Notes from Our November 2023 HOPE Meeting

If you missed our November 2023 HOPE virtual hearing loss support meeting, here are the notes. Our topics at this meeting included help with a new cochlear implant, communicating during holiday gatherings, and self-advocacy.

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

note with paperclip on top. text reads hope notes november 2023
  • Help with a New Cochlear Implant
    An attendee shared his experience with a cochlear implant, expressing his struggle with word recognition and understanding conversations in noisy situations. He sought advice on retraining his brain and what to expect in terms of a timeline for improvement. Other attendees suggested consistent practice, using audiobooks for training, using Angel Sound, a free computer program for auditory training, and watching TED Talks ( with captions for practice.
  • A Joyful Experience with a Cochlear Implant Upgrade
    An attendee expressed joy over the group’s previous advice about obtaining cochlear implants. She shared that she had successfully used the group’s advice by going directly to the company for help, which resulted in a smooth upgrade process.
  • Self-Advocacy for CART
    An attendee shared her experience with Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) at a seminar. After advocating for herself, she received CART for the seminar, greatly improving her experience. Another attendee also shared her positive experience with CART at work, emphasizing its value for non-native English speakers.
  • Angel Sounds Auditory Training
    An attendee shared her experience with Angel Sounds, a free computer program for auditory training. She mentioned how the program helped her understand environmental sounds, single words, two words, and sentences. She recommended the program to others struggling with word recognition.
  • Assistive Technology and Tips During the Holidays
    An attendee shared her successful experience with assistive technology during a Thanksgiving dinner. By using a mini microphone and asking for the support of others at the table, she was able to hear and participate in the conversation. Other attendees also shared their experiences with assistive technology, including using multiple microphones at home and using a Pocket Talker device.

    Several attendees shared their experiences and tips for managing hearing loss during holiday gatherings. Suggestions included taking breaks, limiting the duration of stay at parties, using assistive technology, ensuring good lighting, asking a friend to tell you when there’s a change of topics, and having quiet conversations with one or two people aside from the main gathering. 
  • Music in Restaurants
    An attendee shared her experience with asking restaurant staff to turn down the music to facilitate better hearing. She emphasized the importance of advocating for oneself in such situations.
  • The Otter App
    An attendee shared her experience using the Otter app for transcribing conversations, which helped her understand what was being said in situations where she couldn’t hear well. Note from chat: AVA is another speech-to-text app that people have found helpful.

Notes and links from the chat

  • Video Conference CART is free to Washington residents with hearing loss. For more information or to schedule CART, just click on this link: Washington Relay: RCC (Remote Conference Captioning)
  • Here is a YouTube video showing you how to network Phonak Roger Pens (which are personal mini microphones)
  • An example of a photo of a Roger Pen showing Version 1.1


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