Welcome Message

Cochlear Implants, hearing loss and more! I carry an interesting perspective: someone who had normal hearing growing up, lost it all slowly as an adult, then regained it with cochlear implants. So I'm deaf, but I can hear - a true miracle. If you'd like to know more about me and my bilateral cochlear implant experiences right away, my two books have a wealth of information - see the links below. Check out the list of upcoming events too - perhaps one day we'll get to meet!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cochlear Implant Miracle: DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

This season, as usual, I was looking for holiday cards that were "special."  I had barely begun my search when this box of cards tumbled to the floor at my feet.  The box was a bit battered, but the cards were intact.  This was the only  box left, so I bought it.

Here's the front of the card:

And here's the message on the inside of the card:

I knew that "Do You Hear What I Hear" was a Christmas song, but I didn't know much about it, so I looked it up and found this:

It seems that the song was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, as a plea for peace.  For those too young to remember those days, the world was on the brink of nuclear war.  I remember my schoolmates thinking that we should protest at the United Nations (I lived in Manhattan at the time), but then realizing that they didn't want to spend what might be their last day on earth protesting. The world situation was that intense. 

The song gained popularity in the years that followed. 
So - the question remains:  Do you hear what I hear?

My hearing with bilateral cochlear implants is incredibly good.  But I don't really think that's what this question is about, not at this time of year.

I am deaf and I can hear the sounds of the world around me, connect with others, enjoy the music of the season, including my own voice chanting blessings. 

I hear the sound of a miracle. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cochlear Implant WOW moments

I had a WOW moment yesterday - and one would think these don't happen after 14 years with a cochlear implant (CI) - and three years of bilateral CI use.  A WOW moment is the realization that you could do something or hear something you never would have been able to do without the miracle of your cochlear implants.  Here's the story:

My husband bid on and won tickets (at a charity silent auction) to a dinner/magic show held at a posh location in Manhattan. It was the kind where they do magic tricks at your dinner table, and then a magic show with a lot of interaction with the audience. I was a little leery - I never like to put myself in a position of potentially not hearing - and this had no assistive listening devices or captioning - so I knew I'd be flying without a net.

When the magician did his magic at our table, I interacted with no repeats - did all the "pick this" "tell me that" instructions and answers instantly.  WOW!  And then the magic show itself - in this small room environment, everyone was in the hot seat - I got called on to "knock on the wall" and "do this, do that" - from 20 feet out.  I got it all - and even the jokes, and laughed along!  They never suspected I was deaf.  WOW!

There was one coin trick the magician did at our table, where I held two coins in my closed fist - and he magically "dropped" a third one into my closed hand - and I HEARD the "clink," and when I opened my hand, I had three coins!

I told my husband immediately (and excitedly) that I heard the "clink."  Turns out that he wasn't going to mention it to me because if I hadn't heard it, he didn't want me to be upset (I think that's why we're married 41 years).  But nope - I heard it - and you better believe that I wasn't expecting to!  So add another WOW there.

This was bilateral WOW - and it's "advanced WOW" - because I put myself in this position - it didn't just happen to me. The confidence to try to do something I never would have done before. That's the WOW part - and my husband, who often knows better how I'm hearing than I do, thought I could. And he was right.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TOUR ARLENE ROMOFF'S WEBSITE www.listeningclosely.com

It's been a while since I've blogged - plenty of good reasons for that - but the big news now is that my new website is ready for your viewing pleasure!  Just click here and you'll be taken to http://www.listeningclosely.com/  or really, MY WORLD.

First you'll notice that it's the same color pink as the cover of my book, Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing .  That sets the tone because that book is all about me and hearing loss, and so is this website. 

The categories to choose from:

HOME - quick links to current reviews, articles, book links, videos - plus my favorite picture, Albert Eistein and me taken at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

VIDEOS - all captioned in English and Spanish -  make sure to watch my TV interview - and also my bilateral cochlear implant presentation.

ABOUT ARLENE - a brief introduction, with lots more info available in my books.

RESOURCES - current articles, information about organizations, captioned movies, captioned theater (in the US, UK and Australia!)

AWARDS - nice to be recognized by some wonderful organizations and agencies that care about advocacy and hearing loss - including the NJ State Legislature and Senator Frank Lautenberg!

TESTIMONIALS - reviews of my books, reviews of my presentations - and some fan mail.  Too much to list it all, but a nice sampling.

CONTACT - easy to reach me at  arlene@listeningclosely.com

That's the quick tour - you'll now have to go see for yourself, so CLICK HERE to begin.  I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.  You might even want to connect with me on LinkedIn !

