Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Bible in ASL and Jehovah's Witnesses

Yesterday my father-in-law handed me a packet he had received from some Jehovah's Witnesses that came to the door. They had been asking around for deaf people and he mentioned that I am deaf. They gave him some literature and a copy of the Bible in American Sign Language:


This particular church is the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 1025 S. 24th St, Mesa, Arizona. I'm not a Jehovah's Witness (nor particularly religious at all) but I did find this pretty interesting, that they have services entirely in ASL (not just interpreted). I wonder if having the ASL services at this location is new, because I can't find much mention of it online.

Have you ever attended church in American Sign Language? Are entirely-ASL services available in your area?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Do You Deal With Noise?

I read Kym's blog post this morning titled What? I can't hear you!, and the subject has been rattling around in my mind all day.

Kym's classes are wearing her out. She has trouble understanding the teachers, and the assistance she's been given by her school isn't working out for her. At the end of the day, she says, "When I come home at the end of the night.  My eyes are tired, my head hurts and I'm frustrated.  It is all I can do to flop myself on the bed out of frustration and fatigue." She asks, "Who else feels this way?  Are you so tired at the end of the day from 'watching' that you just want to close your eyes and shut the world out?  Do you rip off your hearing aids and put them away, hoping to not have to wear them anymore?"

I do indeed sympathize with Kym and I think a lot of us do. Actually, I bet even hearing people do, and I think, in a way, the ability of people who wear hearing devices to "shut out" the hearing world can actually be a positive. A hearing person who is overwhelmed by the world, by demands on their day and loud coworkers, can't do much besides put some earplugs in and close their eyes.

I know a few deaf people who have told me that they regularly take out their aids, or decide not to wear them, or go long stretches of time without them. I can understand the motives behind it, but I never even considered it an option before I started this blog. Go without hearing aids? What would I do? People would expect me to hear. I wouldn't be able to hear the television. I wouldn't be able to carry on a conversation. I rely on my aids so much, and I never realized quite how much.

There were many times growing up, and even right now, that I do get tired of "watching," as Kym says. Keeping an eagle eye on everything happening. Feeling like I'm out of step, missing something. Wondering if everybody is having trouble hearing someone, or it's just me. Missing jokes. However, my first response isn't to take out my aids, it's to seek stress relief in other places - venting to my husband, reading, eating a piece of chocolate, or going somewhere relaxing (I can't wait to make a trip down to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which is the one place guaranteed to relax me).

Sometimes it feels like I never get any quiet. Go anywhere, and there's noise. Air conditioners humming. People doing construction or repair work. People talking. Cars driving by. Sometimes I wonder how hearing people can function with noise all day and not go crazy. Occasionally I see mention of "our noisy world" in the newspapers, but for the most part, people simply go throughout their day, tuning out the background noise.

Chimney Meadows
So... what do you think? If you're tired of the noise, what do you do if you wear aids? Take 'em out or seek out external silence?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Animal Hearing Series: Cows

This post is part of a series I began with Lizards. I'm really interested in how well animals can hear.

Cows are my favorite animal. Don't ask me why, I just love their funny expressions. But it's surprisingly hard to find information about how well they hear, compared with my previous posts on lizards and snakes.

According to this page on the Louisiana State University website, cows can hear in a range of 23-35,000 Hz. Compare that to a typical human range of 20-20,000 Hz (or 64-23,000 on the previously linked website).

However, as mentioned in this article, cows have trouble pinpointing sound. I can sympathize with cows on this one, but I think they still manage to do better than me; they can pinpoint the sound source within 30 degrees, while a typical human can narrow it down to 5 degrees.

Sites Referenced 
How Cattle Perceive Their World
How Well Do Dogs and Other Animals Hear?

Previous Posts in the Animal Hearing Series
Lizards
Snakes

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vermont Launches Nation's First Deaf-Autism Program

I recently read the book Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin, a well-known person with autism. (The link goes to my review.) One of the interesting points in the book was that when a child is young, autism can look like deafness, and vice versa. The way the child behaves and ignores sounds can be indicative of either. But what do you do when a child is both deaf and autistic?

The Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a nonprofit organization that serves both Vermont and some of New Hampshire, has launched what they're saying is the first program for people who are both deaf and autistic.

