 million Australian dollars ($88.6 million) was up from A$75.2 million in the previous corresponding period and beat the A$84.2 million average of four analysts’

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Hearing Families by Dr Efrat Schorr

I just stumbled upon hearingfamilies.com via Twitter and I thought I’d share the link with you. Here’s a bit from Dr Schorr’s about page: My name is Efrat Schorr and I am a developmental psychologist who specializes in the unique social and emotional development of children with hearing loss. I received a PhD at the University of Maryland in this field in 2005. My research on the social and emotional development of children with cochlear

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Website gets a new name!

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve moved www.deafness-and-hearingaids.net to a new domain name. The site is now at: All the existing links to deafness-and-hearingaids.net still work (I hope!), they just redirect to the new name. So nothing needs to change. I’m having a bit of a spring clean on the site and felt that the old name was too long and was too much of a mouthful and it didn’t really say anything whereas the new one slips off the

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Announcing two new things

I’m going to announce two awesome new projects in the next few weeks. One is for audiologists and hearing aid sellers and the other is for people struggling with a hearing loss. If you want the first scoop on them both, I’ve started a mailing list to keep you in the loop.

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Love Language: Short film & fundraiser

The Jubilee Project makes films for good causes. This film was produced to raise awareness and support for the American Society for Deaf Children. There are two ways that you can support this cause: The American Society for Deaf Children is a non-profit organization started in 1967 that supports and educates families of deaf and hard of hearing children and advocates for high quality programs and services.

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Is Apple taking hearing aids into the mainstream?

Apple’s new iPhone 4 is just hitting the shelves here in the UK. One of its big selling points is its live video chat – you can see the person calling as well as hearing them. Apple have a new advert out showcasing this and amazingly it features two people using the phone to communicate using ASL and, not only that, it also pans around to the back of the guy’s head to show his hearing aid. Here it is:

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Earplug sales soar at World Cup

The gossip Web site TMZ.com is reporting that in response to the rampant use of vuvuzela horns during World Cup soccer matches, earplug sales have exploded since the group stage matches began in South Africa last week. ? TMZ has said it spoke with to two major earplug suppliers based in South Africa — Ear Plugs Online and Sheppard Medical — and each are boasting increases in sales. A rep for EPO told TMZ their sales are up 121% — having sold

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Stanford lab create inner-ear hair cells in a dish

-->Deep inside the ear, specialized cells called hair cells detect vibrations in the air and translate them into sound. Ten years ago, Stefan Heller, PhD, professor of otolaryngology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, came up with the idea tha

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UK hearing loss facts and figures

In the UK, hearing impairment is a common condition. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) estimates that in the UK there are almost nine million hearing impaired people. Approximately 28% of people who are hearing impaired are between 16-60 years of age, and 72% are over 60 years of age. In terms of age-related hearing loss, about 71% of people who are hearing impaired are over 70 years of age. The severity of hearing impairment

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My Deaf Family – reality TV show hits YouTube

Marlee Matlin had an idea for a reality show that she hoped would bring some insight into the lives and struggles of deaf people and how they cope. But while reality TV has brought us wife swappers, party girls, aging rock stars and dieting divas, apparently no one was ready for something that real. So instead, the hearing-impaired actress who won an Academy Award as lead actress for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” took her show “My Deaf

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Google rolling out captions to all Youtube videos

Google have announced that they are rolling out captions to all videos on Youtube. A little while back they announced a test of captioning for a small number of videos. I guess they’ve ironed out any problems seen during the trial run and they’re now ready to offer across the board. From Google themselves on March 4th 2010: Today, we are opening up auto-captions to all YouTube users. There will even be a “request processing” button for

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Volume limits for mp3 players recommended but misses the point

The European Commission wants to limit maximum volume on all portable MP3 players sold in the EU, including iPods, to protect users’ hearing. This follows a report last year warning that as many as 10 million Europeans are putting their hearing at risk when they listen to loud music on their MP3 players. According to the EU experts, the default maximum should be set at 85 decibels. Users would be able to override this setting to reach a top

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Hear the World Calendar 2010

In time for the holidays, Hear the World is offering a special kind of gift: international stars such as Jude Law, Elle Macpherson, Lenny Kravitz and Laura Pausini have been photographed by rock star and photographer Bryan Adams for the Hear the World initiative. These pictures are exclusively available for you to admire in the Hear the World calendar 2010. Reserve your copy of this limited edition calendar now for EUR 19.90 / USD 29.90 / GBP

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Otologics introduces fully implantable hearing system

Otologics has announced the introduction of Carina, a fully implantable hearing system that picks up sounds using a microphone implanted under the skin that the company says transmits amplified signals directly into the middle ear. Sounds are amplified according to the wearer’s needs and converted into an electrical signal. The signal is sent down the lead and into the transducer. The tip of the Carina transducer is in contact with the middle

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Tax Credit Would Improve Hearing For More Than 10 Million Americans

Hearing aids for as many as 10 million Americans living with untreated hearing loss could soon become a reality if Congress acts, says Stephen Hansbrough, CEO of HearUSA, who is urging passage of the tax credit legislation that would make hearing aids significantly more affordable. Although almost all of the 36 million Americans with hearing loss could be helped by hearing aids, 25% currently use them, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) reports,

