I Listen Newsletter - Bulletin J'écoute
Message from the
National Executive Director
Greetings!

A new year is upon us and this brings the opportunity to reflect on the past year and create visions for the upcoming year. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and had the opportunity to find some time to spend with friends and family. 

I am looking forward to all the exciting new ventures CHHA will have this year. Last year we worked diligently with our government partners, establishing relationships, and developing new project proposals, updating governance policies, streamlining our operations, and preparing our strategic plan; in summary it was a year of Renewal for CHHA as we enter 2020. It will be a busy year and we are looking forward to working with YOU to ensure your needs are met.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone who contributed to our end of the year fundraising campaign. I know it seemed that we continued to ask for support, however this is your organization, and in this highly competitive fundraising environment, we need to count on your support to ensure CHHA is here for generations to come.  Thank you again for your contributions, they are truly appreciated.

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2020 and will continue to keep everyone informed to the many activities we are involved in and look forward to your input as we continue to transform CHHA in 2020 and beyond. 

Sincerely,
Christopher T. Sutton
National Executive Director
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) - Video Relay Service - Research Project
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is developing a database of registered video relay service (VRS) users who would like to participate in research projects on the accessibility of communications services. The CRTC will start conducting research projects in 2020, and will randomly draw potential research participants from the database.
 
One of the research projects will be public opinion research on VRS. The CRTC intends to hold a public hearing in 2020 to review the VRS regulatory framework. The public opinion research will support the review by ensuring that the views and experiences of Canadians who use VRS in Canada are on the record of the public hearing. We hope that members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community who are registered VRS users will join in by adding their names to the database as soon as possible.
 
The database is called the Accessibility Research List and is now open for registration. To register, please click on the button below.
Save the Date
CHHA Annual General Meeting
This year's Annual General Meeting will be held online on Wednesday May 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT.

To participate in the Annual General Meeting you must be a member in good standing. Please be sure you have paid your membership fees if they are due.

Stay tuned to iListen and social media for further details.
In The Loop
A new year is upon and not only are we welcoming a new year but also a new decade. The possibilities of where CHHA will go in the next decade are endless. January always brings the prospect of new beginnings and thoughts of what can be accomplished. We are busy planning where CHHA will go in the next months and in this decade.  Please continue to read iListen to follow our journey in this new year.
Google Analytics reports that our website is doing very well with an increase in traffic by 70% in November alone. Requests were anything from looking for addresses, questions on hearing loss and looking for phone numbers. The most utilized search words were the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, hard of hearing and CHHA. This is a good indicator that people know who we are and are using the CHHA website to seek knowledge about hearing loss issues.
Fund development will be a central focus for 2020. Although a lot of resources have been put into writing Government Grant applications, which supports our project activities, we must continue the process of building up CHHA's financial stability. Your continued support is critical to ensure our stability. This year, time will be spent investigating other means of gaining financial stability for the organization. If you have suggestions on this, we are always looking for new and innovative ideas to move this forward. Please feel free to send your ideas to us by email.
 All tax receipts for 2019 will be processed by January 30, 2019. Tax receipts are being issued by email where possible. If you requested a paper receipt, you should receive it by the end of the month. If you have not received your tax receipt by January 31, 2020, please contact us.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
Young Adult SummerCamp 2020
August 9-15, 2020
Calgary, Alberta
Are You a Hard of Hearing Young Adult Between 18-35?
THIS IS A ONE TIME EVENT YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS
Summercamp 2020 is a unique opportunity to attend a fully accessible six-day camp to be held at Mount Royal University. This event will bring together young adults with hearing loss from across Canada and Internationally with various opportunities for networking and leadership building. Summercamp 2020 will be hosted by the CHHA - Young Adults Network (YAN), in partnership with the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People (IFHOHYP) and various collaborative partners. 

Summercamp 2020 will cover a variety of topics that will assist in breaking down barriers, by exchanging knowledge and experience internationally for over 60 youth with hearing loss. Topics such as education, employment, advocacy and raising self-esteem will be the focus of this event. In addition to these educational workshops, there are several planned excursions to highlight Canadian culture and heritage. This is an event you do not want to miss!