And don't forget to sign up on this blog to get email notifications of future blog entries.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001: A Remembrance

My thoughts turn now to remembrances of that grim day - September 11, 2001.  It was a day we had been looking forward to, the date chosen months before for the League for the Hard of Hearing's annual Comedy Night.  It was a fundraiser for the League, the agency that is now renamed the Center for Hearing and Communication, but for us, this event was always more than about raising money. It was the one evening where people with hearing loss could experience professional standup comedy without missing a word because open captioning and asisstive listening devices were being provided. Comedy Night had always been our favorite event, and we were expecting almost 100 of our friends and family to join us that evening.  We started getting ready early in the morning, since we would be heading into the city in the afternoon to fine tune all the seating plans.  And then we got the phone call - my sister-in-law saying that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. 

My immediate thoughts were that this was a freakish airline accident.  But we rushed to turn on the television, and followed the horrific news as it unfolded.  I watched in horror as the second plane dove into the second tower - and I vividly remember realizing, incredulously, that one of the towers had just collapsed. 

Needless to say, we knew our plans for the day - and beyond - were forever altered.  My recollections of these events have a second layer of meaning, though.  Like everything else, it always has to do with "hearing."  I was watching the live news coverage, and it was captioned - in realtime.  My cochlear implant was allowing me to hear a lot of the live reporting, but I still needed the captioning to fill in whatever I was missing.  And that meant the difference between being part of this tragic event, or merely a bystander wondering what was going on. 

I mention this because this is in stark contrast to my experience a mere ten years prior, at the beginning of the militrary actions of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.  At that time, my hearing was at the profound level, and my hearing aid didn't help me much, if at all.  Although many television programs were captioned, live breaking news typically had no live captioning coverage - not yet required by law.  I remember desperately trying to understand what General Schwartzkopf was reporting to the news media, so important to me because I had a friend in the military now in harm's way.  I was a nervous bystander, hoping someone else would please tell me what was going on.

September 11, 2001 was vastly different - with the captioning being steadily streamed, so I could know exactly what was going on, at the same time everyone else was.  Being connected isn't just for the good things - it's as important, if not more so, during trying times.  I learned later that it wasn't by chance that the captioning continued to scroll throughout the morning when the reporting was so important.  I read about how the captioners needed to stay at their stations for hours on end without a break because they didn't want to lose their phone connections.  The dedication of these professionals to their consituency is one aspect most of us don't think about - or didn't, until then.  The National Court Reporters Association documented these real stories of how captioning continued on September 11 and they give a glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes. 

I "only" knew one person who perished that day - the mother of my daughter's friend. But knowing even one person makes it personal.  I watched the memorial ceremony on television this morning, the reading of all the names. I could hear most of it with my bilateral cochlear implants, but I had the captions scrolling, as a reminder of why my recollections of that infamous morning ten years ago are still so vivid.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hearing Loss: Getting Down to Business!

This was the week that "moved heaven and earth" here in New Jersey.  We felt the ground shake from the radiating tremors of an earthquake, and we've just survived the furies of Hurricane Irene.  These two events seem a fitting herald of yet another feat of nature - the appearance of an article about hearing loss in the Sunday Business Section of the NJ Star Ledger, a major newspaper in the state! 

Hearing loss is usually relegated to the Health or Human Interest sections, but here it is - right there on Page 2 of the Business section, alongside a listing of the 200 largest public corporations in New Jersey.  And as you can see from the picture and headline, the article is about my advocacy work and hearing loss.  The reporter had sent me questions to answer online, in preparation for this article.

My article on Page 2 of the Business Section of the Star Ledger
You can read the actual text of the NJ Star Ledger article by clicking on this link.  You'll see that the article mentions my co-founding two hearing loss organizations, with leadership positions in both.  It delves into the life skills I gleaned from my education and work experience that prepared me for my advocacy work, and asks about upcoming events, plans for the future, and my proudest acheivements.  So, in a nutshell, this is very much an article about business - with the product being solutions to the very real challenges that people with hearing loss face. 

Considering that hearing loss impacts business people as much as those who read the Health and Human interest sections, I applaud the Star Ledger for recognizing the serious nature of hearing loss, and its importance to its readers.  And applause are also in order for Joel Strasser, HLA-NJ board member, who handles the PR that made this article happen.

