RehabWire: Volume 4, Number 4, July 2002.

July 2002 saw the second Deaf Way conference bring together Deaf people from around the world. RehabWire for this month highlights NIDRR projects researching deafness and their contributions to the collection of disability and rehabilitation research.

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium.

Reaching Hard of Hearing Workers in the Mainstream: Implications for Consumers and Service Professionals, University of Arkansas/Little Rock (H133G010156) led by Douglas Watson, PhD. Bonnie Gracer, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project investigates the utilization of rehabilitation services by hard of hearing individuals. Additionally, the project studies the existing practices and policies used by VR professionals as they deliver rehabilitation and employment services to hard-of-hearing adults. These professionals can offer valuable insights into their abilities to serve this population.
Find out more at: http://www.uark.edu/depts/rehabres

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, University of Arkansas/Little Rock (H133B010501) led by Douglas Watson, PhD. Richard Johnson, EdD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This program enhances the rehabilitation outcomes of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing who are served by VR and related employment programs. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to improve the capacity of the VR system and related programs to address the career preparation, entry, maintenance, and advancement, as well as the community living needs, of the target population.
Find out more at: http://www.uark.edu/depts/rehabres

Research and Training Center for Persons Who Are Hard of Hearing or Late Deafened, Alliant University Foundation (H133B70016) led by Raymond J. Trybus, PhD. Richard Johnson, EdD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This Center implements a series of projects involving the impact of hearing loss on workplace and personal adjustment issues through collaboration with business, professional, and consumer organizations. Project examples include the identification of factors that have a negative impact on the employment status of people who are hard of hearing or late deafened. Interventions include “rights training” in relation to the ADA and focus on assistive technologies. The project provides workshops for families and employers; establishes support groups for people with cochlear implants; and creates a family life center project: a “one stop shopping” facility where individuals who are hard of hearing or late deafened can obtain a variety of interventions, information, and guidance regarding services and devices.

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Hearing Enhancement, Gallaudet University(H133E010107) led by Matthew H. Bakke, PhD. Richard Johnson, EdD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This RERC develops and evaluates technology to accommodate the needs of people with hearing loss, and disseminates related information in a form that is understandable to consumers, service providers, employers, and community leaders.

Virtual Interview Exercises for Workplace Success (VIEWS) Vcom3D, Inc. (ED-01-Q-0003) led by Daniel Roush. Kristi E. Wilson, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project conducts research to develop a prototype computer software program that provides the opportunity for job seekers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to practice employment interviewing skills. The software presents an accessible virtual interview scenario with interacting characters and the ability to respond to interview questions that are asked frequently. This software not only provides the opportunity to practice interviewing skills independently, it may boost the confidence and intrinsic motivation of the user.

The Influence of Real-Time Frequency Transposition on the Recognition and Understanding of Speech by Adults Who Are Hearing Impaired, Wichita State University (H133G000188) led by Raymond Hull, PhD. Richard Johnson, EdD, Project Officer.
Abstract: The purpose of this project is to compare the influence of real-time frequency transposition hearing aids with that of conventional hearing aids on the recognition and understanding of speech by adults who possess the most common type of hearing loss among adults with hearing impairments: precipitous high frequency sensorineural hearing loss.

Defining Disability: The REHABDATA Thesaurus

In 1998, the Thesaurus entry for DEAF was narrowed to "people who are totally deaf or non-hearing." HEARING IMPAIRMENTS is used for partial deafness. DEAFNESS is used to describe conditions caused total loss of hearing.

Deaf Way II hosted almost 10,000 attendees! Conference information can be found at http://www.deafway.org.


New Research: Selections from REHABDATA

Moore, C. L. (2001) Disparities in job placement outcomes among deaf, late-deafened, and hard-of-hearing consumers. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 44(3), 144-150. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, University of Arkansas. Accession Number: J41722.
Abstract: Study examining disparities between deaf, late-deafened, and hard of hearing vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients in VR closure status, and examining the relationship between these disparities and differences in VR services received. Results indicate that VR clients who were deaf were significantly more likely than those who were late-deafened or hard of hearing to obtain competitive employment.

