AVA (HLAA Exhibitors) Awarded Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30” Award

Skinner Cheng, Pieter Doevendans and Thibault Duchemin were named by Forbes Magazine as Consumer Technology ”30 under 30” achievers.

Chapter members who have attended the HLAA Convention know them as the Dutch and French inventors of AVA. Many Chapter members have Beta tested their real-time captioning technology to carry on conversations in a noisy restaurant.

Kudos to the guys!

The Fortune article went on to say:
“Berkeley, Calif.-based AVA makes a mobile tool to convert conversations into text for hearing-impaired individuals. The app takes in conversations through a phone’s microphone and works to transcribe that into readable text. CEO Duchemin grew up as the only person that could hear in an all-deaf family and the company originally set out to build smart gloves to translate sign language.

forbes

User research showed that one of the steepest challenges for deaf people is following group conversations. Solving that challenge became the focus of the Transcense technology. The partners’ first idea was to develop a glove that a deaf person could wear to translate sign language to voice. But after spending three months on a prototype, they saw a flaw in the device: the configuration was not robust enough for the speech-to-text element to function well.

They needed to develop a technology that was culturally adapted and very accurate. For over a year, they spoke with more than 300 audiologists, deaf individuals and speech and behavioral design experts to redesign the perfect solution. During this process, they met Skinner Cheng, a University of San Francisco computer science graduate student who is deaf – who brought an even deeper understanding of the communications issues facing this community.

AVA is available as an Android or Apple App for a mobile phone.

As a mobile app, Transcense works in real time from the user’s smartphone and connects all the smartphones in the room. Other participants simply push a single button to join the conversation. “We’ve been able to deliver the world’s fastest captioning experience, usually in under a second,” Duchemin says. “We’re working with the best voice-recognition and transcription systems, and our algorithms leverage the distributed microphone system to know exactly who is speaking.” Depending on variables like background noise, voice pitch and accent, the transcription can reach up to 95 percent accuracy.

On the screen, speakers are color-coded in dialog boxes to illustrate conversational dynamics, and can even show a profile photo, much like a Facebook chat. The system also allows the user to notify others when she wants to speak, and respond with her own voice or a personalized voice on the app. It is presently optimized for six to eight speakers, but can accommodate up to 20”.

loud-and-clear-vinellwalk for hearng large

Our Chapter will be participating in the Walk4Hearing on November 12.
Vinell Lacy will lead our team, the “Dream Team”. The more walkers we have the broader our reach will be in raising awareness for hearing loss. Your participation will help make this a successful walk. If you can’t make it, please contribute.

Participating in an event that raises money for HLAA might touch your life in some way. Think about the ways that hearing loss has impacted you and those around you. The money we raise goes to HLAA both at the national and local levels to fund outreach and awareness programs. Let’s step up to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and make hearing loss an issue of national concern.

The more walkers we have, the broader our reach will be in raising awareness for hearing loss. Your participation will help make this a successful walk. If you can’t make it, please contribute.

Participating in an event that raises money for HLAA might touch your life in some way. Think about the ways that hearing loss has impacted you and those around you. The money we raise goes to HLAA both at the national and local levels to fund outreach and awareness programs.

Let’s step up to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and make hearing loss an issue of national concern.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the Walk4Hearing!
Date:
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Location:
Metropolitan Park
Jacksonville, FL

Dream team link–http://hlaa.convio.net/site/TR?px=1003223&pg=personal&fr_id=2384&et=Ev22WZ3_frwLRmf3LT4Pvw&s_tafId=30634
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
http://hlaa.convio.net/site/TR?team_id=44057&pg=team&fr_id=2384&et=kD9ZMMepkdviB092nTKk5w

HEARING LOSS CONVENTION A HUGE SUCCESS WITH OVER 1200 IN ATTENDANCE

hearingloss conv pic
Some of the HLAA Florida members gathered for lunch and a picture

The September meeting will review the topics covered at the Convention. Here is the The Hearing Journal’s take of the opening session held at the Washington Hilton:

“The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) kicked off its 2016 National Convention in Washington, DC with a plenary session on recent groundbreaking reports issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy (PCAST).
More than 1,200 people attended the convention, which was also a joint event with The International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH). Leading the plenary session was the Academies’ Committee Chairperson Dr. Dan G. Blazer, who gave a comprehensive account of their findings and recommendations on hearing health care affordability and accessibility.

‘Our goal was to say, ‘People who are purchasing services, including purchases for hearing aid, need to know what they’re paying for,’ and that’s the bottom line,’ said Dr. Blazer on the recommendation to unbundle audiologist and hearing aid charges.

