|In this issue :
European Association of Cochlear Implant Users
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Message from the Editor
Here we are again after a long hot summer but there is only news from four countries. Hopefully there will be more news for the Winter edition of the newsletter. Please note Sue Archbold’s article on the data collection. She needs your help and support for this important work.
Forthcoming EURO-CIU events
Invitation to 2014 IFHOH conference
IFHOH Conference ‘Overcoming Hearing Barriers’ 5-7 April 2014, Jerusalem, Israel
IFHOHYP Summer Camp 2014
IFHOHYP Summer Camp 2014 will be held from 23 August to 3 September at Bad Tölz, Germany
Friederike Walz and Jens Grehl will be the camp supervisors supported by a team of 10. The camp will host 50 international participants and 50 German participants and will be larger than the usual IFHOHYP SC.
More information from the German organisers will follow.
EURO-CIU POSITION PAPER
A position paper on cochlear implantation was examined April 6, 2013 in Istanbul in margin of the Annual General Assembly of EURO-CIU.
Proposed by the board of the association, the following document was approved by the members after constructive consultations.
After all, it seems legitimate that the European Association of Cochlear Implant Users should take a clear position in this field.
In the more or less near future, EURO-CIU could modify all or part of this document depending on the evolution of indications or technology.
As Chairman of EURO-CIU, I fully welcome the fruitful discussions that preceded the adoption of our common position.
EURO-CIU represents national associations of cochlear implant users at European level.
EURO-CIU is full member of the Disability Forum (EDF-FEPH) since 1999.
EURO-CIU is member of the European Platform of Deafness, Hard of Hearing and Deafblindness.
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that transmits electrical impulses to the brain where they are perceived as sounds both for children who are born deaf or become deaf and also deaf or severely hard of hearing adults.
The cochlear implant consists of two parts:
- the external part with a speech processor incorporating a microphone which is placed behind the ear with a transmitter coil or with a compact, single-unit audio processor that is held in place by magnets over the implanted receiver
- a surgically implanted internal part consisting of a receiver package implanted in a recess in the mastoid bone which is connected to the electrode array positioned within the cochlea.
Today the possibility of obtaining a cochlear implant in Europe is still very uneven and depends in particular on the social insurance system of the country concerned.
It should be remembered that health policy in the European Union is in the first place the responsibility of each state member.
Numerous indicators show a definite increase in the quality of life after a cochlear implantation and consecutive rehabilitation.
The CI provides better results than conventional hearing aids in many cases, facilitates the integration of children into mainstream education and provides adults with a better chance of being able to integrate socially and professionally.
The overall impact for a child with a CI is generally higher than for an adult. As regards the child’s impact, it includes also the likelihood that less special educational school may be required.
Furthermore other social costs are likely to be saved, e.g. unemployment allowances, due to the fact that CI users are much more likely to be able to find a job.
Most of the cost-benefit studies undertaken show clear advantages for cochlear implantation in both adults and children.
The CI has a positive impact on the quality of life of the individual that is both long term and sustainable for a relatively modest cost and is therefore a net advantage for Society and facilitates the inclusion of citizens with this disability.
Research is being conducted into ways to further improve the functioning of cochlear implants in noise and other environments, to improve the ability for CI users to use TV, phones and to enjoy music. The preservation of residual hearing during cochlear implantation, especially in those candidates who have significant residual low frequency hearing and can benefit from electro acoustic stimulation, is also being researched.
All adults with severe / profound or total hearing loss, acquired and possibly to some extend congenital should be considered as potential candidates for a cochlear implant. The hearing loss must be of sufficient degree so that, even when aided, speech perception through audition alone is limited. The decision as to whether or not to be implanted must depend upon the informed consent of the individual involved and, last but not least, also upon the recommendation of a health care multidisciplinary team. The potential advantages /disadvantages of not being implanted must be taken into account.
Potential cochlear implant candidates must be fully informed of the entire process including the pre-operative investigations, the surgical procedure, and the post-operative program. Only those multidisciplinary CI-teams which offer before satisfactory range of pre and post-operative services (long and medium term rehabilitation programs) should be considered. Rehabilitation programs must include psycho-social rehabilitation, such as communication strategies. Supportive signs have proved to be of good assistance to deafened adults with CI.
Candidates for cochlear implants should be assessed and implanted in centres with fully qualified staff having evidence of expertise. Factors to consider are the experience of the centre, the nature of the pre-operative assessments, the frequency of routine follow-up assessments, and whether or not a rehabilitation program is recommended and conducted. When in doubt, the CI candidate should obtain a second opinion.
Not only children but also adults should have access to bi-lateral cochlear implants if it is considered they can benefit from them. This means that national health services should establish corresponding health programs to make this possible.
As a general rule, the decision to implant should be made as soon as possible after an acquired severe to profound hearing loss has been diagnosed, and as early in the child’s life as possible for those with congenital hearing loss.
The earlier a child is implanted the more likely normal speech and language capabilities will be developed by deaf children without additional needs, with minimal delay as compared to normal hearing children. The earlier the implant is undertaken, the greater is the expected impact on his/her speech development. This underlines the necessity for and importance of a neonatal screening program.