Registration will be open soon but attendance will be limited, so stay tuned to your social media feed for further information on this exciting event. 
University of Toronto Disability and Pregnancy Study-Participants Needed
Researchers at the University of Toronto are doing a study to learn about the experiences and needs of people with disabilities when they are pregnant and having a baby. 
To be eligible you must:
  •  Live in Ontario
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have had a baby in the last 5 years
  • Identify as Deaf or have hearing loss
You will be asked to take part in an interview about what services you used, and if they were helpful. The interview will take about 1 hour and can be done at your convenience. Further information can be found in this closed captioning video and this American Sign Language video .
To thank you for your participation your will receive a $50.00 gift card. Accessibility will be arranged as requested. If you are interested, please contact Lesley at 647-601-4519 or by email at: wiresearch@utsc.utoronto.ca .
Participants Proficient in Sign Language Required for a Study
Lionbridge, a company that excels in linguistics, artificial intelligence and data quality is looking for 500 participants proficient in Sign Language to improve recognition for Sign Languages via artificial intelligence technologies. Participants will have to interact with 3 to 5 other study participants in 4 online conversations via Zoom using Sign Language. Conversations will be recorded on a laptop, personal computer or tablet equipped with web camera. Each conversation should be for a duration of 5 minutes. The task can be done from home or any other quiet place.

Each participant who successfully completes the task will receive $40 either via PayPal or direct bank transfer. The estimated total duration of the task is 50 minutes, including preparation time, 20 minutes of recording, and data uploading.

This project has an immediate start date, if you are interested in being a participant please click on the button below.
Young Adults Network Corner
Connections in the Classroom
As the new year begins, so does the new school term for many young adults with hearing loss across Canada. It can be a daunting experience for some people going to class with a hearing loss— what if the instructor mumbles? What if the class keeps doing group discussions? What if my class makes fun of my funny pronunciation? It is also understandable that some people want to stay incognito about their hearing loss.
2020 CHHA Scholarship Program
The 2020 Scholarship Program is Open for Applications
This program was established by the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association in 2002 and to date we have awarded over $50,000.00 to help students with hearing loss with their post-secondary studies.
CHHA now has four scholarships within its program:
  1. Carrell Hearn Memorial Scholarship
  2. Dr. Charles A. Laszlo Scholarship
  3. Frank Algar Memorial Scholarship
  4. Susan Brown Memorial Scholarship

Online applications are now being accepted. The deadline for applications for the 2020 academic year is April 3, 2020. All applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm EST.
In The News...
Winnipeg Looks at "Noise Cameras" to Crack Down on Noise Pollution
WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg is looking at options to crack down on noise spikes from specialty car owners "showing off" during Sunday cruise nights.

A report commissioned by the city is suggesting automated 24-hour "noise cameras" as a potential tool to combat the high decibels caused, in part, by cruise night. The cameras, which operate similar to a red-light camera, would take a picture of a license plate when the volume reaches a certain point.
Toddler ASL Group Fill a gap in Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
Little Buttons program aims to help pre-schoolers and their families build community, communication skills

Chloe Kalinowski is a force of nature. The toddler runs, spins, and chatters throughout her play session with a dozen other small children during her weekly play session in the Little Buttons program. If she slows down long enough, you might catch a flash of pink or a little red blinker nestled between her ear and wispy blond hair. Chloe uses a hearing aid.
Ontario builds first-of-its-kind screening program to help children with hearing loss
When the wail of a fire alarm broke the night-time quiet of the hospital and her new baby did not stir, Julia Tirabasso knew something was wrong. “I felt like it was the loudest sound I'd ever heard,” Ms. Tirabasso said, “And she slept through it.”

If her daughter, Francesca, had been born at another time or in a province other than Ontario, Ms. Tirabasso and her husband, William Jones, might never have found out exactly why their daughter could not hear the piercing alarm. Instead, within weeks of Francesca’s birth on May 25, 2018, Ms. Tirabasso and Mr. Jones learned that a common viral infection, passed from mother to baby in utero, had made their daughter deaf in both ears.
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