I feel badly I've been neglecting my blog here. The past two weeks I've been attending back to back hearing loss conventions. The first was in Vancouver, BC. Maybe some of you went to the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Congress 2008 (IFHOH), though I didn't recognize anyone other than those I already knew from the northwest. Over 500 deaf/HOH people were in attendance AND it was the largest gathering of deaf/HH people ever in Canada. Twenty-seven different countries were represented. I attended eight workshops and took tons of notes. The most informative was on new technologies in hearing aids and another on Menieres, though most all offered insight into how people experience hearing loss all over the world. I came away with a sense that accommodations for the deaf and hard-of-hearing are a problem everywhere. If one country offers a certain accommodation, they do not offer another. I'll share more information about that over the next few weeks, but I'm busy attending another Convention in Philadelphia now for the Say What Club.
I just flew in this afternoon and I'm rooming with Robyn, the Ambling Rambler who came all the way from New Zealand. http://robyncarter.blogspot.com/2008/07/gone-to-usa.html So far we've had fun comparing sign languages and trying to understand each other over our thick accents. I'm enjoying her immensely. Tomorrow we have big plans to go to breakfast, where she's dying for me to try an awful smelling concoction on toast called Marmite that smells suspiciously like congealed beef broth. She assured me it's vegetarian. I can't imagine eating it on toast, but she said it's good with tea. New Zealanders like their hot tea even when it's 90 degrees outside. Another goody she brought from home is called Pineapple Lumps. They're very tasty little bits of chocolate covered fruity flavored squares, and I've snuck three more while she wasn't looking (don't tell). After breakfast, we're off to the zoo so she can take pics of American animals -- snakes, raccoons, squirrels, etc. Workshops don't start until Thursday.
Many SWC-ers arrived early. I had dinner with eleven of them this evening downstairs in the bar. Then came back upstairs to crash as I hadn't had any sleep in nearly thirty-six hours. Now I'm wide awake and it's bedtime.
I'll see Tina Childress for the second week in a row because she spoke at IFHOH last week and will be speaking again here at the SWC Convention this week. For those of you who don't know her, she's a late-deafened audiologist with two cochlear implants. Fascinating story, since she learned ASL and became an audiologist BEFORE losing her hearing to an auto-immune disease.
That's all for now. I'll fill you in later on the workshops and try to send pics too.