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Welcome to I Listen... / À L'écoute...

Welcome to the NEW I Listen!  We incorporated your feedback from the membership survey to make this newsletter what you want to read! Expect to see the NEW issue of I Listen delivered to your inbox, Bi-Weekly on Wednesdays! The stories are of interest to Canadians with hearing loss. The information is drawn from news media across Canada and around the world, and chosen to raise awareness of communication strategies that assist hard of hearing people in their daily lives. CHHA is the national voice for Canadians with hearing loss, and is a non-profit consumer organization.

Bienvenue à À l'écoute, un bi-hebdomadaire électronique qui vous informe sur les produits, services et événements d'intérêt pour les Canadiens ayant une déficience auditive. L'information est tirée de diverses sources de partout au Canada et dans le monde entier. Notre objectif est de sensibiliser les malentendants et de leur permettre de choisir des stratégies de communication qui les aident dans leur vie quotidienne. L'AMEC est la voix nationale des Canadiens ayant une déficience auditive. Nous sommes un organisme sans but lucratif.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY ISSUE!                                                      December 28 | Issue # 8
Message from your Executive Director
Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

Bringing in a New Year creates an opportunity to reflect on the past year.

For CHHA National, this has been a transitional year with many changes, challenges and excitements.
We welcomed seven new board members, with only the President, Lorin MacDonald returning from the previous board.   I joined CHHA as the new Executive Director in mid-February, filling a vacancy of nearly nine months. The first task at hand was to develop the Leadership in Action Workshop that generated much enthusiasm and support from Chapter and Branch Leaders. Once back at the office, it became apparent that many operational upgrades were required to modernize CHHA National. These have been ongoing.

Later, the departure of the Fundraising Officer in April, created an opportunity to bring a talented and enthusiastic Events and Communications Coordinator to CHHA National. Chantal Coleman has taken the lead on organizing the ‘Hear by the Sea’ Conference, held in Sidney, BC (just outside of Victoria) in May. Chantal also prepares the newsworthy  I Listen newsletter that is jam-packed with interesting stories about CHHA National, Chapters and Branches and is distributed across Canada.

In November, we hired a new Project Manager, Christianne Scholfield, to roll out the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project. This project positions CHHA National as a leader among 18 other partner organizations with a focus on establishing consultations for our stakeholders on issues impacted by federal accessibility legislation. The resulting report will offer the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister for Sports and Persons with Disabilities, with findings from our communities and recommendations on how to improve accessibility across Canada.

Not everything has changed at CHHA National. Karla Wilson, Manager Administration has retained a steady hand in operations for over 22 years. Alena Wickware, Project Manager, Broadcast Accessibility Fund (BAF) has implemented the successful National Speechreading Program over a 3-year period and continues to work on the BAF deliverables.

We wish all of you a very Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you again next year.

Glenn Martin, National Executive Director
Karla Wilson, Manager, Administration
Chantal Coleman, Events & Communications Coordinator
Alena Wickware, Project Manager, Broadcast Accessibility Fund
Christianne Scholfield, Project Manager, Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities

                                               - Glenn Martin, National Executive Director
Youth, Veterans and Seniors facing barriers in times of change

OTTAWA, ON (December 15, 2016) — Despite the growing number of Canadians challenged with an invisible disability, whether that be with hearing loss, mental health or a learning disability, they have few places or resources to turn to when faced with their new life experiences. This project has been funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program - Disability component, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is spearheading the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project to conduct consultations and forums to give those with invisible disabilities a voice and an opportunity to contribute to Canada’s planned accessibility legislation.

As the country turns its attention to accessibility for all Canadians, this project is a reminder that change can only be achieved by placing attention to emerging issues on what those with invisible disabilities need to learn, work and live, especially when navigating through periods of transition. The question is how do we best accommodate their needs and provide equal access for all?

CHHA will be leading a national consultation process with the help of 18 Canadian disability organizations who represent the interests of over 9 million individuals who are relying on these consultations to change legislation to improve accessibility and inclusion of Canadians with Disabilities.

Welcome to Levi Janosi, New President of CHHA-Hamilton Branch
Levi Janosi joined the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Hamilton Branch to mainly to learn about his hearing loss and to find out what can be done about it.  What he quickly found out was that hearing loss is the largest invisible disability among us.  He had to join the dedicated team of volunteers, learn about my illness and help pass on the knowledge through CHHA-HAMILTON.  Now Levi is the new President of the CHHA-Hamilton Branch.  To learn more about Levi Janosi, please click to read more!

