SHHH Exhibit Hall
The SHHH Conference exhibit hall was packed with vendors offering the latest in hearing loss technology. Cheryl Heppner of NVRC wrote up her visit in four detailed articles, which appear below.
SHHH Exhibit Hall – Part 1
I spent five hours today in the Exhibit Hall at the SHHH conference, learning about equipment, programs, and materials that are new, different, and sometimes very cool. Here’s my first report, with exhibitors in order of which materials and notes came up first when I dumped the contents of my two canvas bags.
1. Advanced Bionics, one of three cochlear implant manufacturers, is plugging “Cecilia’s Story,” a documentary about a cochlear implant recipient named Cecilia which chronicles her life from infancy to age 8. Bad news: there’s a premiere screening tonight here in Seattle. Good news: you don’t have to be here to get a copy. Go to their website at http://www.BionicEar.com and let them know your preference for DVD or VHS, or call 800-678-2575 V, 800-678-3575 TTY.
2. Ultratec is giving free calls through its “captoned telephone”, the CapTel. This amplified phone gives written, word-for-word captions of everything being said by the person you call. The phone also has tone control and can be used as a traditional telephone by people who do not want the captions. Contact Ultratec at 1-800-482- 2424 V/TTY, email@example.com, or http://www.ultratec.com.
3. Hearing Components, Inc. is showing off its “Snap Tips”, designed to replace custom earmolds and used in high-power behind-the-ear (BTE) aids. They’re meant to give a good earmold seal to raise the gain and prevent feedback. The Tips come in a package and each can be worn about 10 days to 3 weeks before needing replacement, depending on how waxy or moist your ear canal is. Contact: 800-872-8986 V or http://www.hearingcomponents.com.
4. I asked the folks at Dyn-Aura Engineering Labs, maker of the Elite Headphones, why so many hard of hearing people like their product, while people with normal hearing complain about humming sounds they hear. Short answer: they weren’t designed for hearing people; they’re designed for hard of hearing people. These earphones are completely self-contained with no wires or transmitters or anything to connect. They’re powered by AAA batteries that the company claims get more than 200 hours. Contact: 858-565-4922 or http://www.eliteheadphones.com
5. AVR Communications Ltd. had Impact BTEs in lovely shades of red, lavender, peacock blue, green, and clear plastic. These programmable hearing aids offer 2-4 programs. AVR’s Logicom Ci is a miniature FM receiver for cochlear implants that comes with a microphone. The small size makes it less cumbersome than the body-worn FM receivers and eliminates the hassle of trying to connect body FM receivers as well as the feedback problems from sound field systems. Contact: 800-462-8336.
6. Motorola is conducting a hearing aid-wireless phone user experience study here at the conference. I talked with Scott Kelley and looked at the numerous cell phones. Their T720 and V60 will work with a TTY, and the T720 has lots of features including web access. What caught my attention at their exhibit was a small orb-like device that looked straight out of Star Trek. It turned out to be a Speaker Phone (SPN5627) that can be plugged into their other phones. They say it’s surprisingly effective. Contact: Product website: http://www.mot.com or Accessibility Website: http://www.motorola.com/gss/csg/accessibility.htm.
— Cheryl Heppner, NVRC Executive Director
SHHH Exhibit Hall – Part 2
1. I had a chance to chat briefly and get a hug from Leon Curtis, Director of the Washington Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, one of the sponsors of the SHHH conference. Washington State continues to be a leader in telecommunications. It now offers Video Relay Services through a relay partnership with Sprint, making Washington the only one of three states in the U.S. that use an Internet-based platform for this service that allows the two industry- standard call types to come into the same computer video camera station.
The state’s equipment program now offers Ameriphone RC200 Remote Control Speaker Phones for people with restricted mobility in addition to being speech impaired or hard of hearing; and Philips ToUCamPro cameras for those preferring to communicate visually with sign language. Contact them: 3560-902-8000 V or 306-753-0699 TTY.
2. At the AT&T Wireless exhibit, Linda Day was giving demonstrations of phones to Flo Innes from Florida. The Motorola phone had its new Hands-Free Neckloop for use with all Motorola headset-compatible phones. It features a hands-free microphone with a built-in mute button. (Part #SYN 7875). Panasonic Wireless and AT&T Wireless are offering a special promotion that will draw two winners to receive a Panasonic Allure cellular phone, hearing aid compatible headset (Panasonic model EB-EM3100 and $50 prepaid AT&T Wireless service card. The phone also has TTY compatibility and the exhibit had TTYs that could be tested with its phones. AT&T Wireless has a new brochure on Wireless Technology Services for Customers with Disabilities. Contact: 1-800-IMAGINE or http://www.attwireless.com.
3. Ameriphone had two new products. Sharyl Pyrdol showed me the new, loaded Alertmaster AM 7000, an all-in-one home notification system. It can alert for telephone ring, doorbell, alarm clock, paging, sound such as baby cry, motion sensor, and audio alarm. It’s housed in a digital alarm clock with a very bright strobe. Remote receivers (RX7) can be used to customize it. The package includes a water resistant wireless doorbell and bed shaker. The Ameriphone JV35 phone has jumbo buttons for the numbers you dial, in high contrast color, with Braille on the buttons as well. The phone can amplify to 35 dB. It allows adjustments for tone and has an electronic voice that repeats each number as you dial. There’s an audio output jack for connection to a cochlear implant and 10 memory buttons for 1-touch speed dialing. Contact: 714-230-1521.
4. Donna Sorkin, a previous Executive Director of SHHH, was at the Cochlear Corporation booth. They’re having a presentation tonight on their Nucleus 3 system, which includes the ESPrit 3G, their third generation of BTE speech processors. This cochlear implant speech processor offers a choice of their three speech coding strategies, batteries (three 675 high power zinc) that last through the day, built-in telecoil and whisper settings, and an assortment of colors for the piece that fits behind the ear, including yellow, aqua, and hot pink. Contact: http://www.cochlear.com or 1-800-458-4999 V or 1-800-483-3123 TTY.
5. Listen and Talk, a center serving families who want their children with hearing loss to listen and speak, had wonderful canvas bags full of goodies. They are located in Bothell, WA. Included in the bag was a kit for parents and a copy of the videotape “Dreams Spoken Hear” which were funded by the Okerkotter Foundation. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or http:///www.oraldeafed.org; 425-483-9700 V.