Vermont
The program started on August 30 of this year and currently 8 students are enrolled. According to Robert Carter, the organization's president, "By creating a program that really addresses both needs, we're not dealing with the frustration of trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole."

An interesting point in the article is that the organization is also now able to research ways to communicate with anyone, deaf or hearing, who communicates best using non-auditory language. In Temple Grandin's book, she writes about autistic children who find it very difficult to speak or listen to others speaking. I wondered at the time if sign language would help them. This organization is going to find out.

(via About.com Deafness)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tipsheets from the American Library Association


York University Library
Now more than ever, libraries are a resource for their communities. Anyone can take advantage of a library for books, movies, job hunting, programs, author signings, homework help, and a wide variety of other services. Unfortunately, the one thing that can make or break a library is the staff. Staff who aren't trained well or who aren't motivated can make even the prettiest library with the largest collection a waste.

That is why I really like these tipsheets available from the American Library Association. They are not just useful for library staff (although I'm sure they will help). They are useful for anyone who might need to communicate with a person with a disability.

Whenever I see a tipsheet with advice like this, I like to take a look at the advice for communicating deaf and hard of hearing people. There is some great advice lurking in documents like these, but of course, some of them can be demeaning or off the mark. I like the tipsheet that ALA has drawn up, which is available in PDF form here. It has some good tips for me to give people when they seem nervous about talking to me or another deaf person.

One of the big tips there is to rephrase. The example they use is that someone might not understand quarter but might understand twenty-five cents. This is one of those things it can be really hard to get people to understand. A simple change of phrase can mean a lot.

Have you looked at any tipsheets for communicating with deaf and hard of hearing people? What do you think of them?

(via American Libraries)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Animal Hearing Series: Snakes

This post is part of a series I began with Lizards. I'm really interested in how well animals can hear. Thanks for all of your kind comments about Loki!

In the post about Lizards, we learned that they have a tympanic membrane, which picks up vibrations from the air. Snakes do not have a tympanic membrane. So, can they hear?

Green tree python
Yes!

Snakes can indeed hear. Rather than a cavity for their middle ear, they have a pericapsular recess, which is filled with air. They pick up vibrations through their body and transmit them along nerves to the inner ear. Snakes also have a bone called a quadrate which gets displaced when there is sound in the air. In response, the cochlea uses hair cells and transfers sounds to the brain. However, there is some question about how snakes use this information, if they do at all.

According to this Reptile Hearing article by Melissa Kaplan, "most snakes can hear a person speaking in a normal tone of voice in a quiet room at a distance of about 10 feet (3 m)." So a snake may even be able to respond to the sound of their name.

Sites Referenced 
Reptile Hearing - Melissa Kaplan
Shhh! The snake may hear you - John Carson 

Previous Posts in the Animal Hearing Series
Lizards

Monday, September 20, 2010

Are You Going to See 'Hamill'?

Matt Hamill
Hamill is a movie about Matt Hamill, a UFC fighter who is deaf. I had heard about the movie but I didn't know it was coming out this year. Thanks to a link from Danielle at Growing up Hard of Hearing in a Hearing World, I was able to find out some more information about the movie and I am really looking forward to seeing it now.

You can watch the official trailer (which has captions turned on by default) here. The movie looks like it will follow Hamill from childhood up to his UFC bouts. It stars deaf actor Russell Harvard.

According to the movie's Facebook page, "We're currently in the final stages of finishing the film and shortly afterwards we will lock down a distribution deal. If all goes as planned, a distribution company will then release it in 3-4 months from now (They would need time to market the film properly before its release)."

On the movie's official website, you can 'Demand' that it be shown locally. I don't have any movie theaters in my zip code so I put in one for the nearest city. Hopefully I will get the chance to see this movie in the theater, but if not, there's always DVD.

Will you be going to see it if they show it in your area?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Universal Subtitles Adds a Deaf & Hard of Hearing Discussion List

I've written before about Universal Subtitles, which is aimed at having subtitles and captions for every video on the Internet. It's a really cool project and one that's easy to take part in.