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Google introduces automatic captioning for YouTube

Google announced a few weeks ago that they have added the ability to auto-caption YouTube videos. That means that when the project is complete we will be able to have captions on any YouTube video whether the original uploader of the video added captions or not. Pretty damn awesome and it answers this question pretty conclusively! The ability for people to add captions manually when they upload their videos has been around to many years. But the

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Researchers create cell phones for sign language

Cornell researchers and colleagues have created cell phones that allow deaf people to communicate in sign language, the same way hearing people use phones to talk. For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, cell phone use has largely been limited to text messaging. But technology is catching up: Cornell researchers and colleagues have created cell phones that allow deaf people to communicate in sign language — the same way hearing people use

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Sonova to enter CI market with $489 million acquisition

ZURICH (Dow Jones)– Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova Holdings AG (SOON.VX) said Monday it is buying U.S.-based Advanced Bionics Corporation for $489 million, to enter the cochlear implant systems market where the company sees future growth rates between 10% and 15% per year. “With this transaction Sonova adds a new source of sustainable business growth and enhances its position as the leading provider of hearing healthcare solutions,” Chief

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UK hospitals and GP surgeries are failing the deaf and hard of hearing

I don’t think that UK hospitals and GP surgeries are doing enough to make themselves accessible to their deaf and hard of hearing patients. Take my local GP surgery as an example: They have a largish waiting room. They have a single speaker at one end of the room that most doctors use to call their patients – other doctors will walk to the top end of the room and call someone in. The room is often filled with patient’s chatter and kids playing.

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Ex-footballer campaigns to change attitudes to deafness

Pompey football legend Alan Knight spent years struggling to hear conversations. But now hearing aids have transformed his life and he is campaigning to change attitudes to deafness. ‘That John Westwood has got a lot to answer for,’ smiles Knight, recalling the hundreds of times he would be subjected to the loud ringing bell of the club’s noisiest supporter. But losing his hearing was devastating for the former goalkeeper. He felt cut off,

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T-Shirts for the hard of hearing

Sarah, who writes the Speak Up Librarian blog, has just launched a range of t-shirts for the hard of hearing. She says that the prints, “express our communication needs with grace, humor, and a little bit of attitude”. And they certainly do that! Here’s Sarah herself modelling one of the prints. Check out the Speak Up Librarian Store for the full range. Think I’m gonna get myself a Say What?.

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Deaf soldier wins £330K damages from Ministry Of Defence

A soldier has won £330,000 from the Ministry of Defence for hearing loss, after being told not to wear earplugs during a training exercise to make it more “battle realistic”. Charles Bradlaugh was left with hearing loss and tinnitus. Mr Bradlaugh, 22, was a cadet when colleagues started firing before he could find earplugs or alert anyone at Barry Buddon Training Centre in Carnoustie, Angus, in 2004.

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Scripps scientists discover molecular defect involved in hearing loss

The Scripps Research Institute is reporting that scientists there have illuminated the action of harmonin, a protein which is involved in the mechanics of hearing. The finding reportedly sheds new light on the workings of mechanotransduction, the process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into electrical activity. Defects in mechanotransduction genes can cause devastating diseases, such as Usher’s syndrome, which is characterized by

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US hearing loss approaching epidemic proportions

One of three US adults already suffers from some degree of hearing loss and the use of personal stereos and an aging population may create a hearing impairment epidemic, according to a study carried out by a team of scientists at Johns Hopkins University. The researchers estimated that 55 million Americans have hearing loss in one or both ears, with men, whites and the least-educated most affected, while one out of six, or 29 million adults,

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Good vibrations at MIT

Lip reading is a critical means of communication for many deaf people, but it has a drawback: Certain consonants (for example, p and b) can be nearly impossible to distinguish by sight alone. Tactile devices, which translate sound waves into vibrations that can be felt by the skin, can help overcome that obstacle by conveying nuances of speech that can’t be gleaned from lip reading. Researchers in MIT’s Sensory Communication Group are working on

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Evie, 7, youngest person to get a hearing dog

Deaf seven-year-old Evie Crook has a new best friend – a specially trained hearing dog. Evie is the youngest person to get an assistance dog and her confidence is starting to skyrocket. Since getting Gem she is sleeping in her own bed for the first time and is much more chatty, her parents say. “I love Gem more than 10 million bags of sugar!,” the youngster told Sky News. Evie is severely deaf, and is one of 12 children taking part in a trial

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Tinnitus Cure ‘is a step closer’

Scientists have found what could be the root cause of tinnitus, raising the hope of a treatment in the near future. In studies carried out by Scientists in Australia, increased activity in the auditory brainstem where sounds are processed were found and linked to changes in the genes involved in regulating the activity of the nerve cells. Pathways that normally keep a lid on nerve signal transmission were blocked and others were more excitable

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Hearing loss changes the brain

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered that hearing loss leads to a remodelling of the brain in which auditory regions are overtaken by the sensory system that corresponds to touch. This cross-model plasticity could explain why some people with hearing loss struggle with therapies. Alex Meredith, lead scientist on the study stated, “Our study indicates that hearing deficits in adult animals result in a conversion of their

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Clive Anderson backs hearing aid donation campaign

Clive Anderson is backing a charity campaign calling for people to donate their unwanted hearing aids, which will be recycled for deaf children in developing countries. Charity Sound Seekers, which aims to improve the lives of deaf children, has joined forces with Specsavers hearing centres for the appeal. More than 300 hearing centres across the country will host fundraising activities and collect unwanted hearing aids for the charity.

