Date   

Re: External Veteran Survey

N Y Business
 

I am also a premium member and have searched the Blue Dot. The graph is what is needed when you are going to an outside audiologist to avoid retaking the test at a cost. . Now I can get images of MRI and CAT scans and colonoscopy from the Blue Dot info sharing download etc. . But not a scanned document of the hearing test which is what outside audiologist and need to make adjustments to hearing aids. 

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On Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 8:24 PM Steve Sterry <steve.sterry@...> wrote:
I understand that some members of this group have complained that audiology medical records are being excluded from our online medical records.  I can tell you that is not the case in our Los Angeles area VA facilities.  I have a premium account in MyHealtheVet, and I was able to select VA Notes in the VA Blue Button Report section.  I was able to find notes going back to the year 2013.  The following is an example that I read from my 2013 report:

"Audiological Evaluation (view Audiogram under Tools menu) Purpose of visit: re-evaluation Primary complaint: Pt. perceives decrease in hearing sensitivity History: Situation(s) of greatest difficulty: Background noise History of middle ear disease/surgery: denied Tinnitus: both ears constant Dizziness/vertigo: present occasionally when leaning head back Aural Fullness: No Otalgia: No Hearing aid use: both ears VA issued; removal wire has broken off aid. Unable to replace wire in clinic. Pt. did not want to send aids in at this time. Cleaned and checked both aids. Both aids functioning properly. Results: Otoscopy: Right ear: clear view of eardrum Left ear: clear view of eardrum Tympanometry: Right ear: normal Left ear: normal Earphones used: supra-aural earphones Test reliability: good Impressions: AD: Mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Word recognition for amplified speech was fair-to-poor (45-59%). 52% @ 85 dbHL AS: Mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Word recognition for amplified speech was good (80-100%). 80% @ 90 dbHL AU: Hearing essentially unchanged. Patient education: Communication strategies for difficult listening situations, Realistic expectations from hearing aid use Recommendations: The results of the hearing test were explained to the patient. RTC if hearing changes. Pt. is interested in new amplification. Spoke with patient about new hearing aids coming on contract in May. Pt. will contact audiologist after May 1."

Yes, my audiogram is missing.  However, its evaluation is still there.  The reason that the audiogram is not there has to do with the fact that the VA report system (including all test results) is a text based system.  It is not capable of being presented graphically.  

Maybe this is a regional issue, rather than a national issue.  Or maybe some people are looking in the wrong section of their Blue Ribbon reports.  I hope this might shed some light to this issue.

 

Steven C. Sterry, M.A./M.B.A.

10149 Grayling AV. – Whittier, CA  90603-2608

Phone (562) 947-2258

Email: steve.sterry@...

 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Steve Sterry
 

I understand that some members of this group have complained that audiology medical records are being excluded from our online medical records.  I can tell you that is not the case in our Los Angeles area VA facilities.  I have a premium account in MyHealtheVet, and I was able to select VA Notes in the VA Blue Button Report section.  I was able to find notes going back to the year 2013.  The following is an example that I read from my 2013 report:

"Audiological Evaluation (view Audiogram under Tools menu) Purpose of visit: re-evaluation Primary complaint: Pt. perceives decrease in hearing sensitivity History: Situation(s) of greatest difficulty: Background noise History of middle ear disease/surgery: denied Tinnitus: both ears constant Dizziness/vertigo: present occasionally when leaning head back Aural Fullness: No Otalgia: No Hearing aid use: both ears VA issued; removal wire has broken off aid. Unable to replace wire in clinic. Pt. did not want to send aids in at this time. Cleaned and checked both aids. Both aids functioning properly. Results: Otoscopy: Right ear: clear view of eardrum Left ear: clear view of eardrum Tympanometry: Right ear: normal Left ear: normal Earphones used: supra-aural earphones Test reliability: good Impressions: AD: Mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Word recognition for amplified speech was fair-to-poor (45-59%). 52% @ 85 dbHL AS: Mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Word recognition for amplified speech was good (80-100%). 80% @ 90 dbHL AU: Hearing essentially unchanged. Patient education: Communication strategies for difficult listening situations, Realistic expectations from hearing aid use Recommendations: The results of the hearing test were explained to the patient. RTC if hearing changes. Pt. is interested in new amplification. Spoke with patient about new hearing aids coming on contract in May. Pt. will contact audiologist after May 1."

