Category Archives: Tech Tips

The Journey to the Best Hearing in the Classroom

Many of our Ponto users who are children have experienced positive change, particularly in the classroom. If you’re considering aiding your child with a hearing device it’s important to understand how louder environments, like classrooms or playgrounds, can affect a hearing device.

Melissa Tumblin, founder of Ear Community, whose daughter Ally is a Ponto user shares some great insight on setting your child up for success in the classroom.

Ally Tumblin wearing her Ponto Plus on a Softband

Ally has a severe hearing loss in her right ear (65dB-70dB). She was tested at a 65dB hearing
loss yesterday. Ally was tested while wearing her BAHS (Ponto Plus) made by Oticon Medical in the booth and her hearing with the hearing device is brought back up to the normal hearing range (between 15dB to 20dB)….which has been the norm for us over the years with her testing and Ponto.

However, this time the audiologist chose to include noise interference in the sound booth – lots of background noise to see how well Ally could hear and covered her mouth when saying words and sentences to Ally, asking her to repeat them back to her. Well, even when aided, her hearing dropped to 56% (when it was in the normal hearing range without background noise) because of all of the noise. But then, the audiologist added Ally’s FM system back in and also removed the card from her mouth so Ally could see her lips when she spoke to her and her hearing response went back up to 96%! (which is great!)

So, the lesson learned here for those of you who are considering aiding your child (or yourself) with a hearing device is that hearing devices help amplify sound and help make things louder, so you can hear better. When extra noise is added to your daily activities, it can still be difficult to hear everything. However, when you combine an FM system (such as to help your child hear better in the school classroom), and your child is being taught how to be a “visual” learner and be aware to always be looking, watching and reading lips, then together….all of these things help optimize your child’s maximum potential to hear his/her very best.

I see such a difference with her and her Ponto, every day! Thank you Oticon Medical! Thank you for helping my daughter hear her best with her Ponto Plus!

Want to learn more about our newest addition to the Ponto family of processors? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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FM Systems in the Classroom

Happy back to school season! This time of year, we see many questions about FM systems in the classroom. Recently, a Ponto user and advocate sent this question our way. So, we wanted to take the opportunity to share an answer from one of our top audiologists.

Here’s the question: 

“Does anyone have any experience with FM systems? My son is in the first grade, and he has bilateral BAHAs. The school ordered the Amigo for him over the summer, at that time he had the slightly older model Ponto (the Pro I believe). He had surgery to place abutments over the summer and to our surprise we received two new hearing aids with the surgery. I also got a Streamer. The Amigo isn’t wireless and doesn’t seem to be as compatible with the Ponto Plus as the Streamer.

Does anyone have experience with the different FM systems especially in the classroom setting? I have been told in the past that when FM is on, the hearing aid only picks up sound transmitted to microphone and blocks all other surrounding sound and I have been told that isn’t true. Neither of these people used the FM themselves. Can anyone who has a BAHA share?”

Enter one of Oticon Medical’s top Audiologists, Laura Phelps. Here’s Laura’s answer:

Ponto Plus and Ponto Streamer banner 1The Amigo is an FM system and is wireless. It’s likely that the Amigo FM receiver that would be used with the Ponto Pro (the older device) is the Amigo R2BA, which has 3 pins of same length, and plugs into the DAI port on the Ponto processor. This is probably what was ordered by the school over the summer.  With the new Ponto Plus processor and the Ponto Streamer, the receiver used would be the Amigo R2, which has a longer Europin-middle pin. It plugs into the Ponto Streamer, not the processor.

So there are two options: 

A. They can use the Amigo R2BA receiver, which is likely what was ordered over the summer, with the older Ponto Pro processors at school and use the new Ponto Plus processor and Ponto Streamer at home.

B. The school can purchase one Amigo R2 receiver which would plug into the Ponto Streamer and just one receiver would transmit to both Ponto Plus processors.

Regarding the question about what the Ponto is picking up, surrounding noise versus what is being transmitted from the teacher’s microphone: 

For scenario A (above), the audiologist typically programs “Program 2″ as FM+M, meaning that the R2BA receiver on the Ponto receives the signal from the teacher’s mic and the Ponto microphones pick up the surrounding sounds.

For scenario B above, the Ponto Streamer settings default to receiving both the FM and M.

For either scenario A or B, the relative inputs from the FM Signal and the Mic signal can be adjusted if you want to change the “mix”. This is helpful if student reports that he or she is getting too much surrounding noise relative to the teacher’s voice, or vice versa.

I would recommend that the school Audiologists contact one of the Clinical Specialists through customer service for guidance, and the child’s Clinical Audiologist might need to get involved as well.  It is often the case that the school Audiologist defers to the Clinical Audiologist to make programming changes since they are the ones that fit the instrument.

So, there it is! We hope this answer helps as your student heads back to school. Do you have other questions regarding FM systems? Please let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. We’re always here to help!

 

Share Your World on Instagram This Summer!

This summer, we’re getting more active on Instagram, and you can too! We want you to share your story and experience the stories of others, so we’re offering some Instagram tech tips.

Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.Screenshot_2016-07-05-23-27-08

1. Download and Register
First, download the Instagram App onto your smartphone. Once you’ve downloaded and open the app, you’ll be prompted to create an account. After you create your account, you’ll be directed to this screen.

2. Choose or Take Your Photo
To get started taking your first picture, hit the middle icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Or, you can select a photo from your photo library. Change the orientation of the photo from portrait or landscape by tapping the expand icon (two outward facing arrows) in the lower left hand corner before editing.