The final decision about cochlear implantation must only be made with the consent of the parents.
The professional teams involved in the implant process must provide the parents with all the information they need to make such a decision.
It has to be considered that 95% of the parents of deaf children are both normal hearing having no experience with deafness or sign language and the child is the only deaf child in a hearing family. Learning the spoken language from the child’s environment is one of the main issues for deaf children using cochlear implants.
Specific speech therapy training sessions are necessary to achieve good auditory perception, speech and language skills. A favourable social environment and the involvement of the family are also of utmost importance. If audition is not intensively and continually stressed in the training program, it is less likely that the full potential benefits of the implant will be realized. We also know that, for their social emotional development, it is very important that these deaf children have regular contact with other deaf children and deaf peers.
Others modes of communication which children, in particular older children, used before the implant process such as cued speech, lip-reading, sign language do not negatively impact on the benefits of cochlear implantation.
EURO-CIU stresses that the benefit of one cochlear implant is in no doubt.
EURO-CIU stresses that for the children the decision to have a cochlear implant is a parental choice under a medical recommendation. The interests of the child should be the main consideration.
EURO-CIU stresses that a bi-lateral implantation, in particular for children, must become now a standard clinical practice for patients who fulfil the relevant criteria. Numerous studies have shown significant benefits of both simultaneous and sequential bilateral implantation for adults and children.
EURO-CIU stresses that all methods of communication are compatible with cochlear implants – cued speech, sign language and lip-reading.
EURO-CIU stresses that it remains the key role of the parents to offer their children an appropriate way to communicate and this may include providing both visual and auditory information. Establishing communication with the child is likely to have the biggest positive impact on their emotional and cognitive development.
European data collection –an update and please help!
From Dr Sue Archbold at The Ear Foundation
In today’s world it is really important that in order to plan for services we need up to date information about cochlear implantation and its implementation across Europe.
EURO-CIU is in a unique position to do this, and until recently, Dr Ruud van Hardeveld did a great job, collecting data annually. When he provided his last data before retiring, on the figures for 2011, he commented “it is increasingly difficult to obtain reliable data.” Each year Ruud collected from member countries the numbers implanted, the numbers of bilaterals, re-implantations, and hence was able to calculate the numbers per million for children and adults. Some countries, for example, Switzerland, and Belgium can provide centralised figures; in some countries such as Sweden and Denmark, ci centres make data available to representatives of ci associations; other countries such as France give estimated data and other countries don’t give data at all. When we asked members about data collection, in some countries there were no problems but in others a great deal. The greatest difficulty in data collection was in countries such as Germany, Italy or Spain where there are many centres with their own data. The best data seems to be where members have good relations with the ci centres, and clearly this is easier where numbers are small. Other difficulties reported are the reliability of the data provided, the issue of data protection as well as of course the issues raised about who counts as child or adult, bilateral implants, and re-implantation.
So – do we give up..... is it important that we collect this information, even though it’s difficult? The short answer is “No, we are not giving up – and yes it’s important....”
We need data to influence the provision of up to date implant practice across Europe, and press for consistency of access and management. The impact of hearing loss is often not understood, and is not high up on government agendas. Neither is the dramatic change that cochlear implantation can bring to the lives of deaf children, adults and their families in today’s world – being deaf is different today. Unless we can provide the relevant data in an accessible form to influence policy and practice this will never change. So....
We have a plan.....and need help
The Annual General Assembly of Euro-CIU, following a proposal of the Board Group, has asked The Ear Foundation to do two pieces of work:
• To collect data on numbers implanted across Europe through the member organisations, and to produce it in an accessible format to influence providers and funders of health care, the politicians, as well as parents and users themselves and the professionals who support them. The data will be kept as simple as possible, and member organisations will be asked to ask ci centres in their country for the simple information. Data protection will not be an issue and the data will be produced in an accessible format, and be collected thereafter on an annual basis.
• To carry out research across Europe into the life changes for adults receiving cochlear implants. This will be again carried out through member organisations and be a simple on-line survey to be completed; we will need help to ensure that as many as possible can access it in their own language and it can be entered on-line for them if necessary. It is vitally important at a European level that we look at the life changes and present them in such a way that funders and politicians can understand.
It is hugely important that we make the most of this opportunity to establish the routine practice of collecting this information – without it future services may be at risk, and development not undertaken. We will need the commitment of everyone to make this happen – but all will benefit – users, parents, CI centres and industry. If you don’t plan for the future you may not like what happens!
MED-EL Founder and CEO Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair to Receive the Prestigious Lasker Award for Development of the Modern Cochlear Implant
On September 9, 2013 Worldwide hearing implant leader MED-EL Medical Electronics announced that Founder and CEO Ingeborg Hochmair, PhD, has been selected to receive this year’s prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of the modern cochlear implant, a device that restores hearing to individuals with severe-to-profound deafness through electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. She will share the award with Graeme M. Clark (Emeritus, Univ. of Melbourne, Australia) and Blake S. Wilson (Duke University, NC, USA). This highly-respected scientific award honours scientists whose contributions have improved the clinical treatment of patients. The award ceremony took place in New York City on Friday, September 20, 2013.
