The strength of the bond between siblings is hard to define. The love we feel for our brothers and sisters is unconditional, and in some cases, truly inspiring to others. Brother and sister Derek and Kelley Dwyer are an example of inseparable siblings who would do anything to help each other.
As you may already know if you spend time with us here on the blog or on Facebook or Twitter, our friends at Ear Community, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, help people born with Microtia and Atresia, which results in hearing loss. Through donations, they provide equipment and services to help those suffering from these limitations to gain a greater ability to hear and communicate with others.
Ear Community recently shared the story of Derek Dwyer and his sister Dr. Kelley Dwyer. Derek Dwyer is a 22-year-old computer engineering and graphic design major at Gwinnett Technical College. He’s a passionate fan of music and technology. The youngest of three siblings, Derek was born with Nager Syndrome and bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Microtia and Atresia have contributed to hearing loss for Derek, making it difficult to listen in lectures and communicate with others in school.
His sister, Dr. Kelley Dwyer recently graduated with her doctorate in Audiology and serves as a pediatric audiologist at Pediatric ENT of Atlanta. She has studied and worked tirelessly to help her brother, who serves as a source of motivation to her. “Derek has been my biggest inspiration in life…he defies the expectations of a special needs person and knows no boundaries to his capabilities.”
After discovering Ear Community and the opportunity for equipment that would assist her brother in his transition into college life, Dr. Dwyer applied. “Derek never asks for anything, so I am going to ask for him.”
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 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:
The Ponto Streamer opens the door for new communication possibilities and connections with people, information and entertainment for Ponto Plus users. Today, we wanted to share more information about the Ponto Streamer. Better yet, we also wanted to give you an opportunity to hear from those who know it best— the people who use it every day.
First, let’s dive into what the Ponto Streamer and ConnectLine products are.
ConnectLine is a system that helps you connect to a wide variety of communication and entertainment applications. Simply put, it transforms your Ponto Plus into a personal wireless headset. The Ponto Streamer is your gateway to a range of different electronics. Audio can be transmitted through the Ponto Streamer wirelessly to your Ponto Plus. The Ponto Streamer is worn around the neck and has three buttons for the core applications: phone, TV and microphone.
When we spoke with Ponto Plus user Amy Mackey last week, she shared how she was using the Ponto Streamer for our video chat. She also shared how she’ll be connecting other devices– like her TV– to the Ponto Streamer with add-on accessories. “It’s just stunning, it startles me sometimes, because I’m just not used to hearing this well,” Amy says in the video clip below.
Alison Sabbar discusses the wireless technology capabilities of the Ponto Plus, including the Ponto Streamer, the device that makes all of this connectivity possible. Now, individuals with single-sided deafness and conductive hearing loss can get the wireless capabilities that they want and need.
The Ponto Streamer has a wireless coil that picks up audio signals and transmits them directly to the Ponto Plus, turning the Ponto Plus into a wireless headset. The Ponto Streamer connects to audio devices such as cellphones, TVs, MP3 players, landline phones and more.
Another accessory, the ConnectLine microphone, clips onto a speaker, so the speaker’s voice can be transmitted directly to the Ponto Plus processor. It’s ideal for school and work settings.
Here’s Alison to describe more about the Ponto Plus, Ponto Streamer and wireless capabilities.
Every new product we create starts with our premise of people first, and the latest addition to the Ponto family is no different. The newest line of sound processors include the Ponto Plus and the Ponto Plus Power.
The devices were created with three goals in mind:
1. Bring more power to bone anchored hearing device users.
2. Produce a device that provides protection from feedback.
3. Give bone anchored users, for the first time, access to wireless possibilities that hearing aid users have enjoyed over the last few years.
In the video below, Alan Raffauf, VP of marketing at Oticon Medical, talks about why these three goals are so important.
Click here to learn more about the Ponto Plus. You can also sign up to get offers and updates delivered directly to your inbox here.