Les jeunes, les anciens combattants et les aînés doivent surmonter des obstacles pendant les périodes de changement

OTTAWA (ONTARIO), le 16 décembre 2016 — Malgré le nombre croissant de Canadiens ayant une déficience invisible, qu’il s’agisse d’une déficience auditive, d’un trouble de santé mentale ou d’un trouble d’apprentissage, peu d’endroits ou de ressources sont mis à leur disposition pour les aider à s’adapter à de nouvelles situations de la vie quotidienne. Soutenue financièrement par le ministère de l’Emploi et du Développement social, l’Association des malentendants canadiens (AMEC) dirige le projet Pleins feux sur les déficiences invisibles, qui consiste à tenir des consultations et des forums permettant aux personnes ayant une déficience invisible de faire connaître leur avis et de contribuer à la future loi fédérale sur l’accessibilité.

Bien que le pays souhaite garantir le principe d’accessibilité à tous les Canadiens, le projet rappelle que tout changement passe obligatoirement par la prise en compte de nouvelles questions, à savoir le besoin des personnes ayant une déficience invisible d’apprendre, de travailler et d’évoluer dans la société, en particulier pendant les périodes de transition. Comment peut-on répondre le mieux possible à leurs besoins et comment fournir un accès égal à tous ?

L’AMEC dirigera un processus national de consultations avec l’aide de 18 organismes canadiens qui représentent les intérêts de plus de neuf millions de personnes ayant une déficience. Ces personnes comptent sur ces consultations pour modifier la législation et améliorer l’accessibilité et l’inclusion.
Last chance to get your 2016 Tax Receipt for your donation!
CHHA National

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association receives part of its funding from the general public - people like you. Your gift makes a difference in the lives of Canadians with hearing loss. Make a donation now! It is your last chance to  get your 2016 Tax Receipt for your donation.
Call for Proposals to Co-Host the 2018 CHHA Conference
CHHA National

Attention CHHA Chapters and Branches! CHHA National is seeking Chapter or Branch support to CO-HOST the 2018 CHHA Conference!

Call for Proposals to CO-HOST 2018 CHHA Conference

Attention CHHA Chapters and Branches! CHHA National is seeking Chapter or Branch support to CO-HOST the 2018 CHHA Conference!

Duties of CO-HOSTING Chapter and Branch are as follows:
  • Host city for the 2018 CHHA Conference
  • Applying for local (provincial and municipal) funding
  • Seeking local sponsorships or exhibitors
  • Assist with planning social evening or social activities
  • Invite local politicians and celebrities to attend conference
  • Gain more conference registrations by encouraging your local Chapter or Branch members to attend the conference as well as local community members
  • Recruiting local volunteers
Please provide the following information:
1. Why would your Chapter or Branch be the best fit to CO-HOST the 2018 CHHA Conference?
2. Event Details:
  • Does your city have a conference venue?
  • Does your city have a lot of hotels?
  • Proximity to airport?
  • Does your city have tourist attractions?
3. Chapter/Branch Information:
Number of Members:
Main Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Contact Phone Number:

Please submit proposals to Chantal Coleman, Events and Communications Coordinator, no later than December 31, 2016! Thank you in advance.


Advocacy Submissions
If you have any advocacy stories that would be of interest to CHHA members, please email with the details.
Tips to protect your hearing this winter
Healthy Hearing
We may be enjoying the halcyon days of fall, but make no mistake: for a good part of the country, harsh winter weather is on its way, and with it comes danger to your hearing. Here are some tips to protect your hearing and hearing aids this winter.
Bling up my hearing aids please!
Jennifer Gibson Blog

Everyone knows that hearing aids tend to look rather dull, after all, they are medical devices. While some companies provide a variety of colours, particularly for the kids, the majority offer a limited range, namely hair and skin tones. That’s fine for people who want to be discreet about their hearing loss. But what about the rest of us who have been wearing them for more than 20 or 30 years? We get bored, really quickly. Like myself, I discovered that it’s much more proactive to wear noticeable hearing aids to avoid awkward situations. Believe me, it’s not fun to have one person constantly repeat their sentences while the other keeps saying “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.” Eventually one of us walks away feeling extremely frustrated or in tears and that’s not fun at all. 

While I was college, brightly coloured hearing aids became available. I was beyond thrilled and immediately started wearing them. They became a big hit. I was suddenly popular for a good reason, my classmates and teachers wanted to learn more about hearing loss. That was a light bulb moment for me, it dawned on me that I should be using this opportunity to educate people about hearing aids. It was such a positive outcome that I continued to wear different colours every few years for a little bit of variety. It gave me such a great boost in my confidence, I was not as shy whenever someone approached me and started asking about my hearing aids. I found a great purpose in my life and became increasingly busy as a public speaker. 