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Audiology a good career choice in 2009

usnews.com has put together what is considers to be the 30 best careers in 2009 that offer a good outlook for the future and high job satisfaction. They’ve selected Audiologist in their list and go on to say: An advantage is that audiology is an under-the-radar career—few people consider it, so competition isn’t as keen as it might be. You’d think demand for audiologists would be rapidly increasing, with all the aging boomers and the increased

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2008 a good year for hearing loss research

2008 was a productive year in terms of hearing research. Results from stem-cell and gene research may lead to new treatment options for hearing impairment. Stem-cell and gene research contributed new knowledge about the ear and hearing in 2008, opening opportunities for the development of new treatment options for hearing impaired people in the future. Genes and cells Gene mutations causing various kinds of hearing loss were identified. We now

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Take a pill to protect your hearing?

By tweaking a system in the ear that limits how much sound is heard, a global team of researchers has discovered one alteration that shows that the ability of the ear to turn itself down contributes to protecting against permanent hearing loss. The report appears this week in PLoS Biology. “There’s some uncertainty in the field about what this sound-limiting system is used for,” says Paul Fuchs, PhD, an author on the paper and professor of

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The kiss of deaf

This unusual news items comes from Reuters India. It finishes with an amazing piece of advice for avoiding hearing loss due to kissing. A young woman in southern China has partially lost her hearing after her boyfriend ruptured her eardrum during an excessively passionate kiss, local media reported on Monday. The 20-something girl from Zhuhai, in southern Guangdong province, went to hospital completely deaf in her left ear, the China Daily said,

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Hearing journalist spends a day with a Deaf family

Guardian reporter Sam Wollaston spends a day with the Woolfe family. He is hearing and the Woolfe family – Ramon and Louise and their three children: Jasper, Layla and Spencer – are all deaf. I should have been prepared for it, I suppose – the silence. But it strikes me immediately. And, to begin with, I find it difficult. Here is a family behaving exactly as every other family in the country behaves every morning – having breakfast, getting

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The Deaf DJ feels the vibe

It may not seem the most obvious profession for someone who is profoundly deaf, but Spencer Collins, 34, deaf since birth, has made a name for himself as DJ Harcor. He tells MIKE PILE how he made it on the London club scene. When Ascot man Spencer Collins feels the beat, it’s more than just a desire to dance – it helps him ‘hear’ the music. “I wanted to be a DJ because I love the feel of the music, the vibration, the buzz, the passion and being

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Cash crisis forces deaf users to hang up on phone service

Imagine arriving at work to find that your phone has been taken away while your colleagues still have theirs. And one year on, you’re still without a phone. That’s what happened to Simon Pearse and Alan Goldsmith last November. Pearse, an actuary who is hard of hearing, started using a technology called captioned telephony (CapTel) to make calls after his company switched to a digital phone system on which he found it difficult to hear clearly.

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Town crier deafened by own bell after 25 years

Town Criers are a long-standing tradition here in the UK. They are employed by a local authority to make public announcements in the streets – they were first used in Medieval times but we still have some around today. They shout their announcements in public places and ring a bell to get attention. These people are loud and when I say loud I mean really loud. I’m talking a Harley Davidson revving-up right next to your eardrum loud.

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Grandmother killed by a hearing aid

A great-grandmother who survived breast cancer died after suffering a rare allergic reaction after a hearing aid fitting. Doctors at Bradford Royal Infirmary could not save Mary Elizabeth Hibbitt, 83, after she contracted an infection through cracks in her skin, an inquest in Bradford heard yesterday. Mrs Hibbitt, of Tyersal Garth, Tyersal, Bradford, who had beaten breast cancer 14 years previously, died on March 1 from pneumonia caused by the

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YouTube adds subtitles/captions

YouTube have, at long last, added subtitle/caption support to their videos. Their blog says that they hope this will makes the videos they host more accessible to more people, including the deaf and hard of hearing. You can add subtitles to a video you have uploaded by uploading a closed caption file using the “Captions and Subtitles” menu on the editing page. It’s possible to upload multiple caption files to support subtitles in different

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Website and upcoming film about deaf explorer’s arctic journey

Edinburgh-based artist and filmmaker Matt Hulse has created the interactive website about James Duthie’s journey in advance of a feature film he is making. Mr Duthie, also known as Dummy Jim because he was mute, covered 3000 miles on his bike back in 1951, travelling from Fraserburgh via France to the Arctic Circle. He rode alone for three months, spending just £12 en route. His own account of his travels was published in 1957 as I Cycled Into

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Science breakthrough offers hope for hard of hearing

Some exciting news has been hitting the UK’s broadsheet newspapers today: Scientists have for the first time been able to successfully grow inner ear hair cells in mice. But don’t throw away those hearing aids just yet! This is just the first step and they now need to see if the regrown cells actually result in an improvement in hearing. After that, there will still be a long road through regulations before this treatments gets anywhere near me

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One step closer to hearing restoration

