I Listen Newsletter - Bulletin J'écoute
Message from the
President of the National Board
Greetings!

Spring is in the air and a time of changing seasons is upon us. Change is in the forefront for CHHA National as well.
 
As you are aware, Christopher Sutton has taken a position with Wavefront Center for Communication Accessibility located in Vancouver, British Columbia. We wish Christopher the very best in his new role.
 
We are left with big shoes to fill at CHHA National. A Hiring Committee has been formed with respect to the leadership role. The committee has been meeting once per week, since the end of March, and is currently looking at the competencies and skill set required for the role. The committee is comprised of Sheila Serup, Vice President of CHHA National, Keegan Noxell, Young Adult Network Representative, Mike Eaton, a community at large representative, me, and Christopher in an advisory capacity. While we work towards filling the leadership role, Christopher will be acting as a consultant to CHHA National to wrap up projects he has been involved with, as well as completing the annual audit of CHHA National. Christopher will also be assisting with the virtual annual and special meeting being held in May.
 
CHHA National staff have been working from home as the CHHA National office is currently closed. We appreciate your patience during this extraordinary time. As you may be aware, the pandemic is affecting businesses of all nature, both profit and nonprofit. There are going to be challenges ahead for all of us.
 
I hope you are staying safe and healthy and practicing social distancing. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Marilyn J. Kingdon
President
CHHA National Board of Directors
CHHA Annual General Meeting
Wednesday May 27, 2020
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. In this time of pandemic most of our communication has to be done by e-mail. Please ensure your correct e-mail address is registered with us so you are able to receive all information on the annual general meeting.

Login to your membership profile to ensure you are a member in good standing for full participation at the meeting. Stay tuned for more details on how to gain access to the meeting.
COVID-19
Letter to Government and Broadcasters
During the week of April 6, 2020 it was brought to the attention of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association that a vice recognition software has been used in circumstances to provide captions. The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association strongly opposes the use of voice recognition in an emergency situation to relay critical and lifesaving information.

On April 14, 2020 the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association sent another letter to Federal Government Departments working on this crisis and every Premier and Health Minister in Canada outlining the importance of utilizing the correct accessible communication for all Canadians affected by hearing loss. With the updates on the COVID-19 coming so rapidly it is necessary that every communication have the correct captioning and interpretation for the 4 million people affected by hearing loss. We are now requesting that you forward this communication to your elected representative to bring their attention to this issue.

The content of the letter can also be downloaded on letterhead from the CHHA Website to make it easier for you to forward to your elected representatives and local broadcasters. Let's keep this message circulating to ensure inclusion in all information on COVID -19 is for all Canadians, including those with hearing loss.
Shining a Spotlight on CHHA's Volunteers
We would like to introduce a new segment in iListen. This column Shining A Spotlight on CHHA's Volunteers will give you the opportunity to recognize someone in your community. Submissions should be less than 200 words and include a picture of the volunteer. Please forward to communications@chha.ca.

Our first Spotlight has been submitted by Sheila Serup, CHHA National Vice-President and President of CHHA Calgary.
We wish to shine a spotlight on many of the unsung volunteers who have enabled CHHA to be a national leader in advocating for accessibility.
 
Colin Cantlie has been active over the past two decades, both in his community of Calgary and nationally. Colin has forged powerful inroads for those with disabilities and contributed wholeheartedly to numerous community initiatives. His personal experience with hearing loss has fueled his true passion – to promote disability awareness.
 
As a leader and participant on numerous boards and committees on local and federal levels, Colin has served most notably with CHHA, CHHA-Calgary, HLAA, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (Calgary), CHS and the Calgary Ability Network-Transportation.
 
Over the years, he has coordinated and guided numerous projects, including developing and implementing Disability Awareness & Sensitivity Training seminars for various private sectors and federal departments.
 