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Companies that Consider Hearing in their Customer Experience

Today, we’d like to put a spotlight on a few companies that put an emphasis on improving experiences for their hearing impaired customers and employees. While we believe this should be the norm, these businesses offering technology and take into account considerations that many others are not.

Uber Offers Equality in Work Opportunities

uber-icon_0The first such company is Uber, the technology startup that has disrupted the taxi industry. Uber offers customers a Smartphone App to call for car rides. At the same time, it offers work opportunities for many who otherwise may never be able to work as a cab driver. With their App, a hearing impaired driver has  the  chance to choose the communication method they’d prefer which will keep them from missing the work that Uber brings. Steve Claridge, who’s hearing impaired himself, praised Uber’s efforts in a recent post here.

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Overcoming Distance and Noise: Strategies for Successfully Utilizing FM with the Ponto System with Audiologist Laura Carr

Today, Oticon Medical Audiologist Laura Carr hosted the Audiology Online Webinar “Overcoming Distance and Noise: Strategies for Successfully Utilizing FM with the Ponto System.” Laura discussed FM compatibility with the Ponto Pro and Ponto Plus sound processor families—including how the Oticon Medical Streamer enables FM for Ponto Plus processors. She also talked about connecting to other devices. Her presentation answered many foundational questions around FM systems.

Here’s a recap of the information in Laura’s presentation and other resources for FM information and how-tos. If you would like to watch the full recording of Laura’s presentation, you can find it here.

First, why is FM important?

Many who deal with hearing loss work to overcome three key obstacles: noise, distance and reverberation. Here’s how FM helps with each:

Why FM

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Community Tech Tip: Two Easy Ways to Share to All of Your Social Networks

You asked, we listened. You asked for more information on how you can help spread the word about your experience. So, we’re offering regular tech tips. Each tech tip shares a free and unique social way to share your story and experience the stories of others. This week, we’re covering HootSuite’s Hootlet and Buffer, two apps that make sharing to social media so much easier.

Are you constantly sharing stories with friends via your social media accounts? Tired of how long it takes to log in to each one and post updates? You’re going to love these tools.

HootSuite’s Hootlet

HootsuiteHootSuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to monitor all of your social media feeds from a single place. It’s a great way to keep on top of what’s going on, and it’s also a great way to share the stories you love – especially with Hootlet.

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Community Tech Tip: Record Your Own Video

You asked, we listened. You asked for more information on how you can help spread the word about your experience. So, we’re offering regular tech tips. Each tech tip shares a free and unique social way to share your story and experience the stories of others. This week, we’re covering how to record your own video. The process is quick and simple. And, knowing how will help you share your story and participate in our video entry contests–like this one Let’s dive in, here’s how you can record your own video.  There are a few different ways you can record your own video to share.

  1. Smartphone
  2. The Photobooth program on a Mac
  3. Movie Maker on a PC photo (1)

We’ll start with the first option– recording video on your phone.

Video with your iPhone

First, go to your camera application and find the option to choose whether you’d like to take a picture or video; scroll over and select the video recorder.

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Community Tech Tip: Share Your World on Instagram

You asked, we listened. You asked for more information on how you can help spread the word about your experience. So, we’re offering regular tech tips. Each tech tip shares a free and unique social way to share your story and experience the stories of others. This week, we’re covering Instagram, a service that enables users to tell their story through photography. 

Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.

1. Download and Register
First, download the Instagram App onto your smartphone. Once you’ve downloaded and open the app, you’ll be prompted to create an account. After you create your account, you’ll be photodirected to the screen below.

2. Choose or Take Your Photo
To get started taking your first picture, hit the middle icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Or, you can select a photo from your photo library.

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Community Tech Tip: How to Join a Google+ Hangout On Air

You asked, we listened. You asked for more information on how you can help spread the word about your experience. So, we’re offering regular tech tips. Each tech tip shares a free and unique social way to share your story and experience the stories of others. This week, we’re covering Google+ Hangouts On Air, a service that streams and records live video of one or more people talking to each other and/or an audience. 

Google+ Hangout’s are a great way for our community to connect with each other for support, information and fun.You may remember our hangout with Kris Siwek. We want to make sure it’s as simple as possible for you to be a part of our future hangouts, so here is a quick guide on how to join a Google+ Hangout.

First, you’ll need to make sure you have a Google+ account. You can sign up for one here.

Add Oticon Medical to your circles.

Then, head over to Oticon Medical’s Google Plus Page here and add us to your circles.  Check out the picture on the right to see where to click on our page to do this. You can check whichever box you feel is most appropriate.

Now that you have an account and have Oticon Medical in your circles, let’s look at how to join a hangout.

When we do Oticon Medical hangouts, we’ll create an event you can join on Google Plus.  You’ll find the links to the event on our blog, Facebook Page, Google Plus Page and Twitter in the days leading up to the hangout.

Once you click confirm on the event, you’ll get a notification within Google Plus that will allow you to join the hangout once it is live. There’s a picture below to show you what this notification will look like.

And, if you can’t make it to the Hangout, we will have the recordings posted to our blog afterwards. Please let us know if you have any more questions on Google Hangouts, we will be happy to help you with the process. You can also see Google’s FAQ on Hangouts On Air here.

Interested in exploring other hangouts? This guide will work to join any Google+ Hangout On Air, you can see a live list here. Questions? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Have an idea for a #techtip? Let us know, we’d love to use your suggestions!