Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just Like You: A New Book Promoting Acceptance, Not Bullying

Just Like You is a book by Robert Kroupa, exploring the issues of bullying and accepting people for who they are. The book follows Henry, a field mouse who is deaf, and Boris, a spider who has a bad leg. Together they learn to stick together through thick and thin.

The book is being published by the Just Like You Foundation and 100% of the profits are going to charities. When ordering the book, you can specify if you would like the profits from your purchase to go to a particular charity, or be distributed evenly amongst all three. The charities include PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, the Hollyrod Foundation, The Art of Elysium, The Center for Discovery, and Dreams for Kids.

(via People)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I was awarded the Liebster Blog Award by two people, Sarah of Speak Up Librarian and Eh? What? Huh? Thank you both very much!

This award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve more recognition.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Give your top 5 picks for the award.
  • Inform your top 5 by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Post the award on your blog.
Here are my picks:

1. Cacophony to Symphony
2. Cochlear Kids
3. Arizona Writer (not deafness related - but wonderful pictures and stories)
4. Growing Up Hard of Hearing in a Hearing World
5. Life with a Hearing Dog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Play It Down: A Free App for Teens To Educate About Hearing Loss

Listen To My Music, Listen To My Song (.238/365)
From Flickr user Miss Sydney Marie
When it comes to teenagers, it often seems like the more dire the warnings against something, the more likely they are to embrace it. Loud music is no exception. While there's no doubt many teenagers are aware of the dangers of hearing loss from noise exposure, the question is, does it actually make them turn down the music?

There's a new, free app for iPod and iPhone called Play It Down that is attempting to bring awareness of noise exposure to teens in a fresh and interesting way. The app contains three components:

  • Auto-Old My Music: Demonstrates how music loaded onto the player would sound to someone with loss in the higher frequencies, as experienced in age-related hearing loss  
  • The Ear Knob - A test to see who can detect the highest frequencies (high frequencies are the first to go as a person ages)  
  • The Volume Zone - Allows the user to measure the volume of the player's surroundings
The website,, contains a link to the app along with useful information about hearing loss and keeping your ears healthy. It's written in accessible language that teens will either enjoy, or roll their eyes to. Either way, it's useful for them to know.

I don't own any Apple products, so I can't try this out for myself and see what the songs sound like with the "Auto-Old My Music." I'm curious, though. For now, my favorite way to demonstrate types of hearing loss is this YouTube video, which takes a clip from The Flintstones and shows how it would sound with mild, moderate, and profound loss.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays from Hearing Sparks!

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season from my family (human, furry, scaled, and feathered) to yours.

And Genbu, too!

Happy holidays from Genbu
Created through Banfield Pet Hospital's adorable "Dress Your Pet" Facebook app :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Couple of Funnies

I apologize for my recent lack of updates - although, looking at my last post, I didn't realize it had been that long!

A couple of funny moments to share today. They are both from my workplace.

A patron came in and told me he wanted to "renew his password." I was a bit confused, but I explained our password system (for computer access) and that they don't need renewal. He was persistent, repeating himself over and over, until my coworker at the desk heard our conversation and realized he was saying "passport!" Ah, it was much easier from there... even though we don't handle passport renewals.

The second was just from today. I was at my cubicle in the back and a coworker passed by making some noise - I didn't pay much attention. She returned to my desk and told me how she was singing to herself and hates it when she does it in front of an "audience" (me). I replied, "That's okay. You have a deaf audience, so it doesn't matter anyway!"

It's good to laugh at yourself...