All this merely skims the surface. But to know Colin, one must meet and connect with him in person. His integrity, humour, forthright nature and genuine desire to improve our community and our world for all of us, is truly awe-inspiring and fundamentally motivating.
In The Loop
Our world has been changing rapidly in the last month, we are all wondering if there is relief in sight. At the national office we are complying to government standards by working at home during this pandemic. It is strange to note that working at home used to be the ultimate dream but now the reality has set in and we know what it is like to try to put in a full day with children, spouses and pets all wanting attention. We try to keep it business as usual by having a video meeting every morning. We discuss the priorities for the day, what we are doing to ensure business continues and we also take the time to check in on each other, to see how we are doing, how are families are doing and ensuring we are all still safe and healthy. It is strange meeting over the internet and not being able to just discuss an issue as it arises, but we must all adapt. We are working hard to ensure the needs of persons affected by hearing loss are recognized in this time of crisis. We are still here if you need us, please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist in these changing times.
Our national networks are always on our minds, however even more so in these changing times. We hope you are all doing well during this difficult (and strange) time. Staying home can be hard and sometimes a very isolating experience. The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is here for you. Please feel to reach out at any time. Our office can set you up with Microsoft Teams to do video chats or you can reach out to Karla Wilson by phone (613-526-1584 x101) or email ( kwilson@chha.ca). If you have another way to chat please let me know and we will try to accommodate your preference. Your network might want to consider an @chha email to make communication easier between networks. Please let us know what we can do to help during this time of physical distancing. Stay safe and well everyone.
A Little Smile for Everyone
Submitted by Sheila Serup

The other day I was lamenting to my teenager how difficult if not impossible to read lips of those wearing masks. On a positive note, I told her that with reduced traffic noises, I was able to distinguish and hear different bird songs and sounds for the first time. With a mischievous smile, she suggested that I practice my "beak-reading" instead. 
CHHA Scholarship Program
Deadline Extended to June 1, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we have extended the deadline for the 2020 Scholarship Program

You can now apply up to and including June 1, 2020

This program was established by the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association in 2002 and to date over $50,000.00 has been awarded 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. All applications must be submitted by Monday June 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm EDT.
Young Adults Network Corner
Message from the Young Adults Network Board of Directors

As COVID-19 sends the world reeling, this is an unprecedented time for everyone.
 
Many of you started 2020 looking forward to attending Summercamp 2020. Our International Delegates were looking forward to a trip across the Atlantic Ocean. We, the board, started 2020 with goals to give you the best glimpse into what Canada has to offer. As the year unfolded, it is increasingly clear that the pandemic situation is not slowing down. As we assessed the situation, it is clear we no longer can guarantee your health, and travel will be difficult if it is allowed at all. Due to the uncertainties, the board has decided that the Summercamp 2020 will be postponed until August 2021 at the same venue. This will give the world the time to recuperate from the coronavirus and we will all be able to meet and have a safe experience. If you have any questions about Summercamp please email Summercamp2020.

CHHA Toronto Network
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is looking for members to revitalize our Toronto Area Network. If you are interested in being part of this exciting development, please contact CHHAToronto@chha.ca to express your interest. We will get back to you to tell you how you can be a part of our growing organization.
We look forward to hearing from you.
IFHOH World Congress 2020
Postponed
Due to the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus in Europe and the World, the Organizing Committee for the IFHOH 2020 World Congress has decided to postpone this event to ensure the safety of all participants.

A new date has yet to be set but the Congress is expected to take place n the spring of 2021. More details will be coming as soon as possible.

The EFHOH AGM and the IFHOH BGM will also be postponed, new dates will be announced at a later date.

For questions about the Congress matters pertaining to EFHOH email: office@efhoh.org and for IFHOH info@ifhoh.org
In Other News...
Logan Blazing A Trail for Deaf Curlers at Scotties
Emma Logan
Recipient of the CHHA Frank Algar Memorial Scholarship in 2018
Emma Logan is inspired by her five-time Canadian champion aunt-and Nova Scotia teammate - Mary-Anne Arsenault.

It’s safe to say the feeling is mutual.

"It's hard to think that a 22-year-old can be your inspiration, but she really is inspiring in all aspects of life,” Arsenault told reporters in Moose Jaw, Sask., ahead of the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

The lead for the Maritime province is an inspiration to Arsenault and many others in the curling world this week as she becomes what is believed to be the first deaf player to compete at the national championship.

The Halifax native lost her hearing when she was just 13-months-old after getting diagnosed with meningitis and now uses cochlear implants to help with her disability.
"Chemical Earmuffs" drugs could prevent noise-induced hearing loss
Hearing loss is a pretty common affliction as people age, especially those who have been exposed to sustained loud noise throughout their lives. But now, biologists at the Universities of Washington and Iowa are testing drugs they call “chemical earmuffs” in mice, which could prevent hearing loss without affecting the volume or quality of sound.
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