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Over The Wire

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000399917.92765.50
Departments: Over the Wire
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Brent Edwards, PhD, Vice President of Research and Director of the Starkey Hearing Research Center, was elected a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) in recognition of his contributions to understanding and treating hearing impairment. Edwards, who was nominated by current ASA Fellows and voted in by the awards committee, was honored at the 161st meeting of the ASA in Seattle May 23–27.

Figure. B

Figure. B

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The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) presented the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with its National Access Award during HLAA's 2011 Convention June 19 in Washington, DC.

The Kennedy Center was recognized for its efforts in making the performing arts accessible to everyone, including those with hearing loss, through its use of real-time captioning, hearing assistive technology, and sign language interpretation. The center also provides large-print and Braille playbills, audio-described performances, and wheelchair accessible seating, covering a range of disabilities.

“We are grateful to be recognized for our accessibility efforts,” said Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser. “It is a priority at the Kennedy Center to make sure performances and facilities are enjoyed by all patrons. Through our accessibility initiatives and VSA, our goal is to provide arts and arts education opportunities for people with disabilities and older adults and increase access to the arts for all.”

As part of the HLAA convention, attendees had the opportunity to view a performance of Wicked at the Kennedy Center, incorporating captioning, hearing loop and infrared systems, and sign language interpretation.

“This historic performance showed what can be done to ensure that people with hearing loss can enjoy the arts when appropriate accommodations are in place,” said Brenda Battat, Executive Director of HLAA.

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The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, an advocate for Hispanic inclusion in the world of entertainment, is now collaborating with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) on its Listen to Your Buds campaign.

ASHA's campaign encourages young people to practice safe listening when they use personal audio technology. Safety messages about the importance of hearing protection and how to practice it have been delivered through music and performing artists in “safe listening” concerts in performance halls and schools around the country.

“We applaud ASHA for recognizing the need in the Hispanic community for the safety messages of the Buds campaign,” said NHFA Chairman Felix Sanchez. “Good hearing is so important, but no more so than when one is in the performing arts or enjoying entertainment. At the same time, it is vital that all young people, Hispanic and non-Hispanic alike, protect their hearing for the sake of their futures, whether they are in the arts or another field.”

An ASHA-commissioned Zogby poll of Hispanic high school students in the United States showed that a majority of teens listen to personal audio technology at high volumes for extended periods; a parallel poll of the Hispanic adult population reported similar results.

“We are very pleased to be working with the NHFA and to have the opportunity to benefit from its perspectives on and network within the Hispanic community,” said ASHA President Paul R. Rao, PhD. “The Buds campaign has engaged the Hispanic community in the past, but we are confident that our new collaboration with NHFA will make future outreach stronger, more consistent, and better informed.”

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Victor Hugo Bray Jr., PhD, has been named the 2010-2011 College of Communication Outstanding Alumnus at the University of Texas at Austin.

Bray, who is Dean of the George S. Osborne College of Audiology at Salus University, earned his doctorate in speech and hearing sciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and continued his career in direct patient care. He later transitioned to working within the audiology product industry, co-developing 20 hearing aid products that are sold worldwide.

“Victor's commitment to the college through student scholarships and his outstanding career as a communication professional have brought distinction to our college,” said Roderick P. Hart, Dean of the College of Communication.

Figure. Vic

Figure. Vic

In 2004, Bray received the Hearing Industries Association Volunteerism Award in recognition of his effort in creating a “structure that ensures the substance and the science that supports hearing aid marketing and advertising in America.” In addition to serving as a Dean at Salus, Bray is Vice President and Chief Audiology Officer at OtoKinetics, which develops implantable hearing aids.

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“Tulsa Hears a Who,” the first annual fundraising event of the Children's Hearing Aid Project, also known as CHAP, raised more than $25,000 for the program.

Based on the popular Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who, the event attracted more than 250 attendees. MidFirst Bank in Oklahoma was the title sponsor for the event, and other sponsors included Cochlear, Oticon, Oklahoma Magazine, Quota International of Tulsa, Reeder's Service Center; the Scholl Center for Communication Disorders, Dr. Jacque and Eric Scholl, Dr. Stan Lang, Dr. Laurie Flynn, Dr. Wayne Berryhill, Dr. Tom Hamilton, Dr. Bruce Hudkins, Dr. John Mowry, Dr. Chad Putnam, Dr. William Hawkins, Lance Reid, and Rock Springs Partnership.

The Children's Hearing Aid Project, founded by Dr. Jacque Rogers Scholl, who also founded the Scholl Center for Communication Disorders, is a program of Total Source for Hearing Access (TSHA), a United Way Agency. The program provides hearing aids to families who cannot afford them and who are not covered by insurance, with each family paying an amount dependent on their financial status. Scholl partnered with TSHA and received a special grant to start the program to provide hearing aids for children who experienced hearing loss as a result of illnesses such as cancer or cystic fibrosis. CHAP is planning the second annual Tulsa Hears a Who for January.

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Ida Institute has launched the first of its e-learning courses to be offered through the non-profit institute's new e-Learning Laboratory. The first module focuses on Ida's Motivation Tools—the Line, the Box and the Circle.

“Since its establishment in 2007, Ida Institute has been transforming the ways in which hearing healthcare professionals acquire new learning and skills in patient-centered care,” said Managing Director Lise Lotte Bundesen. “Through the Ida e-Learning Laboratory, we aim to expand the reach of Ida learning and tools to audiologists, speech therapy specialists, and others working in the field of hearing healthcare worldwide and thus continue to contribute to a paradigm shift in to more patient-centered care.”

In the Motivation Tools e-learning course, animated instructors guide users through a series of active learning experiences—including virtual client consultations—in life-like clinical settings. Ethnographic videos, mirror exercises, and reflective journaling also provide an opportunity for practitioners to experience the Motivation Tools in a context that enables them to reflect on their own patterns of behavior and facilitate desired patient-centered changes in their clinical routines. The development of a Personal Action Plan is the final step in the learning process.

The Motivation Tools e-learning module is available free at Users in the United States can earn 0.2 continuing education units which were approved by the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). For British e-learners, the course has been approved by the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) for 2 Continuous Professional Development points. The institute is in the process of securing educational units approval from additional certification organizations in various countries.

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Willoughby Hearing Aid Center of Portland has been named the Oregon winner of the Better Business Bureau's 2011 Business of the Year Torch Award. The award honors local businesses of high integrity that were nominated by the public for demonstrating exceptional business practices.

“We deeply understand that we are in the people business,” said Scott Austin, President of Willoughby Hearing Aid Centers and a member of the HJ editorial board. “Our focus is, and always will be, helping, serving, and caring for our patients. It is the main reason our doors have remained open since 1949.”

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Ear Gear has donated products to the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss to support its second Teacher Training Program held this month.

In January, the foundation visited Dalat, Danang, and Saigon in Vietnam to mentor teachers of the deaf and parents about how to help young children with hearing loss develop listening and spoken language. The team also trained audiology staff and fit children with hearing aids.

“It was wonderful to have Ear Gear with us. We fit 95 hearing aids on children from low-income families and gave them the Ear Gear accessories to ensure that they would be protected,” said Paige Stringer, Executive Director and Founder of the Foundation.

Ear Gear has also pledged to support the foundation's next Mobile Mission scheduled for February 2012.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.