Winning the Focus on People Awards included an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for 2 days courtesy of Oticon. Although I didn't know it beforehand, the awards luncheon I was invited to was part of a West Coast product launch event for Oticon. As I got packed, I thought that going to Hollywood was exciting enough, but even better was the chance to interact with hearing care professionals. I couldn't wait to talk to them about ALDA, the Association for Late Deafened Adults and Discovering Deaf Worlds. Both organizations mailed me items I could distribute while I was there.
My husband came to California with me. We arrived Thursday afternoon, in time to attend a pool side reception at the hotel. Seeing this girl with purple hair performing inside a giant transparent beach ball was our introduction to artsy LA. While I was chatting with Donna, an audiologist from Oregon, my husband was wondering how long the air would last inside that ball. Sure enough, before too long, another ball was launched with a different girl inside, and the first girl was released.
I had the chance to talk with a few others before Jennifer Alberstadt, another winner, found me and introduced me to her husband, Joe. Then it was time to go in for dinner. We sat at the same table with the Alberstadts and compared notes on our experiences with hearing loss and with the Oticon contest.
Jennifer has had a bilateral hearing loss since childhood and was just recently fitted with her first pair of hearing aids. She's a kindergarten teacher who lobbies to have children with hearing loss placed in her classroom. I hope to tell more of her story in a future post.
After dinner, we watched as artist Stephen Fishwick splashed paint on a blank canvas as he moved back and forth in frenetic motion using his hands as paintbrushes. We were unable to figure out what he was creating until the very end when he spun his canvas around and a light bulb appeared. While I admired his picture, I didn't understand its meaning until the next day when I visited the Oticon exhibit and saw this promotional display for the new Intiga hearing aid.
By the Now Effect, Oticon means that the Intiga provides "immediate and obvious benefits from the start that motivate rapid acceptance and long term use.” Studies in Maryland and Germany showed that new Intiga users reported experiencing benefits in a variety of key performance areas including comfort in ear, comfort with loud sounds, one-on-one conversation in quiet and speech in noise.
In the next photo, you can see my hearing aid in comparison to the much smaller sized Intiga. It's about the same size as a lady's ring. Can you believe it? I had an audiologist rave to me about how comfortable it is to wear. This hearing aid is designed for mild to moderate hearing loss. As my hearing loss is greater than that, I won't be fitted with the Intiga.
My current audiologist doesn't work with Oticon aids, so I am in the process of finding a new hearing care professional, who will make the decision as to which Oticon aid will work best for me.
In my next post, I will share more about our trip including our visit to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.