Preliminary results from studies in Belgium and Virginia offer hope for the future for hearing impaired people. Estimates suggest that approximately 500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. Belgian scientists have identified the TGBF1 gene as the culprit in one of the most common forms of hearing loss in adults, otosclerosis. Otoschlerosis is a progressive form of hearing loss associated with the build-up of growing bone in the

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Hormone treatment may prevent hearing loss

A swedish study indicates that simple treatment with oestrogen stimulating drugs may be useful in combating hearing loss. The researchers studied the impact of the female oestrogen hormone. They found that one of two receptors the female oestrogen sex hormone binds itself to offers good protection against hearing loss in both males and females. The study was based on experiments with mice. ”We found that the beta (oestrogen) receptor protects

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Hearing aids sport football team’s colours

Portsmouth Football Club and hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Laboratories have together been tackling the stigma attached to wearing hearing aids by offering a special design carrying the team crest. Suzie Butcher, from Starkey Laboratories, said: ‘Many children suffering with hearing problems can experience bullying and feelings of embarrassment from hearing aid use. ‘Starkey has seen a fantastic response from children who have opted for a

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Mower dad left deaf by a twig

A Dad was left deaf in one ear and needing a walking stick after a twig spiked his eardrum as he mowed the lawn. Mike Watson, 56, brushed past a bush and a branch poked into his right ear, knocking him out for several minutes. Mike, who has five kids, managed to crawl indoors and dial 999. He was rushed to hospital with a four inch piece of twig still sticking out of his ear. But despite emergency surgery he lost his hearing and now can’t

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Lancashire Police have officers trained in BSL

The Lancashire (UK) police force now have 14 officers trained in British Sign Language (BSL). The Constabulary also has a Deaf Liaison Officer, PC Paula Robertson, who promotes sign language and deaf awareness training. She said: “Those who are deaf are a very isolated group and by improving the service we provide we will encourage them to report crime and other issues to us.” Supt Bob Eastwood, head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Diversity Unit,

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The glove that talks sign language

Researchers from the Canergie Melon university are developing the HandTalk – a glove that converts sign language into text messages that are sent to a mobile phone. There are a number of sensors on the glove that record the ASL signs and convert them into text on the fly. Three of the four team members who are developing HandTalk, senior computer engineering students Bhargav Bhat, Hemant Sikaria and Jorge L. Meza , demonstrated the prototype

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Over 70% of youngsters show first signs of hearing loss

A survey carried out by Australian Hearing has found that: MORE than 70 per cent of young adults suffer from the first sign of hearing loss. The survey, commissioned by Australian Hearing, found adults aged between 18 and 24 reported suffering from tinnitus or ringing in the ear. Professor Harvey Dillon, director of the National Acoustics Laboratory at Australian Hearing says that he was surprised by the results as it is a higher percentage than

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Deafening call for new toy law

Health Canada is examining the way it tests noisy toys to make sure they aren’t damaging childrens’ tender ears. Many toys seem to sing, shout, beep and wail at deafening decibels. And the current testing method — holding a toy at an adult arm’s length — doesn’t reflect the reality that kids hold toys close to their ears, audiologists warn. Noise-induced hearing loss is growing. Studies in the U.S. show 12.5% of children have hearing problems

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BAHAs help to overcome single-sided deafness

Although Jim McGinn of Wheaton, Ill, is completely deaf in his right ear, he still can hear from that side. A sound processor McGinn wears just behind his right ear converts sound waves into tiny vibrations that move through his skull. The vibrations are detected by his good left ear, so it sounds to McGinn like he can hear from both sides. A Loyola University Health System study has found that this system of conducting sound through skull bone

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Possible financial help for hearing aids?

Americans are coming together in a campaign to encourage Congress to pass a federal tax credit to help people buy hearing aids. To help organize the effort to have Congress pass the legislation, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has launched a new Web site (www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org). An excellent resource and tool for those concerned about the needs of people with hearing loss, it reaches out to adults 55+ and to parents of children with

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Donate used hearing aids in Palm Beach County

The Hearing Aid Bank, a program of the Deaf Service Center of Palm Beach County, provides used and recycled hearing aids free to those in financial need. Many people have the misconception that hearing aids cannot be re-used. That is basically true and there are three good reasons why a person should not use another’s hearing aid (1) sanitary issues; (2) everyone’s prescription is different and using the wrong prescription could possibly be

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Deaf Awareness week 2008

5th – 11th May 2008 is Deaf Awareness Week and organisations working with deaf people across the country are inviting everyone to ‘Look At Me’. The theme aims to improve understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.Supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under

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Hearing aid prices wanted

I have been thinking of ways that I could expand this blog so that I can offer services and tools that people would find useful. One of the things I would like to do is start a hearing aid price database. The idea is that someone would be able to either enter a model and see the current price for it or they would be able to enter a price and see what models are available at that price. It would be impossible for me to keep a record of all

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Zebrafish can regain lost hearing

Hearing rarely returns once a human loses the ability to hear. However, when lower vertebrates such as birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians lose the ability to hear, they are able to regenerate hearing cells, called hair cells, and regain their hearing. The cells are called hair cells because they are tiny, hair-like projections found in the inner ear which enable humans and animals to hear. Scientists don’t know why certain animals can