Ingeborg Hochmair, a PhD in electrical engineering, is being recognized for her early contributions to the field of cochlear implants starting with the development of the world’s first multi-channel microelectronic cochlear implant that was implanted in Vienna in 1977. This implant included a long, flexible electrode, which could, for the first time, deliver electric signals to the auditory nerve along a large part of the cochlea, the snail-shaped inner ear. With a modified version of this device, the next milestone in cochlear implant development was reached in 1979: the understanding of words and sentences without lip-reading in a quiet environment via a small, body-worn sound processor. The young recipient, a pioneer herself because she devoted much of her time to cochlear implant research, has enjoyed open speech understanding via a small processor for the past 34 years. Intense and continuous innovation followed, including the development of the world’s first behind-the-ear (BTE) cochlear implant audio processor in 1991.
The next major advancement was the development of a high stimulation rate cochlear implant designed to faithfully implement a new speech coding strategy developed by Blake Wilson. From 1994 forward, this device took its users to the next level of performance. It became the first device with which the majority of postlingually deaf adults achieved more than 50% monosyllabic word understanding within 6 months after implantation as demonstrated in a multicenter clinical trial. This meant that the majority of those implanted could now have conversations over the phone about unknown topics with an unfamiliar speaker.
Respect for the cochlea and its delicate structures have guided Dr. Hochmair's research and development activities towards a highly flexible electrode array preserving the delicate structures of the cochlea despite deep insertion into the cochlea.
During recent years, Dr. Hochmair and Wilson have collaborated on current topics such as the benefit of bilateral implantation, combined electric and acoustic stimulation, and of cochlear implants for single-sided deafness.
The cochlear implant was, and remains, the first replacement of a human sense, the sense of hearing. Dr. Hochmair’s intellectual rigor, pioneering spirit, and life-long drive toward excellence have transformed the lives of nearly 100,000 individuals around the world.
“Many of these achievements were attained with the shared commitment of my husband and closest collaborator, electrical engineer Erwin Hochmair, and with other outstanding partners, such as basic researchers, surgeons, clinicians, co-workers at MED-EL and, ultimately, the end-users of the devices,” said Dr. Hochmair.
Together with Prof. Erwin Hochmair, Ingeborg Hochmair founded MED-EL with a vision that would ultimately bring cutting-edge applications to life in more than 100 countries. The company is privately held, and Ingeborg Hochmair remains at the helm. Being CEO of MED-EL is not simply a job for Dr. Hochmair; it is her life. Helping people overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication was a founding principle of MED-EL and remains her mission and her passion. Improving the quality of life of patients continues to be a personal and professional core value that is lived every day through her leadership at MED-EL.
Dr. Hochmair and the entire MED-EL family extend congratulations to her fellow Research Award recipients, Graeme M. Clark and Blake S. Wilson.
“I am extremely gratified that our life’s work is being recognized in such a prestigious manner,” said Dr. Hochmair.
“However, I am even more pleased that this award will raise awareness for the entire field of cochlear implants and its importance as a treatment for small children born with severe-to-profound hearing loss, up to and including older adults who lose their hearing later in life. In so many ways, our work has just begun. Technological advances have accelerated our research at an unbelievable rate. We are on the threshold of breakthroughs that would have been considered dreams not long ago. After so many years, hearing restoration continues to be a miraculous field, and I still feel a sense of urgency to help improve the quality of life of deaf people. I am honoured to have been a part of the development of this life-changing innovation, and look forward to continuing our strong tradition of advancing our technological and scientific foundation in the field of hearing implants for many years to come,” she continued.
For more information about the Lasker Awards, visit www.laskerfoundation.org .
3rd International Friendship Week – July 2013
With generous sponsorship from EURO-CIU The Ear Foundation held the 3rd International Friendship Week in North Yorkshire, UK in July 2013. Young cochlear implant users from the UK, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Spain and Germany came together to share the similarities and differences of their cultures and build relationships with peers from overseas who share the same communication challenges.
During their stay, with the help of skilled and experienced leaders, two who had cochlear implants, the young people were given a chance to learn and excel at new challenges, gain knowledge and acquire new skills from a variety of exciting indoor and outdoor pursuits and trips. They even acted, directed and produced their own film!
The impact that this week has on the self-esteem and confidence of young cochlear implant users has been demonstrated again this year: One mother explained to us that her son has experienced a very difficult time in the past two years: dealing with deafness, building his identity, trying to really understand who he is and why he is like this. He has been feeling sad and depressed, the feeling of “why me?!” Then after the Friendship Week he has been more open to accept the fact that he has a cochlear implant. He speaks about it now and analyses how other kids with CI are. He got really empowered managing in foreign language also. It was really important for him to see other kids who are the same.
