Fit to Serve bill wins support from a leading senator

WASHINGTON, DC—The Fit to Serve campaign, designed to allow and encourage the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to hire licensed hearing aid specialists to treat veterans with hearing loss, got a boost when U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) announced on May 8 that he would sponsor the Veterans Hearing Aid Access and Assistance Act…

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HHTM Exclusive: Findings from new MarkeTrak study show greater hearing aid use, satisfaction

    By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC–The portion of Americans with self-reported hearing difficulty who own hearing aids has increased to 30.2% (from 24.8% in 2008), and the satisfaction rate with hearing aids has grown to 81% from 74%, according to the MarkeTrak 9 survey conducted last fall by Az Marketing Research with Online…

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Hearing aid dispenser returns home safely after a harrowing mission to Venezuela

By David H. Kirkwood For the first few days of their mission to Venezuela everything was going smoothly for Arlynn Hefta, a hearing aid specialist from North Dakota, and the three other volunteers from Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Devils’s Lake, ND. This was the 62-year-old Hefta’s eighth mission to Venezuela, so when he and…

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ADA and IHS to end separate annual meetings in favor of a Hearing Health Global Summit

    By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC—The International Hearing Society (IHS) and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) will join forces, under the umbrella of the Hearing Healthcare Education Coalition (HHEC), to hold the inaugural Unison Hearing Health Global Summit September 8-11, 2016, in Chicago. Unison, which starting next year will take the…

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William Demant and ReSound reach agreements with major hearing aid retailers

    By David H. Kirkwood COPENHAGEN–Two of the hearing aid industry’s Big Six companies–William Demant, parent company of Oticon, and GN ReSound—are taking steps to strengthen their retail distribution channels. Demant announced yesterday (February 17) that it is negotiating to buy a majority interest in Audika Groupe, the largest network of hearing aid centers…

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Readers’ Choice 2014: Phonak and Costco team up

Dear Readers: During this holiday season, the editors at Hearing Health & Technology Matters (HHTM) are taking some time off. However, we are not leaving you without anything to read on our blog this week. Instead, we are publishing a special holiday edition filled with what we call our Readers’ Choices. HHTM has had more…

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A rising IntriCon will provide hearing aids to the UK’s National Health Service

By David H. Kirkwood ARDEN HILLS, MN—Hearing care providers are familiar with the world’s “Big Six” hearing aid manufacturers, or at least their flagship brands. That’s only natural, as together Sonova, William Demant, GN Store Nord, Siemens, Starkey, and Widex account for over 90% of the devices sold in the U.S. and Western Europe. However,…

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Dispenser gives $15,000 to support Fit to Serve initiative

  LIVONIA, MI–The Fit to Serve bill, discussed last week in this blog’s update on pending federal legislation related to hearing health, got a big boost recently when Julia Beall-McKelvey, a Pennsylvania hearing aid specialist, donated $15,000 to the International Hearing Society (IHS) advocacy fund for the veteran-oriented initiative. Her contribution, along with others made at…

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Audiologists, dispensers, and consumers all have a stake in bills before Congress

By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC—After taking two months off to campaign for re-election, the 113rd Congress will finally return to Washington sometime in November for a brief lame duck session. There it will find a slew of bills related to hearing care waiting for them. Barring a miracle, this Congress, which has enacted less…

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Nation’s highest court gets “looped,” joining many other prominent institutions

By David H. Kirkwood  WASHINGTON, DC—Following ancient custom, the United States Supreme Court will begin its next term on the first Monday in October. However, when the nine justices hear their first case on October 6, there will be something new in the courtroom that will assist hearing aid wearers present in following the proceedings:…

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