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:
- get assessed;
- use technology;
- self advocate;
- don’t hide it from yourself or others;
- 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.