Who We Are

HEAR! HERE! is your local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America [HLAA] serving Woodland, Davis and Yolo County. We offer informational programs throughout the year that are open to all. See this blog for times and dates of upcoming events.


Our e-mail address is: hearherewoodland@gmail.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Surviving the Holidays With Hearing Loss"

Hear! Here!'s November meeting offers all our members an opportunity to think about and share the challenges associated with "Surviving the Holidays With Hearing Loss". It is also an excellent opportunity for spouses, parents, other family members, and friends to explore the issues of sharing the Holiday Season with someone who has a hearing loss. Some of the topics to be discussed are:

  • How to prepare for traveling
  • How to be a good host at family dinners
  • Hearing better in noisy situations 
  • What to do when you can't take anymore
  • Finding Holiday Joy
  • Solutions for deaf children

 This will be an open meeting with informal seating giving everyone plenty of opportunity to share their own experiences and issues. All are encouraged to attend.

The meeting will be held on at 10.00am,Thursday, November 17th. at the Davis Senior Center located at 646 A Street, Davis. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

LOOPING-communicating without external equipment!

Julia Tanner, Doctorate in Audiology, spoke at the September Hear! Here! general meeting held in Davis on the subject of "looping". Looping is a system of wiring a room or designated area so that wearers of hearing aids with a T Coil option can switch to that setting and receive a clear audio signal free of outside noise.The system does not require the hearer to wear any external equipment and with 60% of hearing aids having a T Coil looping is a very attractive choice for many.  The system works very well in lecture halls, churches and other large venues while in Europe many personal service areas such as banks, cashier areas and ticket offices offer looping for individual member of the public. Clare Childers, a member of Hear! Here!, first experienced looping at a conference and rated the system highly as she was able to hear the speaker very, very clearly. A rare experience for Clare with other hearing assisted systems.
Dr. Tanner informed the audience that the system is not really designed to facilitate group conversations although some hearing aids allow the wearer to have a microphone in use at the same time.However, because of its ability to improve the quality of sound and of word discrimination looping is especially useful for television viewing allowing the hard of hearing viewer to adjust the sound to a level that works for them while allowing other viewers to have the sound set lower, as well as in the lecture hall.

There was a short test at the meeting of a temporary looping system that was set up around the edge of the audience followed by an opportunity to discuss individual questions with both Dr. Tanner and her regular installer. Installation for a TV system usually runs around $250.00 and the looping is installed in such a manner as not to be noticeable.

Dr. Tanner told the group that she believes so strongly in looping that she offers it to all her private patients and she is working on a long term project to get as many public meeting venues located in the Sacramento Area looped. Currently two churches are looped, Holy Spirit on Land Park Drive, and Fremont Presbyterian on H Street. If you are a member of a church or organization that may benefit from installing a looping system or if you have a venue in Davis that you would like to suggest to Dr. Tanner you may contact her at: hearingsolution@sbcglobal.net. To view more information go to her website at: www.thehearingsolution.com.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless offer wireless phone plans to
people with hearing loss that may include data, text, video messaging,
and/or IM, but charge for voice calls by the minute.

To qualify for these phone plans, wireless phone companies used to
accept only a note from a doctor, audiologist or hearing health care
provider. Now, at the suggestion of HLAA, these service providers
allow people with hearing loss to establish eligibility for these
plans by showing a membership card from several national membership
organizations for people with hearing loss, including HLAA, as well
the traditional method of seeing a doctor, audiologist or other
hearing health care professional.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yolo County Library provides signing for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

Kudos to the Yolo County Library, Davis Branch. 

Thursday morning's Story Time program for 3 to 5 year olds [at 10.15am], and the 11 am Mother Goose on the Loose for 12-36 month old children are interpreted for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. What a great way to ensure a love of reading for all children. I am also sure some of the younger children are learning to sign just by seeing it done each week!

If you are in the library let the children's librarian know just how much we appreciate this service.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CA Telephone Access Program [CTAP] Presentation a success

The "Demonstration of Telephones for the Hearing and Mobility Impaired" by Love Miller at the Hear! Here! general meeting held at the Davis Senior Center on April 21st  was wonderfully clear and concise. Ms. Miller covered about 10 different phones currently offered to California Residents through the CA Telephone Access Program [CTAP]. The phones cover a variety of needs for people who have difficulty seeing, hearing, speaking, remembering or moving.  Even though there was a lot of information available about the phones Love still managed to made it very easy to understand the differences between the various phones that are now available.