Yesterday they announced they now have a Deaf and Hard of Hearing discussion list set up. According to the post, "We aim to make it a safe place to discuss anything related to: deaf or hard of hearing culture, open technology, and of course captions & subtitles of all sorts."

Check out the list here. It is fully public and it's brand new, so there's a lot of stuff to talk about.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deaf Teenager Will Compose 2012 Olympics Music

According to the DeafBlog, Lloyd Coleman, who is deaf and visually impaired, has been chosen to compose Olympics-themed music that will be performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Lloyd is 18 and recently won a spot at London's Royal Academy of Music. Larry Ashmore - who has worked on projects like Bridget Jones's Diary, The Passion of the Christ, Nanny McPhee and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - will be mentoring him.

Lloyd has a great attitude. He's quoted in the article as saying, "I don't want to be known as the musician who's a bit deaf; I want to be known as Lloyd the person and Lloyd the musician. I want my reputation to be built on my musical ability which I hope will inspire others to set themselves goals and get what they want out of life. I already have - music is my life."

Congrats, Lloyd!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Irish Hand Dancing

I have recently begun following the new blog ASL Songs. This blog is a great collection of songs interpreted in ASL. It's so much fun to watch.

I recently saw this video on the blog Urlesque. It features Irish dancers Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding. As I watched it, I thought... imagine what these people could do with Sign! They already have the necessary flexibility and they could add a whole new dimension to their talent.

It's very interesting watching even though they are not Signing. There is only music in this video, no dialogue.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Animal Hearing Series: Lizards

Back in June, I got a new pet: a bearded dragon named Loki. I really love animals, and Loki is something else. He's funny. He explores everywhere with zero fear. He loves staring out the window at wild lizards, jackrabbits and quail.
Loki
Bearded dragons can sense light when they're asleep, so when his light goes off, we turn off the lights in the room. Any light in his cage/"vivarium" will wake him up at that point, and trust me, you may not think a lizard can glare, but they can. What I found most interesting, though, was that while light will wake Loki up, sound won't. We can have the television on very loud and sound can be coming from the room, out in the living room, etc., and he won't wake.

That got me interested in how well lizards hear. He does seem to react to sounds when he's awake, but is he just seeing things and reacting to those?

In my research I realized that animal hearing is really interesting, so I decided to make a weekly series about animals and their hearing.

First up: lizards!

Loki has a visible ear (actually his tympanic membrane). It looks like a hole in his head, outlined below in purple:


Lizards' tympanic membranes might look like Loki's, or they might look like an iguana's, almost level with the skin. Some are even like human's, recessed deep in the skull. They don't have ear flaps like humans do. The tympanic membrane picks up sound vibrations from what the reptile is in contact with - the ground, a basking rock, etc.

Most lizards seem to hear about the same. (Even ancient ones!) The green iguana and other lizards with tympanic membranes can pick up sounds in a range of 500-4,000 Hz. They show peak sensitivity at 24 dB. Compare that with humans: our typical range is 20-20,000 Hz and our sensitivity is at 120 dB. So, lizards cannot hear as well as a human, but they are probably more sensitive to ground movement than we are. 

Sites Referenced
Reptile Channel
Reptile Hearing - Melissa Kaplan
San Diego Zoo

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Bar for the Deaf in Russia

According to About.com Deafness, Moscow now has a bar for deaf and hard of hearing people. The Krause Disco Bar welcomes everyone, except for two days of the week during which only deaf and hard of hearing people are allowed in.
Everyone take a drink
The bar features a dance floor with speakers to allow people to feel the rhythm, and staff fluent in sign language. According to its founder, Andrey Melnikov, "Deaf people face difficulties when trying to order anything in regular bars. [...] If anyone just pops in he or she will notice no difference from any other bar as the music is exactly the same."

Melnikov plans to expand his bars across Russia in the future. Since the Commonwealth of Independent States - an organization composed of former Soviet Republics -  share a common sign language, maybe it can even expand further.

See a more detailed article at the Moscow News.

My Experience Giving a Workshop

On Friday, I gave a workshop at my county's library district about social media and how libraries can take advantage of it. I recently set up the Facebook page for the library I work for and have been exploring Twitter, blogging, Youtube, and Flickr as they relate to libraries.

