May 16, 2023 – In-Person `Living With Hearing Loss` by Margaret Myatt.

May 16, 2023, in-person `Living With Hearing Loss` by Margaret Myatt.

We learned quite a few things from Margaret, VP of HLAA Downeast Chapter, and Debra Bare-Rogers of Disability Rights Maine  during this 1 hour session. Handouts for various resources were made available at this meeting.

The slideshow is here and a bullet list summary is below.

Thanks to the Louis T Graves Memorial Public Library of Kennebunkport, ME, for providing space for this session.

Summary of slides (#32) :

  • title + flier for this meeting;
    • greeting and how to participate in this meeting;
    • about Margaret;
    • what is hearing? Simple ear diagram + amplitude aka loudness + frequency aka pitch;
    • effects of hearing loss (2 slides) include major disruptions of what others are saying;
    • simply amplifying sounds does not help (2 slides) and can make it worse;
    • five things to do if you have hearing loss:
  1. get assessed;
  2. use technology;
  3. self advocate;
  4. don’t hide it from yourself or others;
  5. know that support is available from others in the same hearing boat;
  • example of a blank audiogram, with placement of common sounds shown by icons and the letters of the alphabet;
    • examples of actual audiograms showing current hearing loss status;
    • hearing aids are programmable to improve hearing and reduce background noise;
    • hearing aid technology is amazing due to recent advances;
    • examples of styles for hearing aids;
    • checklist for buying hearing aids;
    • what to ask regarding OTC (Over-the-Counter) hearing aids;
    • Maine requires insurers to cover much of the cost of hearing aids;
    • examples of some typical assistive listening systems such as Bluetooth;
    • smartphone apps;
    • captioned landline phones are available for free;
    • Maine Relay Services can be obtained via Disability Rights Maine;
    • theaters provide various methods assistance – 2 examples in Portland were mentioned;
    • personal safety devices are available;
    • the Red Cross will install fire alarms, etc. (fyi link on slide redirects to here);
    • behaivoral modifications are things you and those you listen to can do to improve how you hear;
    • contact info for four places where you can get help for hearing issues;
    • contact info for HLAA Downeast Chapter, which began in March 2023;
    • many folks – including those without hearing loss – can benefit from things that improve communication;
    • ** conclusion: get assessed + use technology + self advocate + be honest + support is available **;
    • more contact info;
    • Q&A period;
    • reminder that the brain can make mistakes while trying to fill in missing info of any kind.