‘What we love about this report is that the person with hearing loss is front and center, and it really makes hearing loss a primary health concern – and that’s what we’ve been talking about for a long time,’
‘Our convention goers are people who want to learn about technology. They want to use amplification. They are motivated. They want to stay in the hearing world and they will do anything to help themselves hear well,’ explained Director Kelley. ‘We want to educate everybody and we hope to be able to take the lead in seeing that these recommendations be implemented.’”

HLAA NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 Barbara Kelley is Named Executive Director of the Hearing Loss Association of America

May HLAA news.png

The HLAA Board announced the appointment of Barbara Kelley as the new executive director of HLAA. Dr. Margaret Wallhagen, the chairperson of the Board, commented, “Barbara’s commitment to HLAA is unquestionable. Her 28 years of dedicated service to the organization in various roles is exemplary. She has not only shown great leadership and fortitude in stepping into the acting executive director role this past January but also expresses a vision for the future that exemplifies an understanding of the needs of persons with hearing loss. We have every confidence she will transition smoothly into the official executive director role.”

Hired by Founder Rocky Stone in 1988, Barbara has been a part of the organization’s growth, beginning with editing the first issues of the SHHH Journal until most recently the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. She has also helped manage the office team and worked on many of the HLAA programs.

Barbara said, “It has been my life’s work to contribute to the mission of the organization through a range of activities. I look forward to using my history and knowledge of the organization to ensure that HLAA remains the valued consumer voice for people with hearing loss in both shaping public policy and helping people live well with hearing loss. I’m energized by our members and supporters whose dedication to HLAA is unwavering”.

hlaa national convention
This year’s Convention is in Washington DC and even if you don’t attend the seminars and festivities, come on by.

If you summer in the Northeast (or even nearby Midwest), stop by the Washington Hilton June 23-25 when the Exhibit Hall is open and entry to the Exhibit Hall is FREE. The tech people love to gage market reaction by using this Convention to introduce new hearing assistive products.

Break up the summer with an outing to DC and be amazed. More exhibitors are being added weekly—here is who is signed up at this time:

exhibitors

HLAA-SARASOTA National Convention Scholarship Awarded

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Sarasota/Manatee Chapter awards an HLAA National Convention Scholarship to an individual who demonstrates, in writing, a sincere educational interest in and commitment to sharing the mission of the Hearing Loss Association with others affected by hearing loss.

The scholarship entitles the winner to a registration to the Hearing Loss Association of America convention in Washington D.C. from June 23-26, 2016. The scholarship will also include a room at the convention hotel for three nights.

The Scholarship Committee has selected Patricia (Pat) Lakey as the recipient of our chapter scholarship to the Washington DC convention this year. Pat is employed full time as the Disability Coordinator for State College of Florida and a member of HLAA. If you have stopped by the Farmers Market, the Expo and our Social Hours, you may recognize Pat.

scholarship

 

SUPPORT–HAT (Hearing Assistive Technology)

In the months to come, Listen Up will feature HAT devices. Your reviews and feedback are essential to give support to all Chapter members. If you have tried a new device, send your comments to: jdv.devries8@gmail.com.

A number of members have tried the Roger Pen, an assistive device developed by Phonak—but it works with any hearing device that has a T-coil. It was designed with discretion in mind and features adaptive wireless transmission. It looks like a pen and can be carried in a shirt pocket, placed on a table or held like a microphone to a person you are speaking with. Its range is about 33 feet. The Chapter has one on loan from Phonak and you can sign up to borrow it for a month at any Chapter meeting.

The system includes the pen and a neckloop with chargers. The pen and a neck loop require charging. The pen then connects to the T-coil in your hearing aids or cochlear device and volume can be regulated by the neckloop. The pen also can connect to a phone and the phone can be answered by pressing a button on the pen. Connection to other audio devices is also available.

The cost is over $1200 so a “test drive” is imperative. Phonak’s charts and technical information for “Roger” can be found at http://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/roger-pen-and-roger-clip-12529

hlaa news

HLAA-SARASOTA National Convention Scholarship Award

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Sarasota/Manatee Chapter awards an HLAA National Convention Scholarship to an individual who demonstrates, in writing, a sincere educational interest in and commitment to sharing the mission of the Hearing Loss Association with others affected by hearing loss.

SCHOLARSHIP DESCRIPTION: The scholarship will entitle the winner to a registration to the Hearing Loss Association of America convention in Washington D.C. from June 23-26, 2016. The scholarship will also include a room at the convention hotel for three nights and round trip airfare or automobile travel expense between Florida and Washington. The maximum value of the scholarship is $1,000.00.

ELIGIBILITY: The applicant must be a current and active member in good standing of the Hearing Loss Association of America, Sarasota/Manatee Chapter. This award is for a first-time attendee at a national HLAA convention. Attendees of previous conventions need not apply.