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Moose’s hearing aid

They are some of the most extravagant headgear in the animal kingdom, but a moose’s antlers are not just for show. Scientists believe they act as elaborate hearing aids that help males to find calling females. A study has found that the antlers’ sound-gathering qualities boost the hearing of the animals by 19%. Moose, which are called elk in Europe, are well-known for their impressive hearing. Their ears are more than 60 times larger than those

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HearAtLast at Wal-Mart

HearAtLast Holdings Inc. is pleased to announce that it has finalized the next phase of its expansion plans. Wal-Mart Canada will include HearAtLast operations in additional supercentre and discount store locations, as HearAtLast continues its national expansion program. HearAtLast along with Wal-Mart Canada’s management strategically identify locations that are best suited demographically for their unique hearing aid dispensing model. The 2008

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Hearing specialists open new world for Hondurans

They would line up at 7 a.m., wait all day and spend their food money to get there – all to gain the ability to hear. “It was incredible, absolutely incredible,” Ginny Smith said. “It was overwhelming,” Rick Silverman added. Smith and Silverman, partners from American Hearing Care in Orange Park, were referring to a four-day mission trip they took to Honduras in December, where more than 2,500 hearing aids were provided to 1,266 people. Because

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Starkey founder honoured

William Austin, founder and chief executive of Starkey Laboratories in Eden Prairie, has long been known as the Santa Claus of Hearing. Now he’s being honored as member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Horatio Alger award honors those who have defied adversity with hard work, courage and determination to achieve the American dream of wealth and success. Austin, 66, developed the first in-the-ear hearing aid,

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Hearing Review top ten of 2007

The Hearing Review’s editor, Karl Strom, has compiled a list of last year’s top ten news items from the hearing aid / health industry. It’s an interesting list and also a very positive one – Karl talks about the advances in hearing aid technology and research as well as the increased exposure of hearing aids and hearing problems in the media last year. 1) Sonova-GN deal is blocked, putting into question future consolidation. Announced in October

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Burger King settles student’s lawsuit

The owner of a Burger King franchise in Newark has agreed settle a lawsuit filed by a student who was fired after one day on the job because the owner discovered he wore hearing aids. Andy Patel, who owns the Burger King inside the University Hospital complex, reached a settlement with Jordan Myrie Feb. 5 as the student’s lawsuit was about to begin trial in Superior Court in Newark. Witnesses were expected to testify that Patel showed up at the

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Lean BSL online with SignpostBSL

The Signpost website is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn BSL. They have a fingerspelling video tutorial that goes through the alphabet – you can zoom the video in and out, you can view it in slow-motion and you can also view left of right-handed spelling. More impressively there is another option that allows you to type in a word and it will be finger-spelt back to you – again there are left/right, zoom and slo-mo options.

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Old hearing aids to get new life abroad

A ground breaking appeal launched in Huddersfield to transform the lives of hard of hearing people in the Third World has been hailed a success. The hearing aid recycling scheme, the first of its kind in the UK, was launched in November last year to encourage people to give their unwanted aids in a bid to improve and even save lives of people living in developing countries. Phil Spenceley, registered hearing aid dispenser and director of

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Eardrops May Cause Hearing Loss or Damage

A new study, led by researchers at The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC, has revealed that certain over-the-counter earwax softeners can cause severe inflammation and damage to the eardrum and inner ear. The results of the study, recently published in The Laryngoscope, suggest that use of these medications should be discouraged. “Patients often complain that wax is blocking their ears and is causing discomfort and sometimes

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Bob’s house vignettes (ASL videos)

Pepsi are at it again. Not content with showing a totally silent ad during the Superbowl that features two deaf characters using ASL (with subtitles) – they have produced four other videos that are, frankly, fantastic. I think Pepsi are doing a really great job with this ad campaign – they are showing the deaf community in a very positive light and are doing wonders for awareness. Whilst Pepsi clearly have one eye on marketing their product I

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Hearing aids suck!

There’s an article in WIRED magazine by Erin Biba called “Why Things Suck: Hearing Aids”. The article starts by, quite rightly, stating that hearing aids are too expensive – I couldn’t agree more. It then goes on to talk about directional microphones, inadequate feedback and noise reduction and, finally, the the fact that insurance rarely covers hearing aids. Do you agree that feedback and noise reduction systems aren’t good enough?I don’t have

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Super Bowl ad – Bob’s house

Pepsi’s Super Bowl advert uses a Deaf joke:

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Learn to Sign in Video

Krown Manufacturing, a maker of specialty devices for people with poor hearing, was displaying this device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The simple machine has videos of all 4,500 words of the US sign language that can be quickly played back for reference. Krown predicts it will go on sale by the middle of the year. This story and pic came from Medgadget. A quick browse of the Krown Manufacturing website didn’t give any more

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Plantronic Clarity phone for hard of hearing

Plantronic Clarity have released a new phone for the hard of hearing – the C4230 telephone / answering machine. Features include: Volume and tone control – A volume boost control allows you turn up to a maximum of 50db. As well as volume boost, the C4230 allows you to change the tone to suit your own hearing loss – a chart supplied with the phone guides you on tone settings that will help you. Light and vibration alerts – You can hook this

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KT-Tunstall writes songs for her deaf brother

