KDHRC Travel Series: HLAA 2018

KDHRC Travel Series: HLAA 2018

KDHRC Researchers Laura and Nicole enjoyed their time at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s convention last month in Minneapolis, MN! Our staffers learned a lot about hearing loss with older adults and the organizations and technologies that are in place to help improve the lives of those who are hard of hearing. Below is information regarding these specific technology companies, what our staffers did during HLAA’s convention, and most importantly what they learned.

KDHRC’s Research Associate Nicole Wanty gave a presentation titled “Supporting the Abilities of Older Adults with Cochlear Implants.” During this presentation, she outlined The Cochlear Implant (CI) Support Center’s evaluation results, demonstrating the prototypes’ s effectiveness. The CI Support Center is a recently developed web-based resource, designed to help adults 65 years and older manage their CIs more efficiently and navigate difficult social hearing situations. It also provides additional information for family members of those with CIs. Nicole enjoyed presenting about the CI Support Center and interacting with audience members about their experience with cochlear implants. She then joined KDH staffer Laura in the exhibit hall and spoke to people interested in learning about KDHRC programs and services. They also disseminated copies of KDHRC’s Cochlear Implant Toolkit, a free resource for those seeking information about cochlear implants!

When our team wasn’t presenting or exhibiting at HLAA, they enjoyed listening and learning. They especially appreciated getting to know other organizations and technologies committed to helping the lives of those who are deaf or hard of hearing. For example, sponsors CaptionCall and Captel Phone develop captioned telephones and other products to make the technological lives easier for those who are hard of hearing. SonicCloud also has an app that helps those with hearing aids communicate easier with their smart phones. After conference hours, Laura and Nicole joined in the Walk-4-Hearing event. This annual walk takes places in 18 other cities around the U.S. and raises awareness about hearing loss. HLAA hosted additional awesome events like a presentation from keynote speaker Gary Shapiro, CEO of Consumer Technology Association, and a live performance from Mandy Harvey from America’s Got Talent!

Overall, our researchers Laura and Nicole truly enjoyed their time at HLAA in Minneapolis. They exhibited, presented, walked, listened, and talked with many organizations that have a similar goal to KDHRC: improving the lives of adults who experience hearing loss. KDHRC believes that discussing and sharing different resources like cochlear implant toolkits and captioned phones are key strategies to assist those who are hard of hearing. Thanks to the HLAA convention, we are all one step closer to supporting these communities.

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