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Nyle DeMarco DISSED by James Vituscka at Radar Online

See his post regarding Nyle DeMarco with Dancing with Stars. Everything’s rigged is the rumor 🙂 you should judge well. You should be able to judge from the looks of the website that the rumor is most likely to be false or made up. Sooo typical childish behavior to up a new rumor like that. *shaking head*

 

The Season 22 finale of Dancing with the Stars is just two weeks away and RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the backstage shade being thrown at frontrunner Nyle DiMarco is worse than ever!

On last night’s DWTS, the 26-year-old former ANTM winner danced the Paso Doble with partner Peta Mugratroyd, 29. During their performance, DiMarco chose to include 10 seconds without sound to show the audience and judges what it is like to dance as a deaf person.

Scoring a nearly perfect score of 29 out of 30, DiMarco even almost brought judge Carrie Ann Inaba, 48, to tears. However, according to the on-set source, the on-camera support for DiMarco is just for show.

PHOTOS: ‘DWTS’ Feud Explodes Backstage! Why Nyle DiMarco Is A Target

“The fact of the matter is that none of the judges, nor anyone in production for the show aside from Peta, have bothered to learn sign language,” said the source. “They have not even learned the basic sign language for applause!”

“It upsets Nyle. He is a very emotional and gentle man and all of this is just really starting to affect him now,” the source told Radar.

“What’s worse, some of the other dancers on the show have been saying that, if Nyle wins, it is only because he is deaf and pretty, and it is not because of his talent,” the insider told Radar.

You better read the rest of the post at their website, Click link below:
The Radar Online Nyle DeMarco dissed

Take Hearing Tracker’s Rechargeable Hearing Aid Battery Survey

There are a number of new rechargeable hearing aid products on the market. Phonak and Signia both plan to release lithium ion products soon, and at the same time, retrofit rechargeable solutions are available for many existing hearing aid models. Our friends at Hearing Tracker have created a survey to try and gauge consumer attitudes about such products. The results of the survey should help guide the availability of good rechargeable hearing aid options in the future.

Hearing Tracker will be giving away five $100 Visa gift cards (one to each of 5 random winners), and will be announcing the winners to participants later today. The survey is running through 5PM CST, and to date, there are over 500 responses.

To take the survey please see https://www.hearingtracker.com/battery-survey

Hearing Aid Cost Reduction Starts To Hit Critical Mass

The New York Times has published an excellent summary of the forces arrayed in the fight for lower hearing aid prices. It gives one hope that the long march toward lower prices for quality hearing aids may actually be gaining momentum. The story also has links to background info on upcoming milestones, including:

For more detail on each of these three developments, read more.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) got the ball rolling last fall with a report recommending that the Federal Trade Commission enable a quicker and less expensive hearing aid prescription process similar to what is available for eyeglasses and contact lenses; that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) create a new category for “basic” hearing aids that can be sold over-the-counter without a prescription; and that the FDA rescind previous guidance on personal sound amplifiers to allow claims that they improve hearing and speech comprehension.

In April the FDA will hold a public hearing on steps it can take to encourage more widespread use of hearing aids and more innovation in hearing-aid product development. It also asked for public comment on potential new guidance on rules governing sales of hearing aids and personal sound amplifiers.

In June, the Institute of Medicine will issue a report on hearing health that addresses federal regulation, insurance and price of hearing aids, following a two-year study that included contributions from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute on Aging, the Pentagon and others.

Taken together, these investigations, hearings and recommendations may well be the perfect storm that motivates change in a market that for years has failed to follow the technology price/performance reduction curve that many consumer and information technology products have followed.

If efforts to lower prices of hearing aids are successful, the beneficiaries will be the tens of millions of adults around the world who have trouble hearing but can’t yet afford to get the help they need.

 

Oticon Parent Posts Strong Earnings

William Demant GroupThe William Demant Group, parent of Oticon hearing aids and other brands, reported 11 percent revenue growth in the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of the previous year, driven by strong performance of its new sound processing platform, especially in the U.S.

