By Team IDK | February 6, 2014
Psychology student Rachel Wayne shares her insights as a young person with hearing issues in three posts for the Sci-Ed blog. Rachel wears hearing-aids, speaks, lip-reads and accesses digital content via captioned media.
Read Rachel’s guest posts:
The “burden” of advocacy is mentioned in Rachel’s posts. While “advocacy is a social and moral issue” she says, the reality is that the more young deaf people who go to college and educate their peers, educators and colleagues about hearing issues and access, the better an outcome for everyone.
Rachel’s final point says everything about current systems:
Until disability awareness is taught in schools, until it becomes part of a wider discussion, then we must step up, one student, one individual at a time [to speak for ourselves and educate everyone else]. For if we don’t, then who will?
By caroline | February 3, 2014
Just before SuperBowl 2014, Seattle Seahawks player Derrick Coleman, who is deaf – burst onto our screens in an inspired video-commercial from Duracell. The video tells his story of growing up after losing his hearing aged three – and of kicking the lifelong naysayers around him, into touch.
“You’re deaf. So what?”
For young people worldwide, Coleman is sending the fantastic message that “You’re deaf. So what? Life goes on!”. Team IDK loves this message as too many kids get discouraged by negative messages around them – whether these are from family members, neighbours, educators, or from bullies.
Coleman’s life strategy is summarised here:
Changing attitudes and stereotypes always takes something bold. But it also takes confidence on the part of athletes like Coleman; proactive parents like his mother, who made a special effort to explain to his teachers and coaches how to include her son; and coaches like Seattle’s Pete Carroll, who took a chance on him, just as he would with any other player.
Coleman and his mother were one constant. Getting to move forward, is a huge challenge. On any day, Coleman’s coach could be one child’s school principal deciding to “take him on”, or an employer assessing him for work experience, or a college head deciding to “take on” a student who’s deaf.
The point is, to even get that chance, a youngster must prove their ability.
Off The Field, Too
Coleman learned Spanish in school, and says the experience taught him that working harder, gets you ahead of the game.
“I had a Spanish teacher — I hate putting her on blast, but it’s a good example– and she literally told my mom she didn’t think I was going to succeed. But, you know, we put in that extra effort and that extra work [with Spanish]. I had to take summer school and everything, but at the end of the day, I still accomplished it.”
The Superbowl “Is Every Kid’s Dream”
Everyone relates to Coleman because he’s so human. The tidbits in this blog post, from The Seattle Times confirm that. There’s more, on the links below.
Note from IDK: Seattle was Caroline C’s #J1visa town in the 1990s, while this is the strategy Caroline used to secure her permanent, graduate job.
By Team IDK | January 30, 2014
Sibling influences shape a younger child’s language more than was thought, according to new research of 385 preschoolers in Ontario, Canada, and which was published in the February print edition of Pediatrics magazine.
Older children influence language development
This research has implications for children with hearing issues in larger families, where parents may interact less on a one-to-one basis with such children. What’s being said is, in some case an older sibling can read what a younger child (regardless of ability) needs, and respond appropriately.
Family-Based Language Learning
For some years, family-based education programmes for children with hearing issues have followed this thinking. Language learning is a whole-family process, not just a parent-child communication development activity.
Kindergarteners Alter How They Communicate
One researcher, Diane Paul from ASHA, said it is “remarkable” that very young children (aged 4 to 6) can detect the needs of a younger sibling and alter how they communicate, based on that younger child’s needs. “It seems like they’re helping to create a language-learning environment,” Paul says.
By Team IDK | January 27, 2014
The year 2009 was significant for student captions in the US. Three students with hearing issues – two high school students in California, and the other, a physician student at Creighton Medical School (MA), began legal challenges to use captions as a favored support, beyond classroom FM systems.
Creighton Medical School
By December 2013, the three legal cases were almost resolved. Michael Aryengi, the student at Creighton, was using CART (Communication Access in Realtime Transcription) in a sideways move to a masters of public health at Boston University after an undergraduate program at Seattle University.
Argenyi’s lawyer advised courts to consult with people who have disabilities regarding their preferred assistance supports and not to assume that colleges can just deliver the facilitation they deem best for a student.
During his two years at Creighton, Aryengi borrowed $100k to finance captions after finding the college’s supports inadequate to his needs. He plans to return to Creighton to complete his studies, facilitated by captions.
Meantime, one of the California students secured the right to use CART for her final six months in high school, while the district appeal is in progress. The CART will be ‘layered’ with FM for detail-heavy classes such as physics.
Captions are proven to improve student literacy and detail retention, particularly when students can get so distracted by digital media that they forget to direct their attention toward a particular topic being studied.
Bottom line: student access to captions is good for education, at all levels.
By Team IDK | January 22, 2014
With Derrick Coleman, the Seattle Seahawks fullback who’s legally deaf, recently storming onto our screens in a Duracell advert, the social impact of the advertising campaign is already being witnessed at a high-tech level.
After having SSD (single-sided) deafness since early childhood, film director Rik Cordero was inspired by the advert, to evaluate modern technologies that might work for his unilateral (one-sided) hearing situation.
Rik tried a well-designed 1-inch square device called the Merry ME-300 D, which looks like the iPod Shuffle. With it, he heard conversations in the car, and valued the ‘quiet’ option when environmental noise became too loud.
His conclusion: Derrick’s Duracell commercial made me realize that I shouldn’t be ashamed of SSD or feel the need to mask it with passiveness. Hearing impairment is nothing to be ashamed about, in fact it’s made me who I am.