Yes, my audiogram is missing.  However, its evaluation is still there.  The reason that the audiogram is not there has to do with the fact that the VA report system (including all test results) is a text based system.  It is not capable of being presented graphically.  

Maybe this is a regional issue, rather than a national issue.  Or maybe some people are looking in the wrong section of their Blue Ribbon reports.  I hope this might shed some light to this issue.

 

Steven C. Sterry, M.A./M.B.A.

10149 Grayling AV. – Whittier, CA  90603-2608

Phone (562) 947-2258

Email: steve.sterry@...

 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Karl Hallsten
 

This raises for me to a more current level our need to help vets and others know the distinction between ADA which covers all non federal facilities and programs versus Sec 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act.—A program that preeceeded the ADA and on which the ADA was modeled. 

I have been seeing and hearinging that the VA has greatly expanded their capacity to provide services virtually—and that Audiology is one of those/  It would be worthwhile to see if we could get a speaker to address that.

Karl

 

From: HLAAVeterans@... <HLAAVeterans@...> On Behalf Of N Y Business via hlaagroups.hearingloss.org
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2022 10:31 AM
To: HLAAVeterans@...
Subject: Re: [HLAAVeterans] External Veteran Survey

 

I'd think they would also comply with the DOJ in making services accessible to disabled people including veterans.

 

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On Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 12:17 PM Jim Rau <jimrau@...> wrote:

NO - I did not say VA does not have to provide captioning. VA is a part of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and as such they are exempt form ADA. But they are bound by provisions of Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act which covers the same things. 

Gald to hear you are picking up ASL. I'm an advocate for ASL as well as hearing loops. I also want veterans to know how to advocate for their own health care. 

You are lucky you're only 180 miles (round trip from your VA. My VA is more than twice that far away. I hope you know that you are eligible for Community Care too. 


Re: External Veteran Survey

N Y Business
 

I'd think they would also comply with the DOJ in making services accessible to disabled people including veterans.

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On Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 12:17 PM Jim Rau <jimrau@...> wrote:
NO - I did not say VA does not have to provide captioning. VA is a part of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and as such they are exempt form ADA. But they are bound by provisions of Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act which covers the same things. 

Gald to hear you are picking up ASL. I'm an advocate for ASL as well as hearing loops. I also want veterans to know how to advocate for their own health care. 

You are lucky you're only 180 miles (round trip from your VA. My VA is more than twice that far away. I hope you know that you are eligible for Community Care too. 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Jim Rau
 

NO - I did not say VA does not have to provide captioning. VA is a part of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and as such they are exempt form ADA. But they are bound by provisions of Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act which covers the same things. 

Gald to hear you are picking up ASL. I'm an advocate for ASL as well as hearing loops. I also want veterans to know how to advocate for their own health care. 

You are lucky you're only 180 miles (round trip from your VA. My VA is more than twice that far away. I hope you know that you are eligible for Community Care too. 


Re: External Veteran Survey

N Y Business
 

Yes I have a caption phone.... Hearing aids etc. and am slowly picking up some ASL.

 You say the VA doesn't have to provide CC of the deaf? The disabled hearing vets are denied the same consideration in getting their records online? and that is ok ? Really ?   It's a 180 mile round trip to the VA for me.. 




On Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 11:09 AM Jim Rau <jimrau@...> wrote:
Black87........... , sorry to hear of you difficulties with VA. I certainly can't answer your questions about why audiology records are not viewable on "MyhealtheVet". VA needs to answer that. Personally I request a copy of my audiogram before I walk out of the office. Otherwise getting it later is a hassle. 

VA is not required to comply with ADA. BUT they are required to comply with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation act (the Federal version of ADA). So they are required to provide accommodations for deaf and HoH. I agree there should be more accommodations in place now. But we have a duty to REQUEST accommodations that we need. We have not done a god job of requesting. We were trained by the military to "get in line and shut up". 

Personally I take my remote mic and phone to my medical appointments. I ask the doctor to wear the mic so I can understand. They are very willing to do that. I also use my phone which has speech-to-text apps on it. It displays the voice of a person to text that I can read. 

Also, as a person who is deaf or HoH, you are entitled to use InnoCaption. It is a phone service you can get for free on your mobil phone which displays text. You can then have the VA call you at that number and be able to read the text of the caller's voice

Consider joining us at the next meeting of the Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter meeting. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month on Zoom.  


