Recent studies and research are starting to draw a link between secondhand smoke or exposure to cotinine, an indicator of exposure to tobacco, and that of hearing loss. Researchers writing in the July issue of The Archives of Otolarygology tested more than 2,000 teenagers and found that the higher the cotinine levels in the participant’s blood, the greater the likelihood there was some type of hearing loss.
Recent statistics show that 97 percent of babies born in this country have their hearing screened in the newborn nursery and as many as 46 percent of children who failed the newborn screening test in 2007 did not have documented repeat testing and treatment. Dr. Klass provides some helpful tips of what can be done in cases where a newborn can’t hear.
The 18 year old singer, Miley Cyrus is scheduled to perform at the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “So the World May Hear” Gala in St. Paul on July 24th. She became involved with the foundation following a trip to Haiti to distribute hearing aids to people in need. She will be joined by Meat Loaf, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, with honorary attendees Marlee Matlin and former President Bill Clinton.
The Farmer’s Cheese is a musical especially designed for those with hearing impairments who have received a cochlear implant and had a debut in Chicago on July 16th. This show has previously been performed in the UK and South Africa with the intent to encourage children with cochlear implants to listen to music. The Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation and MED-EL are also sponsoring another performance of the musical on July 18, 3:00 p.m. in Boston with free admission at the St. Raphael Parish Center at 514 High St., Medford. Call 617-628-4537 for more information.
The Maryland School for the Deaf hosted the 22nd Biennial ASDC Conference from June 22-26, 2011. Like past conferences, this was well attended and proved to be fun and exciting for all participants. Congratulations to the 2011 Lee Katz Award Winners: Ms Denise V. Tucker of Philadelphia, PA and Ms. Rosemarie M. Greco of Terryville, CT.
A workshop for Early Intervention for Children with Hearing Impairment will be held on Friday, November 4, 2011 at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis from 8:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m. This course is designed for teachers, SLPs, and early childhood specialists who work with children who are DHH age Birth-3. Providers will find this a general overview of best practices in early intervention in deaf education. Participants will be able to summarize the process from referral to services, describe appropriate services for a young child that is hearing impaired, understand audiological test results, navigation from Part C to Part B, etc.
A workshop for Early Intervention for Children with Hearing Impairment will be held on Friday, September 30, 2011 at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Early Registration is recommended. This course is designed for early education providers, SLPs, and early childhood educators who help children who are DHH and Birth-3, learn listening and spoken language. Providers will find this a general overview of best practices in early intervention in deaf education.
For the past 3 years, doctoral students at Auburn University at Montgomery have traveled to Guatemala, led by AU audiologist Sandra Clark Lewis to provide hearing screenings, follow-up testing, and hearing aids to children who otherwise have no way to afford these services. More than 1,500 Guatemalan children have been screened and those identified with educationally significant hearing loss are fitted with hearing aids donated by the GN ReSound Corporation.
Melody Musgrove, director of the Office of Special Education Programs for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will present a keynote address to more than 400 professionals serving children with hearing loss and their families at the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Conference from July 21-23, 2011 in Washington D.C. Musgrove will provide an update on federal education initiatives for children with disabilities and highlight the federal education agenda as it pertains to special education, early intervention, and school-age services, among other things.
An advisory panel to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Coverage (CMS) has concluded its findings as to the effectiveness of cochlear implants in improving health outcomes for individuals with a hearing loss. CMS, who is the
administrative organization that oversees the approval and distribution
of Medicare funds, will be reviewing these findings to consider expanding Medicare’s coverage of cochlear implantation. The current Medicare coverage for cochlear implants is limited to unilateral implantation for “individuals who demonstrate limited benefit from amplification” as stipulated by Medicare protocols. However, some of the panel’s findings are encouraging more consideration be given for CMS to grant Medicare coverage of bilateral implants as well.