Young people with hearing loss are the fastest growing disability group today. Self-inflicted hearing loss is now rampant among our youth. What was a handicap among seniors has now invaded all ages. The main cause is the I-pod, the MP3, and concerts at high volume.


One in five adolescents has a mild or greater hearing loss. It is a problem of epidemic portion and has serious ramifications. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that fifty million Americans have mild to severe hearing loss. It can never be reversed or brought back to normal by some technical or medical fix.

It is hard for anyone to admit they have a hearing loss no matter how severe it is. They resist getting a hearing test and certainly they do not want to consider a hearing aid. Any plan for help gets blocked by denial. They make statements like, “I’m OK, or I can hear just fine.”


A study also found that several symptoms of hearing loss were present in many of the study participants. More than 60% had concentration problems and also often needed people to repeat themselves, while 44% indicated that they often felt a need to turn up the volume on the TV. In addition, nearly two out of five study participants indicated that they felt bothered by tinnitus.

More than one out of three (36.6%) young people had concerns about hearing loss related to the use of personal stereos. Regarding preventive aspects, it was found that 81% of respondents find it important to reduce noise pollution in society.

According to the World Health Organization a volume above 85 dB for eight hours or 100 dB for 15 minutes is considered unsafe. To counter the risk, the (WHO) recommends that young people keep the volume down on their personal listening devices.

Mild hearing loss registers on the audiology chart means they cannot hear pure tone sounds in the 26 to 40 decibel range. It means that they are missing most high frequency sounds or the major consonants such as: T, K, SH, S, & P. Simply translated; youth are missing about 40% of normal conversation.

Without these consonants you hear the vowel sounds but can’t distinguish the words. This can impact every area of our daily lives from sun up to sundown. As a blind person has to grope and feel his way around so a hard of hearing person must constantly prepare to meet communication challenges.


You can’t tell who has a hearing loss because it is invisible. Yet they are constantly seeking new ways to meet the challenges of communication. If they misunderstand something, they may be ridiculed and made fun of. This brings shame, stress and low self’ esteem. Many go into social isolation.

It becomes stressful when you can’t hear normal conversation and feel fearful of what others may say about you. We dread being called names such as retarded, slow learner or low IQ. We feel lonely, ignored or rejected and often fall behind in school.

How do we deal with such a massive problem? Scientists are in research for new technology, medicine, surgery, and therapy, yet the problem continues to rise. Our world is going deaf right under our nose.

We are on a crusade to alert the public of the need to protect your ears. Our mission is to help those who have lost hearing to deal with hearing loss.

Until the Trumpet Sounds: LET MY PEOPLE HEAR!

I can hear again, with my cochlear implant!


I can hear again, with my cochlear implant! Yes, it’s true, says elementary school teacher, Marilyn Fisher. After the surgical staples were removed (OUCH!), the audiologist programmed my processor, and we spent the next three hours going over the instructions and doing some initial testing.

I am thrilled to report that I nearly aced all four levels of preliminary evaluation! I was able to repeat back what she had said – without the advantage of lip reading and with an ear plug in my “good” ear – almost perfectly.

I have a bag the size of a carry-on full of manuals and attachments for my gizmos. Today, I will begin using the training DVD that will help my brain remember words and sounds. But I have already tried to watch TV without the close-captioning and am able to grasp enough of the dialogue to follow the plot…and THAT hasn’t happened for quite a while.

And I know it’s going to sound cheesy/lame/overly sentimental, but I can’t begin to tell you what a thrill I got just hearing the turn signal in Gary’s truck on the way back to Chattanooga. And when I heard birds chirping in the backyard last night for the first time in a LONG time, it was really cool!

What does it sound like? Well, I’m happy to report that people do not sound like aquatic cartoon characters as originally warned and expected. The best way I can describe the sound is this: imagine listening to people who sound like they have been sucking helium out of party balloons but with a slightly mechanical sound on top of that! Everyone’s voice has the same pitch and quality–even my bass-voiced husband sounds like he has been inhaling helium. But I am told that in time that too will pass and I will begin to recognize voices a bit more as I remember them.

It will be extremely important for me to wear a MedicAlert necklace from now on in case I am in an accident or require medical attention: MRI’s and monopolar cautery (the paddles) are BIG no-no’s. I put my application and fee for this in the mail just now. And I am also applying for a handicapped tag for my car.

