This month, we are launching our inaugural “Hearing Healthcare Awareness Month.” This new month-long campaign is meant to highlight the importance of healthy hearing.
The launch of this campaign is very timely. Many folks who’ve unconsciously relied on lip reading & facial expressions to communicate have recently “discovered” that they have some hearing loss due to face masks removing that critical information, leading to frustration and concern.
During this incredibly stressful time, we have consistently heard from you that the ability to effectively communicate & connect has been so critically important to your wellbeing.
Why Healthy Hearing is Important
As hopefully all of you know, one of Berkeley Hearing Center’s main goals is to educate patients and loved ones about healthy hearing.
Whether it’s the importance of hearing loss prevention by protecting your ears from harmful levels of sound or the tremendous short & long-term benefits of early and consistent treatment of hearing loss with amplification (i.e., hearing aids), we want to provide honest and accurate information so that you can make informed decisions about your hearing healthcare.
If you’re reading this, to some extent, we are “preaching to the choir,” since you’ve already made the choice to address your hearing concerns.
This is true whether you have normal hearing and got custom hearing protection or have diagnosed hearing loss and smartly began treatment with amplification (i.e., hearing aids).
From a purely scientific/medical standpoint, we know the importance of both prevention of hearing loss and the early & consistent treatment of hearing loss with properly fit amplification.
But for whatever reason, not enough folks know of or heed this information.
How Can You Get Involved?
For our “Hearing Healthcare Awareness Month,” we are asking for your help in raising awareness of the importance of healthy hearing. We are asking you to get involved by volunteering to share your “hearing journey” with others.
If you are interested in assisting us with spreading the word, then please contact John (firstname.lastname@example.org), and he can give you details.
You will be asked to make a short video about why hearing is so important to you and your experience(s) with hearing healthcare.
We will post these videos on our website to help others understand and feel more comfortable about addressing their hearing concerns/issues.
Your voices will help others to get the care they need. To paraphrase the African proverb, “It takes a village.”
But even if you don’t want to make a video, if you know of someone who you suspect is suffering from hearing/communication issues, encourage them to seek out the assistance of a hearing healthcare professional.
We’re here to help!
Updates From The Office
For a few months now, I’ve been writing about the deleterious effects wearing masks have had for the hearing impaired. I’ve made the case for the use of clear or transparent masks to regain the critical visual cues lost by other types of face coverings. But up until very recently, we couldn’t practice what we preached.
We had placed an order for ClearMasks several months ago, at the beginning of the “shelter-in-place” order. But like many things, the manufacturer wasn’t able to handle the demand precipitated by COVID-19, and they remained on backorder.
At the end of July, we finally received our order and have been using them with great effect. Those who’ve been in since have given us very positive feedback about them. And it’s just really nice to be able to smile at someone in person and have them be able to see it!
Those who’ve been in recently may also have noticed how beautiful the office looks in the front. Dr. Traylor and her husband came in over a weekend several weeks ago and planted some gorgeous flowers, which are really starting to blossom and bloom. It makes the office feel that much more a place of healing and growth.
Little did we know how important the move to our new location would be. Sure, the greatly expanded space and parking were the impetus.
But our new location at Channing Way has given us the ability to readily adapt to the circumstances of this pandemic to keep our patients (and ourselves) safe without sacrificing care.
The parking lot and our oasis of a backyard have been a godsend, allowing us to continue helping and serving you with peace of mind relative to safety!
Feedback from those of you who’ve been in has been unanimously positive.
Finally, we are delighted to report that we’ve begun construction on our City of Berkeley approved wheelchair accessible ramp!
We’ve been working with architects, structural engineers, and the City since we moved in to make this happen.
We hope to be done with construction by the middle to end of this month. We appreciate your patience with this project that will enhance our ability to care for those with mobility challenges.
A Landmark Law
Which brings me to my final thoughts. Thirty years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) was passed.
This landmark piece of civil rights legislation was passed to address decades of pervasive discrimination against those with disabilities. Its passage opened up possibilities for millions of people.
Nevertheless, like so many other aspects of our society, the reality is that there’s still a lot of work to be done.
I encourage all of you to read this piece to get a better understanding of that work. Even for someone like myself, who works every day with people with disabilities, it was an eye-opener.
It also translates to what we see firsthand regarding the reckoning of America’s shameful treatment of the “other” throughout our history. We desperately need to be able to put ourselves in the “other’s” shoes.
To see the world through their lens, their prism. Only then can we see when we are part of the solution.
Wishing you and yours health and healing.
Keep up the good work doing your part (i.e., wearing masks, social distancing, washing your hands, etc.) to keep yourself, your loved ones, and the rest of the community safe.
Please also continue to support your local businesses.
For all inquiries, call us at 510-841-0681.
The team at Berkeley Hearing Center