In reporting first-half revenue of DKK 5,043 million ($750 million USD), the Denmark company said hearing aid sales in the U.S. grew by nine percent, and that its hearing implant business — Oticon Medical’s worldwide bone-anchored hearing aid implants and its new cochlear implant business currently based in France — grew by 11 percent in the half.

In its news announcement, the company said its new premium-performance Oticon Inium Sense sound processing platform helped win customers, especially among independent audiologists who are increasingly facing competition from large retailers such as Costco, which offers lower prices but less sophisticated high-end hearing aids.

The group reported that its operating profits of DKK 880 million ($131 million USD) were supported by stronger wholesale selling prices for its hearing aids.

ReSound Made-for-iPhone Hearing Aids Power Parent Company’s Growth

ReSound Hearing AidsWith continued revenue growth in its fiscal second quarter, GN Store Nord, parent of the GN ReSound Group of hearing technology brands, is powering through challenges including a costly case of fraud in a U.S. hearing aid subsidiary and contraction of business in its non-hearing-aid headset subsidiary.

The Denmark holding company reported overall growth of four percent, driven by eight percent organic growth in its GN ReSound Group hearing technologies unit, which includes ReSound, Beltone and Interton hearing aids as well as GN Otometrics, a supplier of audiology equipment. The company pointed to the successful launch of ReSound’s second-generation of Made-for-iPhone Linx2 hearing aids as a high point of the quarter, which saw revenue grow to DKK 2,035 million ($303 million USD).

Bit the shine on the report was diminished by news of a $22.35 million case of accounting fraud in its Beltone hearing aid subsidiary in the U.S. GN said the company has written off the loss and fired the Beltone’s VP of finance. That news, combined with a relatively poor performance in its GN Netcom headsets business, where revenue was two percent lower than in the previous year, helped push the company’s stock price down last week.

New Hear.com Site Competes With Hearing Planet For Online Hearing Aid Sales

hear-comHearing Tracker has broken the news that Sivantos (formerly Siemens Hearing Instruments) and Audibene have launched Hear.com, a new online hearing-aid sales and support site for consumers in the U.S. The site builds on Audibene’s success in Europe operating its own online hearing site and presents head-to-head competition with Sonova’s HearingPlanet web site. Click here to read Hearing Tracker’s exclusive report.

Both Hear.com and HearingPlanet.com offer multiple manufacturers’ hearing aids along with initial telephone consults and referrals to local audiologists. The sites are a response to the Big Six hearing-aid manufacturers’ concern over how to attract first-time buyers of hearing aids, many of whom turn first to the web for information about products and services for people with hearing loss.

The new competition in the online market is an indication of how things are heating up in the increasingly complex world of hearing-aid distribution. Independent audiologists, who for years sold the largest percentage of top-brand hearing aids from Big-Six manufacturers, have seen their business erode from lower-priced competitors. Often these competitors are selling the same premium products from the Big Six that audiologists sell but are able to charge lower prices by combining volume wholesale purchase agreements with less expensive (and often less complete) service.

Costco is now selling premium Phonak and ReSound products at steep discounts from the prices charged by independent audiologists for the same products. And a number of new hearing aid manufacturers have started selling their products exclusively online at discounts to what audiologists usually charge.

Hearing Planet and Hear.com avoid the worst kinds of channel conflict by referring customers to local audiologists for service and paying a commission on sales, but the commissions audiologists receive are often less than the profits they make when selling the products themselves.

Like the other Bix Six manufacturers, both Sivantos and Phonak parent Sonova are covering as many of the distribution bases as they can: in addition to their online businesses and wholesale distribution through independent audiologists, Sivantos owns the HearUSA chain of retail hearing aid stores, and Phonak owns the Connect Hearing retail chain. Time will tell if the aggressive moves the Big Six are making to control their distribution channels will enable them to maintain their control over an estimated 80-percent-plus of global hearing aid sales.