As you can imagine, I was pretty nervous before the workshop. My nervousness didn't stem from the fact that I'd be talking in front of a group, which I know bothers a lot of people. I was worried that my knowledge would fall short or that I wouldn't speak loudly enough for everyone to hear and follow along. As I thought about it (I'm a natural worrier, so it was somewhere in my mind all the time), I'd worry that I wouldn't hear people asking questions or trying to get my attention. I remembered being in classrooms and the teacher calling on students. I was closer to them than the teacher was and yet most of the time I wouldn't hear the question. If that was the case how could I handle questions at a workshop?

I am sure many people have similar worries and I wanted to share my experience in hopes it will help you, too.

The workshop I held ended up being small. I believe there were 11 or 12 of us in the room total. Each person had their own laptop to do hands-on work with, and I had a laptop running either a slideshow or a browser. I was at the front of the room and did a short 15 minute overview before letting everyone have some hands-on experience.

And I can tell you, it went so well. I was nervous, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

During the hands-on portion I moved to the back of the room so that I could see everyone's screens and be more accessible for people. I did at times have a hard time hearing people asking for me, but I tried to keep an eye on everyone so that if they were getting my attention I would realize it.

I didn't explain that I am deaf at first, just because I didn't see it as relevant. But I did use my blog as an example of blogging and how Facebook and Twitter can be linked from blogs. I can see in other situations - especially with a much larger group - it might be useful to explain beforehand. Then people will know not to get irritated and that they need to get your attention another way.

After giving this presentation I found this page with tips on communicating for deaf people. It's refreshing to see this advice since most of the results from my Googling were the opposite - how hearing people can communicate with deaf/hard of hearing people. I recommend taking a look at it next time you feel a bit nervous about talking in front of people.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Interactive Audio in Firefox 4 Beta

Firefox 3.5 logo
The latest version of Firefox - 4 Beta - has some very interesting features, among them new audio and video tags in HTML 5.

According to the Mozilla Blog, "...developers can read and write raw audio data within the browser, presenting audio information in completely new ways that could allow, for example, for people to visually experience a speech or a song through Firefox."

The blog post has a video (which just has a music playing, no dialogue) that shows some of the neat ways we'll be able to visually interpret music in the new Firefox. There are many ways developers can display data and visualize sound.

Try out the Firefox 4 Beta here.

(via Mashable)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Get Notified of Missed Calls Through Email Using Google Voice

Hungarian phone
Google Voice for me was one of those technologies that I couldn't imagine living without once I started using it. It's awesome.

But even with Google Voice and an awesome new smartphone, I still miss calls. I just don't hear my ringtone much of the time (although through experimenting, I've found one I can reliably hear: the Firefly theme song. Weird, huh?) and I don't think to check my phone for missed calls all that often.

Google Voice, however, now has a new feature that will send missed calls to your email. Since I'm on the computer more often than I'm on my phone, this is great! Now I don't have to worry about missing a call and taking hours to notice.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How You and Your Teen Can Use Headphones Safely

Woman shushing
The rising rate of hearing loss in teens - which I blogged about here - has been a popular subject in the media lately, but it can be tricky to find actual numbers on how music listening and headphone use can affect people's hearing. The results of a recent study on 8,710 teenage girls from the Northeast area of the United States offers some interesting data.

A residential facility surveyed nearly 9,000 girls over the course of 24 years. In 2001, it began asking the girls about their use of personal music players. Over the course of 7 years - until 2008 - "personal music player use rose fourfold, from 18.3 percent to 76.4 percent. High-frequency hearing loss increased from 12.4 percent to 19.2 percent [...], while the proportion of girls reporting tinnitus [...] nearly tripled, from 4.6 percent to 12.5 percent."  All but one of the girls who reported tinnitus used music players.

It's definitely interesting. The study cautions that there are other factors that can contribute to hearing loss; we're all exposed to a lot of noise each day, and not just music. But it's definitely something to consider.