Re: External Veteran Survey

Jim Rau
 

Black87........... , sorry to hear of you difficulties with VA. I certainly can't answer your questions about why audiology records are not viewable on "MyhealtheVet". VA needs to answer that. Personally I request a copy of my audiogram before I walk out of the office. Otherwise getting it later is a hassle. 

VA is not required to comply with ADA. BUT they are required to comply with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation act (the Federal version of ADA). So they are required to provide accommodations for deaf and HoH. I agree there should be more accommodations in place now. But we have a duty to REQUEST accommodations that we need. We have not done a god job of requesting. We were trained by the military to "get in line and shut up". 

Personally I take my remote mic and phone to my medical appointments. I ask the doctor to wear the mic so I can understand. They are very willing to do that. I also use my phone which has speech-to-text apps on it. It displays the voice of a person to text that I can read. 

Also, as a person who is deaf or HoH, you are entitled to use InnoCaption. It is a phone service you can get for free on your mobil phone which displays text. You can then have the VA call you at that number and be able to read the text of the caller's voice

Consider joining us at the next meeting of the Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter meeting. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month on Zoom.  


Re: External Veteran Survey

N Y Business
 


  I've been banned from the secure messaging app in my healthy web site for using it too much twice.  The VA is not friendly to hearing impaired or deaf veterans. We are excluded from audiology medical medical records. You can get all other test results but not a hearing test results on line. 
 The Patient advocate They are called patient advocate one day and veterans experience another is not on the veterans side so beware..


Re: External Veteran Survey

N Y Business
 

I'm late to this conversation and new to the group.
I agree about the CC on the VVC. I wont it to be known that HOH and deaf veterans can't get audiology medical info through the My healthy Vet web site. You can get test results and Images of your colon , MRI and cat scans. ,, But not the results of your hearing test. Why is that? 


My Healthy Vet web site ADA discrimination..

N Y Business
 

Has anyone else noticed that in the VA medical portal called My Healthy Vet . That you can get all kind of medical information. all your blood tests, X rays, MRI's and cat scans and even colonoscopy results. Images too. Can you get a hearing test results? NO..Why is that? 

Also there isn't closed caption in the VVC ( Veteran Video Connection appointments. ) Why is that ?

Have you noticed that in spite of the PC team knowing you are hearing impaired or deaf that they insist on wanting to call? 

  No one else noticed this?


Re: Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology

Jim Rau
 

Interesting Ron.  

Phonak has had the same system out for a while now in their Paradise hearing aids. I tried them 6 months ago. There were two problems. 

First they could be very noisy on the other end. Since the hearing aid microphones are used to pick up the users voice they also pick up other ambient noise so the person on the other end hears all the ambient noise from the users end of the call. 

Second the system was unstable. It would randomly drop connections and change programs with no input from me. The phone app that Phonak had then was awful. I think they have improved it now. 

Even though my phone and hearing aids are new enough to support this system I'm not really interested in getting it. I think that the problems are indicative of the problems that will come with the new Bluetooth LE that they say will replace hearing loops. They have a lot of problems to work out before we see reliable Bluetooth LE audio. 


Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology

Ronald Drach
 

FYI 

Ron

http://www.conceptscommunications.com/team/ronald-drach/



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Hearing Associates of Northern Virginia, LLC" <admin@...>
Date: March 15, 2022 at 9:53:26 AM EDT
To: consultrwd@...
Subject: Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology
Reply-To: admin@...


Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology
Good morning!

We are pleased to share an update that might be helpful to Apple users.  Apple has released a new protocol (Low Energy Audio, or LEA, 2.0) that allows the newest generations of hearing aids to be used as compatible headsets for convenient, hands-free, calling.  Whereas previously users had to have their phones in their hands to be heard by their caller, now your phone can reside in your purse, your bag, or your pocket, and you can enjoy effortless, two-way streaming of phone calls.  Right now, this update is coming from Apple only.  We have not heard yet from Android when we can expect similar updates, but we will let you know when we do.  

What is required to achieve this?

* Hands-free communication is available with iPhone 11 or later running iOS software 15.2 or later, and iPad running iPadOS 15.2 or later.
* Newer generation (e.g., Oticon More, Widex Moment, Starkey Evolv, or Resound One) hearing aids that utilize Bluetooth connectivity.
* Most likely, a firmware upgrade that can be easily performed in our office in five or ten minutes.

We would like to invite anyone who wishes to obtain a firmware upgrade to take advantage of this Hands-Free Calling to stop by our office on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.  We will update your firmware on your devices as a courtesy while you wait in our waiting area or your car for a curbside option, and we will offer you a sweet treat!  If you need adjustments to your hearing devices or wish to talk about upgrading your technology, please call us at (703) 748-3300 to schedule a visit.  