KT Tunstall wants to write music for her profoundly deaf brother. The ‘Suddenly I See’ singer, whose 28-year-old younger sibling Daniel was born with the hearing condition, is planning to create some hi-tempo beats to please her brother. KT said: “I’ve always wanted to write some music for Daniel, and find out scientifically what would be really pleasing to him. He loves beats. He tells me about these brilliant deaf raves he has been to, where

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Hearing help under threat

A charity based in Dunmow, UK are seeking volunteers to ensure that they can continue to offer hearing services to the local community. Hearing Help Uttlesford (HHU) assisted more than 300 people in the community who use hearing aids this year, but now its services could be under threat. Chairman Yvonne Morton said: “We are only a small charity with eight volunteers, but now a couple want to retire so we are on the lookout for people to take

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Hearing tests for over 55 year olds in UK

The over-55s could soon be screened for hearing problems under new proposals. An NHS trial across Britain of 35,000 people aged 55-74 found routine hearing tests offered “substantial benefits” and were good value for money. A national programme could be in place within five years, said government adviser Professor Adrian Davis, who led the research. More than one in 10 people in the trial were found to have a moderate to severe hearing problem.

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Miss Deaf World 2007 Gallery

The Miss Deaf World website now has a gallery of images from the event – in fact, the gallery has been up for ages but it’s not as if I spend all my time checking missdeafworld for updates, ok?

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Starkey Foundation helps LA kids

Yesterday, 150 kids got a very special gift – the ability to hear clearly. It’s a project of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, who came to L.A. with one goal in mind – to give children in need hearing aids. Sixteen-year-old Krista Gillinger is about to get the thrill of her life. One hundred and fifty children whose families can’t afford the high cost of hearing aids are getting the chance to experience clear hearing — many for the first time.

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Dave Grohl talks about his hearing loss

Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl has revealed that his deafness is causing problems in his marriage because his wife has to repeat herself all the time. The former Nirvana drummer admits all rock star marriages have the same issue – because loud music kills normal conversation. Grohl told women’s magazine Elle: “Any woman who’s going to date a rock musician has to be prepared to repeat herself every 10 seconds. I’m virtually deaf… my wife asks me

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MP3 Players: Protecting your hearing

Yet another warning has been published about damage that MP3 players can do to our hearing. And that’s no bad thing as it’s a very real and worrying problem. www.crutchfieldadvisor.com have a very informative article about the ways that the people can use MP3 players more safely, they include:

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MP3 users are risking hearing loss

More than two-thirds of young people who regularly use MP3 players face premature hearing damage because the volume is too high, a charity warns. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People said its findings were alarming, particularly with eight million MP3 players sold last year alone in the UK. It accused manufacturers of failing to put clear and prominent warnings on packaging for consumers. The RNID urges MP3 player fans to invest in

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The computer that models hearing loss

Research at the University of Essex into aiding people with hearing impairments has won a grant of nearly half a million pounds. Professor Ray Meddis of the Department of Psychology and his team of Wendy Lecluyse and Robert Ferry, have been awarded £447,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Funding council to develop a computerised hearing dummy. In addition, they have been given £50,000 by the Deafness Research Council.

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Virus cure for hearing loss

Researchers at the University of Virginia are working on curing hearing loss with an experimental new form of gene therapy. With more than 275 million people around the world that suffer from sort of nerve-related deafness, scientists are working on creating a virus that when placed in ear tissue can regrown tiny hairs inside the ear canal. Otolaryngologist Brad Kesser explains these very specialized hair cells convert the mechanical energy of

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Long term mobile phone use could cause hearing loss

Study on hearing loss attributed to mobile phone use states the blindingly obvious ExpressIndia.com have reported on a study conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). The study concludes that, “People using mobile phones for more than four years and longer than 30 minutes a day are at risk of developing hearing loss particularly at higher speech frequencies. This hearing loss was more in the dominant

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Fixing Hearing With Light

Northwestern University scientists are looking into using lasers that can trigger nerve firings, in order to increase audio quality in cochlear implants over the traditional electric discharge method.From MIT Technology Review: With conventional cochlear implants, electrical signals spread in the wet, salty environment of the body, muddying the signal. That makes it difficult to trigger specific populations of nerves inside the cochlea. Further

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Olive, 108, does get new hearingaid!

I wrote the other day about Olive Beal, a 108 year-old lady who was told by her local NHS hospital that she would have to wait 18 months to be fitted with new hearing aids. Well, it turns out that she won’t have to wait that long after all. Phillip Ball, an audiologist who runs his own private practice, stepped in and offered Olive a pair of new digital aids for free. Great news for Olive and also a great piece of PR by Mr Ball.

