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Victoria Branch


Tel: 250 - 388-6854 Email:
Office Hours: 10am-2pm, Monday-Wednesday, Thursday 10am-4pm

FALL 2010
Board of directors for 2009/2010 CHHA-Victoria Branch
President: John Close Vice President: Peter Bourne Secretary: Anna O’Brien
Treasurer: Ivan Crossett
Members at large: Kathleen Farley, Arlene Staniul, Dianne Hemeon, Audrey Sowerby
Past President: Hugh Mitchell

Hello Everyone,

The last few months at CHHA have been ones of more

uncertainty than usual with the restructuring of Provincial Government
funding. Instead of April, which traditionally has been the month to
receive funding, it was delayed until August. However, through the
determination of a Board member, Audrey Sowerby, we were granted
interim funding which helped us through those few months. Also, we
have received a rent increase on top of the HST. With that in mind, we
did look at new office premises but the Executive decided that we
would stay where we are until Spring, 2011. So, if you haven’t kept up
your annual dues, please do so.

We’ve had a productive year both in and out of the office and could not have done it
without our wonderful volunteers. Just to mention a very few of the highlights:
presentations made to the Municipal Retirees Pensioners Association and to the residents of
Sitkum Lodge (this was a Silver Threads Service (VIHA sponsored program); welcomed

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speakers in from the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and from MED-EL,
Canada and we participated in the Men’s Health Day at Mayfair Mall.

This is an election year and there are a couple of vacancies for the positions of
members-at-large to be filled on our Board of Directors. I invite you to attend our Annual
General Meeting to be held Saturday, December 4 at 11:00 at the Traveller’s Inn, City
Centre. The AGM will be followed by our Christmas luncheon with entertainment provided
by the King of Magicians. I look forward to seeing everyone!

John Close,

Thank You to our Following Sponsors…

Thank you to the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund for their continued



Many thanks go to the law firm of ROBERT J. KLASSEN, Family Law, who
generously provided CHHA with free legal services. Their address is 418 – 645
Fort Street, Victoria BC.; 250-388-4344. Website:

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BC Ferries and Self Disclosure
I am a member of the BC Ferries should we go through life frustrated
Accessibility Committee. This when we are speaking to people, when
committee studies issues related to self disclosure would do wonders in
persons with all types of disabilities and improving the communication
their experience travelling on the ferries. experience?

At a recent meeting we were discussing One additional problem is that most

hard of hearing persons and their people do not know what to do
experiences at the toll booth, for those in differently for the Hard of Hearing
vehicles, and at the ticket counter, for person. That means they need to be told
walk on passengers. what you need them to do. And that is
BC ferries is incorporating easy to do. The next time you drive up to
communicating with Hard of Hearing the toll booth, try saying this: "Hi. I'm
persons into their training modules. hard of hearing. I need you to look at me
However, no matter how well trained an and move a little closer when you speak
employee may be, if they are not aware so that I can hear you." I have done this.
that the person needs special attention, It is easy. It works.
then the training is of no use.
Another way to self declare is to have a
This brings me to the issue of self card with the universal HOH ear so that
disclosure. This is something that I have the agent will know they will be dealing
found many people do not like to do. I with the hard of hwring person. If they
do not intend to analyze the reasons for have had the proper training they will
this. I do feel that self disclosure is an look at you when they speak and perhaps
extremely effective way to reduce a speak a little slower than they normally
great deal of frustration in the lives of do.
Hard of Hearing persons.
We have been told that in future
What is self disclosure? It is simply upgrades of the terminals, better
letting someone know that you have visibility of the display unit encountered
trouble hearing. If someone is in a by walk on passengers will be taken into
wheelchair, they are automatically consideration. Until then, it will still be
disclosing that they will need some difficult to see the readout in certain
assistance. If someone has a white cane, lighting situations. Once again, self
they are also disclosing that they have disclosure, along with a request that the
trouble seeing. Unfortunately, by agent look directly at you when they are
looking at people that are Hard of speaking, will make communication
Hearing, there is no indication that they much improved.
are having trouble hearing. So why

Yours truly,
Hugh Mitchell
Past President CHHA – Victoria Branch .

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In July 2010, we welcomed Catherine middle ear structures for exceptional

Creaser, Audiologist, a representative of high frequency sound perception.
MED – EL Canada who explained a
relatively new device for the hearing Today, the Vibrant Soundbridge is the
impaired, the Vibrant Soundbridge. choice of individuals who cannot use
Cathy is the Canadian Specialist on the conventional hearing aids or who are
middle ear transplant system and works unsatisfied with them and do not achieve
out of Halifax, N.S. sufficient benefit. Also, patients who
cannot use conventional hearing aids
MED – EL (Medical Electronics) was because of medical reasons, such as
founded by a husband and wife team in having had multiple middle ear
1989 in Innsbruck, Austria where the surgeries, or missing middle ear bones,
headquarters are today. It is a 100% can benefit from this system.
privately owned company and employs
more than 850 people worldwide. The The Vibrant Soundbridge differs from a
Company is better known for their Cochlear Implant. To be a candidate for
Cochlear Implant system than for their a Cochlear Implant, patients must have a
middle ear implant system. severe to profound sensorineural hearing
Unfortunately, the Vibrant Soundbridge loss in both ears and receive no benefit
is not currently available for from hearing aids. A cochlear implant
implantation in BC but is available in a talks to the hearing nerve directly with
number of other Provinces in Canada. If an electrode array which sits on the
you contact Cathy at hearing nerve and stimulates it she will let electrically to send the sound message to
you know the closest centre to you. She the brain, bypassing the damaged hair
encouraged us to speak to our Doctors cells.
about it, as the Audiologists do not have
much power. The Vibrant Soundbridge attaches onto
the existing middle ear bones, or sits at
Hearing implants, such as the Vibrant the entrance to the cochlea. This system
Soundbridge, may be able to improve increases the natural vibration of the
quality of life for you or someone you bones, amplifying the sound signal and
care about. The Vibrant Soundbridge stimulates the existing hair cells by
was created in 1996 to be an implantable moving the fluid in the cochlea
alternative to hearing aids. Unlike a naturally.
hearing aid which only makes sounds
louder, the Vibrant Soundbridge The technology of the Vibrant
converts sounds from the environment Soundbridge bypasses the outer ear in
into mechanical vibrations. This order to directly stimulate middle ear
mechanical energy is used to stimulate