At $1,799 A Pair, Costco’s iPhone Hearing Aids Challenge Audiologists

Costco has made a quiet entry into the Made-for-iPhone hearing aid market, selling its own Kirkland-brand iPhone-compatible hearing aids for $1,799.99 a pair. The new Kirkland Signature 6.0 hearing aids, utilizing technology from Big-Six hearing aid maker GN ReSound, can receive phone calls, music, podcasts and other audio directly from Apple iPhones, iPads or iPod Touch devices without requiring an intermediate streaming device.

Costco Hearing Aid Display
Costco Store Display Offers Made-for-iPhone Hearing Aids At $1,799.99 Per Pair

With an aggressive price point for advanced iPhone-compatible features, the hearing aids are Costco’s latest move to expand its footprint in the global hearing-aid market. Once a provider of entry-level hearing aids based on older generations of technology, the “big box” retailer is now pushing up-market by offering higher performance products at attractive prices. Volume purchasing agreements and low-overhead “store-within-a-store” hearing aid centers have enabled Costco to gain market share by undercutting prices charged by independent audiologists.

It’s the second shoe to drop since 2014, when Costco disrupted the supply chain by inking a deal with industry leader Phonak to sell high-end hearing aids under a new Phonak Brio brand. Phonak experienced an immediate backlash from the independent audiologists accustomed to selling higher-priced Phonak hearing aids: in its 2014/15 annual report, parent holding company Sonova attributed a slowdown in first-half sales to loss of business from angry independents switching to Phonak competitors.

Sonova gave the issue special attention in its report to shareholders, stating that: “In the United States, sales in the commercial business initially slowed after the strategic decision to supply Phonak products to the innovative shop-in-shop concept at the retailer Costco, but then accelerated in the second half of the year to surpass the prior year’s level.”

Costco’s Made-for-iPhone hearing aids only went on sale in April, so time will tell whether independents will switch from ReSound as well. Industry expert Dan Schwartz, who was first to report on Costco’s ReSound iPhone deal, wrote that ReSound hoped to avoid a backlash by waiting until after AudiologyNOW 2015, the industry’s largest U.S. conference. But he predicted “an even bigger explosion than Sonova experienced last year” because the Costco hearing aids would be based on the same platform powering the highly popular ReSound Linx Made-for-iPhone hearing aids. He said ReSound’s recent Linx2 platform upgrade, now being sold by independents, does not provide enough of a performance advantage to compete effectively with the first-generation Linx technology that he said would be powering the Costco iPhone hearing aids.

Adding fuel to the fire, the $1,799.99 price Costco set for a pair of its Kirkland Signature 6.0 hearing aids is well below what many independent audiologists have been charging for the comparable first-generation ReSound Linx Made-for-iPhone hearing aids. And Costco is also offering at no extra cost its version of the slick ReSound iPhone hearing aid controller app — the Kirkland Signature Choice app — from Apple’s iTunes store.

Fear of a backlash from independent audiologists may be one reason Costco and ReSound decided to market the new hearing aids under the Costco Kirkland brand rather than under the ReSound brand name. And it may help explain why Costco is soft-pedaling the Made-for-iPhone features in Kirkland Signature 6.0 hearing aids. While ReSound trumpeted Made-for-iPhone as the most important feature of the new generation of hearing aids, Costco is marketing iPhone compatibility simply as a connectivity feature. It is not positioning the Signature 6.0 products as “Made-for-iPhone hearing aids” but rather describes their functionality on its list of features, then carries the small “Made-for-iPod-iPhone-iPad” medallion at the bottom of their marketing literature.

Downplaying Made-for-iPhone capability is a curious decision, as there is no doubt that the new technology is a great leap forward that has powered sales and growth in the industry. GN ReSound was first to market with Made-for-iPhone hearing aids and has attributed its recent financial success and market share gains to rapid acceptance of the new hearing aids, and it is clearly looking to Costco for future growth.

