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

Bienvenue à À l'écoute, un bi-hebdomadaire électronique qui vous informe sur les produits, services et événements d'intérêt pour les Canadiens ayant une déficience auditive. L'information est tirée de diverses sources de partout au Canada et dans le monde entier. Notre objectif est sensibiliser les malentendants et de leur permettre de choisir des stratégies de communication qui les aident dans leur vie quotidienne. L'AMEC est la voix nationale des Canadiens ayant une déficience auditive. Nous sommes un organisme sans but lucratif.
SPECIAL HOLIDAY ISSUE!                                                      December 14 | Issue # 7
Message from your Executive Director
Joy to the world and peace to all on Earth!

It is the holiday season; a time we look forward to every year. It is the time to escape from our busy schedules to spend time with our loved ones, reflect on the year’s activities and look towards the New Year.
The holidays are also a perfect time to remind you how much we at CHHA National appreciate working with all of you to represent the interests of millions of Canadians who are hard of hearing.   

What does CHHA National do?
  • advocates on members’ behalf to advise government and policy makers of issues impacting the ability of our community to lead independent lives in a world of hearing;
  • provides member programs such as the newly expanded speech reading program;
  • provides Information to members and the public by:
    • Answering inquiries over the phone and in email
    • ‘Ask the Expert’ service online
    • Listen Magazine - re-energized to provide more in-depth information on issues pertaining to the lives of the hard of hearing;
    • The Annual Conference, ‘Hear By the Sea’ in Sidney, BC May 2017 for educational benefits
On behalf of the CHHA National Team, we wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

We hope you enjoy a wonderful season filled with the people and traditions that mean the most.
Glenn Martin, National Executive Director
Karla Wilson, Manager, Administration
Chantal Coleman, Events & Communications Coordinator
Alena Wickware, Project Manager, Broadcast Accessibility Fund
Christianne Scholfield, Project Manager, Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities

                                               - Glenn Martin, National Executive Director
Register for 2017 CHHA Conference "Hear by the Sea" by December 31, 2016 and enter to win a Sennheiser Headset!
CHHA National
Mary Winspear Centre - Conference Venue
The scenic town of Sidney by the Sea on Vancouver Island in British Columbia will host CHHA members during the 2017 CHHA Conference “Hear by the Sea”. It will be held from May 25-27, 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

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

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

** Register before December 31, 2016 and be entered to win a Sennheiser Headset! **
Call for Proposals to CO-HOST the 2018 CHHA Conference

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

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

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


Le service de texto au 9-1-1 pour les personnes sourdes ou ayant une déficience auditive ou un trouble de la parole maintenant disponible partout au pays

L'Association canadienne des télécomunications sans fil (ACTS) et ses membres télécommunicateurs, en partenariat avec des organismes de sécurité publique de partout au pays et le Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes (CRTC), commémorent la Journée internationale des personnes handicapées le 3 décembre en soulignant que le service de texto au 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) est disponible à l'échelon national pour la communauté des personnes sourdes ou ayant une déficience auditive ou un trouble de la parole.
Le T9-1-1 permet aux centres d'appels du 9-1-1 de converser par texto avec une personne sourde ou ayant une déficience auditive ou un trouble de la parole en situation d'urgence. Lorsqu'une personne sourde ou ayant une déficience auditive ou un trouble de la parole doit avoir recours au service 9-1-1, elle compose le 9-1-1 à partir de son cellulaire. La personne n'a pas besoin de parler ou d'entendre, puisque le téléphoniste du 9-1-1 recevra un message lui indiquant de communiquer avec la personne par texto. Le téléphoniste du 9-1-1 initie alors une session de texto avec la personne afin de répondre à la situation d'urgence.
Lancé en mars 2014, le texto au 9-1-1 est maintenant offert à la grande majorité des Canadiens, y compris à plusieurs endroits en Alberta, en Colombie-Britannique, au Manitoba, en Ontario et au Québec, et partout à l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, au Nouveau-Brunswick et en Nouvelle-Écosse. Certains centres d'appels 9-1-1 effectuent encore les améliorations nécessaires à leurs systèmes et lanceront le service T9-1-1 au cours des mois à venir.
7 Ways to Include Everyone In the Holiday Cheer
KDH News
Holidays bring get-togethers filled with music, food and conversation. However, for those who experience hearing loss, the season often takes on a whole different sound. Those with hearing loss often end up feeling isolated from the festivities, but there are ways you can make sure they feel comfortable joining the fun.
Local Santa for the deaf and hard of hearing uses sign language, hands out teddy bears
Ottawa Citizen
You may recognize this Signing Santa - he is Michel David who has a long history with CHHA!

The Noonan family has attended the Quota Club of Ottawa’s Signing Santa party for three years now. What makes the event extra special — besides the hot chocolate, cookies, games and laser tag — is that Santa can communicate with both of the Noonan children.

