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Gift Ideas for Individuals with Hearing Loss

Looking for the perfect present to buy for your hearing-impaired friends and family this holiday season? Here are a few suggestions suitable for hiding under the tree or tucking in a stocking.

Deaf Like Me by Thomas S. Spradley and James P. Spradley $11.53 Amazon.

This book is one of the first published by parents of a child born deaf during the German measles epidemic in the late sixties and early seventies. The touching story is a reminder of how far we’ve come with deaf education in the past 40 years.

Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy by iStorytime (iPad) $2.99

Hearing-impaired children will enjoy this multi award-winning children’s book about a lovable dragon named Danny with the help of an animated sign-language interpreter that appears on the right-hand side of the page when the option is enabled. The story has won praise for its pro-family themes along with numerous awards, including the Purple Dragon Book Awards, Mom’s Choice Awards and the International Book Awards and is the first app of its kind for hearing-impaired children.

If you notice someone in your household is increasingly asking to turn the volume up on the television, consider giving them a gift the rest of the family will appreciate, too – a television listening device. With the help of a small transmitter that sits atop your television, sound can be sent to a receiver worn comfortably as earphones. Prices begin at $129.

Hearing aid users don’t wear their instruments when they sleep, so help them get up in the morning with an alarm clock featuring an extra loud alarm and bed shaker. Prices begin at $60.

Looking for some fun stocking stuffers? There are a variety of accessories for behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid users. Children will love colorful Tube Riders by Otocool (www.otocool.com for $6.95/pair) and personalization stickers, while adults may appreciate stylish sweat bands designed to protect their instruments from moisture. Sweat bands come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors beginning at $20.00.

Hearing aid dehumidifiers and extra hearing aid batteries also make great stocking stuffers. Dehumidifiers are small, inexpensive and can prolong the life of hearing aids with regular use. The average life of a hearing aid battery is three weeks, so an extra supply is always appreciated. (Be sure to buy the right size, though.) Your local drugstore or big box retailer will most likely have these in stock.

If these suggestions don’t fit, consider making a donation to a hearing health foundation in honor of your loved one, such as the Gift of Hearing Foundation (www.giftofhearingfoundation.org) which creates accessibility for those needing cochlear implants. Check with your local United Way agency, too. They may know of service organizations in your community which accept donations designated for hearing health.

Of course, you can always purchase a gift certificate at a hearing aid center. If your family member already wears hearing aids, ask which hearing aid center they visit. If your family member has untreated hearing loss, you can find phone numbers and addresses of hearing aid centers in your community in Healthy Hearing’s online directory. Call first to make sure the center issues gift certificates and if users can redeem them for merchandise and services.

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