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There’s a “golden hour” after a vehicle crash or emergency.

Medical help may be required, but first responders need to know what medical conditions people might have, especially if they are unconscious or unable to talk.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s new “Yellow Dot Program” could save your life, and enrollment is simple:

  1. Visit your local fire station for a kit.
  2. Fill out the booklet in pencil (so you can make future updates).
  3. Attach a current photo into the booklet.
  4. Place the booklet in your glove compartment.
  5. Place the yellow dot decal in the lower left of your rear windshield to alert first responders to check the glove compartment for vital medical information. Tip: place the sticker no higher than three inches from the bottom.


The Sacramento Bee |
JULY 11, 2016

When you’re hospitalized or in pain, understanding a doctor’s diagnosis or a nurse’s instructions is hard enough. But when you’re deaf, it can feel like being shut out.

Ellen Thielman, a retired computer programmer, found that out twice this year. Deaf since infancy, the Sacramento resident has navigated the hearing world for years – graduating from college, raising two children and working more than 20 years for several California state government departments.

But when Thielman, 67, landed in the emergency room last January with what she thought might be symptoms of a stroke, she was frustrated by the lack of adequate sign-language interpreters and her inability to effectively talk with medical staff.

“I was furious, upset and a bit traumatized. I felt really alone,” said Thielman, who lives independently but needs a service dog to hear even her own doorbell.

Thielman wasn’t misdiagnosed, mistreated or given improper medications. Still, in two emergency room visits and subsequent hospital stays this year at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, she said she frequently felt isolated and unsure why she was getting certain injections or exactly what her medical status was. Both times, she said, it took three to four hours for a trained interpreter to arrive in the emergency room. Later, in the hospital, she was unable to schedule an interpreter to meet with her doctors.

During her multi-night hospital stays, her primary means of conversation was to scribble back-and-forth notes with her nurses and doctors.


Read more  . . . medical care


Boston Globe
By Nidhi Subbaraman
Jan 26, 2016

A battery-operated device a little larger than a golf ball could one day help treat people with hearing loss by delivering medication directly into the cavity in their ear.

Engineers at Draper, a non-profit research company in Cambridge, have been developing the device along with collaborators at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

This month, they showed that the device is safe to be used in guinea pigs — mammals with sufficiently similar ear anatomy to ours. The next step, they say, is to test it in people.

Read More  . . . Device


Effective Communication

Approximately 600,000 Virginians are deaf or hard of hearing and have difficulty communicating with hearing persons. When the need arises for medical services—whether it be a trip to the doctor’s office or an emergency admission to the hospital—the anxiety, fear, humiliation, and distress ordinarily accompanying these situations is even more severe for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Sometimes, medical service providers fail or refuse to provide qualified sign language interpreters to their patients who are deaf or hard of hearing and need an interpreter to communicate. When this happens, the medical service providers illegally discriminate against these patients. Congress sought to end this type of discrimination by passing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In fact, Congress specifically recognized health care as one of the critical areas in which individuals with disabilities are routinely the victims of discrimination.

Read more  . . .  DOWNLOAD PDF -  Right-to-a-Qualified-Sign-Language-Interpreter-09-2014 (1)


LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / April 22, 2015 / has revealed that while one in eight Americans has hearing loss and usually wear hearing aids, may not be aware of their rights in terms of tax deductions that are permitted by the IRS. Hearing aids are expensive medical devices and many across America who could be taking advantage of the allowed tax deductions for such medical expenses as hearing aids, hearing aid repairs, hearing aid batteries and the corresponding maintenance costs, are not claiming them simply because they don't know about this. Thus, those who have these medical expenses may want to research all deductions available at the moment for those who are hearing impaired or hard of hearing.

Another possible reason that some people are not claiming these tax deductions is that medical expenses must total more than 10% of gross income when adjusted, although there are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, repairs, batteries, and other additional requirements of hearing aid upkeep can be included in the costs. These can all be considered by the IRS along with telephone and television equipment that might be required to supply a normal range of hearing. encourages hearing aid users to check this list of qualifying medical expenses to better understand their rights for such deductions.

Read more  . . . tax deductions



By Ellen Moran
December 18, 2014

The rising demand for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters who have the proficiency and comfort to perform in a health care setting led to the development of a new training program offered by UMass Medical School, MassHealth, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The 16-hour program, An Introduction to Medical Interpreting, debuted this fall and will be offered again next spring. The program teaches American Sign Language interpreters with little to no medical training how to work with medical terminology, clinical procedures and ethical issues in health care settings.

