Dear Editor:

Once again, in the interest of accuracy, I am compelled to respond to a letter to you from Mark Ross, Ph.D. (SHHH) in the Feb. 10 issue of RCR.

First of all, I do not know whom Mr. Ross had the imaginary conversation with, but I do know that his description of this conversation never took place with me. I stand by my previous statement-that Mr. Ross stated how great HATIS and wireless are, and his fear that the hearing aid manufacturers would accept HATIS as the overall solution-as true and accurate with no misrepresentation on my part.

I do indeed have witnesses to our conversation, in its entirety. In reference to Mr. Ross trying HATIS with a wireless phone, the following applies: There were several witnesses to the whole event and the conversations. Thus, I stand on my previous statements on this as well, again being true and accurate with no misrepresentation on my part.

I would also state that if Mark Ross and SHHH still haven’t figured out that a wireless hands-free system, especially with HATIS, comes with a microphone, then I would certainly have to question all their supposed facts surrounding this whole issue.

Maybe that’s why they have a problem with HATIS, they don’t understand what it is, even though numerous SHHH people have tried it and liked it. I can’t begin to tell you how many SHHH members are running around using and owning HATIS and wireless phones.

In regards to his comments on HATIS landline and his belief that he didn’t see any difference, it makes sense that most people who have a mild to moderate hearing loss won’t see much difference between HATIS and hearing aid compatible phones. Mr. Ross is obviously no exception.

If Mr. Ross and SHHH believe that “all wireless phones should be hearing aid compatible, and that is the critical point,” then that certainly isn’t what they say from one day to the next.

I thought we were supposed to represent all people with hearing loss, not just the chosen few-especially when one knows the reality of access with hearing aid compatible phones. Amazing, the wireless industry wants access for all people with hearing loss, yet Ross and his group want only one thing.

As to Mr. Ross’ concern of my statement’s questionable accuracy, I submit he needs a memory test or course. When Mr. Ross stated in the Norman, Okla., meeting, “there’s no such hearing aid available that will do 153 db on the telecoil,” I stated in front of the whole group, “I am not going to debate that point with you, rather do talk to the Starkey Hearing Aids engineer to my right and he can provide you with the input.” I guess Mr. Ross neglected or refused to follow up on the offered facts and opportunity to have them confirmed.

Equally, the number of 153 db is not a rationale for HATIS, rather it is the fact of what my hearing aid is capable of. For that matter, it operates at 148 db on normal audio. I don’t think I would need that kind of amplification if I was hearing. My hearing aid is a prototype, provided to me by Mr. Bill Austin, president of Starkey Laboratories. The db input can certainly be checked with him as he is the one who gave me the db numbers. I will state this, Starkey Hearing Aids prides itself on its ability to customize to an individual’s hearing loss. I was no exception.

As for the rest of his statements on audiologists (that no commercial hearing aid is this powerful, etc.), all I can say is he obviously does not have access to up-to-date information or he chooses to ignore it.

As to the statements Mr. Ross made in regards to HATIS vs. hearing aid compatibility, I submit the following documentation from the APREL Laboratories comparative analysis …”Analysis of results obtained in APREL’s investigation show that the HATIS is a better solution to coupling hearing aids and telephones than other investigated devices. For these reasons: 1) distribution of magnetic field is broader making relative positioning of source and hearing aid easier for hearing aid wearer, 2) magnetic output of HATIS is higher at the likely position of hearing aid telecoil, thus loudness perceived by user is greater, 3) magnetic output frequency response is higher in the high frequency region.” Thus, we have not only the increase of loudness, combined with spectral balance, but that gives credence to intelligibility and clarity to the end user.”

I certainly believe that Dr. Wojcik has far more credentials, equipment needed for evaluation and testing and certainly more credence than Mark Ross. Not to mention, Dr. Wojcik can back it up with documentation on what he has put forth.

Now, the statement of, “it has been proven that hearing aid compatibility only benefits those with a mild to moderate hearing loss.” These were not my words … rather this came from numerous clinical audiologists, who do have a practice and see real patients every day.

As to Mr. Ross’ concern on my hearing loss, I am amazed! I didn’t realize one could determine hearing loss levels by osmosis, as Mr. Ross has never seen any of my personal medical records on my hearing loss. However, both my ENT physician and my clinical audiologist certainly know that I do not record on an audiogram*…*the official terminology being “off-the-chart” deafness. Funny, they had to run all kinds of test and x-rays to come up with that diagnosis.

For that matter, Bill Austin, president of Starkey Hearing Aids, can verify my hearing loss. Gee, I think he needed that information to justify the prototype hearing aid at that level. Isn’t it amazing what one can work with when they possess the facts, rather than making bold statements that just go to prove what one doesn’t know.

When the day comes that the actuality of people with all levels of hearing loss can access telecommunications, then I for one just might believe you people again. This is hard, due to all your games. This is not about hard of hearing people or deaf people, it is about wireless telecommunications access for all people with hearing disabilities. Perhaps this is truly the key point of our differences.

If you need the accurate facts on this or on this whole issue … feel free to call me … a deaf person, and I will give you the facts over the phone. America, what a country!

Jo Waldron

president and CEO

Phoenix Management Inc.

RCR Publications welcomes letters to the editor responding to articles and commentary presented in the newspaper or stating opinions on other topics relevant to the wireless industry.

Letters must be signed by the author. RCR reserves the right to edit letters for style and space. Letters can be mailed to the company at 777 E. Speer Blvd., Denver, CO 80203, sent by fax to (303) 733-9941, or sent by e-mail to [email protected]


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