Makiya, 10, was born deaf, and was implanted with bilateral cochlear implants at 13 months. She speaks and uses American sign language, while her eight-year-old brother Damon, who can hear, is still learning ASL.

Luckily for both kids, Santa speaks, uses sign language and has a cochlear implant, making every child feel comfortable while sharing their wish list. Makiya and Damon, along with their parents Craig and Kristin, anticipate the annual event.

Ho, Ho, Ho, I’m a HoH! Surviving the Hearing Holidays
Hearing Health Matters

Q:  At the start of every holiday season, what’s more common than cookie recipes and decorating ideas?
A:  Articles on how to survive the holiday season!
They fall like snowflakes on social media, these survival-blogs that offer advice on coping with the annual issues of season – loneliness, depression, finances, family dysfunction, grief—and hearing loss.
The last one is my particular specialty: I’m a HoH (hard of hearing). Along with other hearing loss writers, I create yearly Brace yourself, HoHs, here come the holidays!” pieces, including  A Hearing Loss Letter to SantaIt’s Me Again, Santa – The Lady with Hearing Loss, Happy Holidays for HoHs, and last year’s popular Cheat Sheet for Better Holiday Hearing.
Why do people with hearing loss need help with the holiday season? 

Simple: the powerful emotions of the season can turn painful when we struggle to understand things that used to give us joy. Holiday dinners are a nightmare trying to figure out who’s saying what, parties are noisy and people talk with their mouth full, and our family and friends often forget about/ignore our needs in the heat of their own holiday merriment. For some people, it’s stressful just thinking about what lies ahead in the holidays. We grieve for the music that we no longer hear, or in quite the same way. It’s lonely in the midst of a large party with jumbled words swirling around you like a winter storm. And family dysfunction happens real fast when the people you love, who are supposed to know better, chat away easily, including you out.
5 Ways to Make Holiday Parties More Hearing-Loss-Friendly
The Mighty

The holidays can be rough for people with hearing loss. Seeing friends and family is nice, but holiday gatherings tend to be larger and louder and often occur one after the other. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, and even depressing to watch others celebrate when you feel like you cannot participate in the way you would like.

It can be hard on those who love us as well. They don’t want to see us struggle or be unhappy, and they can get annoyed if we don’t want to partake in the festivities. Today’s post is for them. Please share these tips with them so you all can enjoy a happier holiday party season together.
If you are sharing your holidays with someone with hearing loss, here are five things you can do to make your holiday gatherings more hearing-loss-friendly.

Industry Event Submissions
If you come across an industry event that would be of interest to members of CHHA, please submit link, photos and information to . Thank you in advance for your submissions!
FREE WEBINAR: Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities! What is an accessible Canada to you?
CHHA National
Do you have access to all you need to live your life fully? If you’re interested in discussing how invisible disabilities need to be recognized and understood, join us for this one-hour webinar!
The Government of Canada is working on a Federal legislation that aims to create a more inclusive and accessible society for all Canadians. You can have say in legislation by helping CHHA and its 17 partner organizations identify barriers and social challenges facing those with hearing loss, mental health and learning disabilities. This webinar will kick start a series of interactive webinars being hosted in the New Year!
In this live webinar, we’ll discuss and engage you in the conversation:
  • Spotlight Project Introduction
  • Hear from those involved
  • Respond and react in real time to discussions
  • Learn about your opportunity to contribute concrete recommendations to the federal government

Thursday, December 15, 2016 – 12 P.M. EST

** The webinar will be fully accessible with CART captioning

Unable to participate? Simply register and you will receive a link to view the webinar at your convenience
WEBINAIRE GRATUIT: Pleins feux sur les déficiences invisibles! Qu’est-ce qu’un Canada accessible selon vous?
Avez-vous accès à tout ce dont vous avez besoin pour vivre pleinement? Si la discussion sur la nécessité de reconnaître et de comprendre les déficiences invisibles vous intéresse, joignez-vous à nous à l’occasion d’un webinaire d’une heure! 
Le Gouvernement du Canada travaille à l’élaboration d’une loi fédérale visant à améliorer l’inclusion et l’accessibilité au sein de la société canadienne. Vous pouvez contribuer à l’élaboration de cette loi en aidant l’Association des malentendants canadiens (AMEC) et 17 organisations partenaires à déterminer les obstacles et les problèmes sociaux que connaissent les personnes ayant une déficience auditive, un trouble d’apprentissage ou un trouble de santé mentale. Le webinaire est le premier d’une série de séminaires interactifs en ligne qui auront lieu dans la nouvelle année.