Register for 2017 CHHA Conference "Hear by the Sea" by December 31, 2016 and enter to win a Sennheiser Headset!
CHHA National
The scenic town of Sidney by the Sea (just outside of Victoria) in British Columbia will host CHHA members during the 2017 CHHA Conference “Hear by the Sea”. It will be held from May 25-27, 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

You can look forward to a Trade Fair, Keynote Speaker-Dr. Marshall Chasin, Plenary Speaker-Dr. Douglas Beck, Workshops, AGM, Town Hall, Banquet Dinner and special post-banquet performance of "I'm Hearing as Hard as I Can!", A Show about Living with Hearing Loss by Gael Hannan with musical guests.

All events will take place at the Mary Winspear Centre, with CHHA member-friendly priced hotels just moments away. Register now and take advantage of the early bird rates!

** Register before December 31, 2016 and be entered to win a Sennheiser Headset! **
Website Feedback Survey
CHHA National

CHHA National is planning the refresh of our website and we would appreciate your opinion.  Please complete the following survey to assist us with creating a website that will offer a positive user experience.

Survey Deadline: January 3, 2017

Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project - Online Survey

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) and its 18 Spotlight Partners are seeking to consult and engage invisible disability stakeholders in Canada to provide information contributing to the development of federal accessibility legislation. The consultations will review current challenges and explore ways legislation can create an environment to provide all Canadians the resources to thrive as full participants in Canadian society.

CHHA and its partners will be conducting consultation sessions, a series of live webinars and providing an online survey to their members to capture over 400,000 responses that will contribute to a report to be submitted to the Government of Canada in early 2017.   The project’s goal is to identify and examine ways legislation can present opportunities to provide the support Canadians with invisible disabilities need to thrive in times of transition, in particular, for:

     (1) youth as they transition from high school to university and university to the workplace;
     (2) veterans as they transition from service to civilian life; and
     (3) seniors as they transition out of the workforce and into retirement and healthy aging.

You can get information about this survey by going to our website at

Survey Deadline: February 15, 2017!



CHHA BC - eLoop Newsletter - December
CHHA BC Chapter

Check out CHHA BC eLoop- December newsletter to see what they have been up to!
CHHA Edmonton Overheard Newsletter - Winter 2016
CHHA Edmonton Branch

Check out CHHA Edmonton Overheard-Winter 2016 newsletter to see what they have been up to!
If you would like to see your Chapter or Branch newsletter featured in I Listen, send a copy of your latest newsletter to

CHHA Events

CHHA Manitoba Events
CHHA Manitoba
General Meeting on January 12, 2017

Coping with your Hearing Loss presentation on January 6

Coping with your Hearing Loss presentation on January 10        
Call for Event Submissions
If you would like to see your Branch or Chapters Meetings/Events listed here, please email with the event details!
Help Us to Hear the Words of Faith
Hearing Health Matters

Note from editor Gael Hannan: Mary Dyer, my guest writer this week, lost her hearing – and then realized how people like her were being sidelined in congregations of faith. She set out to do something about it. This blog is adapted with permission from her article in ‘Sojourners’, “Please Hear Those of Us Who Can’t”.

Is your congregation of faith prepared to help those with hearing loss?

I am always saddened but never surprised that there is generally no mention of the largest group of people excluded every week most congregations of faith: those with hearing loss.

I have always considered myself “progressive,” ready to take up the cause of those in society that needed advocacy. While I was a pastor of a church, I worked toward making our building wheelchair-accessible, dreaming of the day when we could hire an ASL signer at least once a month. In my naivety, I believed that hearing loss could be countered by a hearing instrument, allowing the user to have comprehension close to that of a person with “normal” hearing.

That misguided belief was tested eight years ago when, at 63, I became deaf after knee surgery. It was seven months before I received a cochlear implant, but soon discovered it was inadequate for situations I would encounter daily: meetings, restaurants, movies and — most ironically, as a Christian minister — churches.

The price of listening and hearing fatigue
The Daily Republic

"Bells are ringing, children are singing, the paper is loud and crinkling, dishes and silverware are rattling, people are chattering — oh the season of sounds are in abundance," Mary said. "Sometimes I just would like a few moments of silence or quiet. You know peace from all the noise. I get so tired of listening and hearing the noises. Is there something wrong with that?"
"Not at all," I said to her. "It is actually called listening or hearing fatigue."

I have been told by patients that they prefer to wear their glasses to hear me better thus getting the visual cues to help facilitate speech understanding. Sometimes the fatigue effects of listening to speech through speech reading and managing the information cognitively can be a challenge.

Industry Event Submissions
If you come across an industry event that would be of interest to members of CHHA, please submit link, photos and information to . Thank you in advance for your submissions!
Want to be featured in I Listen?
Send your Branch and/or Chapter Stories, Newsletter, Event Photos, etc... to

We want to hear from you!
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Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
2415 Holly Lane, Suite 205
Ottawa, Ontario K1V 7P2

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CHHA National · 2415 Holly Lane · Suite 205 · Ottawa, On K1V 7P2 · Canada

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