Sometimes we never really know the full impact of presenting a training session on assistive technology. A few years ago, through MATP’s contract with the Hearing Loss Association of Michigan’s Hearing Technology Resources Specialist Program, a training session on Hearing Assistive Technology was held in a really small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as far north as you can go without swimming to Canada.
It was a great presentation with a lot of hands on opportunities with the various devices and time for individual questions. We had some concerns about doing a training session in such a small, remote area, but turn-out was great. People had really good questions and really gave great feedback. Since I just happen to know the town and people well, I had the opportunity to get feedback well after the session.
Several people scheduled audiology appointments after attending the training. Because they were such well-informed consumers, they now knew to ask about T-Coils so additional technology beyond hearing aids could be used. (See Diagnosing Hearing Loss and Consumer Checklist for Purchasing a Hearing Aid – PDF )
People still tell me, years later, how much the training session helped them. More than one couple told me that the training had “saved their marriage” with the reduction of stress from miscommunication.
Another spin off from the session and the “buzz” it generated was a decision by people in town to earmark that year’s fundraiser, a bake sale during a large event in town, for the purchase of technology to install a hearing loop the township hall. Several citizens were having trouble participating in events such as the township meetings due to difficulty hearing. The township offices now have a hearing loop. Not only can people hear at meetings now, they can drop in and ask questions or chat with the township staff.
So we don’t always hear about the full impact of the training sessions on assistive technology, but can hope our efforts do have impact improving people’s lives and increasing inclusion our communities!
Do you use hearing assistive technology? Have you been in an area that was looped? Let us know!Tweet