The fact that this was also the week that the Yankees made the record books by scoring three grand slam home runs in one game - well, that's pretty amazing, too - almost as amazing as having an article on hearing loss appear in a Business section!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Captioned Theater - A TRU Story

Bob Ost presenting Humanitarian Award to Arlene

They say that one picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the above picture is of Bob Ost, Executive Director of  Theater Resources Unlimited, a professional organization for theater producers, presenting me with TRU's Humanitarian Award for my captioned live theater advocacy work. One look at TRU's website and you'll know what this organization is about - everything to do with professional theater. That photo was taken in 2008 at their annual "TRU Love" benefit luncheon. As you can see from the photo below, the event was open captioned (see the LED screen to the right of the picture?)  And as Bob pointed out to the audience of mostly theater people, nobody would miss a word of the lyrics with those captions scrolling. (Assistive listening devices - ALDs - were supplied as well.)

Arlene giving acceptance speech while captions scroll on the LED screen
A curious thing happened the next year, 2009, as Bob was preparing for the annual TRU Love benefit once again. He realized that if TRU didn't provide open captioning, then Arlene and other people with hearing loss wouldn't be able to attend! And Bob also realized that people with  hearing loss don't only want to attend events related to hearing loss - they want to attend what everyone else is attending, too.  SOOOOO - the 2009 TRU Love benefit luncheon provided open captioning again, even though nobody with hearing loss was being honored that year.  So I went - along with a bunch of others with and without hearing loss - not only because it was captioned, but because this event is really super!  There's a wonderful cocktail hour, then a gourmet luncheon, and top notch professional entertainment - in addition to the award presentations.  AND - and this is very important - it supported this amazing organization that "got it" about people with hearing loss being able to attend a mainstream event "with dignity" - and the need for captioning in the theater.  

Some of the entertainment at the 2008 TRU Love benefit luncheon

So another curious thing happened in 2010 - again.  TRU made sure to have open captioning for its TRU Love benefit luncheon again, even though no one with hearing loss was being honored.  Bob was committed to making this event accessible to people with hearing loss.  And now, the "regulars" with  hearing loss returned for another delightful afternoon of food, drink and professional entertainment - while hobnobbing with REAL theater people - producers, actors, writers, and I imagine a few angels as well. This event is beyond just being accessible or a captioned theater performance - this is a REAL New York theater experience!

The 2011 TRU Love benefit luncheon planning is now in the works - NOVEMBER 6, 2011 - and once again TRU plans to have open captioning and ALDs.  With the cost of a ticket at about $100 (higher levels of support available), that's a pretty good deal for cocktails, lunch and entertainment - all without missing a word.   And supporting this amazing organization that educates the entire theater community about the benefits of captioning - PRICELESS!

If you'd like to thank Bob for his amazing work, just email him at TRUnltd@aol.com and tell him Arlene sent you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shakespeare Captioned (All's Well that Ends Well)

Shakespeare - with captions.  That's just the way Shakespeare should be experienced -  seeing and savoring every word.  It seems that only people with hearing loss get to do this, however.  A little poetic justice, I guess.

We just saw "All's Well that End's Well" last week at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series of the Public Theater - a summer tradition.  The Theatre Development Fund's Theatre Access Program arranges the captioning, done by C2 Caption Coalition, including the distribution of tickets, ordered online (free of charge, so they "sell out" fast!)  The captioning LED screen is set up above the entrance staircase, providing good sight lines from a section of the open-air theater.  Speakers are strung above the audience, providing good sound coverage as well.

The setting is idyllic (unless it's raining or unbearably hot!)  And for last week's performance, the surroundings were perfect.  The captioned performances bring out a crowd of "regulars" with a varied assortment of hearing loss and equipment: some hearing aids, some cochlear implants (bilateral and singles) - senior citizens, sign language users - all there to soak up the Shakespearean experience with one HUGE advantage: we don't miss a single word!  One almost feels sorry for the hearing mortals. 

It makes one wonder why captioning isn't provided routinely for all audiences. "What fools these mortals be!"  (Opera companies do supertitles, even for English language operas.)  For now, it's the best kept secret.  For those of us with hearing loss, captioning ensures that no matter what the Shakespearean production, all's well that ends well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LaRueList: Bilateral Cochlear Implant networking at its best

My book, LISTENING CLOSELY, was just featured in an article on LaRueList, a dynamic newsletter produced by a dynamic woman, Jeannine Larue.  Take a look at the article first - and then I'll tell you how my bilateral cochlear implants helped to make this happen.