The CI allows me to hear but does not provide the directional clarity that normal hearing does. The LAST thing I want is to get run over in a WalMart parking lot by a hot-rod teenage driver or a mom with a van load of kids who doesn’t watch out for me and whom I can’t hear coming. So parking closer to the door will help me avoid becoming somebody’s hood ornament!

I also plan to be back into wearing contacts by the fall. With my processor
hanging off my ear, I don’t need another piece of plastic or metal from
eyeglass frames resting there, too.

So, that’s the latest for now. I’ve probably given you, as teens would say,
“TMI! (Too much information!). I will keep you updated on the progress I
make throughout the summer.

Blessings on you both! I look forward to seeing…and hearing you…soon! And I hope your HEAR NOW CAFÉ event goes well. Signed, Marilyn.

Until the Trumpet Sounds: LET MY PEOPLE HEAR!

David M. Harrison, Advocate for hearing accessibility

A Christmas Miracle for deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

In 2015, the Lord laid on my heart to conduct a Christmas party for deaf and hard of hearing children as a mission project. We picked a date, but how will we fund it? Where will get toys and food for such an event? Where will this event take place?

In 2006 we began reaching out to hard of hearing people by organizing a non-profit mission (Let My People Hear). We opened up a Lip Reading Academy for helping hard of hearing people deal with hearing loss. Classes have been small due to expense for advertising. Our training extended into assistive living homes and senior gatherings. Later on we began a monthly support group for hard of hearing (Hear Now Café).

Our small group was meeting in a fellowship hall of a small congregation. Our meetings were on the second Monday of each month. We sent letters and made visits to find children we could invite.

We met on the second Monday of November to finalize our plans. We were shocked to see that the fellowship hall was stripped of all the things needed to have a party: tables, chairs, dishes, utensils, etc.  All I could say, “Praise the Lord, God is up to something big! He is in control.”

The buildings were handed over to a new congregation who were not told about our meeting. After locating the office of this group, I went to talk with the associate pastor, I shared my passion of preparing a Christmas party for the deaf and hard of hearing children.

The associate pastor was moved with my plea to find a solution for our mission outreach. Before the meeting was over, he said: 1) We will decorate the hall for your party, 2) we will set up the tables. 3) Tell us what you want on the menu, we will cook it at home and serve it to you.

We were strangers to them and they took us in. The miracle does not stop there. Where am I going to get toys on a very small shoe-string budget, without any shoestring?  While visiting a Christmas sale at the convention center, the Lord impressed me to ask venders to donate gifts for the children. We left the place with six shopping bags full of gifts one week before the party. Several bakeries pledged to donate cakes and cookies. God is up to something big.

People responded with gift cards to give to each family.

That is not the end of the story. There was a mission group close by who collected toys to forgotten children. As a non-profit mission we were qualified to receive toys. All they needed was a list of each child by name, age, and gender. We were overwhelmed with God’s goodness and love.

This blessing was repeated even greater in another church hall in 2016. Next year 2017, we want to organize and raise funds to help more families with deaf and hard of hearing children.

Our goal is to plan a banquet to raise funds to serve needy families of handicap children. Our theme for the last two years was, “Hearing Loss is a lonely life, and we love you because we understand.”

David M. Harrison, Advocate for Hearing Accessibility



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Delivered From the World of Silence


My life was headed to full deafness because hearing aids failed to deliver sound into my ear. Hearing loss is a lonely life and can lead to isolation and separation from family and friends.

“Had the Lord not helped me, my soul would have entered into a world of silence.” Psalm 94:17 paraphrased.

My future was bleak until I met several cochlear representatives at a national/international convention in Washington D.C. These wonderful people encouraged me to consider getting tested for a cochlear implant.

An appointment was scheduled for November 3, 2016 at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee for a full day of testing from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It was determined that I was approved for a cochlear implant. (The MRI experience)

The surgery was scheduled for December 20, 2016 to receive an electronic housing unit, and the electrode array inserted into the cochlear. This unit bypasses the damaged part of the ear and sends electrical signal directly to the brain via the hearing nerves. It is referred to as a “technological miracle.”

After two weeks for healing, I returned on January 5, 2017 to the hospital to be fitted with the Advance Bionics “Naida CI Q90 sound processor,” which is visible and worn behind the ear. This unit contains the microphone and electronics that process sound. The bionic unit was activated and I heard sound in my right ear for the first time in my life.

