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

Things continue to move fast and change quickly, news about COVID-19 is rapidly filling our email boxes, the airwaves and the conversation for all of us. CHHA has been  monitoring the situation closely and taking action to safeguard the well-being of our team and members . Over the past year CHHA has invested in its infrastructure that has allowed us to take the measures listed below. 

  • Effective immediately, it is discretionary for CHHA National staff to work from home. We have the means to work remotely and everyone is encouraged to do so.
  • Effective immediately and until further notice, those returning from travel outside of Canada, should self-isolate for 14 days – even if you are feeling well – and monitor for symptoms.
  • Business travel restriction is in place until March 31.
  • We are asking that staff avoid meetings or events where large groups of people are present and avoid hand shaking until otherwise advised. 
  • As previously advertised, our Annual AGM will be hosted on-line this year so that you can participate from the comfort of your own home.

While it's not business as usual, you can count on us to ensure we continue to be the voice for people impacted by hearing loss, we want to ensure you that we are monitoring the situation and ensuring that communication is accessible and that your safety is a priority.

If you need to reach us, please continue to do so by calling our office or email us, we are here to support you, please be patient as our response may be delayed.

While this issue of iListen will have some news, we want to keep you informed of things happening throughout the country with issues related to hearing loss. In the coming days we will be sending you more information about various webinars we are working on to help you cope during these uncertain times.

While this situation has been dire, it's been remarkable seeing how as Canadians we have come together and are supporting one another.

Remember to check in on your neighbour, friends and loves ones and be kind to one another. We will get through this.

Sincerely,
Christopher T. Sutton
National Executive Director
Accessible Communication and COVID-19
This week we've seen a global crisis at home and around the world, yet communication access still lacks for people impacted by hearing loss. Our National Executive Director, Christopher Sutton, spoke to CityNews on the importance of accessible communications. The full interview can be viewed below:
COVID-19
Letter to Government and Broadcasters
On March 16, 2020 the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association sent a letter to Federal Government Departments working on this crisis and every Premier and Health Minister in Canada outlining the importance of 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 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.
Announcing the Departure of the
National Executive Director
March 2020 -- The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) and its board of directors are announcing that effective March 31, 2020, Christopher T. Sutton, our National Executive Director, will be leaving CHHA to start the next chapter in his career.  Over the past two years, Christopher has created a culture of respect, collaboration, and has heightened the awareness of CHHA from coast to coast to coast. 

It is with mixed emotions that we see Christopher leave, but we are grateful for his tireless efforts and contributions he has made to CHHA over the past 2 years. Christopher arrived at CHHA when there was much uncertainty and was able to quickly place CHHA on a solid foundation.  We have seen a transformation at CHHA and know we are in a better place going forward. Under Christopher’s leadership, CHHA was at the table for the development and passage of Bill C-81: An Accessible Canada Act, our national office moved to a new accessible downtown location, partnerships and collaborations across Canada have grown and we have an active voice for Canadians impacted with hearing loss on numerous committees, our staff composition has grown and we are moving towards a more sustainable CHHA that will be there for generations to come. 

“I am truly proud of what we have been able to accomplish during my time at CHHA,” says Christopher. “CHHA is an organization that is very close to my heart and one that has been a part of my life since I was a child.  It's been an honour to serve as your National Executive Director and I know that we will continue to work together to break down communication barriers for people impacted with hearing loss.” Christopher continues, “while this decision wasn’t easy, I know CHHA is in a much better place and that together with our dedicated board of directors and staff CHHA will move forward.”

“Christopher has created a committed team, has put systems in place and built relationships that will enable us to continue our progress,” says Marilyn Kingdon, Chair of the board of directors. “We will miss Christopher and look forward to seeing Christopher progress in his career since we know he will continue to make profound contributions for people living with disabilities.  We sincerely thank Christopher for his vision, leadership and contributions and wish him all the best.”

The board of directors has set up an executive director search committee and will be sharing more information about the search process in the weeks to come. 
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.