A few weeks ago, I attended the NJ Governor's Conference for Women - a great place to network and learn - definitely an empowering experience. The first event was a Networking Reception, an opportunity to "meet and greet" some of the hundreds of women at the conference.  That was a pretty daunting challenge for someone with a hearing loss, but I went in there confident that my bilateral cochlear implants were up to the task of "working the room."  And they were!  It was there that I saw Jeannine, whom I knew from a previous conference.  I updated her about my bilateral CI's and my new book.  People are always interested in learning about this miracle that allows deaf people to hear. 

We both agreed that more people should know about cochlear implants - and my book.  And that's how an article about LISTENING CLOSELY ended up in LaRueList.  Social networking at its best - both live and online.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cochlear Implant Book Review: "fascinating memoir"

I'm still a novice at this social networking explosion, but I'm having a wonderful time navigating its pathways nonetheless.  My book, Listening Closely, seems to be a welcoming ambassador, opening doors I didn't even know existed. That's how I met Melissa Amster, the Chick Lit Central blogger, who found my book listed on a book-lovers' website, and related to it because of her own family's connection to hearing loss and cochlear implants. She interviewed me on her blog (if I were really savvy, I'd put the link here - but for now, take my word for it!)  And now she's written this review of my book, with an enlightened, fresh perspective:

Chick Lit Book Review

We both know that people in the mainstream, who never usually give much thought to hearing loss or deafness, need to read this book to understand the sense that connects them, invisibly, to the world.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sturbridge Convention - where it all began

The Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention 2011 is coming up next week, being held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Convention Center in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on July 8 - 10  http://www.neci2011.neciconvention.org/
This year, I am one of the presenters - doing a session on bilateral cochlear implants on Sunday, July 10 at 9 AM. 

The history of this convention runs deep for me - I was at the very first one, held  in June of 1997, researching my own cochlear implant options.   I wasn't alone, either - it was there that I met many of what became a close-knit group of "first generation" cochlear implant users.  We weren't exactly pioneers, but cochlear implants weren't exactly commonplace yet either. 

Those were the days when you had to have very little hearing left to qualify - about 20% using hearing aids.  I didn't have to worry, though - my hearing at that point was just 8% in my "better" ear.  I met people like myself, researching their options - and I also met people who had already gotten their CI's.  I didn't have to be sold, though - I was desperate - my long journey from normal to profound deafness had reached its ultimate destination.

I made a return visit to this convention in 2001, to sign copies of my first book, Hear Again - Back to Life with a Cochlear Implant.  And now, in 2011, I'm looking forward to talking about bilateral cochlear implants, and signing copies of my second book, Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing.  

I have to smile at the thought of returning to my "alma mater" this year, as a member of its original graduating class.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

TV Interview Now on YouTube!

It's finally here -  the LTV East Hampton television talk show program, ACCESS with Richard Rosenthal is now on YouTube!
Part 1 (Parts 2-6 below)

This interview is groundbreaking and unique because Richard Rosenthal has a hearing loss, so he zones in on the real issues and important perspectives about hearing loss.  I met Richard about 25 years ago at an event at the League for the Hard of Hearing (now called the Center for Hearing and Communication), and we had much to talk about, as both of us were interested and dedicated to advocacy for people with hearing loss.  Our paths diverged over the years, but we finally connected once again when Richard saw the promotional materials for my second book, Listening Closely.  He found me on Facebook, "friended" me (pretty impressive for an octogenarian!) - and invited me to appear on his program.  That was an offer I couldn't refuse, and we did a day trip out to East Hampton from New Jersey. 

A big thanks to Richard and LTV East Hampton for allowing the two half-hour programs to be uploaded to YouTube so that even those not in the LTV broadcast area can watch these programs.  Richard won the prestigious Alliance for Community Media award in 2010 for the quality of the work on his ACCESS program.

You'll notice that Richard uses headphones and a person FM system (transmitter w/microphone and headphones w/receiver) to communicate. That delivers the sound directly to his ears, and works well for him, as you see in the interview.

You'll also notice that these video segments are captioned.  Just click on the CC button to turn the captions on.  The captions should be showing when the CC button is red.  Getting these videos captioned is another interesting story. 

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a lovely young woman, Nari French, from Australia, who had been searching for books for her mother, who is deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants.  She found Listening Closely on Amazon.com and read the author bio, where it mentions my advocacy for open captioning of live theater performances.  It turns out that Nari has her own captioning business, The Captioning Studio, and does open captioning for live theater performances in Australia!  At the same time, we both were connected to a new captioning advocacy group, CCAC -  http://www.ccacaptioning.org/ - whose members are both consumers and captioning providers. (For more info contact:  ccacaptioning@gmail.com )

I posted to the CCAC group that I needed to have these LTV videos captioned, and Nari was the first one to respond, offering to do them pro bono.  She made me an offer I couldn't refuse!   With the cooperation and collaboration of LTV and Richard Rosenthal, these videos are now making their captioned debut on YouTube!

