2020 October Partner eNews

October 2020

Monthly Partners Program Updates

Thank you for participating in the ABLE Tech partner meeting via zoom in September. It was a successful meeting!

For those who may have missed, the content was focused on current data, NATADS updates, reviewing the new Policy and Procedures, and MOA updates. All partners shared highlights specific to their organization. Hope to see you at the next meeting.

Tech Thursday: Learning Apps for Early Childhood

Join ABLE Tech for another Tech Thursday Event to discover and explore recommendations for screen time and apps for early learning and development. Amy Woods, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), with ABLE Tech has developed an extensive list of resources. Join us in October!

View the ABLE Tech Calendar and sign up for events! 

ABLE Tech Program Overview Video 

ABLE Tech spent the summer created videos for all core program services. Below is a great depiction of the ABLE Tech Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program that can help others access and try AT to make an informed purchasing decision.

Find all service videos and many more video resources on the ABLE Tech YouTube channel – be sure and subscribe! 

Spotlight on Success

Masks have positively impacted those across the lifespan with hearing impairments. The Scholl Center, who partners with ABLE Tech’s Device Demonstrations and Short-term Loan program, has seen this firsthand. The Scholl Center has had an increase in patient calls and appointments since COVID-19 began. There is frequent dependence on visual cues for people with hearing loss – such as lip reading and facial expressions. Typical masks have made lip-reading and other visual cues impossible to do for a person with hearing loss. Also, the volume of speech is decreased by 3-12 dB depending on the mask as it mutes the projection of one’s voice.

The Scholl Center has also seen patients who wear hearing aids experience difficulties when removing masks, which often causes hearing aids to fall out. The Scholl Center has found some creative solutions to help patients. Some of those solutions include recommending accessories for hearing aids to increase the volume for television and in-person meetings by providing additional ear-level sound receivers. For non-hearing aid wearers, the Scholl Center recommends AT, such as a personal sound amplification System.

The Scholl Center is continuously adapting to help patients. They have started a new program; it is an at-home hearing test option with Shoebox Audiometry for the patients not comfortable coming into the clinic due to COVID-19. This is an app-based hearing screening that has proven to be very accurate in baseline evaluation. Consumers can check out the iPad with the Shoebox app, along with specific headphones, and have a thorough hearing screening in the home or other location without encountering other people. Once the results are evaluated, the Scholl Center team can help individuals access and acquire the most appropriate hearing AT.

Thanks to the Scholl Center for being an ABLE Tech partner and being a creative solution leader to continue to provide hearing services!

Assistive Technology Features 

ABLE Tech is continuously adding new tools to the Device Loan Inventory. The items below can assist people with hearing loss.

Phonak Roger Select

The Phonak Roger Select is a wireless microphone/transmitter that offers excellent speech understanding for people with hearing loss or difficulties hearing in loud environments.

The Phonak Roger Select connects with the user’s hearing aids via Roger Technology. It can then be placed in the center of a table or area of conversation and allows individuals to fully engage and be at the heart of the conversation. If multiple people are meeting or conversing, it discreetly and automatically selects the person who is talking and seamlessly switches from one talker to another. It can also transmit the sound of multimedia devices via Bluetooth. It can be used with a Phonak Roger Receiver such as a MyLInk, Roger X, or other Phonak Roger receivers.

Pocketalker 2.0

The Pocketalker 2.0 helps individuals hear sounds and voices. It amplifies while reducing distracting background noise. This slim, ergonomically-designed amplifier is easy to use. It is perfect for individuals who are hard of hearing but may not wear hearing aids or be without hearing aids for repair.

Simply plug in the headphone or earphone, position the microphone near the preferred sound, adjust the volume to the appropriate comfort level, and start listening. The Pocketalker 2.0 also has a telecoil feature that allows sound to be transmitted to someone who wears hearing aids and needs amplification for ear-level support.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech

CONTACT: Shelby Sanders, shelby.sanders@okstate.edu