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Girl with no ears denied hearing aid

15-month old Samantha Collins has Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of her facial bones. She was also born without ears – she doesn’t even have holes that would lead into the ear canal on the side of her head. Currently, Samantha has a standard hearing aid that her parents strap to her head using a bandage. This allows her to hear some noises but the bandage doesn’t stay on an active baby’s heard for

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Woman, 108, must wait 18 months for hearingaid

A 108-year-old woman has been told by her local NHS hospital that she must wait at least 18 months before she receives a new hearing aid. Olive Beal’s 5-year-old analogue hearingaid is no longer effective and she needs a digital version that cuts out background noise and makes conversation easier. She visited her local NHS hospital and after a hearing test was told, “yes, she does need a digital hearing aid, but there is an 18-month waiting

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Miss China wins Miss Deaf World 2007

Miss China, 25 year old Bao Quing Ling, has been crowned Miss Deaf World 2007. In second place was Miss Germany, Kristina Weber. Third place went to Miss Ukraine, Neonila Kudic. Miss South Africa, Terneil Nicole Oppel, won the Miss Sympathy title – not quite sure what that means? Were the judges sympathetic that she din’t make the top three? The online voting currently stands like this (and I guess it won’t change much now that the title has

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Vote for Miss Deaf World 2007

The official Miss Deaf World website has opened an online voting system so you can vote for your favourite contestant. The competition takes places in Prague on 14th July 2007. There are entrants from every corner of the globe, including: UK, New Zealand, Zambia and Congo. -->Miss South Africa is currently topping the online voting.

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Music lovers warned about hearing loss

The RNID have released a report called “Like it Loud?” as part of their Don’t Lose The Music campaign. The report is a call to both the Government and the Music industry to take steps to promote the issue of noise as a public health concern. The research in the report shows an alarming ignorance among young people about the damage they are potentially doing to their hearing at gigs, clubs and other noisy venues. The report argues that in order

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Hard of hearing could be losing income

Workers with hearing problems are losing more than snippets of conversation, they’re losing money. Two-thirds of people who suffer from hearing loss are below retirement age and still working. If you’re one of them, trying to hide or ignore the problem could cost you, a new study has found. Untreated hearing loss, depending on how severe the loss is, cut household income by an average of nearly $23,000 per year, according to the study by the

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Legwarmers for your ears, anyone?

J from Grumpyolddeafies is -->less than convinced by DeafEquipment’s Ear Gear range. She’s right, they do look uncannily like legwarmers. But, hey, legwarmers were pretty huge in the 1980s and they looked hideous too! This does lead on to an important question though: Can hearing aids be cool? It wasn’t so many years ago that glasses where uncool, nowadays they are ultra stylish and no-one has a problem wearing them. Can’t say the same for

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Providing for deaf and hard of hearing gamers

Almost any movie you buy on DVD these days will come with optional subtitles (closed captions) in a range of languages – the on-screen text always keeps in sync with the audio and does a great job of allowing deaf and partially deaf people to enjoy film. Here in the UK, a good percentage of TV shows have either subtitles or, to a lesser extent, a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter on screen. Many of the subtitles the accompany programmes

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Free NHS hearing aid batteries for some!

I posted this last week. There’s a comment on that post from Alison in which she says that hearing aid batteries have always been free in the UK – so I decided to check it out because I have always paid for mine! I phoned the ENT department of my local hospital and asked them if I could get batteries from the NHS even though I had bought my aids privately. The answer? No. Fair enough, I suppose, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to get

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BSL Podcast to aid communication with the deaf

The School Of Sign Language have released a series of podcasts that coincide with Deaf Awareness Week to help people learn the basics of British Sign Language (BSL). “British Sign Language (BSL) is used in preference by 70,000 Deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. The language is a visual and expressive way of communication. BSL is a language in its own right. It has its own grammar, syntax and structure. The number of qualified

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Miss Deaf World 2007

Miss Deaf World 2007 will be held on July 14 2007 in Prague, Czech Republic. The contest will be organised by s.r.o, the Czech Model Management agency. You can visit the website at: www.missdeafworld.com/miss-deaf-world-2007.htm

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Free NHS hearing aid batteries for all?

I popped into my local GP surgery today and noticed that they had hearing aid batteries at the reception desk. I asked if I could buy a couple of packets of Size 10 batteries – the receptionist replied, “we don’t sell them, you bring your used hearing aid batteries in and we exchange them for a new packet, free of charge“. Wow! Unfortunately, they didn’t have any size 10s in, but they are going to try and get some in for me.

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Deaf Awareness Week 2007

This year, Deaf Awareness Week runs from the 7th to the 13th of May. The slogan they are using this year is “Look At Me“. The theme aims to improve understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the many different methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading. Supported by over one hundred deaf charities and organisations under the umbrella of the UK

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The amazing blog by the hearing dog!

Liffey is a new recruit at Hearing Dogs For Deaf People. Being a switched-on, tech-geek, forward-thinking kinda dog, she has decided to keep a blog to let us all know what life is like for a hearing dog. She talks about being rescued, settling into her new ‘kennels’, meeting new friends and families and continuing in her quest to become a fully fledged hearing dog. It’s an entertaining read and gives a good insight into the training of a hearing

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Phonak and Sportsmatch sponsored NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Project

A project designed to make football more accessible to deaf children is being launched by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and the Football Foundation. The NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Project will enable every deaf child in England access to the nation’s great game over the course of the next three years. It is being funded with the help of a £211,608 grant from the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation, and with

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STAGETEXT provides captioning at theatres

STAGETEXT provides captioning for theatres and other arts venues to provide access to live performances for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. STAGETEXT was established in May 2000 by Peter Pullan, Merfyn Williams and Geoff Brown. Each has a different type of deafness and a determination to improve access to the performing arts for all deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. “Captioning has made it possible for me to go to the theatre