Thanks Richard, everyone at LTV, Nari, CCAC - and everyone else making this happen.  It takes a village!

Arlene Romoff on Access with Richard Rosenthal on LTV
Aired June 2011
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WICKED captioned at the Kennedy Center

I promised to talk more about the captioned live performance of WICKED at the Kennedy Center - one of the highlights of the HLAA convention held in Crystal City, just outside of Washington DC.  This was also an enormous challenge for the Kennedy Center, as it had to prepare for 600 convention attendees, eager to enjoy the show - with captions!

As I've mentioned, and is noted in my book, "Listening Closely", I've been involved with advocacy for live theater captioning since 1996 (prior to getting my cochlear implants), when we were successful in getting the first open captioned performance at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.  I've also been attending the LEAD arts access conferences, sponsored by the Kennedy Center. Here's the brochure from the 2010 conference - flip to Page 5 to see me using a neckloop and infrared receiver, while trying out a handheld device for museums -

The captioned performance was a sight to behold - as the show's stage set and the theater itself are grand and impressive.  There were LED signs on either side of the stage, and 5 more hung from the balcony so that people in the rear orchestra could also read the captioning.  The theater was looped temporarily for this occasion (so people with t-coils on their hearing aids or cochlear implant processors just had to turn them on), in addition to having 600 receivers available for the infrared system.  It was all taken care of so professionally that no one suspected what grandiose preparations had taken place behind the scenes.
According to Betty Siegel, Director of Accessibility at the Kennedy Center, this was like planning for D-Day.  And for David Chu of C2 Caption Coalition, he had the daunting task of coordinating seven LED screens - some with two lines of text and some with three - aside from all the electronics involved.

Betty borrowed LED signs from everyone they knew - George Mason University, Gallaudet University, National Museum of the American Indian, C2, Inc and from as far away as VSA Arizona.  David Chu, C2, Inc. worked his way thru countless technical glitches, and then did an absolutely stellar job with the captioning itself, ensuring that the timing and scrolling was precise on all 7 signs (so good that two hardened stage hands were overheard to say it was "amazing" and the best they'd ever seen). And, of course, there were support staff collecting the signs, coordinating with the production office, dealing with tickets, and so much more.

So when the final curtain fell to a standing ovation, it all looked as though they do this kind of thing all the time.  Well, yes - they do open captioned performances all the time - but to pull this off without a glitch for 600 people - this is one for the Guinness Book of Records!  Memorable and wonderful!

Bravo to all who made this happen - allowing 600 people with hearing loss to attend an incredible show "with dignity."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HLAA Convention 2011

I just returned from the Hearing Loss Association of America - HLAA (www.hearingloss.org) convention, held right outside of Washington DC.  It's my annual rite of passage, having attended this event for over 15 years.  Prior to the advent of cochlear implants, these were very sad but necessary gatherings - since hearing aids were not sufficient remediation for the many attendees with severe to profound hearing loss.  It was a place to lean on each other, and to learn about emerging technologies, assistive equipment, and of course, to forge lasting friendships.  Now with cochlear implants and sophisticated telecommunications technologies, there's a party atmosphere there - "happy" is an understatement!

This year, I was there in two capacities - as New Jersey state association president, and also as author.  I'm pretty seasoned in the state association role, but this new "author" title continues to amaze me - as it is an odyssey in its own right!  It seemed that the hard "author" work - the writing, the editing, the publishing - was just the preliminary.  Now it's all about THE BOOK.

I was very touched that people, who had already purchased and read Listening Closely, brought their copies from home for me to sign.  And others who lined up to have a book signed were eager to tell me their stories.  I hadn't really given a lot of thought to this part of the book journey - but it's a fascinating process, and adventure.  And a whole lot of people asked me what my third book was going to be about.  Good question!

I have more to say about the convention - like the 600 people from the convention who attended the open captioned performance of WICKED at the Kennedy Center - but that will have to wait for the next blog entry.  Stay tuned!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Social networking finds Chick Lit

If you ever wonder what they mean about "social networking," this is a prime example.  I was contacted by a lovely young woman, who saw my book posted on a website, was interested in it, contacted me on Facebook, chatted by email - and ended up interviewing me online about my book, "Listening Closely."  It's a whole new world out there!
Here's the website that has the interview - with thanks to my new friend, Melissa. 


