As you may have heard, “sound matters” is what we believe most. It’s great to hear so many people feel the same. Today, we wanted to share some of the best TED talks that focus on—you guessed it—sound.
Below you’ll see inspiring talks from three amazing individuals. Bernie Krause devoted almost a lifetime to recording sounds in the wild. He feels that the sounds around us can provide evidence of the health of the land and its habitat. Daniel Kish takes advantage of sound to see and is training others to do the same. And Meklit Hadero lets ordinary everyday sounds inspire her to create beautiful music.
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
The 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.
We are so lucky to be able to share Erin Wiggle’s heartfelt story about her husband, Adam. Adam serves in the Navy and has an Oticon Medical Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS), the Ponto.
Erin shares Adam’s account of his ordeal of chronic ear infections and multiple surgeries throughout the years that finally led to permanent hearing loss of his right ear. In her post, she leads us through Adam’s journey to getting his Ponto. Adam adjusts his life well with his Ponto. However, he reveals that one of his adjustments is dealing with the insensitivity of strangers. Adam said, “The constant questioning from strangers has left me a little bitter.”
What does your day-to-day look like? It probably involves waking up, getting ready and going to work or school. In just the first couple hours of the day, there are the sounds of the alarm clock going off, the shower turning on, the coffee machine percolating, the car turning on or the bus pulling up and the hum of traffic.
If you’re like many people, your day also includes some type of activity. Running, riding a bike, and playing sports—all activities in which sound continues to play a crucial role.
Here’s how two of our community members play best with their Pontos.
The Creative Karate Kid
Sonja Herne’s son Jack loves karate, and he wears bilateral Pontos on a softband. When he advanced to a red belt, requiring a helmet during activity, Sonja and Jack got creative. When Jack practices karate, they remove one of his Pontos and shift the other to the back-middle of his head. They found a gap in the back of the helmet, which allows the Ponto to sit unobstructed.
A couple of months ago we held the first ever Oticon Medical Patient Advocacy Workshop. While events in the past have focused on gathering and getting to know each other, this event focused on bettering the experience for those who need or will need bone anchored hearing systems in the future.
The top concern included education for those who were experiencing the world of bone anchored hearing for the fist time. Ponto wearers and families shared that they felt frustrated at the beginning of their journey, because they didn’t get all of the information they needed outright— it took research, time and, in many cases, probing to get answers from professionals. The statement “I wish I would have known what questions to ask” is something that we heard from the group more than once. Kelley Dwyer, an Audiologist who joined our group along with her brother Derek, who got his Ponto Plus and the Ponto Streamer earlier this year, also mentioned that it’d be helpful for Audiologists if patients had more access to information and a set of questions too.
Many people in the group mentioned that they didn’t know that there were options when it came to choosing a bone anchored hearing device. For some, it took years to make the realization and in some cases, it lead to surgery for a new abutment to make a switch.
We’re working to fulfill the needs we uncovered and develop the ideas the group had from the workshop. Today, we’re asking for your help to bring one of those ideas to life.
We commonly get questions about the differences in various hearing solutions. It’s important to note that there are different options based on individual conditions and needs. The same solution isn’t right for everyone. While Oticon Medical currently specializes in bone anchored hearing systems, we’re here to help you navigate your options.
Today, we’re going to look at the differences between Cochlear Implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Systems. To do so, we brought in Oticon Medical’s Clinical Regional Manager and one of our top Audiologists, Alison Sabbar.
Robb Boss believed he was doing “just fine” coping with his conductive hearing loss. A successful oncology sales representative with a leading pharmaceutical company, Robb’s personable and intelligent communication with colleagues and clients has led to much success and satisfaction for the 41-year-old. But, a brief conversation with a co-worker helped Robb see the downside of his untreated unilateral conductive hearing loss and take action.
After “pretending” to hear nearly his whole life, Robb decided that improving his hearing would improve relationships at work and with the people who matter the most– his family. “I was living my life pretending I could hear, Robb says. “It started hindering communication within the family and professionally. We have five girls and they all have tones of voices that I just couldn’t hear at all.”
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.
Michael Shepherd shares his experience with his Oticon Ponto Pro.
“It has actually let me come out of my shell. In a group of people, I struggled so much. I pretty much went off by myself. This has let me overcome that. I’m so happy that I’ve had this done. I would not change anything.”