The deadline for receipt by HLAA-Sarasota of the completed application is March 16, 2016. For more information and/or to receive an application, please contact Joan Haber at joanhaber2012@gmail.com

 

 DREAM TEAM #1 AT JACKSONVILLE WALK4HEARING

walk for hearing

The “Sarasota Dream Team” “won” the “Walk4Hearing in Jacksonville in November. Led by JoAnne DeVries and Valerie Stafford-Mallis, the Chapter raised $5,085. Thank you members for your contributions!
walk pic 2

The HLAA goal for the Florida Walk was $30,000 and the Walk raised $21,405.68 overall but contributions are still being accepted. Valerie Stafford-Mallis was the top walker ($4,250) as many of the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter members contributed to her as her employer, ACS Captions, matched the contributions.

A special “thank you” to Phil Hyssong and Mike Cano, owners of ACS Captions for the match.

Phil and Mike said: “Valerie Stafford-Mallis is an elected member and Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). This is a great honor for her and ACS is very proud to support her in her efforts…Mike and I have already made personal donations of $100 each and the race is on.”

dream team 3 pic

The “Dream Team” celebrates the Walk

Here is the link if you wish to add to the Sarasota Dream Team total–

http://hlaa.convio.net/site/TR/Teamraiser/JacksonvilleWalk?team_id=42209&pg=team&fr_id=2300

HLAA WALK4HEARING, JACKSONVILLE, NOV. 7th

walk4 hearing

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing is the largest walk for hearing loss awareness in the country. Every spring and fall thousands of walkers – children and their families, young adults, young at heart, and everyone in between – form teams and walk in their communities to increase public awareness about hearing loss, help eradicate the stigma associated with it and raise funds for programs and services. HLAA depends on generous volunteers to raise funds, generate enthusiasm and awareness at each of the Walk4Hearing sites. To learn more, view the Walk4Hearing movie.

DOUBLE TOUR DONATION FOR HALF THE PRICE

Sounds like something the late Yogi Berra would say but Valerie Stafford-Mallis’ employer is matching her donation total up to $3000. So, just click on: http://hlaa.convio.net/site/TR/Teamraiser/JacksonvilleWalk?team_id=42209&pg=team&fr_id=2300

Then click on Valerie and make your contribution–your contribution will be doubled—
Join Team Raised Joan Haber$300.00 Maria Anderson $100.00 JoAnne DeVries $50.00 Valerie Stafford-Mallis $1,490.00

 

Walk Details

 Date:

 Saturday, November 7, 2015

Location:

Metropolitan Park
1410 Gator Bowl Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL
Directions

Schedule:

 9am – Registration/Check-in
10am – Walk begins
Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)

WALK WITH US—-OR DONATE–
Here is the link to make a donation to members of the Sarasota Dream Team: http://hlaa.convio.net/site/TR/Teamraiser/JacksonvilleWalk?team_id=42209&pg=team&fr_id=2300

Prior to the next state board meeting (August 15), the HLAA State Board is putting on a fashion show and dinner for any HLAA member in the state. Join the many Chapter leaders involved with the State Board and join us at The Villages.

ABOUT THE HLAA-FLORIDA STATE ASSOCIATION

The Hearing Loss Association of America-HLAA-Florida State Association (“HLAA-FL”) exists to work on issues that affect members in the state such as legislation, policies, programs, and communication access, to name a few.

The State Association works closely with the HLAA Chapter Coordinators in the state to support existing chapter leaders and help encourage new chapters to form. The Trustees and Coordinators are Chapter members from all parts of the state. The HLAA-FL members include a number of the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter leaders.

HLAA group photo

HLAA-FL took a break for a picture at the February Meeting

HLAA-FL has bylaws and is incorporated in the state and operates by an elected board of trustees, similar to HLAA National. Each chapter within the state has the opportunity of representation on the board of the state association. Every HLAA member in the state is automatically a state association member. This means your dual HLAA and HLAA-Sarasota/Manatee Chapter membership is also a membership in the HLAA-FL.

HLAA-FL has recently reorganized its State Coordinator responsibilities from two to four State Coordinators due to the extensive geographical distances in Florida.

HLAA-FL is presently engaged in strategic planning to identify its role in assisting Chapters in the future. At its last meeting in Pinellas County, a social was organized to reach out to and further communications with the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) the National Association of Deaf (NAD), the Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc (FTRI), the Florida Academy of Audiology (FAA), the Florida Coordinating Council for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH), the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBell), Sertoma, Cohlear Implant manufacturers.

HLAA-FL maintains a website loaded with resources and information to carry out the mission of education, advocacy and support for Florida’s hard of hearing population. It is http://hla-fl.org/

 

HLAA-FL State Newsletter  –  Hearing Loss? Let’s Connect!

February 2015

March 2015 

HLAA Florida Chapters – Click here!

Glossary – Click here!

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