Levitt, H. (2001) Noise reduction in hearing aids: A review. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 38(1), 111-121. The Lexington School for the Deaf/Center for the Deaf. Accession Number: J41874.
Abstract: Article on the issues involved in reducing background noise in hearing aids, and providing an overview, in non-technical language, of the various approaches to solving the problem. Topics include fixed filters, adaptive filters, reduction of spread-of-masking effects, spatial filtering, adaptive noise cancellation, and knowledge-based reduction.

Moore, C. L. (2001) Racial and ethnic members of under-represented groups with hearing loss and VR services: Explaining the disparity in closure success rates. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 32(1), 15-23. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, University of Arkansas. Accession Number: J41897.
Abstract: Study examining possible explanations for reported differences in rates of successful VR closure by race/ethnicity and Hispanic origin for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Results indicate that African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans who were deaf or hard of hearing had lower rates of successful closure than whites, and Hispanic Americans had lower rates of successful closure than non-Hispanics.

Mithal, M., Mann, W. C., Stone, J. H. (2001) Functional limitation and disability associated with congestive heart failure. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 18(3), 45-56. Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Assistive Technology for Older Persons with Disabilities, State University of New York (SUNY)/Buffalo, Center for Assistive Technology. Accession Number: J42497.
Abstract: Article on functional limitations and disability associated with congestive heart failure (CHF), based on the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research disability model, and discussing quality of life in older adults with CHF and the usefulness of home-based interventions in CHF management.

Ross, M. (2001) Developments in research and technology: A report from the SHHH convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Hearing Loss, 22(5), 29-32. The Lexington School for the Deaf/Center for the Deaf. Accession Number: J42899.
Abstract: Article describing some of the hearing assistance technology exhibited at the 2001 convention of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH). Devices described include the Logicom FM receiver, LOBAT (an audible low battery warning signal for hearing aids), improved battery dispensers, array microphones, and the iCommunicator.

Schroedel, J. G., Geyer, P. D. (2001) Enhancing the career advancement of workers with hearing loss: Results from a national follow-up survey. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 32(3), p35-44. National Rehabilitation Counseling Association. Accession Number: J43109.
Abstract: Article reports results of a study of 20 deaf and hard-of-hearing college graduates who overall, reported gains in their careers and were satisfied with their career status. Study examined variables related to: (1) career advancement through changing jobs or receiving a promotion, (2) attitudes toward promotion opportunities, (3) attitudes toward supervisors, (4) career satisfaction, (5) workplace accommodations, (6) effects of the number of promotions received, and (7) the relationship between the types of job changes and changes in job duties. Implications for the career mobility of workers with hearing loss are discussed.

Bauer, S., Stone, V. (2001) The Stakeholders Forum on Hearing Enhancement. In R. Simpson (Ed.),Proceedings of the RESNA 2001 Annual Conference: The AT Odyssey Continues (pp. 20-22). Arlington, VA: RESNA Press. Center for Assistive Technology. Accession Number: O14136.
Abstract: Article describing a project to gather consumer, expert, and manufacturer views on unmet needs and desired solutions in four areas of hearing enhancement technology: earmolds; FM, inductive, and infrared assistive listening systems; and microphone technologies. The Stakeholder Forum on Hearing Enhancement had a total of 65 participants. The paper summarizes participant reactions to the forum and their views on high priority technology needs.

Harkins, J. E., Haravon, A. B., Tucker, P. E., Eum, J., Fisher, L. (2001) Evaluating automatic speech recognition as a conversational aid for people with hearing loss. In R. Simpson (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 2001 Annual Conference: The AT Odyssey Continues (pp. 106-108). Arlington, VA: RESNA Press. The Lexington School for the Deaf/Center for the Deaf Accession Number: O14163.
Abstract: Paper presenting partial results from a project examining communication dynamics, system performance, and user satisfaction with automatic speech recognition systems used in live conversation between deaf and hearing people.

 

Mark Ross, PhD, at the RERC on Hearing Enhancement regularly publishes a column on Developments in Research and Technology for Hearing Loss. Topics include:
  • New hearing aids, implantable hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA), and middle ear implants.
  • Care and cleaning of hearing aids.
  • Common problems and their solutions (chewing/occlusion, water-resistence).
  • Developments that benefit hearing aid users including wireless technology, soft hearing aids, and instant captioning service.
  • Hearing and education technology.

Many of these articles are available from NARIC.