When you stop in to visit us for your firmware upgrade, make sure to introduce yourself to our new administrative genius, Kate Kelly!  Kate joined our team in January.  She is a super fast learner and is already finding ways to help us improve our efficiency around the office.  Welcome, Kate!

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you soon!

Dr. Crovato, Dr. Yunes, and Dr. Trinka
This email and any files or attachments transmitted with it may be confidential and proprietary information of Hearing Associates of Northern Virginia, LLC. The information is solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that distribution or copying of this email is strictly prohibited. If you received this email in error, please notify us via the address which sent this information to you and destroy/delete the copy immediately.


Event: Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter Meeting - 03/15/2022 #cal-reminder

HLAAVeterans@hlaagroups.hearingloss.org Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Reminder: Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter Meeting

When:
03/15/2022
8:00pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-04:00) America/New York

Where:
Virtual Zoom Meeting

Organizer: Carla Beyer-Smolin cbeyer-smolin@...

View Event

Description:

We invite VAAVC members to attend the next Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter Meeting (VAAVC) online using Zoom.

Date: March 15, 2022
Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT 

This will be an open meeting. We look forward to seeing you online.

REGISTER

The HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter is sponsored exclusively by Starkey.


Re: External Veteran Survey

Steve Sterry
 

Yes.  But we don't know if the changes in LA are regional or VA wide.  I have an appointment at the VA on Wednesday and will try to find out what I can.

 

Steven C. Sterry, M.A./M.B.A.

10149 Grayling AV. – Whittier, CA  90603-2608

Phone (562) 947-2258

Email: steve.sterry@...

 



On Sat, Mar 12, 2022 at 6:40 PM Jim Rau <jimrau@...> wrote:
I did that a couple weeks ago. The Washington Hot Line was unaware of the WEBEX in CA. The last I heard of was that VA mandated use of VVC. Washington promised me that the web people at VA were working on getting captions on VVC and should have it up and running in a couple months. They weren't interested in using a "work-around" by using ASR over a third party call-in number (which they can already do). Not surprising to get more than one answer from one VA. Sort of like "if dad says no ask mom". 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Jim Rau
 

I did that a couple weeks ago. The Washington Hot Line was unaware of the WEBEX in CA. The last I heard of was that VA mandated use of VVC. Washington promised me that the web people at VA were working on getting captions on VVC and should have it up and running in a couple months. They weren't interested in using a "work-around" by using ASR over a third party call-in number (which they can already do). Not surprising to get more than one answer from one VA. Sort of like "if dad says no ask mom". 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Steve Sterry
 

I just found out that the VA in Southern California has switched to WEBEX for video conferencing.  I used it yesterday and found that closed captioning is available.  We might want to check with the national VA to see if this is a universal switch and if close captioning is included for all areas.

 

Steven C. Sterry, M.A./M.B.A.

10149 Grayling AV. – Whittier, CA  90603-2608

Phone (562) 947-2258

Email: steve.sterry@...

 



On Sat, Mar 12, 2022 at 4:40 PM Jim Rau <jimrau@...> wrote:
Here are the "instructions" I said were needed for the survey. 

Instructions:

 

This survey is designed to help us evaluate what accommodations VA currently  offers for veterans who are deaf or hard of hearing. It also includes virtual appointments on the VVC (Veterans Video Connect) platform. We are not addressing mobility challenged or blind patients. 

 

Communications access accommodations can be any of a wide range of things. One group of things is assistive listening devices. Some examples are pocket talker, FM and infra red audio transmission systems, and induction loops (hearing loops), or voice to text applications. Or it can be a person such as a stenographer that types voice which is displayed in text (CART), or a sign language interpreter.  It can even be as simple as a white board or pencil and paper to write on. 

 

Please select the one BEST answer for each question. 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Jim Rau
 

Here are the "instructions" I said were needed for the survey. 

Instructions:

 

This survey is designed to help us evaluate what accommodations VA currently  offers for veterans who are deaf or hard of hearing. It also includes virtual appointments on the VVC (Veterans Video Connect) platform. We are not addressing mobility challenged or blind patients. 

