Magazine article Volta Voices

The Promise of Technology

Magazine article Volta Voices

The Promise of Technology

Article excerpt

The word "technology" had been in the English dictionary just 30 years when Alexander Graham Bell founded AG Bell in 1890, using funds from his invention of the telephone.

Since that time, researchers all over the world have explored ways to improve technologies that amplify sound, vastly improving the lives of people with hearing loss. The first vacuum tube hearing aid was commercially manufactured in 1934, followed by the first behind-the-ear hearing aid in 1965. In the last 30 years, we have seen the benefits of programmable hearing aids, cochlear implants and assistive listening devices. And each advance offers more and better opportunities for children and adults with hearing loss. Today, with the appropriate intervention, children diagnosed with hearing loss as infants and toddlers are thriving in their neighborhood schools by the time they enter first grade.

In this issue, AG Bell celebrates the promise of hearing technology and the benefits it has provided to children and families worldwide. Circle Alliance partners Advanced Bionics Corporation and Cochlear Americas share the stories of two families who have children with cochlear implants. "When Music Becomes Magic" features a young girl who discovered her musical talent after receiving a cochlear implant. In "One Family's Journey into the Hearing World," Luanna Shibuya describes her experience raising two young boys with hearing loss and giving them the support they needed to listen, talk and become independent.

In "Telemedicine Offers Remote Cochlear Implant Programming," Kevin Franck of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, along with community partners Sue Zerfoss and Mike Pengelly, discuss how their experiment with long-distance implant programming is helping people gain access to services far from home. …

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