Only two manufacturers provide Made-for-iPhone hearing aid platforms, but both sell the technology through multiple brands. In addition to ReSound’s products, another GN ReSound subsidiary, Beltone, offers Made-for-iPhone hearing aids.  The other Made-for-iPhone technology platform is from privately held Big-Six manufacturer Starkey Hearing Technologies, which sells through its Starkey, Audibel, Audigy, MicroTech and NuEar subsidiary brands. (Click here for a map showing all hearing aid manufacturers and brands.)

The Starkey Hearing brands, especially the popular Starkey Halo Made-for-iPhone product family, may stand to benefit from independent audiologists shopping for alternatives. But for now, parent holding company GN Store Nord is cashing in on GN ReSound’s Made-for-iPhone momentum, with fast organic growth rates driving its gains in hearing-aid industry market share.

“Q1 was a strong start to the year,” Anders Hedegaard, CEO of GN ReSound, said in the company’s financial report on April 29. “We were able to extend and strengthen our partnership with Costco and delivered 10 percent organic hearing instruments growth.”

And GN ReSound is expecting more to come. Calling Costco “one of the fastest-growing global hearing aid retailers,” the GN financial report said the transition from Costco’s Kirkland Signature 5 to the new Made-for-iPhone Kirkland Signature 6 was accomplished in all Costco’s stores, with Signature 6 stocking orders having a positive impact on GN’s financial results in the first quarter.

ReSound Rolls Out First “Made-for-iPhone Hearing Aid” With Premium Features, Premium Price

ReSound iPhone App

The ReSound iPhone App Has A ‘Find My Hearing Aid’ Function

With a live gospel group from Harlem and multimedia presentations at a New York City news conference, GN ReSound yesterday initiated the global market rollout of the ReSound LiNX and Beltone First, the world’s first “Made for iPhone Hearing Aids.”

GN ReSound CEO Lars Viksmoen, who had announced the new product in Europe last October, unveiled more details on availability, pricing and features, positioning the new hearing aid as a premium-priced product supported by a raft of unique new capabilities:

  • It is the first “Made for iPhone Hearing Aid,” providing seamless wireless connectivity and compatibility not only with Apple’s iPhone but also the iPod Touch and iPad Tablet.
  • It is the only hearing aid delivering 2.4 GHz wireless audio communication from the phone directly to the hearing aids — the first to eliminate an intermediate streaming device.
  • It is GN ReSound’s smallest wireless receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid, but with enough amplification and other functionality to address 90 precent of customers’ hearing-loss profiles.
  • An iPhone app wirelessly sets volume levels, adjusts treble and bass settings, and changes the hearing-aid’s program settings; it also features “geo-tagging” to identify locations where certain programs will be most helpful.
  • A unique “Find My Hearing Aid” application lets you use your iPhone to locate your hearing aids, just as it can locate your other Apple devices.

We reported earlier on the features and technology behind the new hearing aids when they were were announced in October, but the latest briefing furnished details an pricing, availability and user acceptance.

The company is currently shipping to its distribution channels worldwide. Like other hearing aid manufacturers, GN ReSound does not disclose a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) or the wholesale price charged to the audiologists and dispensers who sell its products. But one audiologist at the event told me users can expect to pay what’s become a standard price for a top-end premium-featured hearing aid — between $3,000 and $4,000 per hearing aid.

Advanced Technologies

The hearing aids incorporate GN ReSound’s SmartRange platform combining a dual-core digital signal processing (DSP) chipset with next-generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology. Among other things, the SmartRange platform is the engine for “Surround Sound from ReSound” software that provides advanced signal processing, wireless ear-to-ear coordination between the hearing aids, and quality sound output from the hearing aids. The platform also features the company’s third-generation 2.4 GHz wireless  technology, enabling direct transmission of audio into the hearing aids without requiring an intermediate streamer.