On February 2, 2017 on this visit there will be a number of speech recognition tests and any adjustment to improve listening ability. At that time, I will be the second recipient to receive the new Phonack Naida Link hearing aid in the left ear. (My first sound)

Isolation is not in my social future for hearing. The cochlea for people of all ages, may help end the isolation from hearing loss by bringing sounds that make sense into your life.
(Learn More Implants)

Until The Trumpet Sounds: LET MY PEOPLE HEAR!

David M. Harrison. Hearing Loss Support Specialist

A New Implant Ear for the New Year

David Harrison
David Harrison

A cochlear implant and sound processor were placed in my right ear on January 5, 2017 by the audiologist at Vanderbilt hospital. With severe to profound hearing loss since birth, I now can hear sounds in my right ear.

A cochlear (koe-Klee-er) implant is a device that provides direct electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve in the inner ear.

This type of hearing loss is sensorineural (nerve deafness), which means there is damage to the tiny hair cells (cilia) in the part of the inner ear called the cochlea. Because of this damage, the sound cannot reach the auditory nerve.

With a cochlear implant (not a hearing aid), the damaged hair cells are bypassed, and the auditory nerve is stimulated directly.

The cochlear implant does not cure or restore hearing. It will allow for the perception of the sensation of sound. I hear the sound, but my brain does not yet recognize it. I face extensive rehabilitation services from audiologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers, and counselors. I must learn to listen, improve speech, make use of lip-reading, and practice social communication.

Improvement for me means a lot even if I cannot reach perfection. These are some of the challenges I face with my family, friends and in the world.  I hear new sounds every day that must be put into my sound directory.

My favorite sound I first recognized was the stately bonging of our chime clocks. Every hour I stop what I’m doing and count the chimes. It is an exciting journey to hear and understand the sounds I hear. Cathy, my dear wife, says that our two chime clocks make our home feel elegant to dwell in.

Watch Video on the cochlear Implant [Push to Watch]

Until the Trumpet Sounds, LET MY PEOPLE HEAR!

David M. Harrison, Hearing Loss Support Specialist

Midnight Conversion

prayer-401401_1280My life was transformed at the stroke of midnight on December, 31, 1957. I was twenty years old and searching for meaning in my life. My twin brother Don, home from army duty and a new believer in Christ, urged me to attend a New Year’s Eve service at a church he found.

The Riverview Baptist Church on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul Minnesota planned a special time of sharing, singing, fellowship and refreshments. The sharing time was filled with testimonies of God’s blessings, healing and provisions of the past year.

Testimonies and stories were filled with excitement. God had blessed many families in the church. My heart pounded within me and I longed to have what they had.

A sixty year old man named Rueben, stood to his feet and said, “fifty years ago to night I attended the service in this church. I heard the testimonies and stories but I did not become a Christian. No one ever told me. My father and I left the church at midnight to walk home across the open field. The full moon was brightly shining on five inches of fresh snow.”

God worked in Rueben’s heart, and he cried out to his father, “I want Jesus to come into my heart.” They stopped and the father questioned him about who Jesus is and what He has done on the Cross to bring salvation to the world. “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and came into the world to save you?” he questioned. The boy responded yes. “Are you willing to confess your sins to Jesus and ask Him cleanse you with His blood that was shed on the Cross?”

In simple faith, ten year old Rueben knelt in the snow and invited Jesus into his heart and life at that midnight hour.

To conclude the service, the pastor invited everyone in the group to pray the New Year in. I panicked and wanted to get out of there.  I had never prayed before and had no idea what to say.  The people on both sides of me had placed their heads on the pews in front of them. There was no way for me to leave, all I could do was hang my head in shame for my sinful past. Tears of remorse dripped on my shoes. My only prayer was, “I want the joy that these people have. I want Jesus in my heart.”

At that moment a flood of joy and peace filled my soul. My life was changed forever. I heard a voice say to me, “Full time Christian Service,” my call to ministry. I recall talking to Jesus and asked, “What do I do with my sins?” His reply was, “Give them to me, I paid for them with my blood on the cross.”

I began the New Year with new life in Christ and a real sense of purpose.

“I’ve found a Friend who is all to me,
 His love is ever true; I to tell how He lifted me 
 and what His grace can do for you.
 Saved by His power divine,
 Saved to new life subline!
 Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,
 for I’m saved, saved, saved!”
  Jack P. Schofield, 1882