I Listen Newsletter - Bulletin J'écoute
Message from the
National Executive Director
Greetings!
 At this time of year, we can get lost in thoughts of sugar cookies, festive cocktails and the numerous ways to use cranberries as garnishes. While things might slow down in December for many, it remains to be a very hectic time at the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

Last week alone, we attended events around the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities, met with several Members of Parliament as they all returned to the hill for the resumption of Parliament, attended a conference on Disability and Work Canada and participated in a roundtable of a coalition of disability groups from across Canada on how we can continue to work together on various issues that impact our communities.

With the new year right around the corner were busy finalizing the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan that will launch early in the new year to continue the progress we have been making from coast to coast to coast.

Some of you have reached out to me to note that CHHA has been sending more fundraising appeals this year. We know you get many of these from so many other organizations and we want to be sure that CHHA is on the top of your mind when you want to support your favourite charities. These requests are essential so we can continue our critical work on your behalf. CHHA cannot be sustainable alone on government and project funds, we count on your support though donations and memberships. Our networks and members across Canada are the heart and backbone of CHHA and without your financial support we are unable to do the important work we do from coast to coast to coast.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally wish everyone a very happy holiday and I look forward to all the new endeavors we will share in the year ahead.

Sincerely,
Christopher T. Sutton
National Executive Director
International Day of Persons with Disabilities - December 3, 2019
On December 3, 2019 the world recognized International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day has been observed since 1992 to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase the awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. This year’s theme is "The Future is Accessible" #futureisaccessible.

THE FUTURE IS ACCESSIBLE means that we must all, together, look towards a future where the barriers which stand in people's way no longer exist. We envisage a future where people can access a building without using stairs; where a person can access a ramp to the beach; or can get a job without fear of discriminating; or can access a mainstream classroom. Working towards an accessible future is everyone's responsibility. With us, create a future which demands that people are not excluded because of their health impairments. Call out barriers whenever you see them, and work with us to overcome them.
This year the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association took part in the celebrations by attending a variety of events. The day began with an announcement at the Ottawa International Airport where the Airport Authority received an Accessibility Award from the Rick Hansen Foundation. 
The City of Ottawa had a celebration of events where many disability communities from across the region attended. Hosted by Mayor Jim Watson, he recognized the commitment of the City of Ottawa to persons living with disabilities.  
The day concluded by attending a reception celebration hosted by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough. This event provided an opportunity to network with many disability organizations and other stakeholders.   
In The Loop
December has brought along the season of holidays, giving and receiving. It has been keeping us very busy. We are pleased to announce that all the work that went into our #GivingTuesday campaign was a success. This was the largest #GivingTuesday campaign for CHHA. Thank you to everyone who contributed.  
Our Elections Canada project; Inspire Democracy came to an end this month. It was a great privilege to work with the team from Elections Canada. There was so much to learn about the Federal Election process and what to do to ensure it is barrier free for all Canadians affected by hearing loss. We look forward to working with them again in the next federal election.
The new membership database is almost fully implemented. We have been working hard to ensure this is a positive experience for all our members. Many of you have visited the site and updated your information and we really appreciate this. When it is fully implemented you will be able to update your information: including address, phone number and email, pay your membership online when you receive your invoice, register for an event, and importantly make a donation. In the future we hope to add a Members’ Only Section to our website so you will be able to see content that is only available to CHHA Members. This is a work in progress, and it will be updated on a regular basis for the next while. 
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association has been busy working on your behalf all year. We are looking forward to continuing this work in the new year. In order to take time to recharge our batteries, the office will be closed over the holiday season from Monday December 23, 2019 and reopening on Monday January 6, 2020. We wish you all a very happy holiday and are looking forward to working with you in 2020.
Grey Cup Makes History with Mobile Captioning
CHHA Calgary and the CFL make history for the 2019 Grey Cup Game; by Sheila Serup

The 107 th Grey Cup Game made history on November 24, 2019. Not only did the Winnipeg Blue Bombers end one of the longest CFL championship droughts, but the Grey Cup increased accessibility for people with disabilities by streaming mobile captioning for all “in-the-bowl” commentary.
CHHA-Calgary worked closely with the Stampeders host team, Calgary Flames and CFL to offer mobile captioning. The decision to move away from ribbon captioning on LED screens or Jumbotron was driven by limited access in the aging McMahon Stadium.

Instead free Wi-Fi was strengthened throughout the venue, and a platform set up on Streamtext and linked to the Grey Cup website. A live audio feed was provided to the sports captioners who worked remotely. An announcement was made in the stadium at the start about captioning being made available for fans. Captioning started pre-game and did not cease until the end of the trophy presentation. It included the game commentary, music lyrics of the dazzling half-time show by Keith Urban, all interviews, contests and trophy presentation.
Young Adults Network Corner
Holiday Message from the President - Hart Plommer
It has been a busy year for the Young Adults Network (YAN). Our new board of directors came into effect on June 22 nd and we have been working tirelessly. Our main focus has been on, our Summercamp event, to be held in Calgary, AB from August 9-15, 2020, in partnership with Jade’s Camp and the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People (IFHOHYP). In October, I had the privilege of representing YAN at the IFHOHYP Annual General Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland. The camp will have space for 60 participants, approximately half being Canadians. We are extremely appreciative of our donors so far, which include the general public and corporate sponsors, as well as CHHA-affiliated sponsors (CHHA Foundation, CHHA-Newfoundland and Labrador, and CHHA-North Shore).
2020 Scholarship
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.
Happy 20th Anniversary to CHHA Gander
CHHA Gander recently celebrated a 20 Year Anniversary! John Lush & Gordon Chaulk have been with CHHA Gander since the beginning and are still very active branch members.

Congratulations CHHA Gander!
CHHA Calgary Dedicates Resources to Access Projects
Focusing on accessibility, CHHA-Calgary dedicated its resources on public looping projects, captioning services, and providing CI batteries and accessories for those in need. This year, CHHA-Calgary donated looping systems to several non-profit organizations, including Fish Creek Seniors for their meeting space at Trico Centre and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Counter loops were donated to the Calgary Airport Authority to demonstrate how customer service would be enhanced by the loops. We are working with Alberta Health Services to pilot a loop system in a patient services area at a Calgary hospital. Looping projects are being explored with several organizations including a senior’s center and a cancer care clinic.
In The News...
Communication Tips to Help You Get Through the Holidays with Hearing Loss
Are you hosting a gathering this holiday season? Or going to a holiday party? Just because you have hearing loss doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the social aspect of the fun, traditional and seasonal events.

With these three tips, communication during the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult for you…

1. Be aware of your environment and know your limits. Holiday gatherings are not meant to be stressful, however we know that it can be overwhelming trying to follow conversations in large groups. Keep conversations simple. It is okay to transition to quiet one-on-one conversations or engage in small groups. Try to position yourself with your back against the wall to block out background noise that can make it harder to hear.
Bev Biderman: Learning not to hide a disability was the best lesson of all
My hearing loss had been a millstone that I carried alone. Once technology allowed me to hear more, I could share my burden.
There is a hard lesson I have learned: trying to hide a disability comes with a painfully high cost. I grew up with a serious hearing loss, bluffing and pretending to hear. Then, as now, there was a stigma attached to my deafness: it implied that you were not too bright, doddering if aged, not worth talking to, someone to avoid. Because it is an invisible disability, those with a hearing loss often try to hide it. But my lesson applies to those with more visible disabilities as well.
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