Check out the book giveaway too - if there's still time to participate.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Embracing Technology

I'm admittedly new to blogging, and make no apologies about that.  I have, after all, written and published two books, which is surely a more daunting task.  I can't shake this nagging feeling, though, that the "younger generation" has a smugness that comes from being so comfortable navigating all these social networking tools - whether Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging - and probably other resources I've never heard of.  I've looked to my own children for advice (which they give freely and lovingly.)  I felt so proud when my daughter tweeted me that "@aromoff you are tweeting quite nicely" - indicating that I'm no longer an embarrassment and must be ready for prime time!  I've even sought the help of a 15-year-old, who gave me the sage advice to just "try all the menus - don't worry about instructions," as he set up the Facebook page for the Hearing Loss Association of New Jersey for us.

But now that I've started to blog, tweet, IM,"Like" and attempted other rituals of this digital age, it dawned on me - WHOA!! (and that term alludes to the command to a horse to stop and is not some secret acronym.)  I come to all this with a wealth of experience, the likes of which the current generation knows little about.  Let me explain - and definitely listen closely!

I'm really a techie - I was a math major in college, and a system's programmer in the early 1970's, troubleshooting and debugging - the programmer's programmer, poring through printouts of computer hexadecimal code (0-9, A-F). I've handled keypunch cards, and seen personal computers that had no display screen, just printed output. I taught my children's classmates to write simple graphic programs in Basic programming language.  So I'm no novice - and I don't shy away from a computer challenge. But there's more.

When I watched the moon landing in July 1969 with my grandmother in her living room, we marveled that her lifetime had spanned the horse & buggy and space eras.  I thought nothing could possibly top that - but I think we just have.  I remember going to a friend's house to see a color TV for the first time, amazed that the NBC peacock wasn't just shades of gray. All those hours learning "touch typing" in 7th grade on a "business model" Royal typerwriter, only to need those same skills now using "all thumbs" (an expression which had a decidedly different meaning then.) And "throwing the carriage" had nothing to do with strollers. I know about slide rules, too (look that up if you think it refers to baseball maneuvers) - I guess every generation has its own geek gear.  No MP3 players then, just records   (78, 45, 33 1/3) - giving way to tapes, hi-fi, stereo, transistor radios. Calculators came next, with the fanciest having "memory."  And I navigated all of this technology, of course, hearing the lo-tech way, with regular ears (for better and worse) - my original equipment.  Now they're bionic!

How can you TRULY appreciate the tech boom we're experiencing now if you don't know what came before? There's no substitute for having BEEN THERE.  It is my pleasure to supply that perspective.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

LTV Easthampton ACCESS talk show

Posted by Picasa

This is the studio at LTV 20 Easthampton Long Island, recording the "ACCESS with Richard Rosenthal"  talk show now airing in June and July. We were going to do one 28-minute show, but we had so much to discuss, we ended up doing two shows, which will air separately.  See this link for show times -  http://www.ltveh.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=11&Itemid=7

Richard Rosenthal lost much of his hearing during WWII, attended Oxford University on the GI Bill, and has been an advocate for people with hearing loss for a long time.  With his experience, he knew just what questions to ask, and we covered all sorts of topics relating to hearing loss - my two books, advocacy, assistive devices, cochlear implants, hearing aids, psychosocial considerations - and I seemed to have an opinion on everything!  Next step is getting these programs up onto YouTube - with captioning! 
Stay tuned  . . . . 
(Here's the link - now available)

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I always carry a notepad in my handbag - ready to write down anything I deem significant, as it might occur.  I got into the habit of doing this when I was writing my second book, "Listening Closely."  At first, I used the little pads that you find in hotel rooms, but I graduated to the gold standard of notepads last year, when I purchased an IBM "THINK" pad - vintage 1987 - at an antique show. These THINK pads were given out to IBM employees long before THINKPADs had anything to do with laptop computers.  Now, when I have a thought to jot down, the outside cover advises me to THINK before writing - always good advice.

In the beginning . . . .

Blogging is different from writing essays, articles and books.  It's more spontaneous, and doesn't necessarily follow any particular form.  Books are forever - the words are unchangeable.  Blogs?  I'm not sure yet - I know they're forever in a different way.  I should know more as I wend my way through this medium.  Life is a learning curve - and blogging is my new challenge!