The hearing aid requires a 312-sized battery — a step larger than the number 10-sized batteries used in the smallest behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids  – to accommodate higher power drain from wireless streaming while still delivering power for up to a week of use. The battery is neatly integrated into the small form factor of the processing unit, and because the receiver (speaker) is in the ear, a nearly invisible wire rather than a more visible air-conduction tube is all that’s required to attach the processor to the in-ear receiver.

The hearing aids lack an optional telecoil, which transmits audio directly into the hearing aids without re-amplification not only from a phone held to the ear but also from rooms equipped with hearing loops. However, the wireless streaming of audio directly into the hearing aids from the phone duplicates the t-coil’s function for the phone, at least.

Also, the wireless streaming currently works only with the iPhone, iPad and iPod, not with Android phones or other devices. When asked why, Viksmoen said Apple has been a leader in actively engaging the hearing aid companies on deep integration, and ReSound’s mantra has been “focus, focus, focus” on delivering the first Made-for-iPhone hearing aids. He said he expects Android and other phones eventually will enable hearing-aid integration as well.

LiNX in Action

Morten Hansen, GN ReSound’s Vice President of Partnerships and Connectivity, gave an impressive demonstration, streaming audio from his iPhone through a set of hearing aids connected to the speakers in the conference room. His iTunes copy of “Hotel California” by the Eagles played clearly, and iPhone SIRI’s familiar voice gave hands-free turn-by-turn directions to a nearby restaurant.

Those two applications alone would be enough to make any hearing aid user who has been frustrated at not being able to hear the audio coming from the phone’s speaker want to find out how much better the audio can be when it’s transmitted directly into the hearing aids. ReSound’s “Surround Sound” software processes audio transmitted from the phone in the same way that it conditions audio coming through the hearing aids’ microphones, providing high-fidelity quality for phone calls and other audio transmitted by the iPhone.

Hansen also demonstrated the “Find My Hearing Aid” application. A blue dot on the iPhone map shows the location of your hearing aids down to the street address. Then, two vertical thermometer-style bars on the iPhone screen, one for the left hearing aid and one for the right, indicate how close you are getting to them, with the red bars rising to the top of the screen the closer you get. It’s just like the “you’re getting warmer, you’re getting colder” game you used to play as a kid.

Customer Testimonials

The event also featured two early users of the product — a customer with experience wearing other high-end hearing aids and an audiologist who evaluated the product for his patients.

The customer, Dick Loizeaux, said he first started using hearing aids when his hearing loss started causing trouble communicating both at work and home. But even after more than 10 years as a hearing-aid wearer, he still found them deficient much of the time, especially on the phone and when listening to the radio or GPS directions in the car.

“The times I needed the hearing aids the most, they helped the least,” Loizeaux said. But the new hearing aids solved most of his problems. “Now I can hear my car’s navigation system right in my ears.”

Dr. Ken Smith, an audiologist from the San Francisco Bay area, said that during his evaluation, the benefits of integration with the iPhone world of apps gradually became more compelling to him and his patients. “We started out thinking it was a niche product,” he said. “But now we’re going to be using it for everyone because it has so many applications.”

GN ReSound’s Chief Audiologist, Laurel Christensen, said the features of the new hearing aids were based on extensive research into current hearing-aid wearers’ frustrations with their hearing aids, which led to a focus on “quality-of-life” features, including sound quality, ability to comprehend speech in noise, adaptation to changing listening environments and more seamless communication.

By combining the SmartSound technology in the hearing aids with the connectivity made possible through the SmartRange wireless platform and providing access to the iPhone apps, the ReSound LiNX and Beltone First hearing aids come closer to meeting those quality of life requirements than any other hearing aids that came before, she said.

Technology Drives Growth Of GN ReSound

CEO Viksmoen said the market advantages GN ReSound currently enjoys from its advanced sound processing technology and its lead in 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity are driving the growth of the company.

As the fourth biggest global hearing aid manufacturer with revenue of more than $760 million (US), GN ReSound currently has an approximate 16 percent share of the world hearing aid market, Viksmoen said. But the company has reported market-share increases over the past year and expects its faster-than-market growth to continue.