The young people themselves are able to articulate what this week means to them:
"I never thought there was deafness outside my own country. I didn't think deaf people could speak and understand (and not just read) more than one language really well and now I realize that I should work more to improve. This has been the best week I had all year long". (Young Spanish CI User)
"You can talk about deafness with everyone on this week. If I am at home, they all hear and I'm the only one who can't hear." (Young German CI User)
"My mother forced me to come to England and I didn't want to. But now I'm dying to repeat next year" (Young Spanish CI User)
This is a great opportunity for leaders who in many cases work with deaf young people all year or who are deaf themselves: to learn, support and encourage young cochlear implant users in a social environment:
“I notice how all the kids have not just enjoyed themselves but learned they are not alone in the world and their culture and customs aren’t what everybody else does in their countries. At first everybody else’s are ‘strange’ but after trying to explain some of their own culture to other they learn to accept that different is good and fun.”
With the support of EURO-CIU The Ear Foundation are delighted with to be able to offer this experience for young cochlear implant users in 2014:
27th July to 2nd August 2014 - St John’s School for the Deaf – Wetherby, North Yorkshire, UK.
Human Rights Essay Award
This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The 2014 topic is Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.
Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
FROM DENMARK - Our network meetings countrywide
The Danish association, Cochlear Implant Foreningen (CIF), holds meetings throughout the year called Netværks grupper “network meetings”. The purpose of the meetings is to not only to connect our members geographically but also to give them an opportunity to share experiences with both old and new members. At the moment we have ten groups countrywide which hold meetings 2-3 times each year. This means that members do not have to travel hours to attend a meeting.
The meetings are not only for our members but also for non-members and their relatives.
The meetings are advertised through emails, Facebook and on our homepage so that information about the meetings is spread out widely.
Generally most meetings have a theme. Currently we are hoping to hold meetings throughout the country with Danaflex at which members will be able to get information about the new Nucleus 6 which has just been certificated in Denmark. It will also give our members a great opportunity to put questions directly to our Nucleus people in Denmark.
These meetings are organised by members who live close to where the meetings are held. These persons are called “netværkskontaktpersoner”, network contact persons. Our network meetings are very foundational of CIF so we hold meetings for the network persons twice a year. There they can share experiences, get new ideas, and talk about future plans for the network meetings etc. But the aim is also to give these people the feeling that they are a part of a unique network.
Denmark is a very small country, and one wonders why so many meetings are held. The reason is that the country is bound together by bridges and one of these bridges is very costly to cross, so we do a big job by making our association countrywide.
These meetings have been a great success, and we try to cover different aspects of the CI world. One of our most successful meetings this year was where a young girl who has a CI participated in a popular TV-program with about 10 other people all with different handicaps. They met in Africa, together with a well-known Danish coach/former navy soldier, to cross Africa with wheelchairs and prostheses. One was a dwarf (he is only 90 cm high) and then there was this girl with a CI. The crossed Africa and went through the desert too. The girl came to our network meetings across the country and told us about her experiences. It was very exciting to hear about a CI person challenging herself in such rough country with other people, whom she did not know, and learning how they solved the problems which they came across. The meetings attracted large audiences and we got new members because both the TV-program and the meetings were a great PR exercise for CI people and made people, who did not know what CI is, aware that we have an association here in this country.
At other meetings we have also had contact persons or technicians from our CI centres, which are located in hospitals, come out to tell about their work. Such evenings are great because there is time for asking questions which one does normally not think about.
At another of our meetings before the summer holidays set in, we had a network meeting with some consultants who are working to help unemployed people to get a job, and out of that meeting came a lot of ideas on how to cope with the battle of finding a job among the normal hearing people. This topic was so popular that several of our network groups invited the consultants to come by to their local group. So we try to cover all kinds of areas in the CI people’s world with our network meetings.
At all our network meetings we have sign/write interpreters because we want all our members to be able to follow our meetings. We are aware that not everyone gets the same benefits from a CI
Camilla Sabroe Larsen, Secretary
FROM GERMANY - Cochlear Implant - Blessing or Curse?
A TV report about the DCIG seminar for deaf parents found great resonance
The program "Sehen statt Hören," produced on June 13th in 2013 on the occasion of a seminar organized by the “Deutsche Cochlear Implant Gesellschaft” (DCIG) for deaf parents with cochlear implanted children found wide public resonance. Its content proved that the active contacts of the DCIG with the “Deutscher Gehörlosen Bund” (DGB) and deaf persons have been beneficial and will therefore be continued. The contacts mediate between users of the spoken language and those using sign language. For the DCIG the spoken language has the highest priority. However, it is acceptable to use both spoken language and sign language or even sign language only. Parents decide what is best for their own children.
From Research Project to Practice
During her first research project "Deaf Parents with CI-supplied children" in 2003, Professor Dr. Annette Leonhardt from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich got in touch with the DCIG to develop an offer for this group of people. The DCIG organized the first seminar for deaf parents with CI-implanted children. It took place in 2004 in Violau / Bavaria. Jan Haverland and Andreas Frucht were involved in the organization of the three following seminars.
The years of effort put into harmonizing the relationship between the DGB and the DCIG have been rewarded with the participation of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hase, President of the “Deutsche Gesellschaft der Hörgeschädigten-Selbsthilfe und Fachverbände” on Friday evening, and Rudolf Sailer, President of the DGB and Professor Christian Rathmann, University of Hamburg, on Sunday. The discussion on Sunday, in which all participants, including the children who were allowed to participate, was very constructive. Professor Leonhardt stated that studies with cochlear-implanted children of deaf parents at the LMU have been conducted for more than ten years.
