Welcome to the HLAA

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

HLAA, Morris County Chapter is a local HLAA Chapter Chapter located in Madison, NJ. We meet January to November meeting on the second Saturday of every other month. We meet at the Madison YMCA from 10:00 to 12:00. To confirm meeting call (973) 479-8083.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. They provide assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.

Notes on HLAA Morris County January 2014 Meeting

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

 

Pat Dobbs our Chapter’s President talked about The “Hearing Loss Revolution” which is all about changing how we feel about ourselves.

Pat began her talk about how this was developed by sharing some background about herself: she was born with normal hearing, but began to lose hearing about the age of 20. She received her first hearing aids at age 25. Her hearing declined steadily through the years…. until the age of 60, when she received her first cochlear implant (C.I.) When considering a C.I., Pat described how she was so desperate – her hearing loss so great – that she didn’t need convincing, did not have trouble deciding with the least amount of information! Getting a C.I. was a turning point in beginning to recognize and to accept her loss. After that she was much more open about educating herself about all the resources available, and started to attend conventions, workshops….and join HLA.

In the first decades of hearing loss, particularly as a young adult, Pat described the long and difficult period of denial – hiding hearing aids, and dismissing any “help” such as the participating in SHHH – the old name for the Hearing Loss of Association of America (HLAA). She wasn’t “one of those ‘old’ people; didn’t want to associate with people with hearing loss; didn’t need assistive listening devices (ALDs); didn’t know anything about ADA law requirements, etc. This attitude resulted in many years of “pretending” to hear what wasn’t heard, creating more difficult and frustrating situations. Pat asked us the “nasty question”: “How many of you have pretended to hear?” Pat’s coping methods included becoming a “master of reading facial expressions” and using that to “pretend” to follow a conversation and hear!

This behavior of denial, ignoring one’s loss, and not letting people know your needs created more and more difficult situations …until one particular “outrageous” incident at her job – colorfully described by Pat – where she was yelled at for her hearing loss, got Pat to finally realize how she herself was creating her own problems. Being totally humiliated at work made her finally realize how not recognizing her own loss and  how not taking responsibility didn’t allow for ANY help….and from that experience began the questioning, “WHY be ashamed, why hide the loss, and then the transformative idea that we (those with hearing loss) have to change ourselves first, and therein lies our power.

After self-acceptance we can educate the public with equanimity (that is, with patience and without anger).  But first there is a lot to learn about one’s own loss and how to cope. Pat threw herself into learning all about the many kinds of ADLs, explaining that hearing aids only take care of the area up  to your arm’s length away, and after that ADLs are important supplements. Pat highlighted the new (induction) looping system, and had Dan Berke from Ahrens Hearing Center who set up a portable system for the meeting to say a few words about it…

Pat raised the question: “What does the general public think of people with hearing loss?” and discussed stereotyping, and misconceptions that we with hearing loss have to explain. Most people do not understand that a hearing aid/ C.I .s do not “fix” your hearing 100% — unlike eyeglasses – it is not a “magic wand;” hearing devices do not remove the loss.

The hearing loss population have to cope on a daily basis, to inform and educate people HOW to communicate. There was a lot of sharing about this among the audience. The main point was that you have to be specific, not just letting people know you have a hearing loss, but also tell people specifically what to do so you can communicate better –people just don’t know. This point was reiterated by those in the audience who do not have a hearing loss – they are frustrated, too, when the hearing impaired do not speak up and tell them what the needs are in communicating (and especially when they pretend to hear!) Many interesting examples of this point was shared among the audience.

Pat distributed handouts about the Hearing Loss Revolution ideas and principles. We have to be brutally honest about our loss, accept it without shame. This change in ourselves will make a positive difference in discovering the best communication strategies.

 

Pat ended the talk announcing workshops and classes that she will be holding:

1. Aural Rehabilitation Class
Thursday January 30, 12:30 – 1:45pm
Class Closed to Public
Kean University, Union, NJ

College Credit Course

1. Hearing Loss Empowerment; How to Improve Communication Skills for both people with Hearing Loss and their Communication Partners
Saturday, March 1, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Free
Unitarian Church in Summit, 4 Waldron Avenue, Summit, NJ

Communication between people with a hearing loss and normal hearing person can be challenging. Course gives tips that helps both parties learn to communicate better.

