HLAA 2017 Convention – Day 3

The Research Symposium

It’s the second day of the convention, well, actually the third day for me but it doesn’t feel like it.

(our very own Tim Browning chronicles his continuing journey at the HLAA 2017 Convention. Here’s his recap for day 2 of the Convention.)

After a good morning workout so I can eat more pancakes for breakfast, I’m smart this time and take the free train ride over to the convention center to join some other chapter members for the research symposium. The focus of the symposium is the emerging and merging hearing aids and cochlear implants technologies. Many experts from various disciplines discussed topics ranging from combining the benefits of CI’s and HA’s, gaining greater access for hearing care to more individuals and projecting the future of hearing technologies and advances. The future looks exciting and great to see so much activity and focus in these various areas.

It’s a 3 hour session ending at noon so with so much information to digest and likely forget, I head out for a quick bite with Kat and Lisa before venturing over to the “Wireless Hearing Assistive Technologies” session by Perry C. Hanavan, Audiologist from Augustana University. I find this session very interesting with unfortunately not enough time to cover everything. Some interesting trends toward the future includes:

  • TeleHearing – Using broadband coverage, your audiologist will be able to adjust and update your hearing aid settings anywhere you are located.
  • Survey of audiologists of what excites them the most – The ability of smartphones to connect to your hearing aid with more and more advanced and strategic features.
  • WiTricity – The ability to power our things without plugging anything in via magnetic signals set throughout various locations (e.g., a room or enclosed area). Now, if they could just find a way to power me first thing in the morning…!

Chapter Development Meeting

Right after that, I head over session #2 – “The World of Diversity and Inclusion for Our Chapters” by Lois Johnson, Director of the HLAA Texas State office. I find the session covers a broad spectrum of topics but the general overall theme is to remember that diversity isn’t just race, it’s all the various background people may have. Including social, financial and educational. We also need to embrace our veterans and outreach to various organizations such as churches, schools, vet hospitals and disability focused with business cards or simple brochures about the chapter ready at hand. It’s at this point when I realized it would have been nice to have business cards handy with me but it’s a short-lived thought as I need to run over to the last session for the day.

This session is “The Speech Signal, Hearing Loss, and Clear Speech” by Sarah Hargus Ferguson, Ph.D. for Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders University of Utah. This interest session focused on the communication process and how it’s not just how loud we hear, it’s how understandable what we hear is. How well the listener hears the talker starts with the message being spoken -> the nature of the talker’s voice -> the listener (how alert, focused are you) -> the communication environment. There’s much more presented but at least now I know why I don’t understand myself!

Pretty tired by this point so I head back to my Little America room to rest for a spell. The Awards Ceremony and Talent Show is scheduled for the evening but I decide to hear more about the festivities later and enjoy a bit of what Salt Lake City has to offer. I join other chapter members for dinner out at a good Cajun restaurant call the Bayou near our hotels. Unfortunately, it got noisy so while we were all conversing, some of us might have been guilty of nodding and laughing not entirely sure why. I might be a little guilty myself.

It’s been a full day so most of us head back to our rooms to pass out. I join Kat and Lisa for more calories at a gelato place to catch up and talk. It’s a good time and nice weather so we really couldn’t ask for more. But finally the night ends in anticipation of a full day planned for tomorrow.