Deaf Olympics

With the Olympic Games currently underway in Vancouver, we thought this would be a good opportunity to post an informative article about the deaf olympics, which have been held separately from the mainstream games since 1924.

This article, about deaf bowling champion Chang Lee-hsiao, explains why it is that deaf athletes compete separately, as well as the challenges that are faced by professional athletes who are affected by hearing loss.

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Contrary to popular belief, caffeine not linked to tinnitus

Tinnitus afflicts a significant amount of people in the USA, and sufferers have been frequently advised by doctors that if they reduce their consumption of caffeine, their symptoms will improve.

However, a study conducted at the Center for Hearing and Balance Studies in Bristol, UK, suggests that this may not be the case. 

In this placebo-controlled study, tinnitus sufferers who were also regular caffeine consumers showed no improvement when given placebos instead of caffeine. In fact, the study suggests that, among caffeine-addicted patients, caffeine withdrawal symptoms may make actually worsen their tinnitus.

Original article at Science Daily
More info about tinnitus at the American Tinnitus Association

Music Therapy may help deaf children with cochlear implants

Excerpt:

“Music comprises various elements that are also components of language and therefore as a non-verbal form of communication is suitable for communication with these children, when they are still unable to use language,” says Kerem. “Communicative interactions, especially those initiated by the toddlers, are critical in the development of normal communication, as they are prerequisites for developing and acquiring language.”
Kerem adds that following the implant procedure, toddlers are under a great deal of pressure from parents to begin talking, and they sometimes react to this pressure by becoming introverted. Music therapy can strengthen their nonverbal communication and reduce the pressure to initiate and respond to verbal activity.
“It is important that the parents and staff learn about the best way to expose these children to music, the use of music for communication and the importance of the therapist’s undirected approach,” she says. “Music therapy is gradually penetrating the field of rehabilitation, but there is still a lot of work to be done in improving awareness of this important area.”

For the full article, please click this link.

Baby boomers not losing hearing as quickly as older generations

Contrary to many people’s expectations, members of the baby boom generation are actually retaining their hearing longer than members of older generations.

Despite the introduction of loud concerts and stereo systems during many boomers’ formative years, they still maintain their hearing longer than their parents’ generation.

Why? It may be because the boomers’ parents were more likely to work in noise-heavy industries such as mining or manufacturing. While many boomers attended rock concerts in their youth, their parents are more likely to have been exposed to a high volume of noise over an extended period of time.

Other possible reasons include the improved quality of antibiotics used to treat ear infections.

For more details, please click here.

RIT’s SpiRIT Writing Contest

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will be holding a writing contest for deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students in 10th or 11th grade.

Winners can choose between a scholarship and travel expenses to the Explore Your Future program at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf or a $500 cash prize.

Submissions must include the following:

1) The final version of an essay or a report written for school, as well as the first unedited version of the same essay or report.

2) The final version of  an original piece of creative writing such as  a short story or a poem, as well as the first unedited version of the same short story or poem.

3) A short writing sample (under 250 words) prepared by the student, completed in class without assistance.

4) A personal reflection (under 500 words) prepared by the student for this contest on a topic of his or her choice.

The deadline to enter is March 15, 2010. For more details, please visit http://www.ntid.rit.edu/prospective/writing/

Increase in online captioning

Television content is required by law to feature on-screen captions. Internet-based video, however, does not have the same requirements, so a very large amount of videos on the internet are not captioned.

With the increase in viewership of web-based video, this has begun to change.

Please see the following article from Wisconsin’s Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CDHH) for details:

CDHH Promotes Increased Online Captioning

Hard-of-hearing and deaf in recent movies

This Flixster.com user has made a list of recent movies that include hard-of-hearing or deaf characters.

There are a good amount of lists concerning the subject, but there is a surprisingly low amount of lists out there that include recent movies, so this list may prove to be quite useful.

Click here to see the list.