 

Communications access accommodations can be any of a wide range of things. One group of things is assistive listening devices. Some examples are pocket talker, FM and infra red audio transmission systems, and induction loops (hearing loops), or voice to text applications. Or it can be a person such as a stenographer that types voice which is displayed in text (CART), or a sign language interpreter.  It can even be as simple as a white board or pencil and paper to write on. 

 

Please select the one BEST answer for each question. 


Event: Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter Meeting - Tuesday, March 15, 2022 #cal-invite

HLAAVeterans@hlaagroups.hearingloss.org Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter Meeting

When:
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
8:00pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-04:00) America/New York

Where:
Virtual Zoom Meeting

Organizer: Carla Beyer-Smolin cbeyer-smolin@...

View Event

Description:

We invite VAAVC members to attend the next Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter Meeting (VAAVC) online using Zoom.

Date: March 15, 2022
Time: 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT 

This will be an open meeting. We look forward to seeing you online.

REGISTER

The HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter is sponsored exclusively by Starkey.


Re: External Veteran Survey

Jim Rau
 

What is posted are just the questions for your review and input. 
The instructions are not yet written and will be included with the survey when it is sent out. 

We are considering whether we want to address just hearing loss issues or all communication access disabilities. I will draft some instruction for the survey and forward them to Carla. We will then post them on Veterans IO and Basecamp. 


Re: External Veteran Survey

Steve Sterry
 

Please see my notes in green:

Veteran Communication access accommodation

Question Title

1. Are you a veteran, veterans spouse, or veterans caregiver? 
Yes

No

Question Title

2. Do you (or your veteran) receive health care from VA 

Yes

No

Question Title

3. Do you or your veteran require  would you benefit from communication access accommodation?  The term "communication access accommodation'' needs to be defined.

Yes

No

Question Title

4. Have you or your veteran requested communication access accommodation from your VA facility? Examples of "communication access accommodation" need to be enumerated.  Otherwise, any answer will be meaningless.

Yes

No

Question Title

5. How was the request for communication access accommodation made? 

Verbally

In writing

Email

Question Title

6. Was the request 

Granted

Denied

Ignored

Question Title

7. If the request was granted was it  

provided

not provided

not provided yet

Question Title

8. If communication access accommodation was provided was it 

Used

not used

did not work

Question Title

9. Was VA communication access accommodation provided acceptable 

Yes

No

Question Title

10. Was getting communication access accommodation at your VA medical facility hard to get? 

No it was easy

Had to work at it

Very hard - had to get intervention

Impossible

 

Steven C. Sterry, M.A./M.B.A.

10149 Grayling AV. – Whittier, CA  90603-2608

Phone (562) 947-2258

Email: steve.sterry@...

 



On Thu, Feb 24, 2022 at 3:01 PM Carla Beyer-Smolin <cbeyer-smolin@...> wrote:

Hi Everyone,
Jim Rau has started a survey with help from Ann Thomas, who is part of the Get In The Hearing Loop Committee to find out about Communication Access at the VA. Jim has had difficulty getting a loop system installed with his VA and was wondering if others were having trouble as well. We are hoping to send this to the veteran membership of HLAA and both Basecamp and HLAA Veterans group. We would appreciate your suggestions and input to the survey draft. 

Veteran Communication access accommodation

Question Title

1. Are you a veteran, veterans spouse, or veterans caregiver? 
Yes

No

Question Title

2. Do you (or your veteran) receive health care from VA 

Yes

No

Question Title

3. Do you or your veteran require  would you benefit from communication access accommodation? 

Yes

No

Question Title

4. Have you or your veteran requested communication access accommodation from your VA facility? 

Yes

No

Question Title

5. How was the request for communication access accommodation made? 

Verbally

In writing

Email

Question Title

6. Was the request 

Granted

Denied

Ignored

Question Title

7. If the request was granted was it  

provided

not provided

not provided yet

Question Title

8. If communication access accommodation was provided was it 

Used

not used

did not work

Question Title

9. Was VA communication access accommodation provided acceptable 

Yes

No

Question Title

10. Was getting communication access accommodation at your VA medical facility hard to get? 

No it was easy

Had to work at it

Very hard - had to get intervention

Impossible

Thanks for your time and input!

Best regards,
Carla Beyer-Smolin
HLAA Chapter and Membership Coordinator

 

Best regards,

 

Carla Beyer-Smolin

Chapter and Membership Coordinator

Hearing Loss Association of America

6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 320 │Rockville, MD 20852

301.657.2248 ext. 101 | cbeyer-smolin@...www.hearingloss.org

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