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.
CHHA 2020 - 2023
Strategic Plan
The 2020 - 2023 Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Strategic Plan is now available for you to view. This plan sets out the direction the association will be focusing on in the next 3 years. Organizational Excellence, Increasing Organizational Sustainability and Expanding Our Reach and Impact are the three critical areas that will be the center of concentration for the national board of directors and senior management staff.  
CHHA Board of Directors Nominations
If you are interested in becoming more involved with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association please watch your inbox for information on the nominations process for the board of directors. The Nominations Committee will be posting positions that will be available. Your expertise is needed.
In The Loop
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is doing everything possible to protect our members and employees in these uncertain times. To help everyone stay as safe as possible, and in support of collective efforts against COVID-19, we have closed the national office until March 29, 2020, or until further notice. All staff members have been set up to work remotely from their residences so business should continue with minimal delays. We want to ensure the voices of all persons affected by hearing loss are heard and we will continue to support your needs during this time. Please be sure to stay safe, respect social distancing and wash your hands. You are all very important to us.
April 1, 2020 will mark 1 year that I have been working at the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. It has been a very active year with the 2019 Educational Conference and Trade Show being my first task, learning to do iListen and increasing communications to the membership. Karla and I have been working very hard to ensure we are meeting all the needs of the membership. 

At this time we would like to take this moment to thank Christopher Sutton for working so hard with us. We want to say farewell to him as he moves on to the next phase in his career. It has been an incredible pleasure to work with Chris and he will be greatly missed in the office. We wish him the very best and hope that he will always keep in touch with this office. Good Luck Christopher!  
Summercamp 2020 is actively filling registration spots. At the current time all spots for International delegates have been filled but there are still some places left for Canadian delegates.

We have been working closely with the Young Adult Network Summercamp Planning Committee to ensure all the needs required for Summercamp 2020 will be met and this will be an experience of a lifetime for those participating. 

Remember there are limited spots available so if you are interested in registering you should register as soon as possible at www.chha.ca/summercamp2020.  
Young Adults Network Corner
Hearing Fatigue
By: Jennifer Brown

My name is Jennifer Brown, I have a severe to profound hearing loss with a hearing aid in my left ear and a cochlear implant on my right. We are starting a brand-new semester of school and I am currently a computing engineering student at the College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I wanted to share my experience as a hard of hearing student who is studying in the trades in hopes of helping others who may be interested in studying the technology field.
 
Like all programs you do, I’ve had my fair share of struggles in this program – such as understanding the massive amount of information within an hour, or two or even four hours in a class. What I want to talk about is Listener’s Fatigue, it is a phenomenon that occurs after a prolonged exposure to auditory stimulus. It is the thing that I struggle with the most and I do know that I am not alone in this, neither are you!

CHHA Scholarship Program
Deadline Approaching - April 3, 2020
The 2020 Scholarship Program is Open for Applications
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. The deadline for applications for the 2020 academic year is April 3, 2020. All applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm EST.
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
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.
In Other News...
The World is Wrecking Our Hearing!
On Studying and Coping With Tinnitus
By Mack Hagood
I first met Lara three weeks after the morning she awoke to the sounds of “whooshing and jingle bells.” For a couple of weeks she had been noticing these sounds intermittently, but by the time she walked into a tinnitus support group meeting in a suburb of a large Midwestern city, they were a nearly constant presence. She had spent the past week in a state of anxiety, asking questions familiar to all of us who had gathered that day in a public library meeting room: “Why is this happening to me?
How hearing loss and heart disease are linked

By Debbie Clason, Staff Writer
Healthy Hearing

Heart disease is a top cause of death for both men and women. But did you also know that heart disease is linked to hearing loss? A healthy cardiovascular system, researchers have discovered, is healthy for the auditory system, too.
Heart health plays a role in your hearing
ability.

According to the  Centers for Disease Control  (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, killing nearly 610,000 people every year in the United States.
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