Headphones and music players aren't all bad. How can individuals prevent hearing loss when listening to music?
  • If you have normal hearing, test if you can hear a typical conversation in a quiet room over the music. If you have to turn down or mute the player to hear something someone is saying, it is too loud.
  • See if your music player has a volume limit built in, or try volume-limiting headphones or an accessory such as the Macks EarSaver (note: I haven't tried this product).
  • If you're in a noisy environment, avoid using headphones for long periods of time to resist the temptation to turn them up.
  • If you're concerned you've lost hearing, have it tested and see what an audiologist recommends.
  • Do not listen to anything louder than 90 decibels for more than two hours per day; aim for less.
  • If you notice people seem to be mumbling, or sounds like the refrigerator or air conditioning seem to be taking precedence over other sounds, get your hearing checked.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Top 8 Android Apps for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Smartphones seem to be everywhere now: it seems like everyone has an iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry. And the number of people buying Android-powered phones is rising steadily, beating out the iPhone.

So if you're deaf, and you've got an Android phone in your pocket like me, what should you download to get the most out of it?

(Note: I was not compensated by any app developers for this post. Everything below is my personal opinion.)

Evernote 
Evernote has several functions. It's useful for keeping track of your daily life, but it's also great for note taking. Use Evernote to pass notes back and forth and communicate more easily with other people. Several deaf people at the library I work at rely on paper notes to communicate. Doing it using software such as Evernote allows you to save the communication to refer back to later. Also great for a visual person like me - you can take photos and tag them to remember later. I just started using Evernote and really like it.

Google Goggles
Google Goggles is like something out of a science fiction novel. Point it at something, like a barcode, book cover, painting, or random object, and Google will come back with results about it. Perfect for on-the-fly research without having to seek someone out to speak to or call.

Google Voice
Back in May I wrote about Google Voice, and how it's useful for the deaf. Google Voice is also available for Android phones, and it's integrated so seamlessly into the phone you might not even notice it. You can see transcriptions of your voicemails from your phone and listen to them without navigating an annoying voicemail menu with a robotic voice. If you're having trouble hearing a voicemail, listen to it from the Google Voice website on your computer's speakers. Or see if Google does a good job transcribing it for you!

Instant Lyrics (Lite or Pro)
Instant Lyrics is a lot of fun and really great for me - I really like having lyrics of songs handy. Just start up your phone's music player (I use Last.fm) and then start up Instant Lyrics. The software will display the lyrics of the song.

Messaging and/or Google Talk
I love it when my friends have Google Talk and I can just use that instead of texting them, but the messaging app built into my phone does a good job, too. I'd recommend Google Talk if you have friends with Google accounts. I like being able to see the entire conversation, and I like how it syncs with my Google account from my computer.

Shazam
If you are like me, you can't always identify music you hear on the radio right away. Maybe you can hear the catchy beat or a line of a song that intrigues you but you can't hear it well enough, or you can never hear the radio announcer giving the name of the song. I love Shazam at moments like these. You start up Shazam and follow the directions to allow the app to "listen" to the music for a few moments, and it returns the name and performer of the song.

Silent Time (Lite or Pro)
I often have my phone's ringer up as loud as possible along with the vibrate function on to make sure I hear my calls. It can be embarrassing in public when everyone around me can hear my phone ringing. So I use Silent Time to schedule when I know I don't want to answer my phone - mostly, at work - each day. Setting it up was easy - I told it my work times and days of the week, and it automatically goes into silent mode during those times.

TripIt
You can avoid having to make phone calls in the middle of a vacation by using TripIt. TripIt can take your travel itinerary (even import it from Gmail), and use it to check in online and see flight, weather, and traffic information as you travel. I haven't personally used this one yet, but I'm excited to. 

Let me know if you have any other suggestions! I love trying out new apps.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Evening of Standup Comedy, and My Hearing

On Saturday evening, Scotty, my sister-in-law Alicia, and Alicia's fiancé Chris went to the Tempe Improv to see Iliza Shlesinger. We had seen her show on Comedy Central Presents and it just so happened that she was in town this weekend.
Scotty, Iliza, me, Alicia, and Chris at the Tempe Improv; more pics @ my personal blog
I was a bit nervous to start off with, unsure if I would be able to hear her or follow along with the jokes. We arrived at 6pm to have dinner before the show would start at 8. It is essentially one huge room filled with tables. After it filled up, it grew very difficult to follow conversations. I was able to get along all right; luckily the tables are small so I was close enough to everyone in my group to hear them.