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structures. The system consists of an Many patients report that they are able to
internal and an external component. hear softer, high frequency sounds, such
as children's voices. The transmission of
INTERNAL high amplification in the high pitches is
Implant particularly relevant for playing or
The implant is placed underneath the listening to music.
skin and contains a magnet to hold the
audio processor over the implant. The Patients rate wearing comfort with the
main part of the implant is the Floating Soundbridge as "very high". The unique
Mass Transducer (FMT). design of the Vibrant
Soundbridge allows the audio
EXTERNAL processor to be worn discreetly and
Audio processor comfortably.
The audio processor is attached to the
patient’s head with a magnet and can be The ear canal remains open, reducing or
worn discreetly underneath the hair. The even eliminating problems associated
audio processor supplies the power for with an obstructed ear canal (occlusion).
the implant system. It consists of the Additionally, the Vibrant Soundbridge is
battery, a microphone and electronics easy to operate. Once the audio
responsible for digital signal processing. processor is placed on the head and
fitted, no further adjustments are
The Vibrant Soundbridge Middle Ear required.This appears to be a very
Implant System directly causes the exciting development for a number of
middle ear structures to vibrate. hard of hearing individuals. Med-El is
Vibration mimics the action produced by actively educating the medical
sound waves moving through the ear profession in the province about this
canal. This “direct drive” stimulation development. If you feel that you or
enables excellent sound quality without someone you know might be able to
blocking the ear canal. benefit from the technology, be sure to
discuss with your hearing care providers.
The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If there is sufficient need (and we make
There is very little shaving and the enough noise), then this technology may
incision is very small. come to BC.

Users of this system report a significant

The only negatives about the Vibrant
improvement in clarity of speech and Soundbridge is that it is not currently
overall sound quality, including their covered by the government and also the
own voice. Sound quality is generally system does not yet have a telecoil or
described as "natural". Hearing in FM compatibility.
challenging listening environments,
particularly with background noise is More information can be obtained from
also very successful. Conversations in the Med-El web site
restaurants, in groups, within the family, and click on implant solutions.
and in public places can be enjoyed
once again.

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IN MEMORIAM – DARROW EMMERSON, long standing member deceased June 26, 2010



Having trouble hearing the television? We invite you to come into the office to see if the Sennheiser
Cordless TV Listening System could help you. You are welcome to borrow it for a couple of weeks. It’s
never been used and, of course, comes with an instruction manual. Thanks to all of you who have helped and
continue to help with our Thrifty Foods fundraising which makes this service possible. We also have two
Pocketalkers to lend.


This valuable fundraising program continues with Thrifty Foods. With our first fundraising monies we were
able to purchase two Pocketalkers, the Sennheiser Cordless TV Listening device (mentioned above), the
Geemarc Ampli500 telephone and bring in a speaker from the Western Institute For The Deaf and Hard of
Hearing to speak on the latest hearing technologies. This time we are saving for a laptop with PowerPoint
capabilities for our speaking engagements. Unfortunately, we were not approved for the funds to go towards
bringing in speakers. The card that you have been using is still valid. There are a few Thrifty Smile Cards left
if you’d like me to mail you one.

Speech Reading – The monthly practice course continues on the 4th Tuesday of the month from 1:00 – 2:20
pm. There will not be a class in December.
The Mah Jong group play each Thursday from 1:00 – approx. 3:00 in the office and welcome new players
either experienced or never having played.
The Book Club will resume in November.

☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺
One of our members, Barbara Longworth, brought to our attention that you can see the CFAX (1070 AM) news.
That seemed strange. How can you see the words coming over the radio? If you tune your TV into A Channel
(Channel 12) from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday to Friday, and turn on the TV captioning, you will see the
radio news captioned.

Thank you A channel for doing this, and thank you, Barbara, for bringing this to our attention.

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Once again it is time for our Annual General Meeting followed by our Christmas
luncheon and entertainment. It will be held Saturday, December 4 from 11:00 to
approximately 2:00. Back by popular demand, we are pleased to welcome (with a
brand new show) Shayne King, The KING of MAGIC. For those of you who are
unfamiliar with Shayne, he is a professional magician whose magical illusions and
comedy will make for a truly entertaining half hour of fun.

Our thanks, to the many volunteers who contributed their time to this newsletter. *The Views expressed in the
articles are those of the authors and are not attributed to the publication of the Canadian Hard of Hearing
Association unless otherwise stated.

The Board would like to remind our members that we do depend on the membership fees to support our Branch.
If there are any lapsed members that have received a renewal notice please bear this in mind. Thank you for
your support.


If you wish to make a contribution or a donation to CHHA –Victoria branch

Please complete and mail the donor slip
…………………………Please cut………………………….

Yes, I want to help CHHA-Victoria

Please accept my donation for the following amount:

[_] Cheque [_] Money Order

[_]Cash (please do not send cash in the mail)



Cheques are payable to: CHHA-Victoria 232-645 Fort Street Victoria, BC V8W 1G2
Donations are tax deductible, and receipts issued. CHHA-Victoria Charitable Number: 1183 3029 RR0001

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