Regarding noise on the job, a chasm separates employees and employers

  POMONA, CA—How much of the day are American workers exposed to loud noise—loud enough that someone in their workplace has to raise his or her voice to be heard? The answer to that depends on whom you ask—employees or employers. When Pomona-based EPIC (Ear Professionals International Corporation) Hearing Healthcare commissioned a company to ask…

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The ADA offers hearing-impaired inmates protection from discrimination

People who are deaf or hard of hearing make up one of the largest populations that are helped by various provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One subset of that population that is protected by the ADA consists of people with hearing loss who are in prison. This week, while I am on…

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FCC launches pilot program to allow 911 texting; approves real-time captioning app

  WASHINGTON, DC—This has been a big week at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for people with hearing and speech disabilities. Yesterday (May 15), the agency officially launched a pilot program in limited parts of the U.S. allowing people to text in emergency messages to 911 rather having to call them in vocally. Two days…

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Boston cop who says she’s heard well with hearing aids for 15 years, is forced out

By David H. Kirkwood BOSTON—Boston Police Detective Delores Facey is the latest cop to be forced into retirement because of hearing loss, even though she insists that with hearing aids, which she has worn for the past 15 years, she is fully capable of performing her duties. The officer, a 19-year veteran of the department,…

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Nationwide survey asks consumers how they like hearing loops

Anyone who has used a hearing loop system with their hearing aid or cochlear implant is invited to click here to take part in a survey being conducted by the Hearing Loss Association of America to assess consumers’ experiences with loops.   By David H. Kirkwood Over the past decade, the Let’s Loop America movement…

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Deaf medical student wins suit; Creighton must give him the accommodations he demanded

OMAHA—A medical student’s long battle to receive the accommodations for his hearing loss that he says he needs to graduate from Creighton University Medical School is nearing a successful conclusion. As discussed in several posts at HearingHealthMatters.org since 2012, Michael Argenyi, who wears a cochlear implant, applied to Creighton University in 2008 as hearing impaired.…

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Airline fined for not making safety video accessible to patients with hearing loss

WASHINGTON, DC—Few seasoned flyers pay much attention to the in-flight safety video or demonstration that is presented at the start of every commercial flight. However, that doesn’t excuse airlines from presenting them—and in a way that is accessible to passengers who can’t hear. That’s why in September the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Virgin…

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Deaf plaintiffs accuse NYC Starbucks of blatant discrimination

NEW YORK–Since its founding in Seattle 42 years, Starbucks Coffee has grown into the largest chain of coffeehouses in the world, with more than 20,000 stores in more than 60 countries. It has also built an enviable reputation as a progressive, socially conscious company with one of the most admired brands in the business world.…

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Committee approves new, stricter standard for hearing loop installations

WASHINGTON, DC–“One small sentence in a code book of thousands but one giant leap for people with hearing loss.” That was how Juliëtte Sterkens, AuD, hearing loop advocate for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), assessed an action taken by an ICC/ANSI committee on July 17. That “small sentence” approved by the ICC/ANSI  (International…

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After settling with FCC, non-compliant wireless phone makers will pay $540,000

WASHINGTON, DC–The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reached settlements with two wireless phone makers that its Enforcement Bureau found were failing to comply with FCC requirements to provide the public with hearing aid-compatible mobile phones. Under the consent decrees announced by the FCC on June 21, Airadigm Communications, dba Airfire Mobile, will make “a voluntary…

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