Family Frucht gave us an insight into how they conducted their private communications at home - with sign language and spoken language. Melissa said that she had always wanted a CI since she was a three year old child. She convinced her father that she would like to be able to hear - like the CI-children she had met.
Dr. Barbara Eßer-Leyding expressed the view that even hearing parents of CI-supplied children should learn sign language, especially when their children needed it.
Professor Leonhardt explained that hearing parents wanted cochlear implantation for their children so they could communicate with them in their usual way. Deaf parents, who decided on a cochlear implantation for their children, wanted to "give their child into a world they do not know by themselves".
The conclusion of the program was that all participants should search for ways to improve cooperation and intensify their efforts to achieve this A strong signal for the acceptance of cochlear implants will emerge from it.
Reference: Schnecke 81, September 2013
FROM SPAIN - XVI Edition of the AICE Awards
(Photo: All winners on the night with Joan Zamora, President of the Federación AICE, and Ricard López, President of FESOCE)
On June 1st Federación AICE presented their awards, Premios AICE, in a ceremony that took place at the Catalonia Plaza Hotel in Barcelona. It was a joint event since FESOCE, the Spanish Deafblind Association, presented the 2nd FESOCE Awards.
These were the winners:
Orange and its Foundation were awarded in this category because, thanks to their initiatives, deaf people can enjoy museums, cinemas, theatre, etc. Manuel Gimeno, Director of the Foundation Orange, collected the award. Gimeno pointed out in his acceptance speech “the ethical and social commitment of our company with the hearing impairment”.
This year we wanted to reward the work of a doctor who leaded a pioneering medical team facing a new technology (CI), in the mid 90s, in a not so big hospital in Galicia. He retired last year, after a brilliant career, leaving behind a lot of stories and people, who will always be grateful to him. When he collected the award Dr. Gumersindo Espiña declared that he was overwhelmed. He added that “back in those days, I was very impressed by cochlear implant, because it was the answer to a problem with no solution, and gave a lot of people hope”.
Mass Media Award
This year the award went to Aragón TV, a regional public channel, for featuring Cochlear Implants in different TV shows. Aragón TV is very receptive to the news from our Delegation in Aragon and they always treat information about deaf world with a true and plural perspective. Javier Romero, Head of Press and Communication of Aragón TV, said that “Aragón TV does what it should as a public entity: be responsible with the society and work everyday for our neighbours”..
The jury considered that this award should go to the work of a pioneering team in the Spanish State, which has been working many of years for a bill on accessibility, in which the communication is seen as essential. We expect it will become the law shortly. The Federación AICE, among other associations, has also participated actively in its creation, presenting proposals, amendments and changes until a consensus was reached. This is why we gave the award to the Department of Social Welfare and Family of Catalunya. Mrs. Neus Munté, Minister of Social Welfare and Family of Catalunya, emphasized in her acceptance speech that “it has been a work of many years to agree on a bill that confronts communication barriers and seeks an inclusive society”.
This prize is for those people who give their time to work with the Federación AICE, and so we want to show them our appreciation. The award was presented to Alejandro Salvador, father of a cochlear implant teenager, who has been working, and still does, to make Zaragoza accessible for everyone. Alejandro was very moved and could barely talk when he collected the award. He thanked the Federación AICE, not only for the prize, but also for “how you helped me and my family since the beginning and for all the work you do”.
FROM THE UK - Young deaf people face awesome challenges
A group of 27 young deaf people, aged between 11 and 17, gathered from all over the country to spend five days together at outdoor activity centre, Duke’s Barn, in Matlock, Derbyshire between 19 and 23 August.
On the first day, as soon as everyone had arrived, settled in and introduced themselves to each other, the group was split into three groups, ready to start a host of exciting activities from canoeing and climbing to abseiling from a viaduct.
The young people thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they enthusiastically faced some awesome challenges including steering through a lock in a canoe, being tipped out of a kayak and scrambling under and over rocks.
There were some quieter outings to Crich Tramway Village and the picturesque Chatsworth House, where the teenagers enjoyed touring the house, having a team race through the garden maze and admiring the Emperor's Fountain, which has a water jet which can reach a height of 90 metres!
The evenings were spent playing sports, such as basketball and orienteering, as well as exchanging stories about pets, schools and hobbies.
Family Co-ordinator Lorna Lord said: "The week was a great success. The young people have learnt so much about team work, perseverance and overcoming challenges without even knowing it.
"Watching them develop friendships with others who share the same challenges and knowing that many of these will last a lifetime, is both a humbling and rewarding experience. We hope to see everyone back again next year!"
FROM ADVANCED BIONICS - Advanced Bionics announces the commercial release of the Naída CI Q70 sound processor in Europe, Canada and several other countries around the world
Advanced Bionics (AB), a global leader in cochlear implant technology and a company of the Sonova Group, has announced that the new Naída CI Q70 (Naída CI) sound processor is commercially available in Europe, Canada and several other countries in the world.
