First College hour to show latest in hearing aids

The power to hear clear across the Learning Resource Center at American River College is available to those who need it.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Professor Harold Schneider will be hosting the first college hour event of the semester.

At the event, titled “Can you hear me now?”, they will be displaying the latest in hearing aid technology, and will be providing free phones for those who are hard of hearing.

During the event Schneider will be having two guest speakers. One to discuss the hearing aids, and the other to talk about the free phones.

Participants can expect to learn that hearing aid technology is far more advanced than one would initially think.

Each hearing aid is unique to the person it’s made for, it’s also unique to each individual ear.

The hearing aids are also a lot smaller than they were seven years ago.

“The older models looked like a wad of gum,” said Schneider.

Newer models also can use wifi to connect to new TVs and phones, making it easier than ever to hear people and programs.

“Its basicly bluetooth technology,” said Schneider.

Schneider is hosting this college hour to promote hearing aids and free phones due to his own personal battle with losing his hearing.

About 10 years ago, Schneider started to lose his hearing. Like many, he assumed that people just weren’t talking loud enough.

His wake up call came during one of his classes when a student asked him a question and he gave a vague answer, after which a student asked if he had heard him correctly.

Schneider decided to look towards ARC’s resources to see if they offered help to faculty and staff with hearing loss. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

As a result, Schneider looked for programs to help those with hearing loss. Eventually he found a program that helped him out.

He also found a program that the state of California has in which if a person provides proof of hearing loss (such as a note from an audiologist), California will give a special free cordless phone to those in need.

“California has given out about 500,000 free phones,” said Schneider.

During his research Schneider talked to other professors who had the same problem, and decided to host this college hour as a result.

Schneider expects to see 25 students and 25 faculty or staff present at the event. Some students may receive extra credit from their professors for attending.

Schneider also would like American Sign Language Interpreters to show up, but does not know if any will be assigned to the event.

While hearing aids are designed for those who are losing their hearing, some members of the deaf community are now able to use them as well.
“Many members of the deaf community use hearing aids and it is quite common to see a deaf person using hearing aids within the community,” said ASL professor Jill Burchall.

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