News from the National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships

Child Health Day is a national observance intended to highlight the
importance of children’s health in the United States.  This year’s
theme, Helping Children Lead Healthy Lives, reminds us that nothing is more important than the health of our children. Recently, on October 3rd in celebration of Child Health Day, a video was launched to provide information on the important role of Family-to-Family Health Information Centers in providing needed information, training, technical assistance, and peer support to families of children with special health care needs.

Link: http://www.fv-ncfpp.org/

Technology Has Changed the Teaching of Students who are D/HH

As discussed in Education Week electronic newsletter,
changes in technology have had a dramatic effect on how children who are
deaf or hard of hearing are taught.
Technology, including visual or text-communication devices and
speech-to-print software as well as the wider use of cochlear implants,
can generally be positive influences on the education of Deaf or Hard of Hearing students. 

Link: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2011/09/changes_in_technology_have_had.html

AG Bell Monograph Highlights Compelling Strategic Analysis of State Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
(AG Bell) released a monograph that presents the findings of a
groundbreaking analysis that applies a widely used business strategic
planning tool to gain new insights into the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats of statewide early hearing detection and
intervention programs (EHDI) across the nation. The results provide a
guideline for strengthening EHDI systems in each state to provide
comprehensive care to infants and young children with hearing loss.

Link: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/9/prweb8781432.htm

Chemicals in the womb linked to hearing loss in adult rats

PCBs are long recognized as a concern for human health. They are linked
to cancer and effects on the immune, reproductive and neurological
systems. The suite of industrial chemicals was banned in the late 1970s
after decades of use as insulators and stabilizers in electrical
transformers, lubricants and many other industrial applications. Yet,
people and wildlife are still exposed to the persistent pollutants. Rats that were exposed to these mixtures of persistent chemicals while
developing in the womb and while nursing had impaired inner ear function
and hearing loss as adults.
The results confirm both rodent and human research that find PCB
exposures can result in cochlear dysfunction and – importantly – extends
this disruption to a mixture of PCBs and PBDEs.

Link: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/2011/09/2011-1003-pcbs-pbdes-mix-cochlea-rats

Cure for Hearing Loss in a Decade Accelerates as Nation's "Dream Team" of Scientists Collaborate

The Hearing Health Foundation recently hosted their 2011 Summit Conference: The Promise of Cell Regeneration. The conference brought together the nation’s leaders in the field of cell regeneration
research in the ear to discuss current research and potential therapies
to restore hearing through the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP). The HRP is a Consortium made up of some of the most talented, creative,
inspired researchers in the area of cell regeneration in the ear, both
mid-level and senior-level investigators whose work has already
contributed significantly to the field. Hearing loss affects 36 Million Americans, 60 percent of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, and 1 in 5 adolescents and this field of research is bringing hope to the possibility of developing a cure for hearing loss.

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cure-for-hearing-loss-in-a-decade-accelerates-as-nations-dream-team-of-scientists-collaborate-2011-10-03

Sloan Churman, Deaf Woman, Hears Herself For First Time

Sloan Churman,
29, is a young woman who was born deaf. Until recently, she had never heard the sound of her
own voice. But thanks to a hearing implant, Churman was finally given
that ability. In another case, another touching video captured baby Jonathan who, after receiving a similar hearing implant was able to hear his mother’s voice for the first time as well. Follow the link below to watch these touching videos.

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/sloan-churman-deaf-woman-_n_989220.html

Cochlear implant maintence via the internet

Patients in Australia currently need to visit the ESIA centre for cochlear implant
maintenance but with the new telehealth software, patients in remote
areas would only need a computer and an internet connection to test
their implant. The Ear Science Institute of Australia (ESIA) is building
software that will allow for remote mapping and analysis of cochlear
implants.
ESIA is an organisation dedicated to research and treatment of ear and hearing disorders.

Link: http://www.sciencewa.net.au/3640-mapping-and-analysis-of-cochlear-implants-via-inet.html

Passive Smoking and Hearing Loss: Are Links Building Between the Two?

Passive smoking has proved itself to be a major negative health issue
that affects millions of people worldwide and now further research is linking smoking to hearing loss. Following a detailed analysis of statistics, specialist journal
Tobacco Control revealed in November 2010 that there was a strong
pattern emerging between smoking and poor hearing and in the July 2011 issue of
Archives of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, it was revealed that exposure to
tobacco smoke nearly doubles the risk of hearing loss among
adolescents.

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/passive-smoking-and-hearing-loss-are-links-building-between-the-two-2011-09-29

MED EL Announces U.S. Launch of New MAESTRO Cochlear Implant System

The MED-EL Corporation recently announced the U.S. launch of the new
MAESTRO(TM) Cochlear Implant System, featuring the world’s smallest,
lightest and thinnest titanium cochlear implant, the MED-EL CONCERT. The
system also encompasses enhancements to the OPUS 2 audio processor,
including a new D Coil that extends battery life by up to 50 percent. The MAESTRO Cochlear Implant System
recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) and the company has been preparing for rapidly-increasing global
demand. Implant centers can now begin placing orders for the new system.

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/med-el-announces-us-launch-of-new-maestrotm-cochlear-implant-system-2011-09-13