The innovation DNA of AB and Phonak have merged together for the introduction of the world’s newest, most advanced behind-the-ear sound processor. With Naída CI, AB delivers a quantum leap forward in performance and wireless connectivity with a chic, modern instyle™ design.
When AB joined the Sonova Group, its engineers immediately began collaborating with Phonak, the world’s top hearing aid manufacturer. With the introduction of Naída CI, cochlear implant recipients have access to the combined technologies of both AB and Phonak for the first time. Naída CI offers exclusive Phonak Binaural VoiceStream Technology™, with unique ear-to-ear communication, to help recipients hear speech better in noise and take the strain out of conversations. The Naída CI processor also provides UltraZoom dual-microphone technology pioneered by Phonak. When AB’s ClearVoice™* speech enhancement technology and the UltraZoom feature are used together in loud real-world settings, recipients experience a 55% improvement in speech perception.
The comprehensive product launch also delivers AccessLine™ accessories for 100% wireless connectivity to consumer electronics by leading brands, including Apple, Samsung and Nokia. Now Bluetooth signals, music, phone calls, TV shows, FM and endless other media can be streamed wirelessly to a compatible Phonak hearing aid and a Naída CI sound processor or to two Naída CI sound processors at the same time. And to make phone communication easier than ever, bilateral recipients using Naída CI processors can answer calls handsfree and stream calls wirelessly to both ears simultaneously.
Sized 40% smaller than AB’s previous behind-the-ear processor, Naída CI sound processors are incredibly lightweight for barely noticeable on and off-ear comfort. Featuring the world’s only instyle™ design, the Naída CI colour collection provides modern styling, from subtle hues that blend with hair and skin tones to chic shades that make a fashion statement.
“When we develop any product, our commitment is to always provide the best possible hearing. We understand that people using our products are also looking for modern aesthetics like we offered with our Neptune™ processor. Naída CI fulfils that promise and is designed to deliver a quantum leap forward in performance and wireless connectivity in a small, attractive package,” said Hansjuerg Emch, President of Advanced Bionics and Group Vice President of the Sonova Medical Division within which AB resides.
With the launch of the Naída CI processor, AB is also launching the T-Mic™ 2 microphone, which delivers the same great performance of the previous model with a discreet new design as well as improved aesthetics, comfort and durability. Additionally, AB is also launching HiRes™ Optima sound processing* for optimized battery life and the same industry-leading performance of HiRes Fidelity 120™*. Proven AB sound processing, including ClearVoice, HiRes Fidelity 120 and AutoSound™, are fully compatible with the new processor for improved hearing that helps recipients excel in school, succeed at work and stay closely connected to loved ones.
For more information about the Naída CI sound processor or Advanced Bionics, contact
FROM ADVANCED BIONICS - Advanced Bionics Enters the World of Rehab Apps for Adults and Assessment Apps for Children
Advanced Bionics is excited to announce two exciting new iPad apps; a rehab aid for adults and a hearing assessment tool for professionals working with children, are now available for download from iTunes.
CLIX is the first instalment in a suite of rehabilitation Apps that is a part of Advanced Bionics Listening Exercises (able). This free program is for adults using hearing aids or cochlear implants who want to practice listening for word differences in both quiet and noise.
How well do you discriminate vowels and consonants? This is a skill that improves with practice. This app is designed for either self-study or work with a friend (referred to as your “Listening Coach”). After taking the placement test the app will suggest areas to visit where you can practice listening for words or words within phrases in a 45 level hierarchy. You can choose to add noise at any time to increase the difficulty.
The IT-Mais App is a version of the popular assessment tool used by professionals globally to evaluate a young child’s response to sound during their first few years of listening with their hearing technology.
This iPad version of the IT-MAIS will help professionals collect and save parental reports concerning their child’s response to sound through an interview format. The test allows creation of up to 30 different child accounts and for repeated interviews over the child’s first two years of listening. Tap and type for each of the ten probes and view the overall score on the score sheet. Revisit this sheet at any time or share the information collected by emailing the results to the email of your choice.
FROM ADVANCED BIONICS - Baby Beats
Discover a musical journey of sound, music, and voice helping little ones learn to listen and communicate.
Children should begin developing communication skills during the very first year of their lives. How can the benefits of Early Intervention be maximised for families with children who have a hearing loss? For families with children experiencing hearing loss, Baby Beats from Advanced Bionics is a motivating, fun program to foster listening and communication development in natural settings, both before and after using hearing aids or receiving cochlear implants.
Parents will be able to see, understand, and enjoy recording the progress their baby is making with their listening and communication in Baby Beats Notes.
This interactive program also offers professionals an innovative way to use music for meeting developmental milestones with their patient families.
The Baby Beats Early Intervention Pack is available now from Advanced Bionics. Designed to get families started immediately, using musical activities for communication development, the pack contains:
• Baby Beats Parent Guide
Begin the musical journey today!
For further information please contact your local Advanced Bionics team.
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear UK and Ireland have their own Facebook and Twitter presence
Now Cochlear UK and Ireland have their own Facebook and Twitter presence, waiting to serve you with the latest local news and events.
If you are a recipient from the UK, they also would love to help you with any requests you might have regarding your Cochlear sound processor.
