Notes from Our March 2024 HOPE Meeting

If you missed our March 2024 HOPE virtual hearing loss support meeting, here are the notes. Our topics included getting successful telehealth captions (!) and finding help with auditory training after cochlear implant surgery.

You can read more about our HOPE program here. Notes from HOPE meetings are always available on our blog shortly after the meeting.

Captions for Telehealth Appointments: A Victory!
Patience, persistence, and perseverance paid off for one attendee who needed captions for her telehealth appointments. After complaining to many people and drawing upon HLAA and all her resources, the attendee drafted a formal letter. The letter stated she was a person with a hearing disability and she needed captions for the appointments, but she was being discriminated against. In the letter, she asked the provider to use a platform that included captions, and the clinic did so! If you’d like to see a copy of her successful letter, please let us know:

Follow-Up Note: Starting September 3, 2024, all video platforms and video conferencing, including telehealth, will be required to have built-in accessibility features. Read more about the new rule here

Video of Dr. Chad Ruffin at Panorama
Dr. Chad Ruffin, local ENT surgeon and CI recipient, spoke to the hearing loss support group led by Carolyn Odio at Panorama in Lacey. His topics included hearing loss, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. You can watch the video of Dr. Ruffin’s presentation on YouTube.

A Light-Up Doorbell and a Helpful College Student
A nursing student from Green River College visited a couple attendees who live at Aegis Assisted Living. The student, who is deaf, wanted to help Deaf and hard-of-hearing people by explaining their rights and helping them advocate. The attendee didn’t hear the doorbell when the student entered, so the student suggested a doorbell that lights up. The attendee was pleased to learn they can simply request the doorbell.

Jury Duty Accommodation Concerns
An attendee was called for jury duty and expressed her concerns about how to serve without hearing accommodations. Some group members suggested possibly being released from jury duty; others suggested that they’ve wanted to request accommodations but had no way to do so. 

Concerns with Adjusting a Cochlear Implant at the Opera
While at the opera, an attendee was reluctant to pull out his phone to adjust the volume on his CI during the performance. He was concerned that the light would distract others in the audience. The group suggested dimming the phone background, using reverse contrast on the screening, and learning to adjust the CI manually/tactically.

Help and Guidance for Cochlear Implants
An attendee asked the group for advice on listening exercises after he received his cochlear implant. The group suggested using Bluetooth with a smartphone.

Note: Some auditory training programs can be done on the computer; here’s a list from HLAA.

Training in American Sign Language
An attendee asked for information on learning ASL. The group suggested LifePrint

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