MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Communities are not always the most up to date on the latest safety tips for people with hearing loss.
That's why Cochlear hosted its first safety expo in the Charleston.
Education can make a difference for not only people with hearing loss but also others who are communicating with them.
Together Carl and Connie Bailey are learning new ways to keep Carl safe. His hearing has gone from 8 percent of understanding to over 70 percent after getting Cochlear Implants.
"I said what's that other noise, she said 'oh those are birds' I hadn't heard any of that in 20 years." Carl said.
The expo is educating our community about hearing solutions, but also providing sessions on roadside safety, trips to the hospital, dogs for deaf and fire safety for people with hearing loss.
Beth Fountain is and Engagement Manager and Audiologist with Cochlear Americas.
"It's hard to feel safe at night if you're alone and you don't have a smoke alarm that can wake you up because you can't hear it," Fountain said.
One of the several experts provided information on a bedside fire alarm and clock that uses four signals including a vibrating bed shaker to alert someone to a fire. It also uses a low pitched alert for those who many have high frequency hearing loss.
"He will be able to recognize and get up if there's a problem and I'll be able to travel a little more," Connie said.
David Bitters is on a mission to provide first responders and law enforcement in our state with special cards to help communicate with people who can't hear.
"If they can't do the communication, this card is icon driven that the officer can point to what they're trying to convey the message," Bitters said.
He travels around the state to do free informational sessions. He's hoping they will implement them in Charleston.
"It's a one man show, so its going to take time," Bitters said. "Somehow I feel this is going to be a life mission for me, but I enjoy it."
Fountain said it's not just about hearing but connecting with other people.
The Baileys said a big takeaway from today was learning how to be your own advocate because in many cases other's aren't always equipped.
"He has a button that says I am deaf you have to put it all over your paperwork when you have to fill out the 27 forms at the doctor's office," Connie said. "Put on their what is best modality for hearing."
Her hope is that this expo will lead to more programs in our area to continue to educate others.
Fountain says many people might not realize that hearing solutions provided by Cochlear can do things for certain people that hearing aids cannot do.
"An implant will bypass the damage part of the ear and stimulate the nerve that goes up to the brain," Fountain said. "A hearing aid is very good for a lot of people, but it uses the whole hearing system."
For more information visit: www.cochlear.com/us.
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