Voici le programme du webinaire en direct :
  • Présentation du projet Pleins feux
  • Commentaires des divers intervenants
  • Réponses et réactions en temps réel aux sujets discutés
  • La façon de soumettre vos recommandations au gouvernement fédéral
Jeudi, 15 décembre 2016 – 12 h (midi) HNE

Le webinaire sera parfaitement accessible grâce à la transcription CART

Incapable de participer? Enregistrez et vous recevrez un lien vers le webinaire afin de le visionner a volonter.

Hearing Loss Challenge – Your Stories

On December 2, CHHA: Newfoundland & Labrador Chapter put the Hearing Loss Challenge out to Newfoundland and Labrador – wear earplugs for one hour, or more, to gain a better understanding of the communication barriers experienced by someone with hearing loss. The Chapter received wonderful feedback on this awareness initiative and presented some stats and stories on their website.


Mountain Ear - December 2016
CHHA North Shore Branch

Read Mountain Ear- CHHA North Shore Branch December Newsletter to see what they have been up to!
If you would like to see your Chapter or Branch newsletter featured in I Listen, send a copy of your latest newsletter to

CHHA Events

Call for Event Submissions
If you would like to see your Branch or Chapters Meetings/Events listed here, please email with the event details!

Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) and its wireless carrier members, in partnership with public safety agencies across the country and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 with the marking of the national availability of Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service for Canada's Deaf, Deafened, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired (DHHSI) community.

T9-1-1 provides 9-1-1 call centres with the ability to converse via text messaging with a DHHSI person during an emergency. When a DHHSI person requires 9-1-1 services, they dial 9-1-1 on their cell phone. There is no need for a caller to speak or hear, as the 9-1-1 call taker should receive an indicator that advises them to communicate with the caller via text messaging. The 9-1-1 call taker then initiates text messaging with the caller to address the emergency.

The service, which began rolling out in March 2014, is now available to the vast majority of Canadians, including in many parts of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and province-wide in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. Some 9-1-1 call centres are still making the necessary upgrades to their systems and will launch the T9-1-1 service in the coming months.

"All Canadians should have the same access to safety services across the country," said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. "This is why I am very pleased to see the launch of nationwide availability of Text with 9-1-1 service for Canada's deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and speech impaired community. This is a great step in breaking down another barrier for persons with disabilities and to improve inclusivity and accessibility in Canada."

T9-1-1 is only available to those in the DHHSI community. A DHHSI person must first register for T9-1-1 with their wireless service provider and must have an eligible cell phone before being able to utilize this service. All information about T9-1-1, including registration details and areas of service availability, can be found at

MED-EL Launches New Spotify Playlist featuring Holiday Tunes
In the spirit of the holiday season, MED-EL USA announced today the launch of a new Spotify playlist featuring popular holiday music and specifically designed for cochlear implant recipients: “MED-EL Music for the Holidays.”
“Music is such a big part of the holidays, and sometimes people who live with hearing loss can feel left out. We wanted to create a musical experience that the whole family can enjoy together,” said Johanna Pätzold, MED-EL’s in-house musicologist and curator of the playlist.
The holiday playlist includes 24 songs – one for each day leading up to Christmas – and was developed using the same research-based criteria as the world premier MED-EL Music for Cochlear Implants playlist that was launched in May of this year. “We received so much positive feedback about the first playlist from cochlear implant users in the US and around the world,” said Johanna.  “This playlist was created because of the many requests that were sent in.”
“Holiday music is familiar, which is a good place to start when considering CI user music listening success. However, the traditional songs often have an orchestral accompaniment, which can make listening with a CI more challenging,” continued Johanna. “The ‘MED-EL Music for the Holidays’ list includes old-time favorites like Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas,’ as well as covers of classics like ‘Feliz Navidad’ that have simpler musical arrangements than the original.”
“My hope is that this playlist can both motivate CI users to practice their music listening, as well as serve as a fun way for users and their families to come together and experience the joy of the season,” Johanna added. “Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along.”
To access the list, visit the music streaming site and login or create a free account.  Under “search,” enter “MED-EL Music for the Holidays. Listeners can then follow MED-EL and start enjoying the music.
Healthy Hearing’s Quiet Toy List
Healthy Hearing

The holiday season is a wonderful mix of sights and sounds, family and gift-giving, celebration and thanksgiving. It seems the season gets bigger, noisier and more hectic with each passing year. In fact, in addition to the increased volume of traffic, crowd noise and music during the holidays, some of the toys on the market today emit sounds so loud they can permanently damage hearing.

So as we scurry around trying to find the right present for each loved one, maybe it’s time to get back to basics. Instead of opting for things that whistle, ding, toot and entertain to wrap for our loved ones, think about giving one of these items from the Healthy Hearing Quiet Toy List. Each one generates noise levels well beneath the accepted healthy hearing levels of 70 decibels while providing a good measure of old-fashioned fun.

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Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
2415 Holly Lane, Suite 205
Ottawa, Ontario K1V 7P2

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

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