Why is This ‘Technological Godsend’ Still a Secret?

It’s a boon for people with hearing loss, widely used in northern Europe, and yet in this country it still remains relatively unknown and under-utilized by millions who could benefit from it. I’m talking about induction looping, which has been available in the U.S. for years. For those unfamiliar with this ingenious device, the Wall Street Journal recently called it “a technological godsend” in an op-ed column by David Myers, a psychology professor at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and …To keep on reading, click here.

How The ADA Benefits All of Us — Yes, YOU!

Disabled access signNo disability? Guess what. You benefit from the Americans With Disabilities Act every single day.

Let’s start with wheelchair access. Parents pushing strollers, travelers with rolling suitcases, bicyclists (who should be walking the bike, not riding), workers with hand trucks, shoppers with carts full of groceries — none of these are the intended beneficiaries of wheelchair ramps, but wheelchair ramps make life a lot easier.

The examples are surprising and numerous. Read more.

Rand Paul’s Hearing Aids: Why You Should Care

During August 6th’s Republican debate, where Donald Trump’s remarks gained him disproportionate attention, Trump seemed to comment on Rand Paul’s hearing aids.

As the Times’s David Barbaro reported: “‘I don’t think you heard me,’ [Trump] scowled at Senator Rand Paul, when the lawmaker — who uses hearing aids — sought to interrupt him, then added condescendingly, ‘You’re having a hard time tonight.’ “

Rand Paul does wear hearing aids, but they’re so invisible that most people aren’t aware of them. Whether Trump was making a deliberate slur about Paul’s hearing aids, or was simply shooting his mouth off, is something we’ll probably never know. A campaign source told The Washington Examiner that Trump was unaware that Paul wears hearing aids.

If someone as prominently in the public eye as Rand Paul can wear hearing aids and not have it be an issue, so can everyone else. We should all take that lesson from Rand Paul. Get hearing aids, wear them, help make hearing loss a non-issue.

Those journalists who do know that Paul wears hearing aids treat it as simply a fact, as Barbaro did. The Wall Street Journal did the same: “Occasionally, he has trouble hearing questions; he wears hearing aids in both ears.” It doesn’t strike me that either is suggesting hearing aids affect Paul’s qualifications for President.

The occasional, perhaps unintentional, slur does slip in, as in this quote from Nicholas Wapshott on Reuters: “Nonetheless, Paul remains an odd candidate. He appears resistant to all attempts to package him or make him media friendly — which is refreshing. His television interviews are curt to the point of ill manners, even when being quizzed by the GOP mouthpiece Fox News. His hairline is a Donald Trump-like mystery. He is profoundly deaf and wears hearing aids in each ear.” Combined with ill manners and a questionable hairline, hearing loss in this instance is a deficit

Beyond that, note that Reuters refers to Paul as profoundly deaf. If you believe Politico, he “sometimes has trouble hearing.” The fact that we don’t know confirms how irrelevant this is to his qualifications for the Presidency. Given the age range of the candidates, it’s likely that several of them wear hearing aids – or at least should. The only reason Paul’s are even mentioned is because at a boyish 52, he breaks the stereotype.

Issue dismissed — as it should be for everyone who wears hearing aids.

Why Did CDC Disability Report Exclude Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is often referred to as a hidden disability, but one place it shouldn’t be invisible is in a government report on disability.

That’s what happened last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report on the prevalence of disability in the United States.

The report found that more than 53 million Americans — about 1 in 5 adults — live with a disability, which the CDC defined as having limited mobility, such as read more on AARP.

Hybrid Implants Could Help Millions Hear Better

Hearing Loss Remains a Hidden Disability. Why?

The Persistent Stigma of Hearing Loss—Even 25 Years After ADA

Thinking and reading about the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 25 years ago this week, has been a surprising reminder of how far we have come in a relatively short span. Twenty-five years — July 26, 1990. For me, that’s an era just past — my children were already school age, my career was established. For many of us in the AARP generation, 50 and older, 25 years ago was recent history. So it’s shocking to be reminded… click here to read more…

Fire Up the Tiki Torches — Summer Parties and Hearing Loss

How to Enjoy the Party — Even With Hearing Loss

Summertime offers the opportunity for a kind of social encounter that those with significant hearing loss don’t get often enough — an outdoor party. Being outside, without air conditioners humming or loud music blaring, makes it easier to hear in a crowd. As long as the light is good enough to read lips — and there aren’t too many mustaches in the group — parties can be fun, even with hearing loss. Most parties are indoors, however, and even the …