Why not visit to find out more:
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Maintenance Monday – have a look at the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 instructional videos
Every Monday, Cochlear EMEA highlights a maintenance tip for you on their Facebook page.
The “Maintenance Monday” video series explain how to clean your sound processor, change batteries or give it a colourful new design.
Have a look at this month’s feature: the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 instructional videos
Follow the “Maintenance Monday” videos on our Facebook page:
Or subscribe to the Nucleus 6 instructional videos playlist on our YouTube channel:
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear Celebration event in London on 19th October 2013
You are invited to the Cochlear UK informational exhibition and open house. A FREE event for Cochlear™ Nucleus® and Baha® recipients and their families only.
DATE: Saturday, 19 October 2013, 10 am - 4 pm
VENUE: Kings Place, Battlebridge Room, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Take advantage of this one of a kind opportunity to meet the experts from Cochlear!
The fun packed and informative exhibition offers you and your family the opportunity to speak with professionals, staff and recipients about various topics that may interest you about your or your child’s Cochlear Nucleus System or Cochlear Baha System.
You may also like to attend workshops held by international guests:
• Warren Estabrooks: The power of parents in auditory-verbal practice (Canada)
Here is a glimpse of what the informational exhibition and workshops have to offer:
• Nucleus 6 – discover the difference
Find out more information and register online http://www.cochlear.com/uk/cochlear-celebration-2013 and attend a workshop for the opportunity to **WIN an iPad Mini!**
Sign up fast, limited places available. You do NOT want to miss out this great opportunity!
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear announces the Nucleus® 6 System – simply smarter in every hearing situation
Cochlear Limited, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, has announced CE mark approval for the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 System, its next generation cochlear implant sound processor.
Nucleus 6 delivers industry first innovations designed to provide superior outcomes in a way that makes hearing a lot easier for the recipient – in the smallest sound processor on the market.
Built on a completely new microchip platform with five times the processing power of the market-leading Nucleus 5 Sound Processor, Nucleus 6 delivers:
• SmartSound™ iQ advanced sound processing to optimise performance in every hearing situation
Find out more about the Cochlear Nucleus 6 System here: http://www.cochlear.com/uk/nucleus6
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 - simply smarter in every hearing situation
The Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 System is the only implantable hearing solution with SmartSound™ iQ, the world’s most intelligent –and fully automated – sound management system.
The world is made up of many different types of sound that can be challenging for people who have difficulty hearing. To give you the best hearing outcome every time, the Nucleus 6 System uses the industry’s first scene classifier, SCAN, which analyses the sound environment and applies the best sound processing solutions to optimise hearing performance.
In the past, recipients had to manually change programs for different sound environments – with Nucleus 6 this happens automatically, so they don’t have to think about it.
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 - make the most of your natural hearing
The Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 System is capable of operating both as a hearing aid and a cochlear implant system simultaneously and seamlessly. Your natural hearing will be boosted by the hearing aid, and complemented by your cochlear implant. At the time of choosing an implantable hearing solution, you may still have some limited hearing.
The Nucleus 6 System is designed to support as much of your natural hearing as possible. The all-in-one hearing aid and cochlear implant design will work simultaneously, interactively, and seamlessly to improve your hearing.
With Nucleus 6, your hearing professional can easily change the earhook on your sound processor to accommodate the acoustic component. This is accomplished in a few simple steps. This is all possible in the one, smarter, system.
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 - connect today and be wireless ready
The processing power of the new chip inside the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor creates exciting new opportunities in device connectivity. The system has already been designed to take advantage of advanced wireless technology. With a simple software upgrade under development, your Nucleus 6 Sound Processor will be able to connect to a wide range of wireless audio accessories without the need for intermediary body work devices.
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 - be confident in and around water
Take a walk in the rain, splash around in the pool, soak in the bathtub, or enjoy water aerobics – with Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 you can relax around water and be confident your system will keep on working.
With an IP57* rating, no behind-the-ear worn processor is more water resistant than Nucleus 6.
And now with Nucleus 6, each sound processor has an advanced water repellent coating, making it more reliable around water than ever before.
*With rechargeable batteries. Protection against penetration of solid foreign object ≥ 1.0 mm diameter, failure from dust penetration, failure from temporary immersion in water.
FROM COCHLEAR™ - Cochlear™ Nucleus® Aqua Accessory: dive right in with your Nucleus Sound Processor
If you go for a bath or swim with your head under water or even go diving, the Cochlear™ Nucleus® Aqua Accessory is the right accessory to keep your Nucleus Sound Processor safe in salty ocean, soapy bath water, fresh lake water or even a chlorinated pool.
The simple, convenient Aqua Accessory is a single-use, plastic enclosure that completely seals in the processing unit, cable and coil. The clear, flexible plastic makes it easy to monitor the processor, access the control buttons and reposition the coil. It is compatible with the Cochlear CP800 and CP900 Series sound processors and designed for use with rechargeable batteries only.
The fact that the Aqua Accessory can float, makes it easy to recover it in a pool or bath if dislodged. Additionally there is a retention hole for use with a safety line. For easy opening after use the Aqua Accessory has a quick tear notch.