Will iHear Medical’s $200 Programmable Hearing Aid Disrupt The Hearing Industry?

iHear HD Hearing Aid

iHear HD Programmable Hearing Aid

A California startup company, iHear Medical Inc., is promising to break the $200 price barrier for programmable hearing aids with its new, invisible iHear HD hearing device.

The early-bird $199 price includes not only the new digital hearing aid, but also an iHear Test kit that enables customers to self-administer hearing tests and program the hearing aids to their personal hearing profiles.

With pre-orders now for online shipments that will start in August, iHear Medical is also promising to donate one of its hearing aids for every hearing aid it sells, “to give the gift of hearing to an economically disadvantaged person.” The company has set a goal to donate 1,000 hearing aids through its Hearing for All Foundation in its first 60 days of shipments.

The incredibly low price point might be cause for skepticism, were it not for the track record of the company’s founder, Adnan Shennib, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Shennib’s previous company, InSound Medical, developed high-end, invisible, extended-wear Lyric hearing aids that cost several thousand dollars each.

In 2010, Shennib sold InSound Medical to Sonova Group for $94 million. He then set to work on his idea for iHear Medical to sell low-cost, high-quality hearing aids to the huge population of consumers who currently can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars for hearing assistance.

Shennib points to the fact that 40 percent of American consumers with hearing loss are economically disadvantaged and simply cannot afford the high price of most digital programmable hearing aids. The company identifies what it says is the cause of this gap—a hearing aid industry that hasn’t innovated in ways enabling more affordable solutions:

The industry is currently dominated by 6 major players who control over 90% of the market. The industry has operated in the “old business” model of high-cost high-margin service which has not served consumers well, as evidenced by the fact only 20% of people with hearing loss have a solution, compared to over 95% of people with vision problems who have corrective solutions. We are about to challenge and lead an industry that refuses to change. The iHear products are expected to create a new paradigm in hearing health care, by removing the major barriers to hearing aid acquisition.

By developing what it says is the “first web-enabled hearing aid system,” iHear Medical plans to upend the current distribution system in which professional audiologists perform the patient testing and sell their services along with high-end hearing aids at premium prices. In other words, selling directly to the consumer over the Internet will dramatically reduce costs.

There have been other high-quality user-programmable hearing aids available on the Internet—we have written about America Hears extensively in the past—but none has featured a user-administered hearing test, and all are priced at least four-to-five times higher than the iHear HD hearing aids.

Key to combining miniaturization with high-quality hearing aid performance will be new technologies, and iHear Medical says it is has already filed for 18 patents on innovations critical to delivering its system. No doubt Shennib and his team are drawing on their previous experience developing the Lyric hearing aid, which sat deep within the ear canal for complete invisibility through new miniaturization and extended wear technologies.

The iHear HD device will integrate a microphone and receiver (speaker) in a bean-sized unit that sits within the ear canal. A compact, easily replaceable custom battery unit sold by iHear Medical provides enough power for about a week of daily use.

iHear Test KitIn addition to taking the cost out of manufacturing and providing high-quality digital hearing technology at a new, low price threshold, iHear Medical will need to deliver another hearing-industry first—an accurate, self-administered hearing test that will actually enable customers to program their hearing aids at home.

While the company has not yet released technical details on its iHear Test kit, it has laid out a “simple, one-two-three process” by which consumers will acquire and program their iHear HD hearing aids:

1. First, the iHear Test Kit is shipped to the customer, who plugs it into a personal computer, downloads software from iHear Medical, connects to the iHear cloud-based platform, and conducts a personal hearing test online

2. Next, the iHear HD hearing device is shipped to the customer for an individualized fitting, using the Kit to program the device based on the personal hearing test result stored in iHear Medical’s online database.

3. The customer can further tune the programming of the hearing aid, managing the entire fitting process with the personal computer.

In its list of frequently asked questions and answers, iHear Medical explains that users will be able to self-administer two tests for free, with subsequent tests costing $9 each. The user’s test information will be stored in iHear Medical’s online database, and the company will have audiologists and other experts on staff available online and on the phone to help customers use the kit to custom-program their hearing aids.