As Rik observed, design awareness is evolving so rapidly that very soon, deaf kids will wear their hearing aids or devices as a fashion statement.
By Team IDK | January 19, 2014
IDK hosted the first overseas screening of the US-produced 95 Decibels short film (2013) on Saturday, January 18th at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin, to explore the emotional obstacles parents face when they get an unexpected diagnosis of deafness for their child.
— Jillian van Turnhout (@JillianvT) January 18, 2014
True To Life
In the film, the young (hearing) parents Erica and Dylan, struggle over the path to take for their deaf daughter, Sophia, who is diagnosed at 18 months.
The film by Lisa Reznik, features actor Goran Visnijc from NBC’s ER and is based on a true story in the US. The purpose of this film is to highlight early detection of hearing issues and to improve awareness of cochlear implants.
IDK would like to thank Alicia McGivern at the Irish Film Institute, for all her help with this event, and the Meyers family, who self-financed their travel from the US to Ireland, for the screening.
95 Decibels echoes three vital points IDK makes:
- Digital hearing-devices give babies who are deaf/hoh the best possible access to spoken language.
- Guidance from audiologists and speech-teachers is vital as babies learn to communicate in a hearing world.
- Auditory-verbal work optimises child outcomes with early detection, family interactions and top hearing-devices.
The Listening and Talking Approach
A theme of 95 Decibels is the Listening and Talking option for deaf children – known as Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT). The 95 Decibels team presents AVT, which seeks to maximise the use of a child’s hearing for learning – and gives access to varied academic, social, and occupational life choices.
AVT emphasises early detection of hearing issues, one-on-one speech work and hearing-device wearing. With guidance, coaching and modeling, parents become the primary enablers of their child’s spoken language progress.
By Team IDK | January 18, 2014
Parents who get coaching to work with children who wear hearing-devices can practise language interaction and teaching new vocabulary at any time, anywhere, once the basics (of auditory-verbal therapy, or AVT) are learned.
While AVT began in English-speaking countries, its use in China may seem unusual, where the language is primarily tonal. However, this piece shows the AVT ethos and the children who benefit, to be thriving in China:
Involving parents in the AVT process means that when they know how their child acquires language, these insights can be shared with educators.
For average people, the acquisition of language is an imitation of what they hear from the environment. Children with hearing loss… hear differently with artificial devices – sounds in the environment are mixed and ambiguous, and they cannot pick up language as easily. ~ Chen Junlan, education specialist with the China Rehabilitation and Research Center for Deaf Children in Beijing.
China’s size as a country means telepractice may be used to reach families in remoter areas, particularly with AVT personnel being in short supply.
By Team IDK | January 16, 2014
New smartphone-based hearing solutions are marketed to ‘boomers’ or seniors, but the reality is that a tech-savvy youth population with partial hearing similarly wants discreet hearing-solutions for their daily lives.
Wireless connectivity between hearing-devices and smartphones is a trend, as digital protocols open up and active people seek miniature hearing-solutions to access their phones, TVs, car radios, sat-nav and MP3 content.
Open connectivity for digital hearing-devices is being led by consumers who want to control their devices and detest ’closed’ digital hearing-devices.
How about an app with GPS, to store your hearing-settings for a noisy cafe or bar, with your sound-levels altering as you walk in the door? This is a reality, with the Beltone First “made for iPhone” personal sound-system.
Read: iHear With My iPhone
The Beltone First hearing-solution will work as personal headphones, whose wearers can save settings to stream music, phone calls, GPS directions and other audio content directly to these hearing-aids as wished. Exactly what the younger population with hearing issues wants from digital solutions.
By Team IDK | January 15, 2014
Subjective fatigue in schoolchildren with hearing issues, is the topic of a July 2013 article in the American Journal of Audiology, which confirms these children experience more fatigue in sleep/rest, everyday and cognitive life.
Self-Pacing Every Day
IDK has highlighted this issue, with its team’s self-pacing experiences as children, students, graduates and employees – while families see the same impact on severely to profoundly deaf children after the school day ends.
This research confirms that fatigue can be reduced when children routinely wear two hearing-devices. During the 2013 Happy New Ear campaign for pediatric bilateral implants in Ireland, the families repeatedly mentioned the daily fatigue their children experienced, when hearing on one side only.
Strategies for managing this fatigue at home and school are shared in this post, which reminds families that a hearing-device wearer may need regular quiet time, and to understand when someone wants a break from sound.
With modern hearing-devices and amplified sound, children and students no longer live in silence. Accordingly, they need to learn to build quiet time into their day – maybe after classes, for a time before going to sleep, or to have regular zone-outs on a sofa, to achieve mindfulness and relaxation.
By Team IDK | January 12, 2014
Since 1986, India’s Aural Education (AURED) programme for children with hearing issues has worked with families to teach children to listen and speak in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati before starting mainstream school:
Immediately after a child receives digital hearing-aids or cochlear implants, AURED recommends AVT (auditory-verbal therapy), especially as regional governments prepare to give cochlear implants to disadvantaged children.
“We needed the freedom to do some serious ‘experimenting’ and we did that with the consent of parents of 6 children between the ages of 1 to 3. We explained that technically at the end of 3-4 years, their children should be able to listen and talk but we could not predict the extent of success. In spite of the ‘warning’, they went along with us.” – Aziza Tyabji Hydari, co-founder of Aural Education for Children with Hearing Impairment (AURED).