To learn more about the Aqua Accessory, please visit http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/uk/home/discover/cochlear-implants/cochlear-nucleus-aqua-accessory
FROM MED-EL - Maximum performance with hearing implants
Isabelle Boberg wins three silver medals at the Deaflympics in Sofia
Starnberg, 10th September – Doing sports with a hearing implant doesn’t necessarily have to be any kind of handicap. Isabelle Boberg impressively demonstrated this at this year’s Olympic Deaf Games, the so called Deaflympics. The 23-year old cyclist, who wears a cochlear implant (CI), achieved to win three silver medals at her very first attendance. After her second place in the street course as well as in the cross country contest she also assured a podium position in the 1000 m sprint competition.
This performance is especially remarkable due to the fact that Isabelle just debuted in 2012 for the national B-Team of the German Deaf Cycling Team. As a semi-professional, Isabell earns her living by working in a cycling shop. This does not affect the extent and passion for her sport. More than 12.000 kilometres of training and competition last year are the impressive result of her extraordinary motivation. MED-EL, one of the leading providers for hearing solutions, stands by her side and supports her by providing tricots and a professional mountain bike. “It’s always a pleasure to support young people, who take charge of their life. Isabelle shows in a perfect manner that hearing loss does not mean any restraints in life”, states Dr. Hansjörg Schößer, CEO MED-EL Germany.
Since birth Isabelle Boberg suffered from a profound hearing loss. To compensate her hearing loss Isabelle was equipped early with conventional hearing aids, which worked out well at first. But at the age of 17 her hearing deteriorated dramatically, resulting in her hearing aids being no more sufficing. The young woman opted for an implantation and received finally a MED-EL cochlear implant on her left side. Though hearing aids have always been a constant part of her life, she never perceived them as a handicap when doing sports. Prior to her cycling career she played as a goalkeeper in the national women’s hockey league. By now the cycling sport became the centre of her attention and she enjoys the extra security the hearing implant provides. “Especially on the streets it is extremely important to recognize the direction the traffic is coming. In this case the implant gives me a much safer feeling, as I can properly hear despite the wind”, she adds. Moreover the young athlete is happy to encourage other people with similar issues and gives them advices in how to combine cycling and a hearing implant.
Prospectively Isabelle Boberg is going to race for her home club, the RV 89 Schweinfurt. She also wants to take part at the German championships in Koblenz in September. However, reducing barriers and overcoming fears is an issue, she really cares about. “Frankly spoken there is no reason to avoid doing sports. Trust me, your implant can easily sustain harsh conditions“, the likable Franconian says.
FROM MED-EL - MED-EL opens a new R&D building in Innsbruck
Thanks to continuous high investments MED-EL, leading provider of hearing implant systems, has been expanding rapidly over the last years – in Innsbruck and internationally. To maintain the high level of pioneer work in R&D the company built a new R&D building, which was opened on Thursday 29th. Right now more than 950 of the approximately 1.500 employees are working at the headquarters in Innsbruck.
Affiliated to the MED-EL headquarters the five-storey building offers space for about 380 employees, who are developing innovative implant solutions in a modern and comfortable atmosphere. The company strengthens communication as an essential aspect of daily life work. Besides classic offices and laboratories there are multifunctional mixed areas, especially designed for collaboration and communication. These mixed areas are separated by glass walls to enhance transparency and privacy at the same time.
Furthermore the company focused on an ecological and efficient way of construction. By using an eco-friendly technology more than 400 tons of CO2 can be economized. An amount that corresponds roughly to 2.000 car drives from Innsbruck to Vienna and back. “By constructing the new R&D building we seized the right steps to keep up our successful way now and in future times,” Ingeborg Hochmair, MED-EL CEO, states.
The building offers overall more than 13,000 square metres of space. As the constant growth continues MED-EL also plans to further expand the manufacturing capacities.
FROM NEURELEC - Neurelec’s Serious Games
First true serious games, online!
Children and adults can access to three series of serious games to train specific skills at home.
- The “I can hear/ I can’t” game is based on an auditory detection game that consists in being able to detect a sound.
- The “Find the odd one out” game is an auditory discrimination game. Here one must be able to detect a different sound from other sounds.
- A third game is based on auditory identification. One must be able to recognize the origin of a sound when listening to it.
As in normal games, there are several difficulty levels in these three rehabilitation games. Those levels can be ranked in order of increasing challenge.
Enjoy and experience these serious games for free from www.neurelec.com , from smartphones or tablet computers.
FROM NEURELEC - Rehabilitation tools on neurelec.com
A rich content, an improved navigation… Candidates and patients can quickly find out on Neurelec’s products and services as well as getting an easy access to practical information on cochlear implantation.
In this new version, children and adults are given access to rehabilitation tools they can use for a daily training at home or, to simply have fun.
Under the rehabilitation section, one can find a collection of digraphs flash cards, links to podcasts and training websites in order to learn phonetics, hear and recognize sounds, Mimi’s cartoons pictures to place in the correct order… More on www.neurelec.com/en
FROM NEURLEC - Neurelec YouTube Channel
Access, play and share Neurelec videos, 3D animations you like, directly Neurelec YouTube Channel.