Children with mild hearing loss lack support

As an advocate for children this is an article that explain how many fall through the cracks… its a battle that I struggle with at schools and explaining my daughter to MANY people. …

Advocate for yourselfAdvocate for your childAdvocate for your loved onesIf you don’t… who will?



Nov 3, 2014 — As you know, since January 1, 2006, CMS has classified the Baha system as an osseointegrated Implant (prosthetic implant), meeting the requirements of Medicare’s prosthetic definition for coverage and payment. On July 2nd, a proposed ruling was issued to reclassify osseointegrated implants as hearing aids which are not covered under Medicare. In response, we all executed an aggressive initiative to educate government leaders and the general public about this life-changing technology and how it differs from hearing aids.

As a direct result of our collective efforts across the industry, we were notified that CMS will continue covering osseointegrated implants as prosthetic devices. This means that Medicare recipients will continue to have access to and coverage for Baha technology (i.e. NO CHANGE TO CURRENT COVERAGE). The decision does not cover non-osseointegrated hearing solutions.

This positive outcome would not have been possible without the additional efforts put forth by many of you who signed the petition, spread awareness amongst your colleagues and patients, posted comments to CMS and talked with members of Congress. Your efforts are greatly appreciated; thank you all.

*remember that “good enough” should never be “GOOD ENOUGH”Advocate for yourselfAdvocate for your childAdvocate for your loved onesIf you don’t… who will?


I feel so renewed and energized after attending workshops at Oticon Medical’s patient advocacy conference this past weekend! (Forgive me if this post rambles a bit)

I’ve always been a ready advocate but…. I didn’t always do it well. I’m getting better at it.
  One of our workshops posed the question “what do you wish you could advocate for” And oh wow, there are so many things… but where would I start? How do I get the ball rolling so to speak?
   I live in a small state and would like more local groups and activities for the hearing loss community. I feel like we NEED groups for our kids to learn to speak up and advocate for themselves…. but then we need one for the parents who havent yet started advocating for them yet. I’d love it if there was a group for learning to advocate insted of “winging it” (yes, that’s what I do)

So lets start here! Yes with this blog post….
Tell me what you advocte for and HOW do you do it? (It doesnt have to be hearing related….

I’m advocating for more interaction on my blog…. and this is how I’m starting…..

*remember that “good enough” should never be “GOOD ENOUGH”

Advocate for yourself
Advocate for your child
Advocate for your loved ones
If you don’t… who will?

What Happens When Your Worst Nightmare Comes True? Actor Mark Ruffalo Shares His Experience with an Acoustic Neuroma

Oticon Medical

There’s a number of Bone Anchored Hearing System users who have been through the experience of overcoming an Acoustic Neuroma. The diagnosis can be shocking and overwhelming. Today, we’re shedding more light on Acoustic Neuromas with information from the Acoustic Neuroma Association— including an incredible video account of actor Mark Ruffalo’s experience.

First things first, what is an Acoustic Neuroma? According to the Acoustic Neuroma Association: “An acoustic neuroma, known as a vestibular schwannoma, is a benign (non-cancerous) growth that arises on the eighth cranial nerve leading from the brain to the inner ear. This nerve has two distinct parts, one part associated with transmitting sound and the other with sending balance information to the brain from the inner ear. The eighth nerve, along with the facial or seventh cranial nerve, lie adjacent to each other as they pass through a bony canal called the internal auditory canal. This…

View original post 359 more words

Three-Year-Old Ava’s Journey to Hearing

Advocate for yourselfAdvocate for your childAdvocate for your loved onesIf you don’t… who will?

Oticon Medical

A few months ago, we first introduced you to Shannon and her daughter Ava. Shannon took the time to tell us about her journey in finding out that Ava had hearing loss and what came after. Today, we’re excited to share another milestone in Shannon and Ava’s lives, as told by Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community.

Meet Ava Katuszonek, an adorable little three year old girl who was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. Ava is a very happy little girl who enjoys playing with friends and is excited to learn the alphabet and begin reading. However, when Ava was about one year old, her mom, Shannon, began noticing her struggling with her hearing. Ava wasn’t always responding to Shannon’s voice when she would call for her. Two years ago, Ava and her parents, Paul and Shannon, attended an Ear Community Microtia and Atresia picnic…

View original post 362 more words

Do…. Dont… communication tips

So your worried about interaction between hearing and not quite hearing. If you are hearing impaired the best thing is be upfront…. Dont pretend to hear. you might miss something important.

Ask the best way to interact
Have paper and pencil ready
Write in short simple sentences
Watch facial expressions, eye gaze
Repeat if needed
Be patient in communication
Look directly at the person, keeping your hands away from your face and face toward the deaf person
Be friendly; they merit the same respect as anyone else


Don’t assume communication is occurring correctly (nodding does not always mean they understand or agree)
Don’t pretend to understand if you do not.
Don’t exaggerate your mouth movements.
Don’t yell
Don’t have objects in your mouth or cover your mouth while speaking.
Don’t speak to a deaf person with your back to a light, window, or mirror.
Do not refer to them in third person as if they was not present

And drop the word ‘NEVERMIND’ from your vocabulary

Advocate for yourself Advocate for your child Advocate for your loved ones. If you don’t… who will?

Is domestic violence more likely for deaf women?

Is there a connection with hearing loss and domestic violence?  I’ve recently learned studies say yes, but the reasoning seems to vary. I’ve recently decided to make it my mission to try to find answers, raise answers, and try to help anyway I can.

For me it was bad from the beginning and only got worse after getting implants to hear better. Or maybe it seemed worse because I was more aware…. I dont know. But no one deserves to be treated sub par and NEVER jugde based on one experience.
Does anyone else have answers, suggestions, or expierence? I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Advocate for yourself Advocate for your child Advocate for your loved oneself. If you don’t… who will?

Bethany Geldmaker Advocates for Awareness & Continued Coverage

Important reblog

Oticon Medical

Bethany Geldmaker has an incredible story. Paired with the impactful way that she advocates for the importance of bone anchored hearing systems and her mission to educate others on the process of getting coverage for their bone anchored hearing systems, she’s one of the most powerful voices in the community. Recently, Bethany has accelerated her efforts even more to bring awareness to the changes that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have proposed that could eliminate coverage for bone anchored hearing devices in 2015.

Our collective rebuttal to the proposed changes must be education that helps people understand just how important it is to keep coverage for bone anchored hearing systems. That’s exactly what Bethany has been doing. She’s been doing this in three key ways:

  • Working to heighten public awareness
  • Encouraging others to educate themselves on solution options
  • Getting information and education in the hands of insurance…

View original post 820 more words


Access to BAHA technology is being threatened by a proposal to exclude coverage under Medicare. Please pass this along to everyone you know and feel free share.If this comes to fruition, it would be a devastating blow to our community. Although Medicare is a small part of the global market for bone anchored devices, removing bone anchored systems from it would open the door for private insurances to follow suit and also drop coverage.We all know firsthand how life-changing BAHA technology is, so please take a few seconds, sign the petition, and forward to friends and family.