“The demand for ASL interpreters with extensive knowledge of health care situations is higher than the commission can supply,” said Lisa Morris, MS, director of Cross-Cultural Initiatives at UMass Medical School’s Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (MassAHEC) Network. MassAHEC is a unit within the Commonwealth Medicine division.

Finding a doctor who uses communication supports such as ASL interpreters, CART reporters and other aids was reported as a big problem by more than 50 percent of those who responded to a health needs assessment of people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The assessment, the results of which were released in April, wasconducted by researchers at UMass Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Unit and the Health and Disability Program at the state Department of Public Health.

Read More . . .



Disability Scoop
By September 2, 2014
Article in Disability Scoop

Sometime this month or next, Cheylla Silva will be admitted to Baptist Hospital in Miami to give birth to her second child. The delivery will be high-risk: Silva suffers from high blood pressure and other complications.

Silva is hoping the delivery goes smoothly because if there are serious problems, she might be at a loss to communicate with her doctors and nurses. Silva is profoundly deaf, and, for months, Baptist administrators have refused to provide her with an American sign language interpreter, she says.

Late last week, Silva filed an emergency motion in federal court, asking U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams to order Baptist to provide the interpreter, arguing the hospital’s refusal to do so violates the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law signed by then-President George Bush in 1990.

Baptist’s obligation, the suit says, “is to ensure that deaf patients be provided an equal opportunity to participate in their care and treatment.”

“One of the essential elements of personal dignity,” the pleading adds, “is the ability to obtain the necessary information to make an adequate and informed choice about one’s own medical treatment. Medical treatment and childbirth are some of the most intense and important experiences for a person.”

Through a telephonic interpreter, Silva said her experiences at Baptist, which is near where she lives, have frequently been frustrating. “Can you imagine going to a doctor’s office and not being able to understand what they are talking about? And it’s about your care. How would you feel?”

...continue reading "Mom-To-Be Sues To Have Accommodations In Delivery Room"



Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on March 21, 2014 @ 8:08PM
Created on March 21, 2014 @ 7:03PM

mark-leekoff-deaf-studentFriday was a big day for medical school students across the country. It was National Match Day which means thousands of aspiring doctors found out where they'll start their residency training.


Almost 27,000 medical school students nationwide found out where they'll doing their residency training once they graduate in May. Approximately 34,000 medical school seniors applied for a residency match this year which means not everyone was selected. Fortunately for students at the WVU School of Medicine all 78 seniors ended up with a match.


"I'm really excited. It's good to see, mostly for my classmates, where everybody matches," said WVU medical student Ali Hajiran.


There's one student in particular who has overcome a major obstacle in his life to pursue his passion of treating the sick and injured. His name is Mark Leekoff and he's from Virginia. When he gradates from WVU School of Medicine he will become the first medical school graduate in West Virginia who is deaf.


"I've overcome a lot in my life and this is the culmination of all the experiences," said Leekoff.


WVU School of Medicine administrators are saying Leekoff's story is inspiring.


Dr. Hannah Hazard is the WVU School of Medicine Assistant Dean. She said, "Anybody that overcomes what would traditionally be considered an adversity towards our profession such as this is always an incredible story."


When he was three years old Leekoff was one of the first kids in the United States to receive a cochlear implant. Before he received the implant he was completely deaf. To this day he claims he remembers the first time he was able to hear the world around him.


"I thought I was hearing static from the TV. It was just really loud and I remember yelling at my mom to take it off," said Leekoff.


Debbie Leekoff was all smiles on Friday as her son prepared to find out where his residency would take place. While reflecting on the first time her son was able to hear she said, "It was music to my ears if you will because he heard. This is the most amazing day ever. Mark has exceeded every expectation."


Leekoff and his family members are saying it hasn't been easy. Years of speech therapy and performing surgery with limited hearing have all presented challenges, but Leekoff's condition hasn't prevented him from achieving his dream. His condition is also the primary reason why he wanted to become a doctor in the first place.


As he continues his journey Leekoff hopes other people will hear his story and learn to never give up. He said, "When I see patients, especially in neurology when people have debilitating diseases, I am the hope for them."


Leekoff will be heading to the University of Maryland for Neurology.





(BPT) - Think you might have hearing loss? It turns out procrastinating about that hearing test appointment may put more than just your hearing at risk. Primary care doctors now know hearing loss may be a symptom of another, more serious medical condition.
Over the past decade, studies have linked hearing loss to three concerning co-morbidities:
Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Poor cardiovascular health causes inadequate blood flow throughout the body.

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