2. Hearing Loss Empowerment Class (Limit of 9 People – Registration Required)
Tuesdays – March 4, 11, 18, & 25
4 sessions – 1/1/2 hours each session
Total Package $100.00
Location: 43 Spring Garden Drive, Madison, NJ

Class is based on the Hearing Loss Revolution and its 9 Principles as well drawing from other disciplines.

3.  Improve the Communication Skills for both person with and without hearing loss
Thursday March 27th from 10:00-11:-00
Free
Morris School District Community School | Great Horizons
Convention Center Morris Plains, 51 Jim Fear Drive, Morris Plains, NJ

Communication between people with a hearing loss and normal hearing person can be challenging. Course gives tips that helps both parties learn to communicate better.

4.  Hearing Loss Association of America National Conference
Thursday – June 26 from 1:30 – 2:45
Registration for Conference Required
Convention Center, Austin, TX

Talk is on the development of the Hearing Loss Revolution and its 9 Principles.

 

 

The Hearing Loss Revolution

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

• How would it be if we declared a revolution on how we view hearing loss?

• How would it be if we clearly understood that our hearing loss is only a disability and doesn’t define us in any negative way?

• How would it be if we truly let go of the idea that hearing loss makes us inferior in any way?

• How would it be if instead of trying to get the smallest hearing aids, we proudly displayed our Gucci hearing aids and Dior cochlear implants?

• Hearing loss will have lost its stigma!

• Imagine a world where the cost of hearing aids were in line with the cost of eye glasses and public venues were all equipped with assistive listening devices.

• We can begin to make it happen by changing our attitudes about hearing loss.

• The revolution in attitude has to start with us.

• Let us be the change we want to see.

Hearing Loss Revolution©2013 Pat Dobbs
Pat@HearingLossResourceCenter.com | www.HearingLossResourceCenter

9 Guiding Principles of the Hearing Loss Revolution

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

1. Our lives define us, not our hearing loss.

2. We’re just as intelligent as we were before our hearing loss.

3. We’re heroes, not victims of our hearing loss.

4. We tell people what we need them to do so we can hear them better.

5.We use Assistive Listening Technology and Advocate for them in Public Venues

6. We are honest with ourselves and others; we don’t pretend to hear what we don’t.

7. We laugh when we misunderstand a word(s), seeing the humor in it.

8. We accept with grace the hearing challenges that we cannot change.

9. We feel grateful for our courage and strength in living these Principles.

9 Principles©2013 Pat Dobbs
Pat@HearingLossResourceCenter.com | www.HearingLossResourceCenter.com

HLAA-Morris County Meeting January 2014

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

HLAA MorrisCounty

January 11, 2014 Meeting Announcement

Saturday, January 11, 2014
10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Madison YMCA (Please Note)
11 Kings Road
Madison, NJ

Captioning Provided by DDHH
Assistive Listening Devices and Temporary Hearing Loop

Pat Dobbs, Chapter President, and Hearing Loss Advocate and Coach will share her new The Hearing Loss Revolution and 9 Positive Principles. This is designed to Empower People with Hearing Loss. It provides strategies for better hearing and positive feeling about our hearing loos.

People with t-coils on their hearing aids or CI will have unique opportunity to benefit from our portable HEARING LOOP and hear speakers clearly!

Future Meetings:
March 8 – Katherine Bouton, author, “Shouting Won’t Help- Why I and 50 Million Other Americans Can’t Hear You”
May 31 – Richard Einhorn, renowned composer talks about his hearing loss
July 12 – Pot luck Picnic

Contact Information:
Pat Dobbs
973.479.8083
email: pat@HearingLossResourceCenter.com
blog:www.HearingLossResourceCenter.com

Hearing Loss Association Morris County Chapter November 11, 2013 Notes

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Our special guest speaker was Jed A. Kwartler MD, MBA. He is very special to me as
he performed my very successful cochlear implant. 

He is director of the Ear Specialty Center at Summit Medical Group in Berkley 
Heights, NJ. Plus he is involved in clinical trials research related to ear 
disorders. His talk was entitled "Update on Hearing Rehabilitation Options” 
was very informative. 

He reviewed the range of hearing rehabilitation options beyond hearing aids 
including bone conduction devices, middle ear implantable hearing aids and 
changing trends in cochlear implant technology. 

Although there are several types of corrective surgeries, Cochlear Implants 
are the most commonly performed operations as they are so successful.