Some of the features offered on the phones were:
  • Volume Control
  • Tone Control [making the sounds clearer]
  • Amplification
  • Speaker phones
  • External Bell [can be placed so when the phone rings it can be heard]
  • Cordless
  • Lit Keys
  • Ring Alert [flashes so you know the phone is ringing]
  • Pager [beeps so you can locate the phone if it is not on its cradle]
  • Memory Dials
  • Talk Back [Vision-tells you what number you have dialed]
  • Big Buttons [Vision-Arthritis-Parkinson's]
  • LED screen that displays the words been said by the other party [godsend to those that miss words over the phone]
These specialized telephones and devices are free to qualified individuals and are available through local CTAP Service Centers. Ms. Miller emphasised that selection of the right kind of phone was essential for customer satisfaction. There are three easy steps to file for a phone:
  1. Complete the application [available on the web-site address below] providing your name and address and contact information
  2. Have the second part of the application form completed by an authorized certified agent [MD, Audiologist, Hearing Aid Dispenser amongst others]
  3. Mail, Fax or bring the form into the Service Center nearest you [see below for the Sacramento Center's Information].
If mailing or faxing in the information allow a week before contacting the Center. You will then be asked some questions over the phone to determine which is the right phone for you. If you bring the application into the center yourself then staff will help you test the phones. The Service Centers and all their staff members are committed to helping you try out and test the phones ahead of time so you end up with the phone you really need. There is rarely a wait and the help is one to one...so important when hearing is an issue!

The cost of this program is covered by a small surcharge that all telephone users in California pay as part of their telephone bill and anyone who needs one should be aware of and make use of this excellent program.

Ms. Miller also pointed out that if you have had a phone through the program for any length of time you may want to look at the newer models, it may be time trade in for an upgrade.

These phones definitely make it easier to hear, to dial and to stay connected. Thanks Love for making this a very interesting and useful presentation!

2033 Howe Avenue
Suite 150
CA 95825


Check out CTAP's website for more information:  http://www.ddtp.org/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The next meeting of Hear! Here! features Love Miller demonstrating a variety of phones for people with special needs. These phones offer different features such as big buttons, picture dialing, speech assistance, amplification and captioning. They are designed to make the telephone easier to use, by making it easier hear, easier to dial and easier to call. They are used by people with seeing, speaking and moving problems as well as people with a hearing loss.

The telephones are provided to all those that need them free of charge under the State of California's Public Utilities Commission Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program.This is a great opportunity to learn about what is currently available to all qualified residents of California through this State funded program. These machines can dramatically improve your communication and help you stay connected to your family members, friends, business partners and everyday contacts. Please plan to join us on April 21st. at 10.00 am in the Davis Senior Center located at 646 A street, Davis. All meetings of Hear! Here! are open to all and everyone is welcome.

P.S. Did you know that the Advisory Board of Hear! Here! is always looking for speakers that can provide informative and interesting data to the general public on all topics dealing with hearing loss. If you would like to be a presenter or have a suggestion please speak to one of us at the meeting or e-mail us at: hearherewoodland@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cochlear Implants for Children and Adults

For those of you that use the Internet and are familiar with Webinars the Hearing Loss Association of America [HLAA] offers a series of Free Webinars. This month's topic is "Cochlear Implants for Children and Adults". It will be presented on Thursday March 24th. at 7pm EDT [4pm our time].
For those of us not into Webinars a transcript of the program will be available. For more information go to the HLAA's website at: http://www.hearingloss.org/.

Don't forget to check out our technology corner for updates...such as "An easy way to find captioned titles on Netflix".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Going to Court? Inform the Court before you Go!"

Windy and Rainy as it was on Thursday Febuary 17th, Kara Clarkson and Julie Burton from Yolo County Superior Court came to the Davis Senior Center and talked to us about the services the courts offer to the hard of hearing. While, California Rules of Court, rule 1.100(g) requires that the court accommodates people with disabilities; Kara, the Interpreter Services Coordinator, emphasised that Yolo County Superior Court staff were dedicated to ensuring that qualified persons with disabilities, such as a hearing impediment, be provided with equal and full access to the courts. "This is a fundamental right." stated Kara at the beginning of her talk. "Let us know what you need so we can accommodate you to the best of our abilities."
Using a microphone system similar to the LISTEN system that the courts use for Assisted Listening, everyone in the room was able to hear Kara loud and clear as she proceeded to describe the three different accommodations currently available to the hearing impaired. They are:
ASSISTED LISTENING DEVICES work with the microphones that are situated in the courtrooms at the judge's, attorney's and clerk's desks. The sound is transmitted to a handheld device which the hearing impaired person is given. Each courtroom, including small claims, traffic and family court, have about four of these devices and they can simply be requested from the bailiff at the time you attend court.

REAL TIME TRANSCRIPTION is provided by a court reporter who types what is being said into a computer, where a program then displays the words onto a small screen which the hearing impaired person has in front of them. It takes quite some skill to be able to type, accurately, as fast as a person can talk and so this service has to be requested ahead of time. The service is normally available for Jury service or if the hearing impaired person is either a Defendant or a Plaintiff. Clare Childers, Hear Here's Coordinator spoke very highly of this service which she has actually used. At the moment there are only two court reporters who provide real time transcription and so both Kara and Julie mentioned how, in order to avoid scheduling problems, it was critical that this service be arranged for ahead of time. The form needed to request the accommodation is available at the courthouse or at their website: http://www.yolo.courts.ca.gov/.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE interpreters are also available when requested ahead of time using the same form.