Likewise, the two introductory comedians and Iliza herself were easy to hear. We were lucky enough to be seated very close to the stage and I heard just about everything. I was able to follow along and hear everything just fine.

However, there was one problem with the evening. Before the show the Improv played a short video with some upcoming comedians and an overview of the rules of the establishment. This video was so loud I immediately had to turn off one hearing aid. It was so loud it was painful. I think we were close to a speaker, but there was no reason it needed to be that loud. They need more speakers if they are having trouble with the sound reaching all areas of the audience. My ears felt weird for several hours afterward, but luckily I could still hear the comedians.

It can be tricky to deal with acoustics in a large dining establishment with a stage. I guess it's better for it to be too loud than too quiet. Luckily it was short, but unfortunately it was so short that finding a staff member to ask to adjust the volume was prohibitive.

All in all, though, it was a great night.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Heading Back to School: Classroom Acoustics

It's getting closer to fall and that means that kids and college students are heading back to their classrooms. At my workplace, which is a public library, that means newly silent rooms and a lull in patronage until the winter visitors from snowy states and Canada start coming in. In classrooms, it means that some kids are facing a yearly challenge: trying to hear the teacher and the classroom discussion.

Classrooms just aren't built for those with any degree of hearing loss to hear well. They have laminate or wood floors, hard walls, and many sharp edges for sound to bounce off of. Air conditioning or heating systems create sounds competing with others. Desks in a classroom are typically arranged in a row facing the teacher, which will be fine for a child trying to see the teacher but not useful for trying to follow student discussion. Sounds from outside or the hallway can easily filter in and disrupt hearing. Not only that, but the challenge of getting used to a teacher's voice, to pick out the sound reliably, can be difficult.

Classroom in Japan - similar to American classrooms.
Classrooms were always a challenge for me growing up. (I went to a mainstream public school with no special education and very little special treatment outside of yearly audiologist visits.) I could sit up front to hear the teacher, but following other discussion meant constantly twisting and turning in my seat to try to see other students' faces. Some kids thought I was weird for moving all the time. If somebody whispered my name, I would never hear it; if several people started talking at once it all blurred into a meaningless ocean of sound. I paid a lot of emphasis to what the teacher wrote on the board, always had my textbook open to make sure I was getting names and dates correct, and only raised my hand to start a discussion, not to join it.

That being said, I did well in an academic environment as a child. I regularly got A's, with B's in math, and was on the honor roll often. I always enjoyed writing, reading and history, and as a kid it seemed like I just absorbed knowledge around me. However, I always felt shy socially and I felt like I was never really a part of classroom discussions.

This article from the American Academy of Audiology touches on some of the problems with a traditional classroom environment for children. According to the article, 75% of the school day is spent listening. Even for children without a hearing loss, their auditory system is not fully developed until age 12, so they face similar challenges. They recommend that children sit close enough to the teacher to eliminate echoing and reverberation of sounds. While it's definitely a good idea for deaf children to be in front in a traditional auditory classroom situation, it does create the problem I mentioned before of not being able to hear peers. That can lead to feelings similar to mine, feeling shy or not really involved. Kids can be pretty tough on differences they perceive.

So how can students be helped in a traditional classroom with difficult acoustics? Part of it is educating the teacher. Making sure he or she is keeping an eye on the child can contribute to more success. The teacher, too, can move children into a roundtable discussion, or set discussions up in small groups.

While I was looking around online on this issue, I found this page, which includes a lot of links and information on acoustics-friendly classrooms.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Buy "Do Fun Stuff" to Support Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research

Pacing the Panic Room is one of my recent favorite blogs. It's written by Ryan, whose stepson LB was diagnosed in 2009 with Smith-Magenis Syndrome. Never heard of it? Most people haven't. It's a developmental disorder that affects people all over their body. They may have mental difficulty, behavioral problems, or even ear abnormalities that can lead to hearing loss.

Several artists got together to create Do Fun Stuff. 100% of the proceeds of the album go towards research into Smith-Magenis Syndrome. Take a listen below and follow this link to buy the album on iTunes. It's all good stuff!