On Saturday October 15, 2022 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm a hybrid conference (both in person and on Zoom) on noise-induced hearing loss was held. Sponsored by Hearing Loss Association of America- Twin Cities (HLAA-TC ) in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD) and the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. The following blog post is a summary of the event with links to documents shared at the conference.
With people attending both in-person at the Minneapolis Marriott West in St. Louis Park, MN and online via Zoom, the conference started with a brief introduction by new HLAA-TC President Robin “Byrdie” Coninx and Mary Bauer and TJay Middlebrook from DHHSD, they welcomed attendants who were attending in person and on Zoom.
The first speaker was Dr. Kerry Witherell, A.u.D, CCC-A from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. Her topic: “Introduction to Noise and Hearing Conservation.” Dr. Witherell explained Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and started to talk about how to protect hearing. In the audience various apps and technologies for measuring decibel levels were discussed during the questions after Dr. Witherell’s talk. One such app that we have shared before on this blog is SoundPrint (available both on Apple and Android smartphones).
The second speaker was Monique Hammond, RPh. Her topic: “Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in the Loud Workplace.” Monique discussed being aware of the loudness in your workplace and how to advocate for hearing protection. Monique shared that Minnesota has its own Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) state-plan program, which is approved by federal OSHA, to protect workers at private and public worksites.
The third speaker was Dr. Peggy Nelson, PhD, CCC-A from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her topic: “What is a Hearing Protection Device (HPD) and Why Do I Still Need to Wear Them When I Have a Hearing Loss?” Dr. Nelson showed several different kinds of hearing protectors that she uses and began a discussion with the audience on what HPDs they use and that they should actively be a part of everyone’s hearing protection plan.
The fourth and last speaker was Kristen Swan, MA, LP. Her topic: “The Grief and Emotional ‘Backdraft’ of Acquired Hearing Loss.” Kristen started her session with leading the group in deep breathing to relax after all we had learned. She lead a discussion on how to acknowledge the grief that comes along with any loss, including a hearing loss. Kristen will be continuing her discussion of grief and hearing loss in the November HLAA-TC chapter meeting where she is giving a talk entitled “Grief (hearing loss and loss).” That meeting will be on Saturday, November 19th at 9:30 am.
The conference ended with a brief wrap-up by Robin “Byrdie” Coninx (of HLAA-TC) and Mary Bauer (of DHHSD). If you would like to receive PDFs of slides from some of the presenters at the conference, please see below for how to access them. For documents shared with the in-person audience, see below.
Documents Shared at Conference
Documents on Tinnitus:
Noisy Planet Documents (NIDCD Program on noise-induced hearing loss):
Miscellaneous Materials on NIHL:
Materials from and about DHHSD:
Materials from and about National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD):
Presentations from Conference:
Presenter 1: Dr. Kerry Witherell, AuD, CCC-A “Introduction to Noise and Hearing Conservation”- Email Mary Bauer, firstname.lastname@example.org of DHHSD and request the presentation.
Presenter 2: Monique Hammond, RPh “Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in the Loud Workplace”- Click here to Download a Presentation Summary PDF
Presenter 3: Dr. Peggy Nelson, Ph.D., CCC-A “What is a Hearing Protection Device (HPD) and Why Do I Still Need to Wear Them When I Have a Hearing Loss?”- Email Mary Bauer, email@example.com of DHHSD and request the presentation.
Presenter 4: Kristen Swan, MA, LP “The Grief and Emotional ’Backdraft’ of Acquired Hearing Loss”- Click here to Download a PDF of the Presentation