To learn more about his presentation click here to view his powerpoint 
presentatiton:
https://www.dropbox.com/l/yv97RZM5e8EK9sG3yDMJmc?text=1

 



Hearing Loss Revolution & its 9 Principles

Monday, November 25th, 2013

 

The Hearing Loss Revolution & its 9 Principles

is written to honor & empower all people with a hearing loss

 

How would it be if we declared a revolution on how we view hearing loss?

How would it be if we clearly understood that our hearing loss is only a disability and doesn’t define us in any negative way?

How would it be if we truly let go of the idea that hearing loss makes us stupid or a pain in the neck?

How would it be if instead of trying to get the smallest hearing aids, we proudly displayed our Gucci hearing aids and Dior cochlear implants. What if, like eyeglasses, hearing aids and implants became fashion statements?

Hearing loss will have lost its stigma!

Imagine a world where the cost of hearing aids were in line with the cost of eye glasses and businesses, hospitals, houses of worship and theaters were all equipped with functioning assistive listening devices.

We can begin to make it happen by changing our attitudes about hearing loss.

The revolution in attitude has to start with us. Let us be the change we want to see. Let us become our own advocates. .

Hearing Loss Revolution©2013 Pat Dobbs

 

Hearling Loss Revolution and Declaration

 Click here for printable version

Why I Became a Hearing Advocate

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

I’m in sales and shared an office with another sales representative. The phone was a challenge for me so any ambient noise made it very difficult for me to hear. I worked out this challenge quietly without explaining what I was doing to anyone – When the other sales representative talked on the phone, I simply didn’t talk on the phone. I know. It wasn’t a very productive solution. But I didn’t feel comfortable bringing it out into the open.

One fine day she went out to lunch so it was a perfect time to make calls. In the middle of an important call, she came back to office and listened to her messages on the speakerphone. Well, I couldn’t hear very well. So I put my customer on hold and asked her to please listen to her messages on the phone rather than speakerphone.

When I got off phone, she yelled and screamed at me and told me how inconsiderate I was asking her to listen to her messages on the phone. (Curse words have been deleted)!

There had to be a learning experience here. And there was. I realized I never expressed my phone challenges to anyone. I never gave them an opportunity to work out a more effective solution. Also there was a part of me that assumed that since they knew my hearing challenge, they would automatically try to help. But assuming anything is making a mistake.

I learned that we have to be open about our hearing loss and let people know where our challenges are and what they can easily do to improve our communications. Bottom line, if we don’t advocate for ourselves, no one wil

Walk4Hearing October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

photo (10)

 

 
We’re excited because this is the first year that the Morris County Chapter has had their own team for the Walk4Hear. Our name is HearOs.

It was a beautiful day, a beautiful turnout and we exceeded our goal

 

YAHOO!!!!!

 

 

 

Chapter Announcement

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

HLAA MorrisCounty 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

 

Madison Library –New Location

39 Keep Street, Madison, NJ 07940

Library is right behind the YMCA

 

Captioning Provided by DDHH and

Assistive Listening Devices provided

 

Our special guest speaker Jed A. Kwartler MD, MBA. His specialty is in Otology and Neurotology. He is director of the Ear Specialty Center at SMG, & is involved in clinical trials research related to ear disorders.

His talk is entitled “Update on Hearing Rehabilitation Options”. He will review the range of hearing rehabilitation options beyond hearing aids including bone conduction devices, middle ear implantable hearing aids and changing trends in cochlear implant technology.

 

Future Meetings:

January 11- Pat Dobbs, Hearing Advocate &  Coach talks about Hearing Assistive Technology

March 8 – Katherine Bouton, author, “Shouting Won’t Help- Why I and 50 Million Other Americans Can’t Hear You”

May 31 – Richard Einhorn, renowned composer talks about his hearing loss

July 12 – Pot luck Picnic

 

 

 

Information on Captioned Movies

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Here’s comments by Ann Marie Picardo on captioning at movie theaters. The theaters that she mentions are in NJ …

In the past several weeks I’ve been to two movie theaters (at the Garden State Plaza Mall and The Bridgewater Mall in New Jersey) that offer seat captioning.  They give you a device that fits in the cup holder next to your seat. It’s adjustable so you can position it so it’s easy for you to read and does not intrude on anyone sitting next to you.  It has a small rectangular screen that is bright and easy to read.  It’s was enjoyable to see a movie and not miss any of the dialog.  You can find a list of theaters that provide captions on http://www.captionfish.com