At the moment English is the only language available for all three of the systems. Julie, the ADA coordinator for the Superior Court, mentioned that the courts have not been asked for accommodation in any other language. However, if this situation was to come up, the court staff would do their best to find a translator.

During the question and answer session the new Yolo County Superior Courthouse was mentioned and Julie noted that she hoped that the system for providing Assisted Listening might be a more up-todate version than the courts currently have. Clare Childers told Julie and Kara that input from the hearing impaired during the design and construction period is very important and she hopes that will occur. Julie promised to pass that on.

The importance of the hearing impaired speaking up in situations like this can not be overestimated. We need to let the people charged with providing us service know what works and does not work...it benefits all of society to have clear, effective communication available to all and there is no more important setting for this need than in a courtroom.

Both Kara and Julie showed their commitment to providing the people of Yolo County with excellent service by stating that if anyone is not sure how to go about requesting accommodations, or have issues with how their request is being handled, then they should feel free to contact either one of them directly. Their contact information can be found below.

Kara Walker Clarkson
Interpreter Services Coordinator
(530) 406-6708

Julie Ann Burton
Court Operations Supervisor
Court Services
(530) 406-6707

For anyone interested in further reading on this subject go to:
http://hlaa.convio.net/site/R?i=ELbJxXM3xUFTB2j0N6OzJA..for a very interesting article from the Hearing Loss Association of America

Saturday, February 12, 2011

General Meeting Topic "How to Buy Hearing Aids The Right Way" very informative!

Tom Mentkowski's talk on "How to Buy Hearing Aids The Right Way" was very instructive. Tom broke the information down into four parts which he called "The Four Esssential Ingredients for a Successful Hearing Aid Fitting" They were:
The need to be a motivated and informed patient
The need to purchase the right technology
The need to find a competent and caring hearing provider
The need for a supportive family.

The part I personally found of most interest was FINDING THE RIGHT HEARING AID PROVIDER as Tom addressed issues that I would never have thought of. He recommended that you visit two to three different providers before making a decision on who to choose as your provider. He also said "DO NOT BRING YOUR WALLET OR CHECK BOOK" to this first visit; you are not there to buy anything, you are there to determine if this is the right place for you. He also strongly suggested that you bring along your significant other to these first visits as use of a hearing aid is designed to help you in communicating effectively with other people and the person most affected by your loss of hearing is your spouse and family. In order to determine which of the providers might work the best for you he suggested that you ask yourself these questions:
  • Were you given a hearing screening or full exam?
  • Were you given a full explanation of all the tests that were done?
  • Were you told what type of hearing loss you have and why you sometimes can "hear" but not "understand"?
  • Were you told what a hearing aid can and cannot do for you?
  • Were you asked about the effect of your hearing loss on your daily life at home, at work, in school etc?
  • Was your "significant other" given an opportunity to express the effect of your loss of hearing on them and your other loved ones?
After the meeting I feel far more confident about what I need to know and ask when purchasing a hearing aid.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Hear! Here! wishes to thank the Kiwanis Club of Woodland, the Lions Clubs of Yolo County and the Woodland Healthcare Community Board for their generous donations towards the cost of the preschool hearing tests that we are in the process of scheduling.

Hear! Here! has no source of funding other than what it can raise itself and so without this community support our organization would not be able to provide this much needed service. Started in 2005 with a small donation and one volunteer, it is wonderful to see the  program expand each year and the donations increase. Last year was the first time we were able to schedule testing in Davis and this year, thanks in large part to the very generous donation from the Lions Clubs, we are able to include all the preschools in both Winters and Esparto as well as many in Davis and as always Woodland. The van that does the testing has been contracted to visit Esparto, Winters and Woodland in late April. The Davis schedule and contract should soon be complete.

With support like this, our dream, that one day all the preschool children living in Yolo County are tested to ensure that they can hear well enough to understand their teacher, follow instructions, and interact with other children does not seem so unattainable!

Once again a big "thank you" to these great sponsors of the program.

Friday, January 14, 2011


In early December, the Lions Clubs of Woodland, Esparto and Winters held a raffle to raise money to help fund the hearing tests of preschool children that Hear! Here! organizes each year. The raffle raised just over $2900.00 and we were asked to use these funds to focus on the smaller communities of Winters, Madison, and Esparto. The Lions Clubs have ensured that children in these outlying areas will receive early screening for hearing loss. It is so important to catch any hearing impairment as early as possible so that children do not fall behind in their schooling. Thanks to all the Lions members who helped run the raffle and to those who purchased tickets.

This last week members of the board contacted the preschools in Winters and Esparto, all of whom are very interested in the screening, as well as a preschool in Woodland and also some Davis schools. Over the next two weeks the process of working out the possible scheduling of the tests will take place. Once the Center for Hearing Health of Auburn, CA confirms their routes the schools will be notified.  Testing will happen sometime in the late spring.