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Girl sues GlaxoSmithKline over loss of hearing after MMR jab

A TEENAGER is fighting to prove that the MMR vaccine made her deaf. Katie Stephen, 16, fell ill with a fever 10 days after being injected with an early form of the immunisation as a toddler in 1991. Parents Wendy and Alistair believe the vaccine, which included a strain of mumps, was responsible for their daughter losing the hearing in her left ear. They also believe that the Government knew of health risks surrounding the vaccine, but carried

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US statistics about hearing disorders and deafness from NIDCD

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Red wine may fight deafness

Age-related deafness, and hearing loss caused by loud noise, may be reduced by the antioxidants in red wine and asprin. Scientists are claiming that the compounds they contain could help protect the delicate hairs of the inner ear that are vital to hearing. Destructive chemical agents called oxygen-free radicals, produced by normal cellular processes and in response to loud noise and exposure to powerful antibiotics, can damage the hairs. But

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80% of hotels fail to meet basic needs of deaf people

Fireco Ltd, manufacturers of Deafguard, the wire-free solution for communicating the sound of the fire alarm to deaf and hard of hearing people, claim in a new survey that thousands of hotel guests with hearing difficulties are being treated like an underclass and that 80% of hotels fail to meet their basic needs.To coincide with the second anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, Fireco Ltd surveyed 215 hotels across all star ratings

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How do the deaf think?

There is this one question that people ask me when they grow comfortable enough around me. That question: “You know how hearing people usually say they have a little voice in their head when they think? How about you? How do you think?” They are usually nervous that the question would offend me. First of all, it is extremely hard to offend me. Second, that is actually a good question! I recall the first time a friend asked me that and I didn’t

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Interview with Liz Ball, deaf-blind charity worker

The Guardian’s website has an excellent interview with Liz Ball, a deaf-blind charity worker. Liz was born partially sighted and registered as blind at the age of 10. She lost her hearing when she was 26. She’s now 30 and works for the Sense charity as their parliamentary campaigns officer. She talks warmly about the things she enjoys but also of some of the frustrations and problems she faces. It would be very good if more people were aware

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Digital Dictionary Created for Cuban Deaf

Las Tunas, Cuba, Jan 16 (CNA) Professionals at a special school in Cuba have created what they think is the first digital dictionary of the island’s sign language, which could contribute to the culture and identity of deaf children. Beatriz Cespedes and Eliazar Rodriguez, an interpreter and a computer science teacher at the Pelayo Paneque High School, in the eastern Cuban city of Las Tunas, were successful in creating the multimedia resource

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Airport Installs Phones for Deaf

Deaf travelers at Salt Lake International Airport now have the latest technology for making phone calls at their fingertips. Sorenson Communications has installed two videophone booths, which spokesperson Diana Lewis says are light-years ahead of the old T-T-Y phones: “Those phones were developed in the 1960s and you have to type out your message. It’s very slow,” says Lewis. “The videophone has revolutionized the way the deaf community can

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Fit for exam, but unfit for bureaucracy

I just read an interesting article on the Times Of India site. It tells the story of three hearing impaired civil servants who are not receiving work from the civil service due to each of them having a hearing problem. What makes this particularly odd is the fact they all – along with 9 other disabled applicants – passed entry exams to join the service. It seems that their hearing problems were not a concern to their employers at exam-time, but

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Number of deaf and hard of hearing in employment below national average

In a report issued on Tuesday 07 November 2006, RNID, the national charity representing the UK’s 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people, claims only 63% of deaf and hard of hearing people of working age are in employment, compared to 75% of the national work force. Dr John Low, Chief Executive of RNID, says: “The report clearly shows that many deaf and hard of hearing people are being denied the opportunity to work. If the Government is

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Shops are failing the hard of hearing

Disability campaigner David Law from Buxton, UK, has criticised his local shops for not providing adequate service for hard of hearing shoppers. He notes that whilst many shops have induction loop systems fitted, in many cases they either do not work or staff do not know how to use them. Mr Law, who has used a hearing aid for much of his adult life, told the Advertiser: “I don’t see the point of shops having an induction loop system available if

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Council uses 21st century technology to help deaf residents

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is one of the first London boroughs to introduce an innovative new video relay service for deaf residents who prefer to use British Sign Language (BSL). Residents can now use interactive video screens in two council receptions to communicate with a BSL interpreter. The interpreter then relays their message live to council staff before signing the response back to the deaf resident.

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Roadside bombs damage troops’ hearing

Anthony DeLeon made it through the four roadside bombs without a scratch. The inside of his right ear, however, was not so lucky. During his recent year long tour of duty north of Baghdad, the 20-year-old Texan picked up an increasingly common badge of experience from the war in Iraq: hearing damage. “It just rings all the time,” he said, turning his head slightly so that his left ear — the good one — tilts toward the speaker.

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Deaf lawyer is denied interpreter in court

A deaf lawyer has won a landmark settlement against a Peterborough court which refused to allow him the use of a sign language interpreter. Jonathan Gibbons has been profoundly deaf since birth but he said staff at Peterborough County Court made no provision for his disability. It is the first case of its kind where a court has been challenged for failing to provide an interpreter. Mr Gibbons, a legal adviser for Hands on Access Ltd, brought a

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