The company has submitted the system for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certification as a hearing aid fitting system. Users will have to sign a waiver form testifying that they have either had their hearing checked by a medical professional or are skipping a medical evaluation while acknowledging they are aware that the FDA strong recommends that anyone who has trouble hearing and wants to acquire a hearing aid should seek medical advice first. The FDA requires the medical waiver for direct-to-consumer sales of hearing aids bypassing audiologists, licensed hearing aid dispensers, or other medical professionals.

If iHear Medical can meet its cost and performance targets, it has the potential to be a disruptive force in the hearing aid industry. The current wave of digital personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), which are not custom programmed to the user’s hearing profile and which don’t require a medical waiver, have already upset the leading hearing aid manufacturers by providing amplification at much lower prices than custom-programmed hearing aids. And the higher function programmable iHear HD hearing aid is undercutting the prices charged by many of the higher-quality PSAP makers.

To learn more and/or to pre-order at the introductory prices, visit iHear Medical’s IndieGoGo campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/invisible-hearing-device-by-ihear.

Who was Thomas Gallaudet?

Recently I wrote a paper for my ASL 2 class on Thomas Gallaudet. The assignment came about after a question was raised about the history of American Sign Language. In class when the teacher told us to look up who was Thomas Gallaudet, I already knew that he was the one with Laurent Clerc who brought sign language to America from France.  But while doing my research for the paper I learned much more about the man behind the history. I learned that accomplishing his goal was not easy. He faced obstacles and setbacks along the way but didn’t give up because he believed he was living with purpose and for the benefit of others.

Statue of Thomas Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell
Photo credit NCinDC shared through Creative Commons license.

One of the most moving scenes in his life is captured in this statue (pictured above) on the Gallaudet University campus. Thomas Gallaudet met a deaf person for the first time when he was introduced to his neighbor’s daughter, Alice Cogswell. Gallaudet perceived that she was intelligent and wanted to teach her how to read and communicate. Later Alice became one of the first students at the school he established upon his return from France.

I am not going to recreate my class paper here, but I do want to direct you to a resource I  found in my research. I recommend that anyone who has an interest in learning more about deaf education, the history of American Sign Language, or Thomas Gallaudet should read a biography written by his son, Edward Miner Gallaudet and published in 1888. This fascinating book includes many letters written by Thomas Gallaudet. There is even a letter from Alice Cogswell. The book is called Life of Thomas Gallaudet and is available to read online courtesy of the Disability History Museum at this link:
http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/dhm/lib/detail.html?id=1739

Thomas Gallaudet’s legacy continues today. Gallaudet’s school in Hartford, founded in 1817, is now known as the American School for the Deaf and has more than 4,000 graduates. Gallaudet University, founded by his son Edward and renamed in 1894 to honor Thomas Gallaudet, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The school’s latest enrollment figures are close to 2,000 students for academic year 2011-2012.

If you’ve ever wondered if one person can make a difference, the answer is yes. Just remember Thomas Gallaudet and be inspired to see what you can do with your life.

Elkhart’s Hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Last month my friend Linda and I enjoyed seeing large hearts on display along Main Street in Elkhart, Indiana. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve posted my favorite of the photos I took. Underneath each picture is the title and artist. To see more of the hearts, check out my Have a Heart collection on Flickr. The hearts were created as a community fund raiser to support Elkhart General Hospital.

Which one is your favorite? Mine is Loving Care.

Love, Give, Bloom
by Joanna R. White

Loving Care
by Deb Ammerman

An Encourager
by Lauren Hodges
On the back it reads:
But never hurt the heart that loves you.

Rhythm and Balance
by Carrie Beachy

Let Your Heart Shineby Katie McCormick

Wish Giver
by Rachel Schmidt

They Steal Our Hearts
by Roni Balthes

Heart Fishing
by Betty McKinney