Explore the Convention
June 24-26, 2021
Wireless Accessibility: Finding Mobile Devices and Features that Work for You
Thursday, June 24, 2021
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Wireless Accessibility: Finding Mobile Devices and Features that Work for You will give an overview of the latest developments in wireless devices and services for individuals with hearing loss who would like to learn more about wireless technology. This session will include discussions about the ways that innovative wireless services and handsets can help open or enhance education, employment, and personal communication opportunities for all consumers, including those with hearing loss.
Hearing Aids: Over-the-counter (OTC), Direct-to-consumer (DTC) and Connectivity
Friday, June 25, 2021
3 – 4 p.m. ET
Thomas A. Powers, Ph.D.
Managing Member, Powers Consulting LLC
The 2017 OTC (Over-the-Counter) legislation instructed the FDA to create a new category of hearing devices that could be safely sold to persons with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. The FDA has not issued these regulations primarily due to COVID-19 occupying much of the resources at FDA. This has allowed a new distribution channel to emerge, referred to as DTC (Direct-to-Consumer). The lack of clear guidelines or regulations for DTC, has caused confusion for consumers. This presentation will define each of these channels (OTC and DTC), the companies and products currently in the DTC channel. The traditional hearing aid channel has recently introduced new products and features that can benefit wide ranges of hearing loss and have advanced options for monitoring health-related conditions. This lecture will highlight connectivity (Bluetooth, loops and apps), which continues to be an important feature to connect us to a variety of audio sources.
The Latest in Digital Inclusion Technologies
Friday, June 25, 2021
5:45 – 6:45 p.m. ET
Senior Director and Head of Accessibility, Verizon Media
Hear from the Senior Director and Head of Accessibility at Verizon Media and how he ensures that Verizon Media’s many products, services and media offerings are as accessible as possible to people with disabilities. Participants will learn from Verizon Media’s head of accessibility about the latest technologies for creating accessible workplaces and schools. He will also discuss new and emerging technologies for captioning (e.g., CC in virtual reality), help you get up-to-speed on automatic speech recognition captioning and teach technical and behavioral solutions for working from home with hearing loss.
Communication Access in Health Care
Saturday, June 26, 2021
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. ET
Member, Management Board, Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation and Contributor, HLAA Communication Access in Health Care
Contributor, HLAA Communication Access in Health Care Program and Member, Advisory Board, INTERACT Trial
Chair Communication Access in Health Care Program and Member, HLAA Board of Directors
Margaret Wallhagen, Ph.D., RN/GNP-BC
Professor, University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing
Persons with hearing loss are major stakeholders in the ability of health care systems to deliver care that meets their communication needs. Currently, the burden of achieving communication access in medical encounters largely lies with the individual or their caregiver. The HLAA Communication Access in Health Care program is working toward the goal of achieving preemptive, systemic solutions that ensure effective accommodations in all medical encounters for people with hearing loss.
This session will provide an overview of the program’s projects and how HLAA constituents can contribute. Information will be presented on three key groups that, in addition to persons with hearing loss, hold a vested interest in the adoption of effective communication access in health care. The session will report some of the major barriers to communication access that exist in medical settings and describe the kind of research that may lead to the removal of such barriers.
The presenters have requested that attendees read the following two Health Care Access columns from Hearing Life magazine, prior to the Convention meeting.
The Promise of Next-Generation Bluetooth® LE Audio Connectivity
Saturday, June 26, 2021
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. ET
Linda Kozma-Spytek, M.A., CCC-A
Senior Research Audiologist, Technology Access Program, Gallaudet University
Senior Director, Market Development, Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Inc.
The new Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) Audio capabilities mean another step forward in the trend toward digital technology convergence for hearing devices as they become more integrated and even unified with consumer audio devices. The promise of Bluetooth® LE Audio includes more availability, better interoperability and greater acceptance of audio accessibility across a wide range of venues, products, and services. This session will discuss the expanded capabilities of the new release of Bluetooth® LE Audio, how it is different from previous versions of Bluetooth® audio, and most importantly, the anticipated benefits to people with hearing loss.