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BHI Documentary on Hearing Loss to Air on PBS

Alexandria, VA, August 24, 2006-- Vinton Cerf, a computer pioneer who is now Googles Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, urges viewers to stop ignoring hearing problems in a Better Hearing Institute documentary that will be aired on public television affiliate stations beginning in August, 2006. Dr. Cerf, who has worn hearing aids since the age of 13, is participating in an ongoing campaign by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) to educate Americans about hearing loss and new technologically sophisticated solutions that are available to address it.

The PBS program, Spotlight On: Hearing Loss, was recently made available for showing to 348 public television affiliate stations around the country as part of the popular Spotlight On series with a successful 16 year history on National Public Television. The hearing loss segment is a 9.5 minute program guaranteed a minimum of 500 airings to at least 3 million public television viewers. It conveys the negative consequences of untreated hearing loss and shows viewers what they can do about it. The mini-documentary was made possible by a special grant from Sonion (Minnetonka, MN), a global supplier to the hearing healthcare industry.

I have spent much of my life thinking about the potential of communications technology to transform peoples lives, Dr. Cerf says in the documentary. Now Im equally excited about new digital technology that is transforming the lives of people with hearing problems.

Known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," when he was a professor at Stanford University in the early 1970s, Dr. Cerf co-designed the protocols and architecture that now make it possible to communicate through cyberspace. He has indicated that, without hearing aids, he would not have been able to function as productively as he did throughout his long and successful career.

We hope the Public Television Spotlight On program will be a wake-up call to the 25 million Americans who know they have hearing problems but arent doing anything about it, states Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., BHIs Executive Director. As a result, they often lose income on the job, have psychological problems and find that intimate relationships and family life are disrupted.

To help overcome the widespread resistance to dealing with hearing loss not to mention misinformation about the hearing healthcare process in America, the program explains the value of hearing, shows viewers what happens when they visit a hearing professional as well as how modern digital hearing aids are fitted and then manufactured.

Dr. Kochkin further states, The use of Dr. Cerf as a spokesperson for Better Hearing is of particular significance to people with hearing loss. Dr. Cerf is a communications pioneer who has contributed world-wide to the development of the Internet and eMail; and now these are common tools in modern communication. We are hoping that his involvement in hearing health will motivate Americans with hearing loss, who have benefited from the Internet and eMail, to also explore digital technology as a means of enhancing their ability to hear, listen and communicate.

The PBS documentary Spotlight On: Hearing Loss is now available for viewing or download at www.betterhearing.org.

About BHI

Founded in 1973, the Better Hearing Institute is a not-for-profit educational organization whose mission is to educate the public about hearing loss, its treatment and prevention. To receive a free copy of our 28 page booklet Your Guide to Better Hearing, visit our website at www.betterhearing.org or call the Better Hearing Institute hotline at 1-800-EAR-WELL.

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